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Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
really liked it
All Pollan's books explore the ways people relate to the world around them, from plants to food in general to space itself. This one's about gardens a ...more
Sep 2010
Apr 24, 2010
Mushrooms Demystified
it was amazing
This is one of the most amazing biological guides ever. In addition to being an almost comprehensive guide to most macroscopic fungi of the western US ...more
not set
May 29, 2009
30 Days of Night, Vol. 1
it was ok
Vampires go apeshit when they realize (finally) that there are 30 days where the sun never sets in Podunk, AK. Art's kinda fun, story's kinda dumb. No ...more
not set
Aug 12, 2009
Promethea, Vol. 1
liked it
Fun stuff, but hardly revolutionary. My friend Andy recommended this to me knowing I loved Sandman, and it's similar in its emphasis on (please shoot ...more
Dec 2007
Dec 20, 2007
Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
liked it
Most of this book makes a pretty convincing case that automation is going to replace most jobs in the next 50 years, maybe less. I think I buy that, a ...more
Feb 20, 2017
Dec 26, 2016
really liked it
**spoiler alert** As with every Stephenson book, I feel the need to point out that this is Neal Stephenson, people. Stop complaining about infodumping ...more
Feb 16, 2016
Dec 26, 2015
The Water Knife
liked it
Well, I'm going to be up-front and admit I sped through this and enjoyed every sentence except for the one totally extraneous sexy bit which *could* h ...more
Jun 23, 2015
Jun 19, 2015
Up and Down California in 1860-1864: The Journal of William H. Brewer
really liked it
First-person history is truly amazing. Even if all you do is marvel at how some things have changed while others have stayed the same, it is still fab ...more
Nov 05, 2010
Apr 30, 2010
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
really liked it
Wonderful, wonderful book, full of fantastic info and insights. My main critique is Pollan's main conceit, and the language used to express it: plant ...more
Dec 2006
Aug 26, 2007
Blue at the Mizzen (Aubrey/Maturin #20)
really liked it
I've been putting off finishing the Aubrey-Maturin books for some time, but I guess this day had to come. While I admit I lost track of what the heck ...more
Dec 22, 2012
Dec 17, 2012
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
liked it
I know almost nothing about money. I know what it is (a physical representation of value that can be exchanged in place of true value), I know what a ...more
Sep 28, 2010
Sep 01, 2010
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)
liked it
Not bad, not bad at all. Most people I've talked to about this book ask whether the writing is as bad as they've heard, but much like Stephanie Meyer, ...more
Mar 22, 2010
Dec 10, 2009
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)
liked it
**spoiler alert** Another fun ride. Apparently some found fault with a lack of action in this tome, but seriously people, Danaerys rode a dragon. Bran ...more
Feb 09, 2012
Jan 10, 2012
Arthur & George
liked it
Old review from 2006

Way outside of my normal range of reading here, but hey, that's what the Christmas book stack is all about. Apparently it's a pseu
May 05, 2006
Aug 12, 2009
Eastern Standard Tribe
it was ok
This book was written by Cory Doctorow, one of the writers at, so it might not surprise you that you that it's under the Creative Comm ...more
Dec 2005
Nov 28, 2007
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
really liked it
**spoiler alert** Biology, ethics, and speculative fiction, all in one well-written novel? God's wounds, 'twas practically written for me! Ah, the sol ...more
Jun 20, 2010
May 19, 2010
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)
really liked it
Loved the tongue-in-cheek tone and kind of wish there was more of it, but even the more traditional aspects were a lot of fun. Particularly enjoyed lo ...more
Nov 12, 2017
May 31, 2017
The Ohlone Way
liked it
I think this is probably a decent introduction to learning about the native peoples of the Bay Area, but the form is seriously flawed. More than half ...more
Jun 12, 2009
May 31, 2009
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
really liked it
Tight, unrelenting action drama in post-apocalyptic fascist middle America! Plug that into the YA hype machine, and, well, you have my attention, but ...more
Oct 03, 2010
not set
Jun 29, 2010
The Reverse of the Medal (Aubrey/Maturin, #11)
really liked it
Another fun romp, but ... the ending! Or lack there of! Now I must buy the next.

Words (that I looked up in a wonderful, dead-tree dictionary, which fe
Nov 05, 2009
Oct 25, 2009
The Lathe of Heaven
really liked it
This was probably my favorite LeGuin book to date. Languid, thoughtful, well-written. I loved the transitions between realities, which at first were h ...more
Aug 27, 2009
Aug 24, 2009
Slade House
liked it
Easier to enjoy than Bone Clocks since all the cards were on the table. Words like "psychovoltage" don't clang as shockingly when you know they're com ...more
Jan 23, 2016
May 23, 2015
A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California
it was amazing
Truly an outstanding book that every Californian, certainly everyone in the Bay Area, should read. Cunningham's rich drawings and paintings evoke pre- ...more
May 11, 2016
May 09, 2016
The Leftovers: A Novel
liked it
It is a strange but perhaps inevitable discovery that in our age of "novelized" television, a TV adaption can be a richer, longer, more involved exper ...more
Feb 25, 2018
Dec 27, 2017
Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1)
liked it
I'm a spaceship snob, which, for those who don't share this affliction, involves both a physical need to see or imagine spaceships on a regular basis, ...more
Jan 15, 2013
Jun 27, 2011
Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding
liked it
I have a longstanding personal (and in recent years professional) interest in natural history, i.e. the study of non-human organisms, and I'm particul ...more
Nov 11, 2016
Dec 25, 2009
Gargoyles: Clan Building, Volume 2
it was ok
I wasn't really expecting much given the relative disappointment of the first volume, but I just re-watched the series (again), and was in need of a f ...more
Sep 23, 2009
Sep 14, 2009
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
really liked it
**spoiler alert** Ok. That was an intense week. This series is like a non-stop roller coaster ride of death from the first page to the very last. Did ...more
Oct 09, 2010
not set
Oct 03, 2010
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
liked it
Humboldt: not just a Californian county shrouded in cannabinoid haze! Turns out, he was also a dude. It's hard to read the works of 19th century natur ...more
Mar 02, 2016
Dec 26, 2015
Daniel Deronda
liked it
**spoiler alert** My sister wrote her senior thesis on this book, so I figured if I was going to stand half a chance at understanding but a quarter of ...more
Jun 06, 2011
Apr 15, 2011
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