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The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English
I chose to read this book because I thought my writing had been getting stale and slovenly of late. I halfway expected the dry, academic approach to w ...more
Mar 09, 2011
Feb 16, 2011
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
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
Jan 20, 2015
Nov 13, 2014
Aquariums Of Pyongyang: Ten Years In The North Korean Gulag
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
Apr 26, 2010
Apr 13, 2010
The Lost Art of Finding Our Way
I've had this in my queue for nearly two years. I'm glad I got around to reading it.

Huth starts with the argument that basic knowledge of navigating
Mar 26, 2014
Apr 10, 2013
The Hidden People of North Korea: Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom
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
Jul 31, 2010
Jan 28, 2010
Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters
An interesting book, though the subtitle might have been more accurate if it was "the psychology of monsters," or at least "the science and pscyhology ...more
Jan 29, 2014
Mar 28, 2013
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
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
Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully
I found this book really compelling. The concept really intrigued me -- a writer seeks out to find and confront his childhood bully. But there were a ...more
Mar 22, 2015
Mar 04, 2015
Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures
My favorite quote from this book, which also sums it up nicely: "Feeding on blood is a tough way to make a living."

Schutt, an expert on vampire bats,
Mar 03, 2009
Jan 20, 2009
I'm not usually one for reading YA literature. It usually quite good, but I feel a little weird not being the intended audience. But when a 10-year-ol ...more
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 22, 2015
The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I
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
OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word
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
Sep 29, 2011
Nov 22, 2010
The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
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
Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth
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 Son
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
He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter's Quest to Know Him
Quite a moving tale of a daughter, who, after years of wondering about the father she hardly remembered, is handed a box containing a manuscript writt ...more
Mar 30, 2015
Feb 20, 2015
Thrumpton Hall
This moving book is unlike anything I've ever read.

The author writes of her family's English manor home and it's presence in the life her family. The
Aug 30, 2008
Jul 26, 2008
The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755
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
Shakespeare's Wife
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
Independent People
I ran across an excerpt from this novel in The Ends of the Earth and was quite taken, so I thought I'd give it a chance. Very glad I did.

How to descri
Aug 12, 2008
Jul 22, 2008
Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike
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
Feb 23, 2015
Feb 16, 2015
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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
Mar 31, 2010
Feb 02, 2010
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
It's rather difficult to write about this novel without giving away a major surprise (or maybe not so much a surprise) that pops up after about 1/3 of ...more
Jul 25, 2014
Feb 26, 2014
The Golem and the Jinni
I wasn't so sure about this at first -- a golem and and a jinni meet in New York in 1901? I was worried that it would turn into some weird gothic roma ...more
Feb 18, 2014
May 06, 2013
God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre
Richard Grant has written the kind of travel book I like -- attention to detail, crazy characters, historical backgound, and an easy-to-read writing s ...more
Jul 06, 2008
Jun 05, 2008
The Death of Bees
A bleak, disturbing book, but so well written. The opening chapters are kind of devastating, actually. It can be hard to read novels about horrible pe ...more
Dec 24, 2013
Jun 01, 2013
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
A close look at what it means to be, and live around, the quiet, contemplative set. Cain outlines studies that have looked into the different outlooks ...more
Oct 22, 2012
Jul 10, 2012
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Such an amazing little book. I'm so impressed when writers can capture what it's like to be a child -- the fears, the assumptions about life, the appr ...more
Mar 05, 2014
Feb 26, 2014
I seem to have forgotten to add this to my "currently reading" list -- I've been reading it off and on over the past two weeks.

What an imagination! T
May 04, 2014
May 05, 2014
Second Foundation
In this, the third (sort of) book in The Foundation story, Asimov brings together the story of the First and Second foundations, having them work with ...more
Jul 29, 2011
Aug 03, 2011
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