Book Notes

A list of books recently-read that I have discussed here.

For many years, Phoebe-Lou Adams wrote wonderful short reviews for The Atlantic. The short reviews were part of the month and part of the landscape; only when they were gone did I think about them. Short notes are tricky, but they make a nice sort of postmodern commonplace book, and way to share impressions and small joys.

This page is also an experiment in Information Architecture with Tinderbox. Tinderbox lets me gather and maintain this list automatically, so it's easy to build and easier to keep current.

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

150 Best Tagine Recipes



1864: Lincoln At The Gates Of History


2034: A Novel of the Next World War

21 Dog Years

99 Ways To Tell A Story

A Bintel Brief

A Book of One's Own: people and their diaries

A Butterfly In Flame

A Caress of Twilight

A Circle of Sisters

A Clash of Kings

A Cook's Tour

A Dark Matter

A Desert Drama

A Far Cry From Kensington

The Game of Thrones

A Generation Of Hope: 1929-1941

A Harp in Lowndes Square

A Hat Full Of Sky

A History Of The Ancient Southwest

A Hymn Before Battle

A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

A Killing Smile

A Legacy Of Spies

A Little Life

A Map Of Tulsa

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

A New Way To Cook

A Place Of My Own

The Portable Cosmos

Designing With Data

A Prayer for Gershon Levin

A Presumption of Death

A Round Trip To The Year 2000

A Small Death in Lisbon

A Soul In A Bottle

A Study In Scarlet

A Study of Southwestern Archaeology

A Test Of Wills

A Visit From The Goon Squad

A Visit From The Goon Squad

A Wrinkle In Time



About Three Bricks Shy Of A Load

Abraham's Promise



After Alice

After Theory


Against The Age

Agent Of Change


All She Was Worth

All Systems Red


Almost French


Altered Carbon

American Bloomsbury

American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur

American Elsewhere

American Gods

American Studies

Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation

Among Others



Army At Dawn

An Education

An Informal History Of The Hugo Awards

An Officer and A Spy

Ancient Puebloan Southwest

Ancillary Justice



Another Man’s Moccasins

Les Halles Cookbook


Anya’s Ghost

Are You My Mother?

Around The World In Eighty Days

Artificial Condition

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

As Always, Julia




Autumn Term


Babylon By Bus

Back Story

Bad Business

Badass: Making Users Awesome

Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes

Bambi vs. Godzilla

Bangkok 8

Baseball Prospectus 2014

Basin and Range

Battle Royale

Beat To Quarters

Beautiful Creatures

Beauty Queens

Before The Fall

Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells

Between Meals

Between The World And Me

Beyond Bullet Points

Big Babies

Big Girl Small

Bird By Bird

Bit Literacy




Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Education of a Reluctant Chef

Bloody Jack

Blue Angel

Blue at the Mizzen

Bone Guard One: The Mongol's Coffin


Book Business: Publishing Past and Future

Book by Book


Bound To Please

Boy Proof

Boys and Girls Like You And Me

Brazilian Adventure


Breaking The Page

Bridge: 25 Ways to Compete In The Bidding

Bring Up The Bodies

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

Buddha's Money

Burial Rites

Busman’s Honeymoon

By Any Other Name

By Hook or by Crook

By Order Of The President

By The Light of the Study Lamp

Caesar's Legacy


Call for the Dead


Catching Fire (The Hunger Games 2)

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Cave Of Bones

Chaco Canyon: a center and its world


Changing Places

Chasing Shakespeares


Chocolate and Zucchini

Churchill and Orwell

City of the Soul: A Walk In Rome

Classics for Pleasure

Clean Code

Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris


Cold Hunter's Moon


Conflict of Honors

Consider Phlebas



Contested Will

Count Zero



Cousin Randolph

Crying In H Mart

Culinary Artistry

Cyril Connolly

Damage Control

Damon Runyon

Dare Me

Dark Age Ahead

Dark Continent

Daughter of Smoke and Bone


Days of Blood and Starlight


Deal Breaker

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter

Death and Taxes

Death and the Maiden

Death Assemblage

Death by Hollywood

Death of the Artist

Death of The Black Haired Girl

Debug It!

