Monday, August 31, 2009


Title: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Year: 1988

What appears to be a short and simple tale of a boy's quest reveals itself to be a beautiful narrative layered with meaning; this could be one of the best books you'll ever read.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Title: Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Author: Lynne Truss

Year: 2003

Truss laments the tragic state of modern punctuation usage in an incredibly witty and also informative book; she does a great job of encapsulating the frustration I feel every time someone mixes up "its" and "it's", among other grievous punctuation errors.


Title: The House on Mango Street

Author: Sandra Cisneros

Year: 1984

[I suggest you read the 2009 "25th anniversary" edition because the newly added introduction is excellent and greatly adds to the reading experience]

The childhood of a Latino girl growing up in Chicago is depicted through short, memorable, moving vignettes; the author's language is poetic, my favorite line being "You can never have too much sky."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Title: Bee Season

Author: Myla Goldberg

Year: 2000

A well-written book that travels to surprisingly dark and powerful places, this novel traces the individual lives of the Naumanns-- mother, father, brother, and sister -- a nuclear family that's anything but ordinary, and the way their lives intersect and collapse upon one another, leading to a sad but moving conclusion.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Title: Fast Food Nation

Author: Eric Schlosser

Year: 2001

I haven't eaten fast food for the past two and a half years, and after exploring Schlosser's phenomenal expose, I finally have empirical justification for my antipathy (though I'm curious to find out how conditions have changed in the years since publication); please, please, please read this book!