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The Storyteller: A Novel

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Excellent story. The book weaves together the narrator's memories of a college friend and the mythology of the Machiguengas, an Amazonian tribe. I loved the lyrical style of the mythology sections and the myths themselves. In this tribe, when something bad happens, they just move on (keep walking so the sun doesn't fall from the sky). Isn't that true for many of us (though we don't have such an amazing explanation for it)?
The Taste of River Water: new and selected poems

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I learned about this book from Garr Reynolds' website. Medina's storytelling approach worked well for me & many of the principles are relevant to my work. Like some other reviewers, I'd like to know more about the science behind the stories.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

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I read this book while lounging on a beach in Costa Rica. It was sitting on the bookshelf in my beach hut, just waiting for me. I'm always interested in how people resolve their spritual/emotional crises, but Gilbert's book left me wishing for more about her search & less of her travelogue (not that it wasn't entertaining!). I liked the book, but I hoped it would offer some type of guidance, which I don't feel it delivered. Jennifer Egan says it better than I could: "I'm willing to believe that Gilbert despaired over having failed at a more conventional life even as she sought out its opposite — complications like these are what make us human. But she doesn't tell that story here, or even acknowledge the paradox. As a result, her crisis remains a shadowy thing, a mere platform for the actions she takes to alleviate it...And while I wouldn't begrudge this massively talented writer a single iota of joy or peace, I found myself more interested, finally, in the awkward, unresolved stuff she must have chosen to leave out."
The Witch of Portobello: A Novel

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This is another airport bookshop read. The blend of philosophy and story was interesting, though I wish there had been more story. Is it possible to write a good moral parable that's also a good story? This wasn't it.
On Beauty with Author Zadie Smith

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I read this book after finishing an essay by Zadie Smith in which she says this novel is a retelling of Howard's End. The connection with Howard's End is certainly there, but the characters in this novel didn't ring as true to me.
Love Walked In

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I bought this novel in the Minneapolis airport to read on a flight back to Salt Lake City. It fit perfectly in that timeframe and kept my attention away from the bumpiness of the flight. This book is basically chicklit with a few gratuitous references to some of my favorite classic films, including Philadelphia Story. As several other reviewers have already noted, many of the plot elements seem random and unmotivated, particularly the story's main event. Despite these plot flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a light, quick, heart-warming read.
Fingersmith

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The movie based on this book is also great--particulary for lovers of Victorian culture.
Firebreak

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For some reason, I love books about the desert. This landscape is primal and dangerous and unforgiving--and, therefore, intriging. Bowles' book explores all of these elements of the North African desert. In many ways, it is a depressing book: the characters seem empty and soulless as they search for meaning in Africa's harsh, yet exotic landscapes. Each of the three main characters is forced to confront his/her emotional depths as the book moves from the city to the most remote parts of the desert. They don't all survive the journey.
A Beautiful Blue Death

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Another Victorian mystery novel--this is quickly becoming my favorite genre. I enjoyd the period details & the characters, especially Charles Lenox and Lady Grey. Looking forward to the next installment in their relationship!
Middlesex

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I tried to love this book. Afterall, it won the Pulitzer Prize and has been widely acclaimed by almost everyone who has read it, but I just didn't love it. I could barely finish it. And now, a couple of weeks later, can barely remember what it was about...
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