Moira Burke

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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I'm surprised so many friends liked this book -- it's full of "tell" without much "show." The plot's great, but after a few hundred pages of the narrator telling me how I should feel (rather than evoking those feelings), I discarded it. If it's actua ...more
Moira Burke rated a book it was amazing
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
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If David Foster Wallace wrote from a Black man's perspective, you'd get this book. It's an absurd look at slavery, racism, segregation, and bad parenting that manages to remain droll the entire time. A man grows up in the agricultural suburbs of LA t ...more
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The Lady Tasting Tea by David Salsburg
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I wanted to like this book, given the high ratings from two friends and that I'm a stats nerd who likes stories about the people behind the scenes. But I found the writing boring -- paragraphs seemed to have a similar structure: introduce a man and s ...more
Moira Burke rated a book liked it
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
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Not as interesting as the first book (much of the world building and backstory have already been explained), but we see different perspectives on a couple of characters and the protagonists hone their skills.
Moira Burke rated a book really liked it
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
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Unique world building and a compelling plot with twists. An unusual choice to alternate between third- and second-person narration. I agree with Lada that the sections with a female character were underdeveloped; despite being a protagonist each woma ...more
Moira Burke rated a book it was amazing
Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
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This combination ethnography/autobiography by a (then) sociology grad student studying a gang in Chicago public housing is a great example of communicating science to the public. Though Venkatesh laments his inability to help the people in the Robert ...more
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Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
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A diet book masquerading as a pop-psych book (or maybe vice-versa). I probably should have known I wasn't the target audience. There were some colorful detail about his studies (such as trying chicken noodle in the never-ending soup study first but i ...more
Moira Burke rated a book really liked it
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
The Raw Shark Texts
by Steven Hall (Goodreads Author)
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You think you're reading a Memento knockoff (protagonist has amnesia; something sketchy's going on), but then it takes a left turn into rather delightful conceptual limbo. It's a page-turner adventure novel with relatively strong writing, especially ...more
Moira Burke rated a book did not like it
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
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Not worth reading. It's an award-winning sci-fi novel with shades of Wool, Lost, the Martian, and Congo. Should be great, right? (Well, discounting that Congo bit.) Biologist tries to survive in a mysterious wilderness where numerous past expeditions ...more
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Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
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Achingly funny and achingly devastating. I recommend the first chapter to everyone (men and women) -- it's laugh-out-loud funny, while surfacing unpleasant realities about gender. Subsequent chapters move from mansplaining to stark statistics on rape ...more
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