Decline and Fall

Design for Community

Desolation Island

Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life

Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life

Dining Out

Discount Armageddon

Divergent (again)


Dr. No

Doctor Thorne

Don't Make Me Think

Double Homicide

Down The River Unto The Sea

Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel: A Biography

Draft No. 4: On The Writing Process

Drawing from Life


Dreaming In Code

Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Echo Bay

Educated: A Memoir

Edward Burne-Jones

Effective Objective C 2.0

Effective STL


Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life

Eleanor and Park


Emanuel Goldberg and his Knowledge Machine


Emerson: The Mind on Fire


Emma Brown

Empire Falls

Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe

Eric Sink of the Business of Software

Everybody Behaves Badly

Everybody Rise

Everyone in Silico

Everything I Never Told You

Everything Is Miscellaneous

Evolution Man

Exit Strategy

Experience Design



Far Side of the World

Farewell My Lovely




Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone


Feeding The Eye

Fever Season


Finding George Orwell In Burma


First Nights: Five Musical Premieres

Five Days In London

Flash to the Core



Following Hadrian


For Your Eyes Only


Four Freedoms


Free Air

French Lessons

Fresh Styles for Web Designers: Eye Candy from Underground


Friday Night Lights

Fun Home

Funny Girl

Garden State

Garment of Shadows

Gaudy Night

Gaudy Night

Gaudy Night



Get Shorty

Getrude Bell

Getting Things Done

Ghost Fleet

Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home

Good Omens


Graphs Maps Trees



Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided By Tests

Guards! Guards!

Gust Front

HMS Surprise



Hag Seed

Half A Crown

Half Magic

Half Moon Street

Halting State

Hammer Of The Left

Hand Over Fist

Hanging Hill

Hanna's Daughters

Hard Country

Hard Rain

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


Havana Twist

Have His Carcase



Hell is Empty

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Him Her Him Again The End of Him

