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Every Reviewed Book

There are 131 reviews of 126 books.

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Light but fast read. It carries a little more characterization than other spy books, but not by a lot. Its crowded cast mean I can't keep anyone straight besides the 5 most frequently-mentioned characters. It reads a bit like a screenplay, preferring direct language to flowery descriptions. The plot is decent, but lacks depth. Would make for a good beach read.

2024-02-09

A worthy expansion of the universe from the first book. Characters are explored and expanded while the stakes are raised. We're getting really cosmic, but the book never strays from its superb worldbuilding.

2024-01-29

The novella format does a lot for this story- it can focus on the action and not get (too) bogged down with worldbuilding. The murderbot is certainly an interesting narrator and the plot came together nicely.

2023-12-22

Fun as always. The mystery was a little less satisfying this time around, but it's a good enough read.

2023-12-14

Another knockout mystery. The characters are great and the plot is a ride, top to bottom. Setting it all on a ship makes the puzzle that much more intricate. Bits of it get pretty dark, but it's a fun read nonetheless. Can't wait for his next book!

2023-11-17

Fun exploration on bigger world around Scooby Doo. I don't usually go for eldritch horror, but this was on the lighter side and had fun with it. I also enjoyed the thinly veiled character explorations. Really though, I wish we had an official version of this. In any case, fun little mystery!

2023-10-31

A decent popcorn read, but the characters were sort of flat and the plot was fairly simplistic. That said, I _did_ want to know exactly what happened, so I burned through it. There was also a lot of repetition in the dialogue, which got repetitive.

2023-10-11

Just spectacular. Intricately planned, delicately spooled out, and kept me guessing until literally the final word. What a ride. Felt the closest to a modern Christie I've read in a while. I'm hungry for more.

2023-09-25

Great narration with all of the different characters. Lots of parallel plots made it a little hard to track, but it was still a great ride. Fun concept and very approachable hard sci-fi.

2023-09-17

A fun world to explore and engaging characters I liked how they grew over time and information about the world was spooled out.

2023-08-23
πŸ₯‰

Really picked up after the first one. Characters are still bad and the writing is still pretty dry, but this one leaned much more heavily into the speculative sci-fi aspect that was promised. Loved the time jumps too- great to see how everything played out over years and years. No clue where the third one will go, but I'll definitely be reading it (eventually).

2023-07-28

Very charming. Had lots of voice cameos by the cast and crew. Great behind the scenes stories and context on the making of the whole thing. Valuable too, since I lot of it was before I was born. I've always just known it as a beloved movie.

2023-07-28

I loved the framing of magic as a series of rules. Fun, heist-y read and a good setup for more to come.

2023-06-02

What's pitched as a "make the best use of your limited time" quickly pivots into "what even is time, really?". It's certainly thought provoking. It didn't go to the places I expected and helped me think about concepts that had never occurred to me (like when did we even start caring about time as a concept). Definitely an interesting read!

2023-05-09
πŸ₯‡

Riveting time loop book about relationships, memories, and reality. Heartfelt, but intense. Great characters and really nails the hopelessness of a time loop. Real page turner.

2023-04-15

It's a hectic book, but it has some cool takes on humanity and society. Scattered at times, and the style is repetitive, but it's still a good read.

2023-03-23

Very interesting concept, but told very slowly. I liked the added political context of cultural revolution china, but lack of cultural competency on my own part made it a bit hard to follow. I think it definitely _can_ go somewhere cool, but I'm not sure how long that'll take. The physics was neat and the story ultimately an interesting one, it was just a bit of a slog to get through.

2023-03-15

A cool look into Reggie's career and the business side of videogames. It was more of a business book that I expected, but there was some interesting context behind why some of the marketing and positioning of games happens the way that it does.

2023-03-13

Exciting spy thriller. Big focus on martial arts and maybe 3 too many similarly named characters, but it's a great mystery and a fun read overall.

