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Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
it was ok
The author attempts to explain for the layman, but ends up using masses of neurological jargon and acronyms, about the role exercise plays in sharpeni ...more
Jun 30, 2011
Jul 27, 2011
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
it was ok
The Nobel prize winning physicist, acclaimed drummer, artist, expert on Mayan astronomy, safecracker, prankster, etc, etc, tells “crazy adventures” of ...more
Dec 22, 1999
Dec 16, 2011
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
it was amazing
A volunteer for the Peace Corps, Hessler lived in Fuling, a little town in Sichuan province, on the delta of the Yangtze and Wu rivers, for two years ...more
Mar 30, 2013
Mar 30, 2013
Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses
it was ok
As the subtitle suggests, the author retraces the Pentateuch as best he can, Bible in hand and affable expert in tow. Mostly a disappointing book, I’m ...more
Apr 28, 2001
Dec 19, 2011
Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy
liked it
The author, a journalist in Florida and mother of three, was diagnosed with ALS at 44 years old. Deciding that she had about a year of health, more or ...more
Jun 24, 2013
Jul 19, 2013
Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club
did not like it
The Angel story told by the longtime president of the Oakland chapter. Bold and informative stuff, one would think, right? Wrong. Barger seems to be n ...more
Oct 20, 2001
Dec 21, 2011
Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory
really liked it
The author, a journalist and old China hand, describes life on the road in a rural China that is rapidly developing, with new roads and factories bein ...more
Dec 15, 2011
Feb 16, 2012
The Good War
really liked it
A collection of reminisces and insights on the war. It's mostly American, but there are German, Japanese and Russian voices as well. Even so, the year ...more
Jul 03, 2000
Dec 18, 2011
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink
it was amazing
A memoir of the original Angry Young Man of the New Wave, from his earliest days making demos and almost literally unable to get arrested, to his coll ...more
Jan 20, 2016
Mar 21, 2016
The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
liked it
Translator not named; with an introduction by Robert A. Nye (my thesis advisor).

There are two ways to approach this polemical rant. The first is as an
Feb 05, 1998
Dec 07, 2011
Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now
really liked it
The tale of the Chinese-Canadian author’s long path from a deluded, naïve red-to-the-core Maoist to a cynical reporter who sees just how wrong she was ...more
Feb 12, 2013
Feb 20, 2013
Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs
liked it
The author, a long-time author and researcher on parenting and child development, outlines seven skills that are necessary for children (and adults) t ...more
Jun 30, 2012
Jul 17, 2012
Madame Mao: The White-Boned Demon
really liked it
Fascinating, absolutely fascinating. It's a detailed (394 pages) psychohistory of Jiang Qing, Mao's wife, casting her as a product of her place and ge ...more
Jan 28, 1998
Dec 06, 2011
The Men Who Stare at Goats
really liked it
The documentarian examines how the US military intelligence community has attempted to make use of paranormal and extra-sensory techniques and how thi ...more
Nov 02, 2010
Nov 27, 2010
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
liked it
The subtitle is rather misleading, as the "how" can basically be boiled down to "I started reading things other than the Bible," while the rest of the ...more
Sep 25, 2011
Nov 23, 2011
The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things
it was amazing
The thesis of this thoroughly researched and lucidly written book is that the media trumpets scares that are not based in reality, created with ulteri ...more
Dec 05, 2013
Apr 05, 2015
Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life
did not like it
Not a cohesive memoir so much as a personal diary of the author’s time in Tuscany, now twenty years on since her bestseller. Perhaps because this is h ...more
Jan 24, 2013
Feb 09, 2013
An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies
liked it
The author, a professor of economics, writes about everything food-related, from “how American food got bad” (answer: Prohibition, watered-down immigr ...more
Aug 20, 2012
Sep 22, 2012
Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent Into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death
really liked it
The author, a reporter, chronicles the slow degradation of the First Platoon of the 101st Airborne (in a tragically apt quirk that would be too outlan ...more
Aug 20, 2011
Sep 04, 2011
Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology
really liked it
The author, a graduate of Yale and MIT, moved with his newlywed wife to an Amish-like community (that he calls “Minimites”) and lived for eighteen mon ...more
Sep 22, 2006
Feb 25, 2012
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
really liked it
Greenblatt sketches out what is known about the life of Shakespeare, interspersing the meager details with background information about Elizabethan En ...more
Nov 17, 2006
Feb 26, 2012
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
liked it
The author, a lecturer, researcher, and molecular biologist, lists twelve major principles that help explain how the brain works: though processes are ...more
Jul 30, 2013
Sep 12, 2013
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
really liked it
Investigating successful kids and programs at low-income schools and high-achieving prep schools, as well as interviewing psychologists and neuroscien ...more
Sep 06, 2013
Oct 12, 2013
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
really liked it
In an instance of participatory journalism (don’t those always seem to lead to much-discussed books?), freelance writer Foer decides to enter the U.S. ...more
May 20, 2011
Jun 08, 2011
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
really liked it
The authors, both economists at University of Chicago, advocate what they call “paternal libertarianism” in order to improve an equal footing for all ...more
Mar 25, 2011
Apr 30, 2011
The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison
really liked it
The author, a journalist, was granted unprecedented access into the Hot House, where interviewed many inmates, guards, employees and family members. T ...more
Jun 05, 2005
Feb 10, 2012
Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found in the New Forbidden City
really liked it
A sequel of sorts to her maddening, fascinating, invaluable memoir Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now, this book chronicles Wong’s return ...more
Sep 24, 2013
Oct 19, 2013
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
really liked it
The fascinating, appalling, sad tale of the lunatic American, John Minor, who became one of the most prolific contributors to the Oxford English Dicti ...more
Apr 16, 2001
Dec 19, 2011
Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great
liked it
A monograph to accompany Collins’ Good To Great (which I haven’t read). The underlying principle of this “missing chapter” is that we don't need to im ...more
Aug 17, 2009
May 12, 2012
Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II
it was amazing
The author of the Flashman series gives his account, from the ground level, of the campaign in Burma with his beloved Nine Section. This war memoir is ...more
Apr 14, 2001
Dec 19, 2011
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