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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Innocents Abroad - Mark Twain I gave up on the audiobook about 3/4 in. The narrator's voice has an annoying combination of atonal hoarseness and nasalness that never stopped bothering me. I enjoy Twain's use of language and dry humor, but had not yet read his travelogues. Since they predate his famous novels, it's interesting to see his early style, which is less assured than it would become but still confident. I'd characterize this narrative as less racist than xenophobic, though Twain is clearly sometimes truly unhappy and at other times exaggerating for comedic effect. Sometimes the object he's aiming for is to poke fun at the American tourist's narrowness of thought and ethnocentrism. In the context of the first real pleasure cruise (a side-wheel steamboat, if memory serves), Twain and companions were remarkably adventurous, defying quarantine, for example, and scrambling for hours at night over crumbly Greek hills and through dog-patrolled vineyards in order to see the Parthenon. Having visited many of Twain's destinations (and many of that number by ship), I thoroughly enjoyed his observations, whether or not I agreed about places, peoples, or cultural quirks.