2023-01-30

Great expansion of the world. A little bit less of "definitely not firefly" and a bit more original worldbuilding. There's a cool pair of intertwined stories that work well here. Excited to see where this series goes.

2023-01-21

This series is light and to the point. Interesting enough characters, and I enjoyed the mystery.

2022-12-07

Liked the setting an mystery. The writing was funny, but there were _way_ too many characters. But, the voice was great and I was compelled to finish it, so I'm curious to see where else they take it.

2022-11-16

Fitting end to the series. Gripping and climactic. Good payoff on characters.

2022-10-07
πŸ”ˆ
πŸ₯ˆ

Touching and funny, but informative and pleasant. Definitely an interesting read.

2022-10-01

Paced well - always seemed like we were moving. Fun to see the legal machinations that had been put in place. Resolved pretty satisfactorily. I think my biggest gripe was that everything came together _too_ cleanly, but that didn't stop me enjoying the book.

2022-08-25

Intense, but oddly heartfelt. The characters are great and the plot is decent. Didn't really go where I expected, but I enjoyed it.

2022-08-09

Pretty decent. The language did its best to be period appropriate, which I'm not sure added a lot. There were some good layers to the story, but I wasn't enthralled by it. Even so, it was a decent mystery, just not one I enjoyed as much as I ecepected.

2022-06-15

Creepy, but a little too short to explore its themes and characters. But, certainly no filler.

2022-05-03

Great exploration of what supers would look like in the modern age, with the internet. Brutal and funny in all the right ways. Dialogue was great and most of the cast was distinct and stellar.

2022-05-01

Bit of a slow start, but picked up. Charming cast and some good plotting. Main character was a bit much, but she grew on me.

2022-03-31

I liked the style of 3 smaller stories exploring one place. Excited to see everything come together!

2022-03-20

Neat, literal locked door mystery. I liked that they (tried) to give us all the information to solve it, but it felt a little slow and technical at times as a result. Also, it's a big ensemble, but none of the characters felt quite distinct enought to make them an interesting cast. But, it was a fun enough read.

2022-02-02

Fun romp of a read. Tough to follow some of the plot and characters, but there was some real heart under there. Decently Shakespearean, very funny.

2022-01-16

Definition of a page turner. Brief, but dense and enjoyable.

2021-12-07
πŸ”

Better than I remember. Decent cast, but a really thoughtful and interesting plot. Also doesn't overstay its welcome.

2021-11-29

Definitely interesting. Some slow parts, some dated prose, but some very cool and big worldbuilding. Lotta terms.

2021-10-23

Really superb journalism. Does a good job capturing the allure of the open road, as well as the drawbacks. But, as a read? It's... hard to follow and sort of boring. Too many people and places mentioned. Only a very thin narritive throughline. I'm super curious to see how they turned this into a movie.

2021-09-22

Really great read. Continues with the cool worldbuilding. Felt like the story was a little less tight, but even more swashbuckling. Also did a lot of great setup and larger webs weaved. Really excited for more.

2021-09-08

Quick, intense read. Interesting look at how a lar firm could work. Delightfully unsettling. Dated in interesting ways. Nice vacation book.

2021-08-03

I liked the frame of jumping though subsequent times. I liked the smaller, interconnected stories. I thought there were too many characters that didn't feel distinct enough, but that's part of the territory I guess.

2021-07-27

Great listen! He tells some good stories. Interesting take on the evolution of a man. He's done a lot of neat things and had an interesting process in his acting. Told some good behind the scenes stuff.

2021-07-13

Great concept and frame. Enjoyed the arc of the novel and the characters. Good sciencec, good adventure, good Weir novel.

2021-07-03

Unsurprisingly pretty funny. Enjoyed his anecdotes and stories. He comes off as pretty human. Didn't talk much about ScarJo. It was a neat look into his life and comedy though.

2021-06-29

Enjoyable! Good worldbuilding. Decent cast. Fairly funny writing.

