cover title author rating rating my rating review Down arrow read added
Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2)
it was amazing
The first question that occurred to me when I stepped into this sequel to the excellent Wolf Hall was "Why was that book titled Wolf Hall? This one sh ...more
Jul 09, 2015
Jul 11, 2015
Never Let Me Go
[some spoilers possible -- I tried to be discreet]

Perhaps the most challenging of devices is the unreliable narrator. Its success depends so heavily o
Nov 11, 2012
Nov 10, 2012
Voyage (The Coast of Utopia #1)
Not nearly on par with his great works -- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Arcadia chief among the latter category. Some interesting moments, ...more
Mar 19, 2011
Feb 19, 2011
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
Hilary Mantel knows how to write for adults. Her novel demands fastidious attention, and is enhanced by greater background knowledge. Indeed, this spe ...more
Mar 06, 2015
Mar 05, 2015
The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16)
Jack Reacher knows what he's doing, a la Slotkin's Gunfighter Nation. Lee Child does too. This is the 16th novel in the Reacher "series" -- it's sort ...more
Oct 03, 2011
Oct 07, 2011
Jane Eyre
it was amazing
An all-time favorite, read with a great professor (truly an immeasurable boon to any read) at the beginning of my seminar after I chose to become an E ...more
Jan 29, 1986
Dec 29, 2008
The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure
This set of minibiographies packages its stories efficiently and entertainingly. I found quirky details like the Dali scene that Chabon massaged into ...more
Nov 22, 2013
Dec 23, 2013
The fact that I finished this novel during the same week when I finished (re-read) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made it all the more obvious: ...more
Jul 16, 2011
Jun 26, 2011
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
I am continually impressed by the inventiveness of the self-reflexive early works in the genre of the novel. This and of course Don Quixote are probab ...more
Jan 1986
Jan 03, 2015
Angela's Ashes
There has to be a name for this subgenre, a memoir of a life so miserable that it would be unbelievable in fiction (well, I guess in fiction it would ...more
Oct 18, 2013
Sep 10, 2013
Flashman (The Flashman Papers, #1)
The Flashman adventure series demands a look from anyone who loves history and/or travel (although it's more "foreign cultures" than "travel", really) ...more
Jan 2003
Jan 10, 2009
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
Having last delved into this book in 1979 or '80, I had forgotten just how extraordinarily rich Tolkien's imaginative achievement is. At times I brist ...more
Aug 15, 2009
Aug 03, 2009
When a novel carries as much weight as this one does, its every movement can seem exaggerated: lyricism is more inclined to swing into being strained ...more
May 22, 2011
Aug 03, 2009
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
----second read: 2011----
Rowling is truly one of the most engaging writers and plotters I have read. For the second time, I read the 750+ page behemot
Jul 2007
not set
Dec 27, 2008
H is for Hawk
Consider this fairly typical segment of prose from poetic memoirist Helen Macdonald's chapter 25, in which she describes taking her hawk, Mabel, out f ...more
Feb 09, 2016
Nov 11, 2015
American Gods
If the measure of a good book is how much it makes one think -- and I can think of worse measures -- this is a hell of a good book.

The imaginative pu
Jan 12, 2013
Jan 11, 2009
Gods Behaving Badly
The conceit so effectively exploited in the YA world by The Lightning Thief is still so fertile that Marie Phillips couldn't resist. But how to keep t ...more
Jun 21, 2013
Jul 28, 2012
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)
I'm not sure if this is a kids' book or not. I'm not sure if it knows. But as C.S. Lewis has said, a kids' book that can't appeal to adults isn't wort ...more
Aug 23, 2009
Dec 15, 2008
Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher, #11)
Lots of great action, and the loner gets his shot at being part of a team that makes the A-team ( the most impressive team you can think o ...more
Oct 07, 2011
Oct 07, 2011
Terry Jones' Medieval Lives
Entertainingly written, with an eye for facts and stories that grab the modern imagination. The book seems to love its iconoclasm quite a bit -- a pro ...more
Dec 25, 2012
Nov 26, 2009
Riddley Walker
Another of those great modern books I first read in that winter of '85 (wow, that's a long time ago...), along with Borges and Pynchon and Coover. I a ...more
Jan 1985
Dec 29, 2008
Sexing the Cherry
Some of the best and worst of postmodern literature: engaging, thought-provoking, fantastical, expectation-inverting, genre-busting, history-testing, ...more
Dec 31, 2016
Dec 31, 2016
Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
In Jack Reacher's world, the only desirable women are in the field of law enforcement (but they need your help if you're hardcore ex-military), there ...more
Aug 2008
Nov 26, 2009
Animal Farm
Clunky in the way allegories are, but so fierce and efficient that I can't help but love it. A perfect companion to the study of the Soviet Union -- i ...more
Jan 1983
Dec 27, 2008
Romeo and Juliet
Saddened that I don't get to teach this anymore, now that I'm not teaching freshmen. Priceless, even if the plot's key turn is contrived. "She doth te ...more
Jan 1981
Mar 08, 2009
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
I put all the Harry Potter books on the "for my kids" shelf but I really read them all for me just as much -- although I'm really thrilled that my kid ...more
not set
Dec 27, 2008
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Great character, great concept, great efficiency. I read this book in a day and recommend it to many other readers. It's not a literary classic -- mos ...more
Jun 2008
Dec 27, 2008
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
The tales themselves are fine, but the thing that makes this book worth reading is the "commentary by Dumbledore" -- an exegesis of each tale! I love ...more
Aug 21, 2009
Sep 05, 2009
Pride and Prejudice
One of the all-time greats. The subtlety and wit -- and humanity -- astound the hungry reader. (Thanks to my first cooperating teacher, Alison Kenney- ...more
Sep 1995
Feb 08, 2010
Killer Dolphin (Roderick Alleyn, #24)
Fun mystery, especially for lovers of Shakespeare and/or the theater. I really appreciate how much Marsh develops before "the crime" hits. It's not ge ...more
Jul 27, 2009
Jul 26, 2009
Rss infinite More books shelved as 'british' »
« previous 1 3