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Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within
I want to get this and Ted Kooser's how-to-write-poetry-book and put them together on the shelf, just to make Ted really uncomfortable around Kim.
not set
Sep 08, 2009
Wickett's Remedy
it was ok
Finished listening to this after a few road trips. I enjoyed "Bee Season" much more--I think Goldberg bit off more than she could chew with this one. ...more
Jul 10, 2009
Jul 05, 2009
Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession
did not like it
I love books. I love food. I love books about food. I even liked "Julie and Julia" very much, because the author was so darn likeable. But "Cleaving" ...more
not set
Dec 13, 2009
The Man of My Dreams
it was ok
I read this book under protest, because I hated "Prep" (what a letdown after all the hype, especially since I've been obsessed with boarding school si ...more
not set
Oct 19, 2008
Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell On Earth
really liked it
Gripping, honest stories from three UN workers who met in Cambodia, where they assisted in monitoring a successful election in 1993. They spent the ne ...more
Apr 24, 2010
Apr 12, 2010
The Flamethrowers
it was ok
One of the blurbs on the back of my library copy of this book described it as "a pure explosion of now," which is the sort of energetic phrase that ma ...more
Jun 10, 2014
Jun 10, 2014
The Help
it was ok
So, I think any time a white Southerner tries to write black characters living in Jim Crow-era Mississippi, I'm going to be skeptical. But I borrowed ...more
not set
Jul 05, 2010
The Starboard Sea
did not like it
My lifelong fascination with boarding schools continues! So far, nothing beats "A Little Princess," but I'll keep an open mind.

UPDATE: This was really
Aug 2012
May 17, 2012
Sag Harbor
really liked it
The love child of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Holden Caulfield, but funnier. The book is essentially a plotless stream of descriptive memories, and someti ...more
Aug 06, 2009
May 12, 2009
The Book of Joe
did not like it
The only memorable or striking thing about this overwritten garbage is that the flyleaf reveals that Jonathan Tropper is employed as a professor at an ...more
Jun 14, 2014
Jun 10, 2014
The McSweeney's Book of Poets Picking Poets
it was amazing
Have been looking for this collection forever! V. excited.

Ed. after reading: I renewed this the maximum number of times at the library and then return
Jan 08, 2011
Aug 02, 2007
Amy and Isabelle
it was ok
Well-written, meandering, sort of vague novel about a mother and daughter in a nondescript New England town. Meh.
not set
Jun 15, 2009
it was ok
I read ABOUT books more than I read actual books these days, so I heard about the Amazon dust-up around "California," but for some reason had a comple ...more
Jul 14, 2015
Jul 11, 2015
The Secret History
liked it
I read this about ten years ago, but got an itch to re-read it while I wait for "The Goldfinch" from the library. Such a fun read; hard to believe a b ...more
Jun 20, 2014
Jun 23, 2014
Anywhere But Here
really liked it
This book has two major strikes against it: the fact that it was later made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman, and the fact tha ...more
not set
Mar 09, 2009
Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict
it was ok
I have to respect Vilar for writing this book, but I found her voice incredibly staged and almost manipulative, as if she was enjoying the drama a lit ...more
not set
Dec 22, 2009
Let the Great World Spin
liked it
Oh, man, the hype hurt this one. I haven't read any of McCann's earlier work, but everything I heard about this National Book Award winner was so over ...more
not set
Jan 18, 2010
really liked it
Huge parts of this book did not live up to the impossible hype: sadly, the whole section when the Berglunds are living in DC--and every Walter scene t ...more
Dec 20, 2011
Nov 30, 2011
How Should a Person Be?
it was ok
I wanted to like this book, primarily because it got a lot of buzz in the Tournament of Books for being a cutting-edge work of feminist art. I appreci ...more
Apr 20, 2013
Jul 01, 2012
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women
liked it
My edition, borrowed from the Enoch Pratt, is 23 years old! I can't wait to learn how little we have progressed since I was 8 years old.
Sep 16, 2014
Sep 02, 2014
The Privileges
liked it
Dee is a seriously gifted writer who clearly loves his often unsympathetic characters. I like that the book did not take the usual tactic of setting e ...more
Nov 06, 2010
Sep 28, 2010
The Corrections
did not like it
Reading the first 75 pages of this book was so demoralizing that I chose not to go further. Franzen is obviously a very talented writer, but his chara ...more
not set
Dec 08, 2009
it was ok
This was a good brain-cleanser after The Luminaries, but Sittenfeld does a much better job when she's trying to convince me that famous people are jus ...more
Dec 29, 2013
Dec 28, 2013
The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir
did not like it
Yikes, this was disturbing. I heard the Nubbins stories on The Moth/TAL, and thought it was witty and adorable, in the vein of a sweeter David Sedaris ...more
Dec 27, 2010
Dec 13, 2009
did not like it
I've wanted to read this book for a long time, because of the setting and all of the comparisons to Fitzgerald/Hemingway. (Note to publishing houses, ...more
Jan 26, 2009
Jan 08, 2009
Returning to Earth
it was ok
One of those books with all the literary flourishes that make you feel guilty for having to force yourself to finish it. I mean, there are multiple na ...more
not set
May 18, 2008
Digging to America
liked it
I've started avoiding Anne Tyler because all of her books are so similar, but the adoption/multiculturalism angle gave Tyler a little more to chew on ...more
not set
Sep 07, 2009
The Financial Lives of the Poets
liked it
This was not a very good book--it had pacing problems and the plot was gimmicky--but in terms of evoking the sickening pressure of being broke and on ...more
Dec 03, 2010
Nov 20, 2010
How to Be a Woman
really liked it
Some of these essays made me laugh out loud on various forms of public transportation, alone in my home, and other semi-awkward locations. Like any co ...more
Aug 16, 2012
Jul 23, 2012
Blue Nights
it was amazing
Joan Didion grapples with extraordinary grief (the sudden death of her husband as chronicled in The Year of Magical Thinking but primarily the protrac ...more
Jul 31, 2014
Jul 27, 2014
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