His Illegal Self

His Majesty’s Dragon

History of the Musical


Hold Still

Home Town


Honey from a Weed

House of Sand and Fog

Housekeeping vs. The Dirt

How I Live Now

How Rome Fell

How To Breathe Underwater

How To Live on 24 Hours a Day

How To Roast

How To Taste

Howards End

Howards End

Humana Festival 2000

Hundred Dollar Baby


Imperial Life in the Emerald City


Implementation Patterns

In A Sunburned Country

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

In Praise of Shadows

In Real Life

In Suspect Terrain

In The Bleak Midwinter

In The Company of Sherlock Holmes

In The Kitchen

In The Presence of Mine Enemies

In The Woods


Inside the Victorian Home


Interactive Fiction: How To Engage Readers…

Introduction to Declarer's Play



iPhone App Development: The Missing Manual

Iron Sunrise

J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century

Jack Maggs


Jafsie and John Henry: Essays

Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democraxy

Jane Unlimited

Javascript: The Good Parts


Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

John Adams

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Joseph Banks: A Life

Julie & Julia: my year of cooking dangerously

Juliet, Naked

Junkyard Dogs

Just One Look

Justice Hall

Karen Memory

Key West Luck

Kiln People


Land of Echoes

Land Of Marvels


Le Petit Prince

Le Service des manuscrits


Lessons Learned in Software Testing

Letter of Marque

Letters from the Editor: The New Yorker's Harold Ross

Letters to a Young Actor

Letters to a Young Artist


Libraries in the Ancient World

Life Itself

Lift Off: The Last Rocket Development Diary

Like Never And Always



Little Brother

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Livia Lone

Locked Rooms


London in the 19th Century

London Walks


Lonely Planet: Unpacked Again



Looking For A Ship


Lost In A Good Book

Lost Worlds

Love Invents Us

Love, Nina

Lucky Us

Lush Life

Lyra's Oxford

Magic for Beginners

Magic For Liars

Make-Believe Town

Making Comics

Making Movies

Making Oscar Wilde

Man of Two Tribes

Manhattan Beach

Mansfield Park

Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands

Maps of the Imagination: The Writers As Cartographer


Marianne in Chains

Marketing That Matters

Married Love: And Other Stories

Mary Ann In Autumn


Master and Commander

Master and Commander

Master of the Senate

Matricide at St. Martha’s


Me Talk Pretty One Day

Medici Money

Medium Raw

Memorable Days: The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps

Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre

Miami Blues

Michael Tolliver Lives

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling


Midnight In The Garden Of Good and Evil

Midnight Riot

Mind Game

Minimum Wage Magic




Miss Seeton Sings

Mission To Paris

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games 3)

Modern C++ Design

Momofuku Milk Bar


Monty and Rommel


More Baths, Less Talking

C++ Gems

Mornings In Florence



Mr. Churchill’s Secretary

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Pip


Murder in the Sentier

Murder Must Advertise

My Education

My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress

My Latest Grievance

My Life In France

My Old Man

My Sister’s Keeper

Mystic River

The Name of the Wind


Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

Never Let Me Go

Night of the Living Trekkies

Night Rounds

Night Soldiers

Night Witches

Ninth House

No Vivaldi in the Garage

Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures

Normal People

Robert Frost

North of Boston

Notes Found in a Bottle

Notes From A Small Island

Nothing To Fear

O Chip e o Caleidoscópio

O Jerusalem

OK: the story of Oklahoma!

Old Man's War

Old School

Olive Kitteridge

On Beauty

On Chesil Beach

On Conan Doyle

On Directing Film

On Food and Cooking

On Histories and Stories

Once An Eagle

One Hundred Letters From Hugh Trevor-Roper

Ostia: Aspects of Roman City Life

Our Hearts Were Young And Gay

Our Kind of Traitor

Out Of Oz

Pal Joey

Paladin of Souls

Paradise Lost

Paris 1906

Paris After the Liberation 1944-1949

Paris After the Liberation 1944-1949

Paris By The Book

Pattern Recognition

Paul Revere’s Ride

Peculiar Ground



Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

Perilous Question

Planning Extreme Programming

Plays: November, Race, The Anarchist








Postmodernism: a very short introduction

Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier

Practical Prototype and

Prairie Gothic


Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice


Prince of the Marshes

Prints and Printmaking

Programming Ruby



Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope


Queen Lucia

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Radio: An Illustrated Guide

Rainey Royal


Rashomon Gate

Ratio: the simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking

Reading the Vampire Slayer

Ready for Anything

Red Harvest

Red Leather Diary

Red Plenty

Red Thunder


Refactoring To Patterns



Retreat, Hell!

