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Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures
really liked it
My favorite quote from this book, which also sums it up nicely: "Feeding on blood is a tough way to make a living."

Schutt, an expert on vampire bats,
Mar 03, 2009
Jan 20, 2009
Shakespeare's Wife
really liked it
When I was in college, I was fortunate to spend a semester abroad in London. On one of our trips around the U.K., we spent a weekend at Stratford. I r ...more
Mar 20, 2009
Nov 29, 2008
Aquariums Of Pyongyang: Ten Years In The North Korean Gulag
really liked it
A friend happened to be reading this while I was reading Nothing to Envy , and recommended Aquariums of Pyongyang to me.

As with one of the people who
Apr 26, 2010
Apr 13, 2010
The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English
really liked it
I chose to read this book because I thought my writing had been getting stale and slovenly of late. I halfway expected the dry, academic approach to w ...more
Mar 09, 2011
Feb 16, 2011
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
liked it
My favorite intro to to one of these tales: "In the days when wishing still helped..."

Really glad I read this, but also really kind of exhausted. I th
Jan 20, 2015
Nov 13, 2014
Cake: A Slice of History
liked it
I swear that this has never happened before, but when I got to Goodreads, it already knew I'd finished this ebook and had set the status to "read." I' ...more
Aug 17, 2016
Jun 22, 2016
Paper: Paging Through History
liked it
Yet another one of those "biography of things" books that I adore, written by the guy who can be argued started this whole genre.

In addition to paper,
Jun 07, 2016
Mar 29, 2016
The Lost Art of Finding Our Way
liked it
I've had this in my queue for nearly two years. I'm glad I got around to reading it.

Huth starts with the argument that basic knowledge of navigating
Mar 26, 2014
Apr 10, 2013
The Color of Lightning
really liked it
A novel centering on interactions between Native Americans and Eastern settlers along the Red River in the mid-nineteenth century. I took a special in ...more
Jul 15, 2009
Jun 19, 2009
That is All
liked it
This may have limited appeal to non-Hodgman lame-olas, but if you enjoy his weird sense of humor, you can't not read this book. If you like him on The ...more
Jan 05, 2012
Sep 26, 2011
To The Bright Edge of the World
it was amazing
Cold places, adventure, exploration, the 19th century, maps -- this book hit so many of my sweet spots.

This is the fictional story of a newly married
Oct 23, 2016
Aug 14, 2016
Independent People
it was amazing
I ran across an excerpt from this novel in The Ends of the Earth and was quite taken, so I thought I'd give it a chance. Very glad I did.

How to descri
Aug 12, 2008
Jul 22, 2008
Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters
liked it
An interesting book, though the subtitle might have been more accurate if it was "the psychology of monsters," or at least "the science and pscyhology ...more
Jan 29, 2014
Mar 28, 2013
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
really liked it
So different from the last book I read, yet equally engaging. I remember writing a paper about North Korea back in college when I took a class on Marx ...more
Apr 07, 2010
Jan 28, 2010
Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird
liked it
Computer crashed, so now I'm kind of angry. Not taking it out on this book, but my pithy review will now be short and sweet.

Fallon clearly adores turk
Aug 28, 2017
Apr 25, 2017
The Hidden People of North Korea: Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom
it was ok
I was on a kick of reading books about North Korea this year. This one will probably be the last for a while.

While the others I read were a poignant m
Jul 31, 2010
Jan 28, 2010
The Road to Oxiana
really liked it
In the early 1930s, Robert Byron traveled throughout Persia and Afghanistan, with any eye toward seeing spectacular examples of Muslim architecture wi ...more
Mar 24, 2013
Feb 27, 2013
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
really liked it
Another one of those history-of-obvious-things books that I just can't seem to get enough of. I love rain and rainy days, but I almost passed this one ...more
Aug 10, 2015
Feb 27, 2015
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
liked it
Part memoir, part social commentary - I'm not quite sure how much I liked this book. Vance's story is compelling; he grew up in self-described "hillbi ...more
Jun 09, 2017
Jun 04, 2017
One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment
really liked it
Book-length journalism at it's best. Fong really grasps and examines the many ramifications, intended and not, of the 35-year long experiment that was ...more
Mar 08, 2016
Feb 03, 2016
At the Edge of the Orchard
really liked it
A work of fiction that involves big trees, apples and 19th century frontier life? I'm in.

It's truly bleak in several places, describing hardship and t
Jul 07, 2016
Jun 03, 2016
Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully
it was ok
I found this book really compelling. The concept really intrigued me -- a writer seeks out to find and confront his childhood bully. But there were a ...more
Mar 22, 2015
Mar 04, 2015
liked it
I'm not usually one for reading YA literature. It usually quite good, but I feel a little weird not being the intended audience. But when a 10-year-ol ...more
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 22, 2015
it was amazing
Why don't I read more science fiction? When I read books like Aurora, I get that feeling that I used to get as a teenager when I just devoured my dad' ...more
Jul 15, 2015
May 12, 2015
Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland
liked it
I've always wanted to visit Iceland. All that cold weather, gloomy skies and knitting. And while this book's author clearly loves the country, after r ...more
Aug 11, 2013
May 03, 2013
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
really liked it
This sounds like such a great adventure -- retracing the original Oregon Trail from Kansas to Oregon using only a wagon pulled by three mules. Sounds ...more
Oct 27, 2015
Jun 23, 2015
News of the World
it was amazing
Oh, how I loved this book and for so many reasons.

I loved that it took place in a rough area of 1870s Texas where my family tried to make a go of thin
Nov 02, 2017
Jul 09, 2017
Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit
liked it
I can't believe it took me nearly a month to read it. Usually, a long reading time means I'm not really that into a book -- but that is NOT the case h ...more
May 11, 2013
Jan 08, 2013
On Such a Full Sea
liked it
An interesting look at a slice of life in a possible American future, 100 years or so down the road. In this imagining, the country has evolved (or de ...more
Aug 25, 2015
Jan 23, 2015
The Son
really liked it
I always enjoy a sweeping family epic featuring generations of characters who are deeply connected to and in conflict with a particular place. These c ...more
Apr 10, 2014
Jun 20, 2013
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