Monday, December 31, 2012

The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond

I was predisposed to love this book because I loved Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse. I would describe those books as belonging to the "here's a novel theory with a bunch of fascinating stories to back it up" genre.  But I was so disappointed by this book; in fact, I didn't . . . couldn't . . . even finish it.  I'd describe it as "here's a description of the ancient world, with a few interesting stories and a bunch of textbook-y stories to back it up."  Sigh.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Rabbi by Noah Gordon

I loved reading this book. Later, I realized the plot was a little weak.  But still.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Some parts of this book:  sublime writing, moving themes, and touching characterization.  

Other parts of this book:  ham-fisted social commentary and amateurish plotting. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

This is the most fascinating book I have read in a long time.  Now, the fact that he takes on every form of violence from playground bullying to genocide and considers many places and times means that some of his analysis is shallow, but there are still so many interesting ideas in here . . . highly recommended.  Which is not to say that I agree with everything he wrote, but that just made it all the more thought-provoking.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Most of this book felt like an unremarkable slog . . . but then the ending was very clever and thought-provoking.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Test by Royal Skousen

I bought this because it has, in the back, a list of all of the significant changes to the BoM text over time, as well as Skousen's opinion as to which changes reflect the best reading.  I wish I could have bought his six volumes explaining the various changes and options, but it was beyond my budget.  Still, this book is well worth owning.

Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon by Brant Gardner

I actually read the draft of this that is online.  It is probably the single best verse-by-verse commentary, but the Mesoamerican stuff just doesn't do anything for me.  

Poetic Parallelisms of the Book of Mormon by Donald W. Parry

I didn't really find this terribly helpful.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Forgiven by Lawrence Osborne

I kept thinking this was going to be stupid, but it ended up being a very interesting meditation on cultural differences.  

Review copy provided by publisher.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Very powerful.  This is one of those books that everyone should read.

The Mother by Pearl Buck

Pretty good.

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Racketeer by John Grisham

Very good fluff.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Blog Archive