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The Signature of All Things
3.81
liked it
This is a frustrating one, because many of the individual scenes in this novel are just gorgeous. There is a great set piece of the main character (Al ...more
Dec 03, 2013
Dec 03, 2013
 
This is Where I Leave You
3.88
did not like it
There is essentially nothing redeeming about this novel. Here's a mini-spoiler for you: every encounter between two men ends in a fistfight, and every ...more
Jul 2010
Aug 18, 2010
 
Super Sad True Love Story
3.44
did not like it
On its merits this probably isn't a one-star book, but it was the least enjoyable reading experience I've had in as long as I can remember, and when a ...more
Aug 13, 2012
Aug 06, 2012
 
The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy
4.16
liked it
2.5 stars.

This book should've been called Joe McGinniss Goes to Italy So That Joe McGinniss Can Talk to Italians and Report on how They React to Joe M
...more
Apr 2013
Apr 30, 2013
 
The Left Hand of Darkness
4.05
liked it
I understand why this book was revolutionary for its time--eliminating the concept of gender was obviously an enormous and somewhat outrageous idea in ...more
Jan 18, 2014
Mar 19, 2013
 
Pastoralia
4.11
really liked it
The title novella is a fantastically clever indictment of our Work Ourselves Sick So That Our Kids Can Get Healthy society. But the real brilliance is ...more
Feb 05, 2013
Feb 03, 2013
 
Florence Gordon
3.67
really liked it
Compulsively readable, and endearing without being sentimental, Florence Gordon is a fantastic character study of an aging intellectual powerhouse who ...more
Sep 27, 2014
Sep 08, 2014
 
Open City
3.51
liked it
A quiet, introspective, and yes, boring book that made me feel stupid every time I didn't catch one of its many art history or classical music allusio ...more
Jun 19, 2012
Apr 17, 2012
 
The Sellout
3.80
really liked it
This book was pretty damn funny, but the story never really cohered for me. The humor is relentless, though. Every sentence seems to be packed with mu ...more
Apr 2016
May 15, 2016
 
Fates and Furies
3.56
it was ok
Lauren Groff writes beautiful sentences, but unfortunately I didn't find much else to recommend this novel. The dialogue is stilted and expository to ...more
Dec 13, 2015
Dec 16, 2015
 
The Girls
3.48
liked it
Might be a four-star book for its execution, but I can only evaluate based on my own reading experience and sadly I didn't find a lot here to latch on ...more
Jul 21, 2016
Jul 21, 2016
 
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
4.22
really liked it
I liked these stories, but between this collection and Pastoralia I'm starting to wonder if Saunders isn't a bit of a one-trick pony. There's nothing ...more
Feb 13, 2013
Feb 05, 2013
 
The Leftovers
3.38
it was ok
This book had a great premise, but unfortunately there isn't much more to it than the premise. The Leftovers commits the cardinal sin of boredom, focu ...more
Sep 02, 2014
Sep 08, 2014
 
Born to Run
4.18
it was amazing
Four and a half stars, but rounding up for bias. Is it too long? Yes, but not by as much as you might think. (It should probably be 450 pages instead ...more
Oct 20, 2016
Oct 19, 2016
 
The Empathy Exams: Essays
3.63
really liked it
Be prepared for punishment, as this is not an easy read. I don't mean that the book is syntactically difficult, or overly dense, or poorly written. I ...more
May 2014
May 14, 2014
 
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
4.00
liked it
Since my only other experience with Atwood comes from reading The Handmaid's Tale (maybe one of my two or three favorite books of all time), expectati ...more
Mar 2013
Feb 27, 2013
 
A Fan's Notes
4.09
it was ok
The scenes early in the book where "Exley" is watching the Giants games, are pitch perfect and hysterical. I've never read a more realistic and relata ...more
Mar 25, 2012
Mar 11, 2012
 
The Orphan Master's Son
4.06
it was amazing
Everyone needs to read this book. I almost never offer directives like that, and I don't usually presume that what's news to me is news to everyone el ...more
May 25, 2013
May 25, 2013
 
The Patron Saint of Liars
3.76
really liked it
The writing is astonishingly good--this kind of skill is not supposed to be available to a debut novelist. On a sentence, paragraph, and chapter level ...more
Dec 28, 2014
Dec 27, 2014
 
Pale Fire
4.19
it was amazing
This book is absolutely bonkers, but it's also a riot and fun as all getout. I had only read straight narratives from Nabokov in the past (Lolita, Pni ...more
Nov 25, 2015
Sep 18, 2007
 
Is Just a Movie
3.74
really liked it
While I usually go for character-focused narratives that favor depth over breadth, it was obvious early on in this novel that Lovelace wanted to give ...more
Mar 2014
Apr 02, 2014
 
Sense and Sensibility
4.06
it was amazing
This book is the best proof you'll ever come across that, in the grand scheme of novels and literature, plot is unimportant. Sense and Sensibility is ...more
Sep 07, 2015
Sep 07, 2015
 
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
3.86
did not like it
I had to give up on this book, two-thirds of the way through. It's abysmally written, and not very interesting. Do not believe any of the hype surroun ...more
Jan 29, 2009
Dec 10, 2008
 
Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy
3.50
liked it
There are plenty of solid laughs to be found in this book. I wish there had been a few more, but it's gotta be pretty damn hard to stay funny for 200+ ...more
Apr 2013
Apr 30, 2013
 
Billy Bathgate
3.77
liked it
What a strange novel this is. I don't necessarily mean the content of the story, but more in how the narrative is laid out, and how the sentences are ...more
Aug 15, 2015
Aug 14, 2015
 
Strong Motion
3.51
it was amazing
I wish I'd written this review sooner, when the novel was fresher in my mind, but suffice to say I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It's more plot-d ...more
Jun 2015
Aug 14, 2015
 
The Marriage Plot
3.42
really liked it
I haven't fully sorted out what I think about this book yet, so this might be a little rambling.

Throughout most of the novel I was dreading how soon
...more
Jan 12, 2012
Dec 26, 2011
 
10:04
3.69
really liked it
Intelligent, original, and hilarious, Ben Lerner's work is a joy to read. I could say that I don't usually go in for fact-as-fiction, or plotless narr ...more
Sep 24, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
 
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
3.30
it was amazing
A brilliant novel. Just brilliant. The best characters can sound reasonable and convincing even when making convoluted and borderline immoral argument ...more
Jun 24, 2014
Aug 27, 2013
 
Frankenstein
3.75
really liked it
Frankenstein is a monster. Yes yes, Frankenstein is the name of the guy, and the monster he creates doesn't have a name, but Frankenstein is a monster ...more
Nov 22, 2014
Nov 11, 2013
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