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The Known World
3.80
This is a book I wouldn't have gotten past page 50 of had I not been reading it for a book club. While the author clearly did his research and posed a ...more
Jun 18, 2011
Jun 13, 2011
 
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
3.97
Robb Wolf's introduction to the paleo diet is compulsively readable and well researched. It's not the be-all, end-all of the paleo/primal lifestyle, b ...more
Jun 25, 2011
Jun 25, 2011
 
How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
3.72
I'm a sucker for books with this premise: using X as a lens, explain world history or sociology in a way I'd never really thought about it before. Som ...more
Feb 12, 2011
Feb 13, 2011
 
The Tiger's Wife
3.35
This was one of the more frustrating books I've read recently. On the positive side of the ledger, Ms. Obreht can really craft a sentence, and the sto ...more
Jul 03, 2011
Jul 02, 2011
 
Anathem
4.16
It's good to see Neal Stephenson return to science fiction. This is a novel that won't be to most people's taste, but if it works for you, it'll reall ...more
not set
Feb 28, 2009
 
The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood
3.88
I mentioned on Monday to a coworker in his mid-sixties that I was currently reading The Last Boy, and he commented that the book wasn't good for Mantl ...more
Jul 02, 2011
Jun 27, 2011
 
Winter's Bone
3.93
A quick, compelling read. I blew through this one in a day, and definitely felt that Mr. Woodrell had done an excellent job of pulling me into the wor ...more
not set
Dec 29, 2010
 
Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
3.88
A memoir of a season spent as a fire lookout in New Mexico. The job of a fire lookout is one of incredible solitude: eight hours a day, for roughly 10 ...more
Jul 04, 2011
Jul 04, 2011
 
Revelation of the Magi: The Lost Tale of the Wise Men's Journey to Bethlehem
3.59
This was a fascinating document, if likely of limited general interest. It's a translation of a lost tale of the Magi dating from about the fifth cent ...more
Jan 2011
Jan 02, 2011
 
13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown
3.84
Good synopsis of the 2008 financial collapse, and excellent summary of why "Too big to fail" is really "too big to exist." Really interesting to read ...more
May 15, 2010
May 09, 2010
 
Reamde
3.93
Stephenson doesn't do unambitious. This was a return to the more accessible Stephenson of Cryptonomicon or The Diamond Age, which was welcome after hi ...more
Oct 30, 2011
Oct 30, 2011
 
In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
3.79
Fascinating look into operating systems and the need for interfaces. Many of the specifics are, of course, dated, as you would expect of any book abou ...more
Jan 29, 2011
Jan 29, 2011
 
The Big U
3.22
For established Stephenson fans only. I can see why Stephenson allowed this novel to go out of print before he became a nerd icon following the public ...more
Jun 24, 2011
Jun 25, 2011
 
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
3.40
This is a tough book to review, as it's a solid adventure story punctuated by needless treatises on cetalogy, the whaling industry, the symbolic impor ...more
May 30, 2010
May 15, 2010
 
Room
3.96
Haunting, devastating novel told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy who has lived his entire life confined with his mother in a twelve foot b ...more
Jul 04, 2011
Jul 03, 2011
 
Get Some
2.92
I read this book because 1) it was free for the Kindle, and 2) the author was billed as the Nick Hornby of the London Gangster novel. Aside from the f ...more
Jan 26, 2011
Jan 27, 2011
 
The Quiet American
3.95
Excellent, prescient political thriller that accurately explained why we had no business in Vietnam nine years before the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Int ...more
Jan 30, 2011
Jan 30, 2011
 
The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno
3.16
A frustrating book that I wanted to be better than it was. On the one hand, the central characters--Bartholomew the thin man, Matina the fat lady, and ...more
not set
Dec 29, 2010
 
Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War
4.29
Fairly hagiographic biography of a highly controversial subject, for which I deducted one star. That said, this is a fascinating look at the fighter p ...more
May 09, 2010
May 03, 2010
 
Goliath
3.74
Tense thriller, although one wishes that Alten or his proofreader had done the basic research on the US military to realize that the Navy has no gener ...more
Jun 18, 2011
Jun 18, 2011
 
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
3.86
I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It's a fascinating look at "Molto" Mario Batali, one of the original stars of the Food Network and thus one of th ...more
not set
Feb 28, 2009
 
The Wilding
3.48
I debated between three and four stars on this one, but decided that the strength of the prose was worth four. This was a strong debut novel, but it's ...more
Dec 29, 2010
Oct 23, 2010
 
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability
3.73
Without the fifth chapter, this is a five-star book. The fifth chapter was bad enough that I debated dropping it to three stars. On the positive side, ...more
Jul 13, 2011
Feb 12, 2010
 
Gentlemen of the Road
3.40
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I ended up liking it. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay[/b:] remains one of the best novels I've ...more
not set
Feb 28, 2009
 
The Phantom of the Opera
3.97
I may be the only person in the last 20 years to read this novel 1) unassigned and 2) completely unfamiliar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber version. As s ...more
May 03, 2010
Feb 12, 2010
 
A Prayer for Owen Meany
4.21
Powerful, profound, tragic, funny novel of faith. The best book I've read so far this year. Owen Meany himself is an unforgettable character, and his ...more
Jan 16, 2011
Jan 14, 2011
 
The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment
3.66
If you loved The Know-It-All or The Year of Living Biblically, you'll like this book. AJ Jacobs is definitely funny and interesting, but he seems to d ...more
Jan 19, 2011
Jan 17, 2011
 
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
4.06
As a mystery, I really enjoyed this book and would have considered giving it five stars. As a book that's intended to be part polemic against violence ...more
Apr 19, 2010
Apr 17, 2010
 
Do the Work
3.96
Inspiring work on creativity from a best-selling author. Written as kind of a teaser for his book The War of Art, it did its job, at least for me. I f ...more
Jul 06, 2011
Jul 06, 2011
 
If a Pirate I Must Be: The True Story of Black Bart, "King of the Caribbean Pirates"
3.82
Interesting look into "Black" Bart Roberts, arguably the most successful pirate of the golden era of Caribbean piracy. The details of pirate life are ...more
Jun 13, 2011
Jun 13, 2011
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