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Jul. 24th, 2014

business
How To Find Fulfilling WorkHow To Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


An interesting and insightful book about finding a job that is fulfilling. Many people today complain that their jobs are not satisfying, and this book aims to help those people, both with philosophy and practicality. It analyzes what "fulfilling work" means and then makes recommendations about how to go about finding it. A short quick read, though one I found full of useful information that I had to put down at times to just take in. Highly recommended, particularly for those seeking a new career path and personal satisfaction.



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Jul. 20th, 2014

books, borges, library
We Live in WaterWe Live in Water by Jess Walter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A short story collection that is darkly funny and sad, dealing with characters caught in bad circumstances. Many of the characters are lower class, struggling with finances as well as the emotional wreckage of their lives. One of the standouts for me was "Don't Eat Cat," an interesting take on the zombie story. Beautifully written and highly realized, highly recommended.



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Jul. 15th, 2014

books, borges, library
Confessions of a Self-Help Writer: The Journal of Michael EnzoConfessions of a Self-Help Writer: The Journal of Michael Enzo by Benjamin DeHaven

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A short and very funny novel that rips into the self-help and celebrity culture of modern times. Michael Enzo writes self-help books, many under the names of famous celebrities, even though his own life - financially, spiritually, and romantically - is a complete shambles, complete with heavy drugs and illegality. Ben DeHaven, his friend and colleague, finds Enzo's journal after he disappears and publishes it with his own notes regarding the mess that is Michael Enzo. Laugh-out-loud funny at times and a very quick read.

[I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.]



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Jul. 14th, 2014

books, borges, library
The CityThe City by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


In the turbulent 1960's, a young musical prodigy will come face-to-face with unspeakable evil and violence, but finds solace in music and art. I felt like Dean Koontz must have read The Goldfinch because Vermeer and that particular painting are important in this book and the book explores similar themes. It reads quickly, and the characters and setup are interesting, and there are some nice themes and writing here, but summoning Tartt's book makes the weaknesses of this one more apparent.

[I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.]



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Jul. 8th, 2014

books, borges, library
Joyland (Hard Case Crime #112)Joyland by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A murder mystery set in an amusement park, but the mystery is less than the focus than the story of Dev Jones, a college student who takes a job at Joyland for the summer. The summer will prove to be an eventful one as he learns the carnie ways and comes to grip with losing his girlfriend and making new friends. There are times the book drags a bit, though King does a good job keeping the reader engaged. In the end, the book has likable characters and heart.



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Jul. 3rd, 2014

books, borges, library
New and Selected Poems, 1974-1994New and Selected Poems, 1974-1994 by Stephen Dunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Stephen Dunn's 2000 collection Different Hours won the Pulitizer Prize for poetry with good reason. This collection, gathering much of his work, prior to that time shows the development of one of our best contemporary poets. An amazing collection that brings the personal and philosophical together through beautiful language.



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Jul. 2nd, 2014

books, borges, library
JackabyJackaby by William Ritter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


When Abigail Rook arrives in New Fiddleham in New England in 1892, she soon meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained. She takes a job as his investigative assistant and, on her first day, they are on the trail of a serial killer. This is a fun YA mystery/adventure dealing with the supernatural, but with a bit of humor and wit. The characters are well-drawn and the story is fast-paced and exciting. In short, a fun adventure.

[I received this book as a complimentary e-book through Netgalley. It is to be published September 16, 2014.]



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Jun. 23rd, 2014

books, borges, library
HildHild by Nicola Griffith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A compelling historical novel based on what little we know about Hilda of Whitby, who helped convert England to Christianity in the Middle Ages. The author has clearly done a great deal of research, constructing a world that feels vibrant and real and yet very different from our own, thanks to passage of time. She also creates great character and conflict, showing Hild and the others not just as historical figures, but as fully fleshed-out people with desires and personal challenges. Highly recommended.



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May. 17th, 2014

books, borges, library
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move ThemPoems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them by Anthony Holden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


An anthology of poems compiled by asking men - celebrities, writers, actors, critics, and others - what poems have made them cry. Many of them choose male poets, but there are many written by women as well. There are also some obvious choices - Whitman, Auden, Larkin - as well as some beautiful lesser known poems. As with any anthology, it's inconsistent in quality, but thematically it is often consistent - lots of poems about lost loved ones, the horrors of war, aging, death. Overall, a good collection.



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May. 17th, 2014

books, borges, library
The Madonna and the StarshipThe Madonna and the Starship by James K. Morrow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In 1953 NYC, Kurt Jastrow writes Buck Rogers-esque science fiction for NBC. When two aliens resembling giant lobsters and inform him of their plan to kill two million viewers of religious programming for their not being logical positivists, Kurt knows he must stop them. Fans of James Morrow know the kind of satiric, irreverent humor that will follow. It's a fun, fast read that also plays homage to classic sci-fi and the "Golden Age of Television."



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I received this book via netgalley. It is scheduled to be released June 10, 2014.

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