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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
3.98
really liked it
You know, I probably shouldn't have read this directly after finishing In Cold Blood. I'm not saying the combination brought out the homicidal psychot ...more
Oct 2007
Oct 20, 2007
 
The World Without Us
3.79
it was amazing
Yeah, what you've heard about this book is true: It really is very good, very scary, very depressing--AND it's written entirely in Spurdlish, a langua ...more
Sep 2007
Sep 14, 2007
 
Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth
3.68
did not like it
A book about a race to discover the deepest cave on earth has the potential for Krakauer-like suspense, but Tabor destroys whatever tension might be p ...more
not set
Sep 06, 2010
 
The Adventures of Augie March
3.85
liked it
Looking for the Great American Novel? According to the likes of Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, and Christopher Hitchens, look no further than this book. ...more
not set
Aug 11, 2009
 
Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer
3.47
it was ok
Thompson's a smart and funny writer with some excellent and funky travel stories, a jaundiced worldview, and precious little respect for sacred cows. ...more
Jan 2009
Nov 01, 2009
 
Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
3.91
it was amazing
Mark Twain once famously characterized a "classic" as "a book that everyone praises and nobody reads," and while there are plenty of classics that abs ...more
not set
Sep 06, 2010
 
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China
3.89
it was amazing
Some people, when they travel, are most amazed by the differences they find ... the donkeys, the tuk-tuks, the rat-on-a-platter, the strange drinks an ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture
3.80
really liked it
A while back I went to see Medicine for Melancholy, a film about two African Americans who have a one-night stand in San Francisco, and afterward join ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
Last Evenings on Earth
4.11
liked it
(See also my comments on Bolaño's Distant Star.)

Well, I don't know. I understand that Bolaño is considered one of the finest modern writers (that is,
...more
Aug 2007
Sep 15, 2007
 
Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World's Most Repressive Country
3.68
it was ok
Mike Kim is a gutsy guy. He's also admirable, having given up a cushy Stateside job for the infinitely riskier one of trying to smuggle people out of ...more
Jan 2009
Nov 01, 2009
 
Three Trapped Tigers
3.97
did not like it
"It has been customary to read 700-page novels," writes James Woods in his famous essay on the the modern novel, "Hysterical Realism," "to spend hours ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
I, California
2.89
did not like it
Used to be, there were basically two reasons to write a memoir. One was that you had led a remarkable and noteworthy life (e.g., Ulysses S Grant and C ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
A Heart So White
4.01
it was amazing
Some books seem to slide effortlessly under the skin, they become for the time you are reading them part of your flesh and blood, they course through ...more
Jan 2009
Nov 01, 2009
 
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
4.03
it was amazing
It's no accident that Where Men Win Glory is framed by quotes from Homer and Aeschylus, because, make no mistake about it, this is a Greek tragedy, th ...more
not set
Jan 07, 2010
 
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
4.23
it was amazing
A few pages into this book, I was thinking I might give it four stars instead of five, because it so clearly looked to be a work of partisan polemics. ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
The Day of the Locust
3.78
really liked it
Here's a few things that I learned from The Day of the Locust: that back in 1938, they had credit cards; the word "fairy" was understood to mean "homo ...more
not set
May 11, 2010
 
Slackjaw
3.91
really liked it
This book was recommended to me by the supercool Ms. Tracy O., and good on her for it.

I'm going to compare Slackjaw to two books to which it seemingl
...more
Oct 2007
Oct 11, 2007
 
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
3.93
it was amazing
When I was a little kid, we read comic books like Archie and Jughead or Dennis the Menace--innocent reads for innocent kids. Later, we--wait. I just h ...more
Nov 2007
Nov 04, 2007
 
Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads
3.66
did not like it
One stroll through the music section of any bookstore immediately brings to mind one question: Why are there so many freaking books on Bob Dylan? Why ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
The Courtier and the Heretic
3.95
really liked it
At last, a book for all of us who have been long awaiting a work about the fateful 1676 meeting between Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz.

I enjoye
...more
Jan 2008
Jan 19, 2008
 
The Conscience of a Liberal
3.97
really liked it
If you're an unreconstructed lefty like me, you'll enjoy Paul Krugman's unapologetically liberal--emphatically not radical--new book. If you're not, y ...more
Dec 2007
Jan 19, 2008
 
Breakfast of Champions
4.08
it was amazing
Everyone has read this book; in fact, everyone read this book when they were 14, so it would seem unnecessary to review it. And yet, some comments may ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
3.96
really liked it
Dammit, goodreads, this five-star rating really sucks donkey ears. This book should get 3.7 stars, not 4.

Like Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, Chri
...more
Sep 2007
Sep 23, 2007
 
The Atlas of North American Exploration: From the Norse Voyages to the Race to the Pole
4.00
it was ok
I'm going to go ahead right about now and make what would seem to the casual reader an extremely picayune complaint about this atlas. And here it is.

T
...more
not set
Mar 02, 2010
 
The Honorary Consul
3.78
liked it
Vintage late-period Graham Greene: well-plotted, with interesting characters, a sustaining premise, and enough plot and relationship wrinkles to chall ...more
not set
Mar 02, 2010
 
Between Midnight and Day: The Last Unpublished Blues Archive
4.42
it was amazing
For some reason, Goodreads credits this book to Bonnie Raitt. Raitt wrote the foreword, but the text and photos are actually by the famed blues produc ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2009
 
Our Man in Havana
3.94
really liked it
Oh, a very enjoyable, very amusing read by "The Master of the Macabre." No, wait, that's Edgar Allan Poe. Or Hitchcock. Or someone. Anyway, Graham Gre ...more
not set
Mar 02, 2010
 
This Too Can Be Yours
3.66
really liked it
Much as I enjoyed Lisick's first book, Monkey Girl, I like this one better. The stories here are richer and more developed and show more sense of craf ...more
not set
Jan 07, 2010
 
Blue Diamonds on a Velvet Snout
5.00
it was amazing
"Love only comes once. Sometimes you have to spear it, skin it, and roast it alive."

So goes the tagline of this ambitious new novel by former New York
...more
not set
Mar 02, 2010
 
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
3.89
liked it
If you've read Malcolm Gladwell, either in his other books or in his column in the New Yorker, you know that he's always interesting and provocative. ...more
not set
Mar 18, 2010
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