Retreat Hell



Riddle Of The Rosetta

Road Dogs

Roman Ostia

Rome: a living portrait of an ancient city

Roughing It

Royal Flash

Rules for Revolutionaries

Rules of Civility


Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author

Saint X


Samuel Johnson

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self

Sargent’s Daughters

Saturn’s Children

Saving The City


Seduced by Moonlight

Seeing and Being Seen


Set This House On Fire


Shakespeare Wrote for Money

Sharp Teeth

Sharpe's Triumph

Ship Breaker




Shopping for Buddhas

Shrink Rap

Shylock Is My Name


Simon's Family

Simple: Web Sites

Sin in the Second City

Since We Fell

Singularity Sky

Sister Carrie


Six Of Crows: Tome 1

Skeleton Man


Skipping Christmas


Small World

Smile When You’re Lying

So Many Books: reading and publishing in an age of abundance

Soho Sins

Song for Eloise


Southwesterly Wind

Soviet Daughter

Speaking Code: coding as aesthetic and political expression

Special Ops

Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Specimen Days

Spider Woman’s Daughter

Spook Country

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

Stable Strategies

State of Denial

Station Eleven

Stepping Out

Stet: An Editor's Life

Storm Of Locusts

Straight Up or On The Rocks

Strange Victory

Strategy and Compromise

Sunday Suppers at Lucques


Sweet Tooth


Swimming Home

Swimming in the Volcano


Tabletop: Analog Game Design

Tale for the Time Being

Tam Lin

Team Of Rivals

Telegraph Avenue

Test-Driven Development



The 39 Steps

The Accidental

The Age of Reform: 1815-1870

The Alice Network

The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

The Apprentice: My Life In The Kitchen

The Architecture of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

The Areas of My Expertise

The Art Of Detection

The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors

The Art of Miyazaki's Spirited Away

The Art of Simple Food

The Assassination of Julius Caesar

The Assassins’ Gate

The Atlas of Ancient Rome: Biography and Portraits of the City

The Atrocity Archives

The Aviator

The Balkans

The Barbizon

The Bear Went Over The Mountain

The Beginners

The Berlin Stories

The Best We Could Do

The Big Gamble

The Big Sleep

The Black Dogs

The Black Isle

The Black Powder War

The Book Of Dust

The Book of Jewish Food

The Boston Girl

The Boston Marriage

The Boy In The Suitcase

The Boy's Crusade

The Bride's Kimono

The Bug

The Bully Pulpit

The Burglar Who Liked To Quote Kipling



The Cactus League

The Caine Mutiny

The Captains

The Case For Books

The Chaco Meridian

The Chaco Meridian (2nd edition)

The Chalk Artist

The Chalk Artist

The Children Act

The Circle

The City & The City

The Clan Corporate

The Club Dumas

The Cold Dish

The Commodore

The Company of Strangers

The Complete Essays of Mark Twain

The Complete New Yorker

The Continental Op

The Cookbook Collector

The Crofter and the Laird

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night

The Curse Of Chalion

Da Vinci Code

The Dante Club

Day of Battle

The Dean’s December

The Death Of Sweet Mister

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The Devil In The White City

The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan

Diary of a Teenage Girl

The Dime

The Dinner

The Dream of Scipio

The Dry

The Duel

The Duke’s Children

The Education of Henry Adams

The Elements Of Cooking

The Elements of User Experience

The Emerging Democratic Majority

The Enchanted April

The End Of Everything

The End Of The Point

The English Civil Wars: 1640-1660

Smart Football

The Fall Of Rome

The Fall of the Roman Empire

The Fall Of Wisconsin

The Family Trade

The Far Side of the World

The Fear Index

The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found


The Fixer

The Forever War

The Forum of Trajan in Rome

The Fuller Memorandum

The Galactic Gourmet

The Game

The Gastronomical Me

The Gate Of Angels

The Gates

The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue

The Ghost

The Girl At The Baggage Claim

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl With All The Gifts

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Glass Hotel

The Glass Universe

The Goal

The God of the Hive

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

The Golden Ocean

The Golem and the Jinni

The Gone-Away World

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

The Great Gatsby

The Great Movies

Great Movies II

The GreaterJourney

The Guns At Last Light

The Hare With The Amber Eyes

The Heidi Chronicles

The Hemingway Hoax

The Hidden Family

The Historian

The History of Rock ‘n‘ Roll in Ten Songs

The Hollow Crown

The Hot Rock

The Hundred Days

The Hunger Games

The Hunters

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes

The Invisible Circus

The Israelis: Founders and Sons

The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jennifer Morgue

The Jewish King Lear

The Kappa Child

The King David Report

The Knight

The Language Of Bees

The Last Child

The Last Days of California

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

The Last Ringbearer

The Last Supper

The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh

The Liar

Lieutenant Don’t Know

The Light Ages

The Little Black Book of Stories

The Little Friend

The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life

The Little Stranger

The Lodger Shakespeare

The Lola Quartet

The Long and Faraway Gone

The Lord of the Rings

The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter In A Distracted Time

The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics

The Lost Painting

The Lovely Bones

The Magic Lantern

The Magician King

The Magician King

The Magician’s Land

The Magician’s Land

The Magicians

Making of a Chef

Making of a Chef

The Man In The High Castle

The Map That Changed The World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

