Saturday, July 28, 2012

Revelations by Elaine Pagels

I kept going back to the title of this book to see if I had misread it . . . I was expecting a commentary on (or interpretation of) the Book of Revelation. But this isn't that.  It is, instead, history, context, and a (very) partial reception history of Revelation.  Once I acclimated to that idea, I was able to find this reasonably interesting.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Survive the Titanic by Frances Wilson


The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

 A great read.  If you want a legal thriller, Connelly is way better than John Grisham.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley

I loved this.

(I have this bizarre little family connection to Cronkite:  my parents worked on a political campaign and ended up with the task of chauffeuring Cronkite around town.  Later, they sent him an invitation to their wedding and he sent back a nice note.) 

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this--it was a very engaging story.

(I should probably feel guilty for giving a thumbs up to a book with a moral outlook that does not mesh with my own, but I do not.  While I avoid excessive vulgarity, violence, etc., in books, I don't necessarily feel that the moral-of-the-story needs to mirror my personal morality for me to enjoy reading the book.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman

Very interesting.

The Wadjet Eye by Jill Rubalcaba

I read this to the boys; it was decent.

The Physician by Noah Gordon

In general I liked this, but parts of it were flabby.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The New Deal by Michael Hiltzik

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean

This engaging, intriguing book was completely ruined for me by one footnote.  (Think of a pin popping a balloon.)  

The text mentions the Mormonism of Kim Peek (who was the inspiration for the Dustin Hoffman character in Rain Man), and in one short footnote, Kean makes about a half dozen major factual errors about Mormonism.  (Seriously:  the error-to-word ratio was astounding.)  And, of course, this isn't really about one footnote:  When you read something so hideously inaccurate about a topic you do know something about, you are then left wondering:  How many hideous errors litter this book in the topics that I don't know as much about?

The publisher gave me a digital review copy of this book.

Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

 I loved this book: quirky characters, quirky plot, quirky writing, and quite possibly the only not-lame love story in the entire history of the universe.  Please read this.

Review copy provided by publisher.

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

You wouldn't think a romance set smack in the middle of the Armenian genocide would work, but it did.  This was gripping and lovely.

Note:  The publisher provided me with a digital review copy of this book.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Monday, July 09, 2012

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

 I adored this book.  Recommended.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

An excellent premise ruined by over-the-top plot elements (one in particular) and too much vulgarity.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

 Very interesting.

Some of My Best Friends Are Black by Tanner Colby

You would not have expected a book about integration to be fascinating, honest, and funny.  But it was.  Recommended.

The publisher provided me a digital review copy of this book.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

An Economist Gets Lunch by Tyler Cowen


What We Talk about When We Talk about Anne Frank by Nathan Englander

I normally have a strict "no short stories" policy.  For some reason I decided to violate it.  Some of these stories were excellent--thought-provoking and funny, with a quirky edge.

Monday, July 02, 2012

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

I can't even tell you how much I loved this book.

I have a real soft spot for "alternative bias" histories.  Which isn't to say that I believe every word of them; I just find it so refreshing to see the usual story reframed.  Every student of American history should read this book.  Highly recommended.

Blog Archive