2021-06-17

Good, if a little dense. There are a lot of stasitics read out. His argument is failry succinct and well-reasoned. There's a lot of history and policy that isn't covered and this sheds a lot of light. I wouldn't say it's a "fun" read, but it is a good one.

2021-06-11
πŸ₯‰

Wears its Firefly inspiration on its sleeve, but in a good way. Good characters and a decent world. I liked the story too. Good romp all around.

2021-05-16

Had a lot of the vibe from Bad Monkeys, but with a video game setting. Enjoyed it. Had some good spins on identity politics, but in that same pleasant way that _Long Journey_ did. It's really what sci-fi does best. I also loved the slight references to near-future things; that was nicely done.

2021-04-20

Great expansion on the first book. Good character work and plotting. Cool expanding of the world.

2021-04-06

Very grim, very dark, but definitely funny. Much like the first one, it mostly feels like buildup to stuff? But it's a good ride.

2021-03-24

Enjoyable, fast read. Had a little trouble with understanding what was a flashback and not, but it did a good job tying together the frame and the investigation.

2021-02-24

Great heist. Cool magic, if a little unexplained. Good characters, though their ages are real weird. Character motivations are good and the development feels natural. Pacing at the end felt a little odd, but it's a pair of books, so this is really only part 1.

2021-02-17

I had sort of a love/hate thing going with Becky Chambers' debut novel. There was a bit of eye-rolling when it came to unnecessary romantic pairings - I didn't expect the romance in a book I assumed was about space politics. But, at its core, it does what sci-fi does best: it imagines a world reminiscent of, but distinct from, our own. A lot of time and effort is spent explaining each character's elaborate gender journey, which didn't feel relevant to the story. But it makes sense that other planets wouldn't have a gender setup like ours and learning to navigate that would be a very real need for an intergalactic society. Given that, it helps the reader re-examine how we interact in our own society. And dang it if that's not what sci-fi is all about.

2021-02-01
πŸ”ˆ

Cool worldbuilding, but sort of gross. Technically a reread I think, but I have no recollection of the story.

2021-01-29

Good plot, but the writing is a little convoluted and old-timey. I can see how this inspires other spy novels though- the bones are good. The layers are there and the characters are believable. There's a fair amount of current-at-the-time politics that are harder to connect to now, but I can see why it's so widely recommended. It does a good job with moral ambiguity.

2020-12-29

Superb. Maybe a little too close to home with the pandemic, but a delight nonetheless. I liked the intricacy of it, how everything was related. Great description of a possible future and the crumbling of society. It was really beautiful, in its own way.

2020-12-12

Great setup to more goodness. Superb worldbuilding and prose. Pretty good characters. Good sense of wonderment and discovery.

2020-11-24

Found the writing style dense and hard to follow. Bits of dialogue felt very witty, but most of the narrative felt disjoint and scattered. There wasn't a satisfying narrative conclusion. At least it was short.

2020-10-31

Paced well. Loved the frame, just like I did with Gone Girl. Characters were sad, in a good way. I liked the darkness of the whole thing, that's nice once in a while.

2020-10-16

Even better than the first. A great whodunnit that gives you all the clues. Good cast and a lot of moving pieces. Sometimes the meta-ness is too much (like the Acknowledgments, of all places), but it was still such a blast. Hawthorne was a bit more likable this time around, which is nice.

2020-10-04
πŸ₯‡

Great read! Breezes by and asks some really interesting questions. There's definitely a lot of tension and it's fun thinking about what makes us, us.

2020-09-13

Good world, nice varied perspectives. The book itself is mostly setup, but there's some very satisfying writing. I liked the depth of the characters. No one is a good or bad guy, they're all multi-faceted. Exited to see where it goes.

2020-09-01

Neat framing. A really compelling sci-fi story wrapped in a love story I didn't care as much about. The language was pretty though and they did a nice job with the contrast between the characters.

