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The Brief History of the Dead
3.67
it was ok
I dearly wanted to love this book. The first chapter--establishing a vast city of the recently dead, an afterlife for everyone still remembered by the ...more
not set
Jul 13, 2007
 
Magnificent Mistakes
3.82
it was amazing
Well, I reread this book (or most of it, anyway) for the first time since it was published, and I changed my mind. I wasn't going to rate it here, but ...more
Sep 15, 2011
Jan 14, 2012
 
Janet Frame: An Autobiography (Autobiography, #1-3)
4.22
it was amazing
I confess that I came to this book only after seeing Jane Campion's brilliant film adaptation of Janet Frame's autobiographies. And, despite telling e ...more
Jan 1999
Jan 14, 2012
 
Letters to a Fiction Writer
4.17
it was amazing
I love this book. When I feel lost or out of touch with my own writing--usually as I'm easing back into the habit after a period of being too busy wit ...more
not set
Jan 12, 2012
 
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
4.01
it was ok
Every zombie fan I know (which apparently means I know zombie fans) recommended this book, but I don't see why. It's more a linked collection of first ...more
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013
 
Big Lonesome
4.57
it was amazing
Just when it seemed language had lost its edge, Ruland came along and fornicated the hell out of it. Most of these stories will rot your mind faster t ...more
Sep 2005
Jul 15, 2007
 
The Marriage Plot
3.42
liked it
Because, long ago, I was dazzled by the prose of The Virgin Suicides and the sprawling, multigenerational tale of Middlesex, and because I had waited ...more
Jan 07, 2012
Dec 24, 2011
 
Harpsong
3.98
it was amazing
Brilliant, beautiful, very nearly perfect. This story grows unpredictably, in wild and sometimes breathtaking moves that keep readers--well, this read ...more
Sep 16, 2012
Sep 02, 2012
 
That Gladrag Razzmatazz
5.00
it was amazing
Genius. Known by too few. Thank you, Bob Arter! Thank you.
not set
Mar 08, 2011
 
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip
4.10
it was amazing
The best kids book ever?

Up there.
not set
Jul 13, 2007
 
A Room of One's Own
4.10
it was amazing
Today, I read this book for the third time. I had forgotten how funny and snarky it was. Brilliant! Woolf is mischievous and relentless as she lays ou ...more
Jan 24, 2012
Jan 17, 2012
 
The Enchantress of Florence
3.57
really liked it
The Enchantress of Florence may be viewed by many readers and critics as Rushdie Lite, but I think he was just up to something very different from the ...more
Jul 25, 2013
Jul 27, 2013
 
Stage a Poetry Slam: Creating Performance Poetry Events-Insider Tips, Backstage Advice, and Lots of Examples (A Poetry Speaks Experience)
4.00
really liked it
This is a rock-solid, easy-to-read, well structured introduction to virtually every aspect of poetry slam organizing. If, like me, you're new to the w ...more
Feb 12, 2012
Feb 05, 2012
 
Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts
4.11
really liked it
This collection is a hit-and-miss affair, and I suspect my four-star rating makes sense only because I read the hits and did not finish the misses. St ...more
not set
Jan 12, 2012
 
Big World
4.36
it was amazing
I guess I didn't review this back when I read it a couple years ago. This little book is plain great. These stories are tight and powerful and seedy a ...more
May 10, 2010
Apr 05, 2012
 
Picnic Grounds: A Novel in Fragments
3.77
it was amazing
A small masterpiece. A novel in fragments. I recommend it to anyone with an appreciation for quiet, piercing, brilliant microfiction / flash fiction / ...more
not set
Jan 12, 2012
 
Nothing in the World
4.59
I read this years ago, when it first came out. The book still haunts me, and I regard it as setting a high standard that I aspire to someday match in ...more
not set
Sep 11, 2012
 
Goblin Secrets (Zombay, #1)
3.54
it was amazing
This is the best book I've read to my eight-year-old daughter since The Magician's Elephant. Think steampunk + Harry Potter + Hemingway prose. Yeah, t ...more
Dec 18, 2012
Dec 18, 2012
 
Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: the Zen journal & letters of Maura "Soshin" O'Halloran
4.29
really liked it
This book changed my life. Then my life kept changing. It seems to do that with our without books. Still, this sparked one of the better changes.
Mar 1996
May 06, 2012
 
Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
3.73
really liked it
An indispensable resource for the beginning fiction writer, and useful for writing teachers, as well.
not set
Jan 12, 2012
 
Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)
4.30
liked it
Great page-turner through most of the book, but the mediocre prose leaves a lot to be desired.
Jan 12, 2013
Jan 14, 2013
 
Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World
4.19
it was amazing
Thank you for making this book! My daughter (who is seven) loves it.
not set
Apr 05, 2012
 
God Is Dead
3.75
it was amazing
If you enjoy Kurt Vonnegut, George Saunders, satire or literary science fiction, this book is a lock for you. And if you're a serious fan of truly gif ...more
May 2007
Jul 11, 2007
 
Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps — and What We Can Do About It
3.75
really liked it
Very reader-friendly and informative.
not set
Jan 12, 2012
 
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)
4.31
it was ok
Has so little plot ever filled so many pages? The fourth and fifth books of this series should have been condensed to a single novel, shorter than eit ...more
Aug 25, 2012
Jul 26, 2012
 
In One Person
3.66
really liked it
Suspecting that Irving books were too wrapped up in my late-teens through late-twenties reading experiences, I didn't expect to enjoy another of his n ...more
May 07, 2013
Apr 27, 2013
 
Kind of Kin
3.64
it was amazing
This is the best novel I've read in three years. It's brilliant, compassionate, funny, and quite serious about putting its very real characters throug ...more
Feb 17, 2013
Dec 01, 2012
 
A Clash of Kings  (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)
4.40
liked it
Engaging at times, tedious just as often. I enjoy the world and care about several of the characters. And I'm told this book is the weakest in the ser ...more
Apr 20, 2012
Apr 05, 2012
 
Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
3.90
really liked it
I enjoyed this book as I read it, of course, but it has done something unusual (for me, at least): It lives on in my memory and imagination, quite viv ...more
Nov 06, 2007
Jul 12, 2007
 
Blue Pastures
4.27
it was amazing
I love this humble, wise, little book. The first essay, "Of Power and Time," comes to mind almost several times a year--more than monthly, less than d ...more
not set
Jul 13, 2007
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