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First I say that I don't much like memoirs and then I decide to read two in a row. I've been trying for a month now to figure out how to describe the ...more
Jul 2008
Aug 27, 2008
The Goldfinch
As many have noted, this is Dickensian. Had it been A Tale of Two Cities Dickensian, it might have been more up my alley. But it's in the Great Expect ...more
May 02, 2015
Nov 08, 2013
The Liars' Club
I don't often read memoirs, and not surprisingly even a well-written one like this didn't do a whole lot for me. One thing I did really like about it ...more
Jul 2008
Jun 28, 2008
The Location Scout
Here's what I like about Kevin Fanning: he writes inventive, brilliant stories. Here's what I love about Kevin Fanning: he wants you to write stories, ...more
Mar 2009
Mar 01, 2009
Silence Once Begun
I'm a sucker for books that use an unconventional structure effectively and Silence Once Begun certainly fits that bill. Jesse Ball builds the novel s ...more
Feb 07, 2015
Dec 20, 2014
The Marriage Plot
I didn't read this until after The Tournament of Books, so I'd already seen some of the frustrations with this book, but I think two of its shortcomin ...more
Apr 03, 2012
Jan 11, 2012
Touch Anything Except Me
While I was reading this, I think my wife got a little tired of my little vocalizations of appreciation as well as my interruptions of her reading to ...more
Jul 2005
Jul 23, 2008
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Although the account of the training that went into becoming an exceptional rowing crew—and of the competitions—was stirring, what I found most moving ...more
May 26, 2014
Jan 09, 2014
Arthur & George
I don't go for whodunnits so much, mostly because I have such a poor head for plot that by the time the mystery is revealed, I've long forgotten who t ...more
Jun 2008
Apr 29, 2008
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Neapolitan Novels, #3)
Note that this is a rating and review from someone who hasn't read the first three books in the series. There were a few spots where I felt drawn into ...more
Mar 28, 2015
Jan 08, 2015
I think it's probably impossible for me to appreciate how ahead of its time this book was twenty-odd years ago, but one benefit of reading it now is t ...more
Feb 2009
Mar 20, 2009
Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable about Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors
More narrowly focused than The Five Dysfunctions of a Team but, like that book, and engagingly written way to make sense of how to rally a team around ...more
May 27, 2014
May 26, 2014
The Morning News Annual (2008)
I think The Morning News is as good as anything on the Web. So a book of essays from the site and new essays from its writers can be expected to be a ...more
Feb 2009
Mar 26, 2009
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
For better and for worse, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia reads—at least for a while—like a harder-edged version of the movie Slumdog Millionair ...more
Jan 20, 2014
Jan 19, 2014
Fahrenheit 451
I hadn't read anything by Ray Bradbury since I enjoyed his collected stories one summer in high school, so I took Big Read Dallas as an opportunity to ...more
Apr 13, 2013
Apr 13, 2013
Into the Wild
(Listened to this as an audio book, for whatever that's worth. New experience for me.)

Since I saw the movie before I read the book, a lot of my early
May 2009
May 11, 2009
The Dog Stars
There's lots for Hig, the narrator of The Dog Stars, to be nervous about. Living in the Colorado mountains after a pandemic has wiped out most of civi ...more
Jan 14, 2014
Jan 14, 2014
Let's All Find Awesome Jobs
Useful, succinct, and very funny. You may think you know all this but--based on my limited experiences reading resumes and interviewing people on the ...more
Jan 16, 2012
Jan 16, 2012
The Dinner
And it started out so strongly.

If you haven't read The Dinner and I told you that I don't even know whether the narrator had the main course in the e
Jan 18, 2014
Jan 15, 2014
The Buddha in the Attic
Interesting but not particularly affecting description of the collective experiences of a group of Japanese women who come to the U.S. to marry in the ...more
May 20, 2012
May 16, 2012
Salvage the Bones
The description of this book didn't much interest me, but I was waiting for several other Tournament of Books contenders to get here, so I decided to ...more
Mar 04, 2012
Feb 25, 2012
Wish You Were Here
Spoiler alert: Man and his wife experience a strain in their relationship after his brother is killed in Iraq. If you read that and thought, "So what' ...more
May 30, 2012
May 21, 2012
Bel Canto
I can't think of a novel that squanders so much goodwill in its last five pages, but it's best to focus on how wonderful Bel Canto is before the epilo ...more
Aug 22, 2012
Aug 13, 2012
Pale Fire
Another one to file under "more admired than enjoyed." I might just not have been giving it the attention it demands, but Pale Fire seemed like hard w ...more
Apr 19, 2012
Apr 09, 2012
You Lost Me There
As is the case for so many individual people, this book's strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin. I enjoyed that although the book st ...more
Dec 31, 2011
Dec 18, 2011
Telegraph Avenue
Chabon's writing has such wonderful exuberance that it's thrilling to be carried along this story. But for me, the joys are primarily found in the pop ...more
Oct 05, 2012
Sep 22, 2012
The Broom of the System
It's so enjoyable to read a novel that imagines a portion of Cleveland that was laid out in the shape of Jayne Mansfield, or includes the idea of a gi ...more
Apr 2009
Apr 06, 2009
At Night We Walk in Circles
At Night We Walk in Circles hooked me early and kept me fascinated all the way through to the last page. The story starts with a small band of actors ...more
Feb 07, 2014
Jan 19, 2014
State of Wonder
At the beginning, the tone of "State of Wonder" reminded me of "The Poisonwood Bible" and the plot seemed to clearly reference "Heart of Darkness," wi ...more
Feb 04, 2012
Jan 11, 2012
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
I'm not the right reader for Wolf Hall: I know hardly anything about Tudor England, don't generally choose to read historical fiction, and was far too ...more
Mar 30, 2013
Mar 12, 2013
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