32 books
  • The Sea, The Sea

    Iris Murdoch

    I’m so glad to finally be done with this book. This was one of those that I was hoping would have a big payback at the end, but in the end was just disappointing. Long books have no right in being so.

    There was a nice symmetry to the story, starting out fairly quiet with our retired actor protagonist beginning to write...more

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events

    Lemony Snicket

    I read The Bad Beginning several years ago and never continued with the series, which turned out to be a good decision, as I just spent the last couple weeks reading almost the entire series, up to The...more

  • The Elements of Typographic Style

    Robert Bringhurst

    Parts of this book are so poetic and idealistic about typography and other parts are technical to intense mathematical degrees that it’s sure to be a good reference for both inspiration and precise guidance. If you have a nerd-level interest in typography, that is. There’s a whole section about page proportions derived from the...more

  • A Short History of the Printed Word

    Warren Chappell

    This book is likely to retain its place as a design classic, as Chappell recorded a uniquely specific point in history, balancing at the point before computers completely infiltrated design, leaving printing presses and typesetting machines to archaism. This is a history of printing starting with the earliest alphabets evolving...more

  • The Time Traveler’s Wife

    Audrey Niffenegger

    I kept hearing this one mentioned by various people with that certain weighty esteem that only favorites get, so I wanted to know why people loved it so. It is, quite simply, about a time traveler’s wife, or really, a time traveler and his wife, as the story seesaws between their perspectives. Despite the vague incredulity of a person...more

  • Hotel of the Saints

    Ursula Hegi

    It’s been a long while since I even tried to read a short story collection—I read a lot of short stories in 2003 and I daresay it burnt me out. So I was glad that Melanie sent me this Ursula Hegi collection for my birthday. A nice reminder of my appreciation of...more

  • Kafka on the Shore

    Haruki Murakami

    Having now read all of Murakami’s books thus far, I wanted to like this more than I did. Something about the structure of the story seems rickety and unbalanced—the various layers of narrative a little misaligned. It could be that the main protagonist is a bit of an unbelievable 15-year-old...more

  • The Mother Tongue

    Bill Bryson

    Just after I finished Eats, Shoots & Leaves a friend recommended this book, as another take on the funny grammar book. It’s more about linguistics than grammar and namely how English came to be such a world dominant language. The history of how English...more

  • The Botany of Desire

    Michael Pollan

    Starting off with the question of whether gardeners could be “human bumblebees,” essentially goaded into spreading plants around much like bees assist in pollination, Pollan continues on to examine the histories of four key cultivated plants under the shadow of this question. He organizes them into categories of desire: sweetness (the...more

  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

    Carson McCullers

    Somehow I have spent all of July trying to read this book. Over the past few days I’ve started to feel a bit of pull into it, but it’s reached an unrenewably due status with the library, so I am giving up for now. Some summers I seem to lose the reading bug, contrary to all those summer reading lists out there....more