The Marketplace of Ideas

The Med

The Metaphysical Club

The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters

The Moon's Shadow

The Mount

The Mouse Driver Chronicles

The Murder Book

The Nether: A Play

Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract

The Night Circus

The Night Circus

The Night Circus

The Night Watch

The Nine Tailors

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The Ode Less Travelled

The Old Man

The Old Neighborhood

The Old Neighborhood

The Ornament of the World

The Other 19th Century

The Other Side of Dark

Ottoman Empire

Oxford Classical Dictionary (3rd)

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. IV

The Peabody Sisters

The Perfectionist

The Peripheral

The Pilot’s Wife

The Pirate King

The Player Of Games

The Player Of Games

The Pleasure of Reading

The Plot

The Polysyllabic Spree

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Quantum Thief

The Quarry

The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit

The Rabbi's Cat

The Reach of a Chef: Beyond The Kitchen

The Redbreast

The Remains of the Day

The Reverse of the Medal

The Riddle Of The Sands

River of Doubt

The Romans: From Village To Empire

Ruby in the Smoke

The Runagates Club

Samurai's Daughter

The Science of Herself

The Searchers

The Second Sleep

The Second Tree from the Corner

The Secret Commonwealth

The Secret History Of Wonder Woman

The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built

The Secret Place

The Sense of an Ending

The Seven Stairs

The Shapeshifter

The Shining

Siege of the Arts

The Sinister Pig

The Siren and the Sword

The Situation and the Story

The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

Soul of a Chef

The Souls Of Black Folk

Space Opera Renaissance

The Spanish Prisoner and The Winslow Boy

The Startup Garden

The Stranger’s Child

The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife

The Summer of Naked Swim Parties

The Sun Also Rises

The Table Comes First

The Tenth Muse

The Testament of Mary

The Texas-Israeli War: 1999

The Thai Amulet

The Thin Man

The Third Man

Thirteen Gun Salute

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The Three Body Problem

The Truelove

The Truelove

The Understudy

The Undressed Art

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II

The Viking Way : magic and mind in late iron age Scandinavia

The Virgins

The Vor Game

The Wailing Wind

The War Room

The Watch

The Weblog Handbook

The Whig Interpretation of History

The Whisper of Leaves

The Whites

The Wicked Girls

The Wicked Son

The Wiki Way

The Wild Party

The Windup Girl

The Wine-Dark Sea

The Woman In The Fifth

The World At Night

The World Brain

The Year Of Lear

The Yellow Admiral

Then We Came To The End

Theodore Rex

Thirty-Three Teeth

This Earth of Mankind

Those Who Hunt The Night

Thread of the Spider

Three Bags Full

Three Stations

Through the Language Glass

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tishomingo Blues

To Honor You Call Us

To Serve Them All My Days

Tom Brown at Oxford

Tomorrow, When The War Began

Tony and Susan

Tooth and Claw





True and False

True Grit

Singapore Ghost Stories 8

True Soldier Gentlemen

Tu ressembles à une juive

Turning Darkness Into Light

Turning The Tables

Twelve Recipes

Two Women

Un appartement à Paris


Uncommon Carriers

Under Fire

Under Fire

Under Fire

Under Occupation

Under the Color of Law

Une fille comme elle

Utopian Entrepreneur


Vienna Blood

Vile Bodies

Vinegar Girl


Wake Up, Sir!

Walking Calcutta

War for the Oaks

Washington’s Crossing

Watch Your Mouth

Watching Baseball Smarter

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We've Got Blog

Welcome To Bordertown

What Good Are The Arts?

What Happened to Art Criticism?

What The Dickens

When Will There Be Good News?

Which Side Are You On

Whose Body?

Why I won't Be Going To Lunch Anymore

Why the Allies Won


Widow's Walk


Winter King

Winter’s Bone

Wishful Drinking

With the Night Mail: Two Yarns About the Aerial Board of Control

Wolf Hall

Wonder Boys

Wonder Boys

Wonderful Town




Working Effectively With Legacy Code

xUnit Test Patterns

Year's Best SF 10

Yes, Please!


Zoo City