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Aquariums Of Pyongyang: Ten Years In The North Korean Gulag
4.05
A friend happened to be reading this while I was reading Nothing to Envy , and recommended Aquariums of Pyongyang to me.

As with one of the people who
...more
Apr 26, 2010
Apr 13, 2010
 
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
4.29
My favorite intro to to one of these tales: "In the days when wishing still helped..."

Really glad I read this, but also really kind of exhausted. I th
...more
Jan 20, 2015
Nov 13, 2014
 
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
4.41
So different from the last book I read, yet equally engaging. I remember writing a paper about North Korea back in college when I took a class on Marx ...more
Apr 07, 2010
Jan 28, 2010
 
The Hidden People of North Korea: Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom
3.47
I was on a kick of reading books about North Korea this year. This one will probably be the last for a while.

While the others I read were a poignant m
...more
Jul 31, 2010
Jan 28, 2010
 
OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word
2.78
I really, really wanted to give this two stars (meaning "it was ok"), but I did like it a bit better than that.

Metcalf, a professor of English, delve
...more
Sep 29, 2011
Nov 22, 2010
 
The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I
3.49
I so enjoy academics -- especially historians -- who can write about topics in a way that is both knowledgeable and accessible. Alford is one of those ...more
Sep 17, 2014
Aug 28, 2014
 
Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth
3.79
I've seen the author on any number documentary programs about Neanderthals and the origins of humankind. He really does know his stuff and does an adm ...more
Apr 06, 2013
Nov 16, 2012
 
The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
4.35
I almost didn't read this book because the word "Capitalism" in the subtitle raised the spectre of economics, an area that I confess I don't know -- o ...more
Feb 16, 2015
Nov 11, 2014
 
Shakespeare's Wife
3.32
When I was in college, I was fortunate to spend a semester abroad in London. On one of our trips around the U.K., we spent a weekend at Stratford. I r ...more
Mar 20, 2009
Nov 29, 2008
 
The Son
3.97
I always enjoy a sweeping family epic featuring generations of characters who are deeply connected to and in conflict with a particular place. These c ...more
Apr 10, 2014
Jun 20, 2013
 
The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755
3.43
I stumbled across this while browsing at the public library a few days ago. My partner and I visited Lisbon in 2000 and I learned a little about the e ...more
Jul 09, 2008
Jul 06, 2008
 
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
4.02
I decided to read this after reading about it in the New York Times Book Review. So happy I did.

This book covers so many interests of mine, and it wa
...more
Mar 31, 2010
Feb 02, 2010
 
Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers, New York's Greatest Hoarders: An Urban Historical
3.14
I found out about this book from a review of E.L. Doctorow's new fictionalized account of the Collyer brothers, Homer and Langley. While I like Doctor ...more
Oct 2009
Sep 30, 2009
 
Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
3.97
I saw this on Donna,s list of to-read books. We both have a fondness for books about exploration, oceans, shipwrecks and the like, so I knew she must ...more
Aug 17, 2013
Aug 16, 2013
 
Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike
3.92
Spotted this book on the shelf at work, and thought, "I need to know more about this guy."

I didn't realize that I'd been to many of the places where
...more
Feb 23, 2015
Feb 16, 2015
 
Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt
3.77
An excellent overview written by a thoughtful, but easily readable historian. I got a little lost with some of the descriptions of how Greek and Egypt ...more
Jan 10, 2009
Jan 02, 2009
 
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
3.67
I was never the biggest fan of comics -- not sure why, they just never clicked with me all that much. But I always had a soft spot for Wonder Woman. P ...more
May 04, 2015
May 05, 2015
 
Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris
3.48
I'm not usually a fan of books about crimes and capers -- I prefer those in movie form. And I did keep thinking throughout this book that it might mak ...more
Aug 17, 2012
Aug 06, 2012
 
Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage
3.89
I love books about cold places, and try to read one in the summer. This summer's is Arctic Labyrinth.

I was already somewhat familiar with many of the
...more
Jul 21, 2010
Jul 09, 2010
 
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
4.12
Being a fan of stories about arctic exploration, I've read about the voyage of the Jeanette before, but this telling was fresh and riveting. Just the ...more
May 04, 2015
Apr 22, 2015
 
Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
3.90
I've always known at the most basic level that John Jacob Astor had sent a groups of trappers and merchants to the west coast in the early 19th centur ...more
Oct 23, 2014
Oct 12, 2014
 
Genius on the Edge: The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted
3.86
**spoiler alert** I really didn't know anything about William Halsted, whom Imber calls teh father of modern surgery. After reading this book, it's cl ...more
Sep 16, 2010
Sep 03, 2010
 
Salt: A World History
3.71
I tend to love books that focus on one thing, person, culture, idea, food, mineral, etc. and how it basically changed everything and made us what we a ...more
Mar 02, 2011
Feb 15, 2011
 
Racing With Death: Douglas Mawson   Antarctic Explorer
3.74
My sister-in-law gave me this book for Christmas and I enjoyed it. I'd read Mawson's Home of the Blizzard awhile back and enjoyed it. This biography o ...more
Feb 07, 2010
Jan 27, 2010
 
Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal
3.30
It's easy to think that the way we eat, with some minor variatios, is just the way things have always been. This informative little book shows that th ...more
Dec 04, 2014
Nov 14, 2014
 
Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms
3.52
I'd never really thought much about how much I use and hear euphemisms on a day to day basis, but to read this book, it would seem that a big part of ...more
Aug 22, 2011
Aug 03, 2011
 
Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature
3.98
Switek explores how the fossil record has been used in developing our ideas around evolution, and how our own human prejudices and vanities have impac ...more
May 04, 2011
Apr 12, 2011
 
The Age of Anxiety: A History of America's Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers
3.73
A nice overview of the development and social history of the new tranquilizers of the 50s and 60s (Miltown, Valium, Librium, Klonopin, etc.) and how t ...more
Jun 12, 2009
Jun 02, 2009
 
Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag
3.84
I read Figes' The Whisperers almost 5 years ago and really enjoyed it. It's one of the first books I entered in Goodreads, although I'm befuddled as ...more
Jan 31, 2013
Jan 05, 2013
 
The Road to Oxiana
3.93
In the early 1930s, Robert Byron traveled throughout Persia and Afghanistan, with any eye toward seeing spectacular examples of Muslim architecture wi ...more
Mar 24, 2013
Feb 27, 2013
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