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The Submission
really liked it
Although I was once a New Yorker and had family members on the scene of 9/11 in NY and DC (all thankfully safe), I am not a 9/11 obsessive or fanatic ...more
Jan 30, 2012
Jan 08, 2012
Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness
it was amazing
Despite the awkward title (a quote from Wordsworth) this is a great book about good and evil, even better than "Mountains beyond Mountains," although ...more
Jul 25, 2010
Jul 28, 2010
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
it was amazing
This book kicked glutes. It was written by a Navy seal who grew up outside Houston and briefly dated a colleague of mine. She says there's no way (fro ...more
not set
Aug 06, 2008
Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans
it was amazing
A few years ago I suggested a book group book about cities recovering from disasters. My fellow bookies groaned. "Nooooooo! Katrina fatigue" was the c ...more
not set
Apr 14, 2013
The Power of Art
it was amazing
If you're like me you took an art history survey in college and then maybe a Euro-pass tour including the Louvre, British Museum, etc., and walked out ...more
May 13, 2011
Jun 06, 2011
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier
really liked it
This is not a Jane Jacobs acolyte book about urban design or about how density and walkability make us more virtuous, but an out of the box urban econ ...more
Aug 02, 2011
Aug 03, 2011
The Lower River
really liked it
I rate this book highly although it is incredibly grim and depressing and has a couple of big flaws like repetiveness and occasionally implausible plo ...more
Jun 20, 2012
Jun 24, 2012
really liked it
Hughes is a great writer and insightful critic who has penned the ultimate biography of a city that harks back to Roman times and has been completely ...more
Jun 21, 2010
Jun 23, 2010
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
it was ok
When I was about eight I became obsessed with Magellan. I have no idea why as I was an uncurious kid other than my interest in WWII (all the Dads in t ...more
Jan 15, 2011
Dec 25, 2010
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America
really liked it
The great garment district fire of 1911 killed 146 people in Lower Manhattan. This was the greatest workplace loss of life for decades before and 90 y ...more
Sep 23, 2009
Sep 17, 2009
Let the Great World Spin
did not like it
This book interested me as I grew up in the semi-bankrupt, filthy, graffiti-stained ungentrified New York of the 1970s and that is where it's set. McC ...more
Jan 30, 2011
Feb 01, 2011
Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long
really liked it
I read this book in preparation for my first trip to New Orleans. Most of what I knew about Long I gleaned from the Randy Newman album "Good Old Boys" ...more
Mar 30, 2013
Apr 02, 2013
A Kiss from Maddalena
really liked it
My entire Italian-American family has read this trilogy and we are head-nodding in agreement for our admiration. Castellani captures the Italian-Ameri ...more
Sep 19, 2013
Sep 26, 2013
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work
liked it
This is not just a manifesto in favor of manual labor (all sorts, not just artisanry or craftsmanship) but also against the stockade of cubicles that ...more
Jan 21, 2013
Jan 03, 2013
State of Wonder
it was ok
Imagine being stuck in the Amazon with an unpleasant and even dangerous group of people. You are not vacation; you are in uncharted territory on a sci ...more
Oct 09, 2012
Oct 09, 2012
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
it was ok
David Grann opens his tale of searching the Amazon for El Dorado by grabbing your throat and sinking in his thumbs. Hard. Tracing the steps of the los ...more
Sep 11, 2010
Sep 08, 2010
Monkeys Are Made of Chocolate: Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica
really liked it
In 1991 I met Jack Ewing while in Costa Rica researching articles on the emerging ecotourism industry. In 1972, Jack and his wife Diane came to the Pa ...more
not set
Jun 24, 2012
really liked it
Much has been made of Keith's mean comments about Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, etc. That's all here but so are generous and warm comments ab ...more
Dec 18, 2010
Nov 29, 2010
Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
it was ok
Postwar covers Postwar Europe and may possibly take longer to read than the 60-year period it covers. I've been trying for a year and am nudging page ...more
Jan 2007
Apr 20, 2008
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
really liked it
At Home is wildly entertaining but be warned that reading it is like being locked into a European train compartment with a a wildy discursive, somewha ...more
Feb 08, 2011
Feb 01, 2011
The Tudors
did not like it
The idea behind this "brief insight series" is great--give readers a quick, intelligent hit on a big subject in a boiled-down textbook format. Unfortu ...more
Jun 07, 2011
Jun 02, 2011
Kind Of Blue: The Making Of The Miles Davis Masterpiece
really liked it
Kind of Blue has sold 7 million copies (albeit in 50 years), making it the best-selling jazz album of all time. Far from being a safe commercial work, ...more
Jan 2004
Mar 28, 2011
Station Eleven
liked it
Imagine The Road with a back story of the characters involved and you have Station Eleven. It's also not quite as depressing as The Road. Apparently t ...more
Nov 14, 2014
Nov 12, 2014
Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story
liked it
Rather than another "urban autopsy" book on crumbling Detroit, David Maraniss takes us back the city at its apogee in the early 1960s--but only a few ...more
Jan 10, 2016
Nov 16, 2015
Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music
liked it
Ted Gioia takes a somewhat dry, academic and definitely hit-and-miss look at a great subject. The title is misleading as two-thirds of the book is abo ...more
Oct 15, 2010
Dec 14, 2009
Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin
really liked it
This is a police thriller with social significance, driven by Sides's fascination with the sometimes sordid past of his hometown, Memphis, Tennessee. ...more
Oct 31, 2011
Sep 28, 2011
The World Without Us
really liked it
At page 100 I gave this 2 stars but it got seriously better. The section on evolution dragged but the parts on what will happen to buildings, nuclear ...more
Sep 27, 2008
Aug 24, 2008
A Man in Full
liked it
In 2007 I discovered a weathered copy of this novel on a bookshelf in a Mexican hotel and read it straight through on the long trip home. This hotly a ...more
Mar 2007
Jun 01, 2009
On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks
really liked it
As is often true when books delve deep into the past (and farther from reliable source material), Garfield's book starts a bit slowly and gain momentu ...more
Oct 07, 2014
Sep 29, 2014
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
it was amazing
I started this reluctantly thinking it would be little more than a Hoosiers-style tale of sporting underdogs. That is only one thread of Brown's well- ...more
not set
Feb 16, 2015
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