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The Mauritius Command (Aubrey Maturin Book 4)
4.35
it was amazing
I do enter upon my rereadings of Patrick O'Brian books with an open mind. I am willing to give fewer than five stars to each book before I read it. Ho ...more
Dec 2004
not set
not set
not set
Jun 16, 2007
 
The Blind Assassin
3.95
it was amazing
I've already been an Atwood admirer for a few years, but The Blind Assassin is too gorgeous to merely admire. I love it. Where it isn't exquisite, it ...more
Sep 26, 2008
May 06, 2008
 
Lord of Light
4.10
it was amazing
Zelazny drops you right into the middle of this story, but if you refuse to be intimidated by the unknown names and tech/magic confusion, you'll be ri ...more
May 14, 2008
Oct 29, 2007
 
Desolation Island
4.38
it was amazing
Though a second reading is less uncomfortable than the first (the edge of the seat is so sharp, and bad for circulation!) this is still an exciting, d ...more
not set
not set
Jan 2005
not set
Mar 13, 2007
 
The Penelopiad
3.66
really liked it
A very quick read; the inverse of an epic. Atwood writes a rueful and human Penelope, undercutting here and there the heroism of The Odyssey, and und ...more
May 03, 2008
Jan 01, 2008
 
Death Of An Expert Witness (Adam Dalgliesh, #6)
3.98
really liked it
(notes while reading:) One of the reasons P.D. James is so great is utterly simple. She writes a murder mystery like it's a novel. This sounds facile, ...more
Jun 11, 2008
May 28, 2008
 
Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2)
4.29
it was amazing
The second installment of the Aubrey-Maturin chronicles is long, and has the unpredictable, organic rhythm one comes to expect of the books: the small ...more
Jul 19, 2008
Mar 13, 2007
 
The Hearts of Horses
3.91
it was amazing
Well, it's been proven: you can still write a novel with an omniscient narrator. I don't pretend that setting it in the historical past (the U.S. home ...more
May 05, 2008
Jan 11, 2008
 
Four Quartets
4.37
it was amazing
Four Quartets is one of the most astounding pieces of writing I've ever encountered. It may start off strange and esoteric, but it becomes more and mo ...more
Oct 2006
Apr 30, 2007
 
Waltzing the Cat
3.98
really liked it
What to say about this "shnovel" by the woman who, if my sources are accurate, coined that most excellent term? It's somewhat of an oddity. I'm sure t ...more
May 07, 2008
Jan 16, 2008
 
The Interpretation of Fairy Tales
4.15
really liked it
Von Franz was apparently Jung's chief disciple, and her work on fairy tales and folklore was central to her continuation of his work. This volume is, ...more
Mar 09, 2008
Jul 20, 2007
 
Six Walks in the Fictional Woods
4.12
it was amazing
Nominally a book about reading, this collection of six lectures by Umberto Eco also yields insight into writing. Philosophical, thought-provoking, but ...more
May 2007
May 12, 2007
 
Defend and Betray (William Monk, #3)
3.97
liked it
This book suffered a little from rereading: there were clues in people's behavior on the night of the murder that were inexplicably not followed up fo ...more
not set
Jun 21, 2010
Jun 03, 2010
 
Dracula
3.98
it was amazing
I was expounding on my love of Dracula to my poor long-suffering mother yesterday, and realized I should probably confine my effusions to a more opt-i ...more
Jun 07, 1996
May 17, 2013
 
Black Swan Green
3.97
really liked it
I have a hard time saying why this book is so charming. Perhaps it's Jason's naked honesty as a narrator, the way he lays bare his own insecurity. Per ...more
May 30, 2008
Jan 06, 2008
 
Little Black Book of Stories
3.81
it was amazing
A good story makes me want to read the next one; a great one makes me close the book, almost involuntarily. I want to read the next one, but not yet, ...more
Jan 2008
Dec 29, 2007
 
Myths and Legends of Japan
3.62
liked it
While it contains many folktales, this book is a little frustrating for serious mythology research. The separation between stories is unclear, sometim ...more
Sep 2007
Sep 13, 2007
 
The Practical Princess and Other Liberating Fairy Tales
4.51
it was amazing
Some of the first reinvented, reconsidered fairy tales I ever read, and still among the best. Whimsical, edifying, funny and cohesive. The beautiful s ...more
Jan 1988
Dec 25, 2007
 
Master and Commander (Aubrey & Maturin, #1)
4.10
it was amazing
Last time I wrote a review of Master and Commander, it ran, well, long. It's hard not to lavish the love one has for the whole series upon its first ...more
Dec 2004
Mar 13, 2007
 
Tender is the Night
3.83
really liked it
I have read that critics, still charmed by The Great Gatsby, were disappointed in Fitzgerald's next novel, Tender is the Night. I both understand why ...more
Nov 11, 2008
Apr 29, 2008
 
Seven Day Magic
4.12
really liked it
I loved Edward Eager books as a child, and they're still fun. Seven Day Magic is charming because it's about the magic of books and a bookish sort of ...more
Aug 16, 2008
Aug 10, 2008
 
The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)
4.17
it was ok
2.5 stars

This is a difficult book to review. I wanted to like it because I loved the idea (Jesuits...in...SPAAAAAAAACE!) but as I read it, I found mys
...more
Jul 20, 2010
Jan 01, 2008
 
In the Garden of the North American Martyrs
4.15
it was amazing
This is a great collection of short stories. They vary in length, topic and tone, but all of them have an almost pungent insight into a character's ex ...more
Mar 2007
Mar 13, 2007
 
A Kayak Full of Ghosts: Eskimo Tales
4.15
really liked it
The back material was not kidding: “Not for queasy readers.” It’s a monument to my iron stomach that I perused it on several lunch breaks.

This collec
...more
Oct 2007
Oct 09, 2007
 
Winter Range
3.53
I don't give star ratings to books by faculty members of my MFA program.

Claire Davis's first novel builds from the small to the epic, an engaging read
...more
Jul 13, 2008
Jul 01, 2007
 
Death Comes As Epiphany (Catherine LeVendeur, #1)
3.92
really liked it
An engrossing plot, charming heroine and intriguing historical details. The main characters were well-drawn and likeable, and the use of Heloise and A ...more
Jun 13, 2009
Jun 10, 2009
 
Local Girls
3.56
really liked it
Imbued with a charming voice, these very short stories draw you into the story of Gretel Samuelson's adolescence and keep you flipping pages. I finish ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 06, 2008
 
Promethea, Vol. 2
4.06
it was amazing
Promethea is a delight. While of course the second volume cannot match the newness and discovery of the first, it continues to be excellent, and provi ...more
Mar 2006
Mar 14, 2007
 
Crazy Love
4.05
it was amazing
A "slim volume," Kate Wilhelm calls this in the introduction, but you could have fooled me. Its 195 pages are packed with stories that range from touc ...more
Jul 2008
Jun 09, 2008
 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Core Rulebook
4.07
really liked it
You'll never see a roleplaying rulebook that is easier to read. It made me laugh out loud (on public transit, no less!) and kept me buzzing along, tho ...more
Mar 2003
Aug 10, 2008
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