cover title author rating rating my rating review Down arrow read added
 
Freedom
3.73
liked it
If nothing else, "Freedom" is a page-turner. And, unlike so many contemporary novelists, Franzen really seems to care about his characters. And I got ...more
not set
Oct 10, 2010
 
The Sagas of Icelanders
4.30
really liked it
I picked up this tome a few years ago and tried to speed through it, like I was reading a history book or a modern, plot-driven page-turner. Bad idea. ...more
not set
Jun 28, 2009
 
Thinking, Fast and Slow
4.10
it was ok
There are some interesting ideas here, but why do so many of these left-brain science types insist on writing their own books? Like a lot of generaliz ...more
not set
Feb 20, 2012
 
Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements
4.54
it was amazing
It took me a long time to suss this, but Paul Westerberg is a great songwriter. My way in was an odd one: Through his cover of an old folk song called ...more
Feb 16, 2017
not set
Feb 15, 2017
 
The Clash: Strummer, Jones, Simonon, Headon
4.31
it was amazing
For me, this is the ultimate coffee table book. It's chock full of cool photos and original archival materials, along with fairly extensive thoughts b ...more
not set
Apr 07, 2010
 
The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples
4.03
really liked it
I am conflicted about this book: the first 2/3, when Flannery discusses the ecological history of North America up until 1492, gets 5 stars in my book ...more
not set
Mar 23, 2008
 
Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age
3.45
really liked it
The first part of this thin book was a revelation for me, so I am giving this four stars despite a second half that I would give more like two stars.

F
...more
not set
Aug 16, 2015
 
The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream
3.53
liked it
Well written and solidly researched. I learned a lot reading this book. Highlights include compelling portraits of Mies van der Rohe, Sun Ra, and Maha ...more
not set
Aug 04, 2013
 
The Outsider: A Memoir
3.39
liked it
More than any athlete, other than possibly boxers, tennis players seem to define themselves within the contours of individual will and personality. A ...more
not set
Apr 05, 2016
 
Lampblack & Ash: Poems
4.39
really liked it
I almost put this back on the library shelf when I read in the introduction that the poems in this thin volume were composed at least in part in honor ...more
not set
Jun 21, 2008
 
New Seeds of Contemplation
4.31
liked it
I acknowledge that Thomas Merton probably had a true connection to God, that he was a holy man who by all accounts walked the walk as well as talked t ...more
not set
Sep 02, 2017
 
Meadowlands
4.10
liked it
I recently read Gluck's "The Wild Iris" and loved her use of language and her turn of phrase, along with her ability to stick the knife in, mid-stanza ...more
not set
Mar 17, 2013
 
Bedouin of the London Evening: Collected Poems
3.80
really liked it
What a wonderful tonic to the obsessions of our current age, this collection of poems from back when a contemporary Romanticism seemed the wave of the ...more
not set
Mar 28, 2017
 
The Last Shift: Poems
4.09
really liked it
The final collection of poetry by one of my favorite authors. Levine's work clumps into four basic categories, which I rate in descending order of int ...more
not set
Dec 30, 2016
 
Norse Mythology
4.10
really liked it
Alternately fun, gruesome, and depressing as hell. With scattered bits of uplift thrown in for good measure. There is little morality in these tales, ...more
not set
Oct 09, 2017
 
The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors
3.89
liked it
A levelheaded view of the Templars, the guardians of the pilgrims and holy sites during the time of the Crusades. I appreciated the lack of hyperbole, ...more
not set
Dec 27, 2017
 
Iceland's Bell
3.87
really liked it
Not my favorite Laxness novel, but it is always good to read another book by this man. I love the characters and the matter-of-fact way Laxness tells ...more
Apr 2007
Nov 04, 2007
 
High Strung: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis's Fiercest Rivalry
3.85
really liked it
Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Nastase, Gerulaitis: They were a cast of characters, and each of them had a different idea about how the game should be played ...more
not set
Jul 24, 2011
 
Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace
3.79
it was amazing
I have a conceit that you can often tell if a book is going to be good by its title, as it is a bad sign if a professional writer can't come up with a ...more
Nov 29, 2017
Nov 28, 2017
 
The Windward Shore: A Winter on the Great Lakes
4.05
really liked it
There are chunks of this that thin book of essays that are deep and beautiful. Dennis hunkers down for the winter in three different houses on the coa ...more
not set
Dec 24, 2013
 
Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country
4.07
liked it
Weighing in at 717 pages, not counting reference notes or appendices, "Secrets of the Temple" is part history, part sociological text, part political ...more
not set
Feb 10, 2010
 
How Will You Measure Your Life?
4.06
liked it
Christensen attempts to take the best theories about running a business and then apply them to running your life. I like the fact that he believes in ...more
not set
Jan 26, 2013
 
The Atom Station
3.52
liked it
Halldor Laxness is probably my favorite writer, but this book is almost flawed enough for me to take him off that pedastal. It was written in 1948, du ...more
not set
Jun 14, 2009
 
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
4.18
really liked it
Reading this book was a lot of fun. Finnegan grew up on the beaches of Southern California, as did I, and I am familiar with a lot of the surfing spot ...more
not set
Oct 13, 2015
 
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
4.45
really liked it
This is pretty much pure escapist fantasy, something that I guess I needed to help get through the bowels of another Midwestern midwinter. Martin does ...more
not set
Jan 09, 2011
 
Factotum
3.96
liked it
I read this because I kept hearing about the movie, which features Matt Dillon in the Chinaski roll, and I wanted to read the book first. To be honest ...more
Nov 2007
Nov 21, 2007
 
The Age of Caesar: Five Roman Lives (Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, Marc Antony)
4.25
really liked it
This is epic writing about epic people, in the best of the sense of the word. The nonchalance of the violence, the focus on fate and character, on dom ...more
not set
Jul 11, 2017
 
Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden
3.77
it was ok
This summer, my wife and I moved our family into a home enveloped by trees on an acre of land just a block off Roosevelt Road in a near Chicago suburb ...more
not set
Oct 22, 2016
 
Selected Poems
4.20
liked it
I really wanted to like this book. Holderlin is one of those German mystics, simultaneously passionate yet detached, an observer of his own obsessions ...more
not set
Apr 27, 2014
 
The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain
4.31
really liked it
This book helped me understand my dyslexic son, in particular how his talents in things like acting, auditory memorization, empathy and story telling ...more
not set
Oct 04, 2017
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