2020-07-24

Definitely a detective story! Very cool meta frame, definitely made me question some reality. Maybe too many characters, but I liked how procedural it felt. Definitely comfort food as a book.

2020-07-14

I liked the way that he framed the Black man's struggle in terms of ownership over his body. He painted a vivid picture of his life and he challenges he faces. But, I didn't love the unfocused storytelling. It jumped between small anecdotes (good) and these sorts of meandering passages that didn't add much. A decent read, but not much of a page turner.

2020-06-21

I liked how the book subverted expectations as a core premise. Modern day parallels are well done. The world building is great. Short and sweet.

2020-06-02

I enjoyed this a lot! It was a cross between national treasure and westing game, with some extra murder thrown in. The author managed timelines really well, flitting effortlessly between big flashbacks and events that happened earlier in the week. The characters were fun and varied. The narration was great too. It was paced well and quite fun.

2020-05-27

I wouldn't say I enjoyed this because it wasn't "fun", but it was a fairly compelling read. The writing was a little cumbersome at times, but the message was good. The irony of listening to a white person's book on race isn't lost on me, but it's an informative read nontheless

2020-05-10

Reads like a spy thriller, but it's all cited non-fiction. Really interesting look into how the USSR operated and person-focused tasks of the time. Characters were numerous and a little same-y, but the narrative was woven well.

2020-04-26

Pretty jargon-y, but had some interesting world building. Pretty light read. Interesting ideas about bot consciousness and the social issues therein.

2020-03-29

Stuck the landing! Really great plot, good wrap up of the previous books. I think overall the first is probably the best but this one was great. Really touching to see him interact with friends that he's known all this time.

2020-03-09

Pretty compelling at parts. Ran pretty long and there was a lot of details about trees. But, it did make me care about them more, so I suppose it accomplished its goal. Some characters were more compelling than others, but it was overall enjoyable.

2020-02-22

Felt like a more sprawling story than the more contained romp of the first book, but it grew well. Great twists and turns, continued awesome worldbuilding

2020-01-19

There's definitely some smarminess, but the language is beautiful.

2020-01-12

Very different vibe than the earlier books. A lot more romantic and philosophical. I still enjoyed it and thought it had some good takes on growing up and love, but it sort of sidelined its main story in a weird way. Also, the writing was pretty hammy at parts.

2019-12-31
πŸ₯‡

Really great, intense book. Breakneck pace. Mix of Ender's Game and Game of Thrones. There were a lot of characters and it was a little hard to track at times, but that didn't really hold me back. Enjoyed the world and am very curious to see where the trilogy goes.

2019-11-20

Really enjoyable read. Twists and turns and nothing is quite as it seems. Both spooky and a satisfying mystery. Some of the side characters are a little hard to track at points, but the book helps you along well enough. I liked how information trickled out throughout the narrative. Also it was paced really well. Most of all, it features one of my favorite story mechanics: time loops. Very well done.

2019-10-30

Really intense. Some good twists. I have no idea where it going and I'm excited to find out!

2019-09-29

Something different jumps out at me every time I read this. This time, it was Demosthenes and his artificial fear-mongering. Still such a great story though.

2019-08-17

Lots of setup, but enjoyable. Loved the bears. Some pretty big set pieces that mostly paid off.

2019-08-14

Fast and well-written. Biggest complaint is the lack of arc for the characters. Doesn't seem like any of them learned anything. In any case, it was fun and great to have a perspective I'm mostly unfamiliar with.

2019-08-14

I liked it less than I thought I would. It was bleak and matter of fact, but didn't quite sell me on the descent into the mob. It was an interesting enough take on the social structures that emerge in the lack of anything else, but one clearly written by an old white guy. I don't think he earned the brutality that played out. I did like the absurdity of some of it, but overall it didn't land for me.

2019-08-09

Really cool codification of the ways a con happens. Plenty of good antidotes and citations of psychological studies to support it. Lots of names made it a little hard to follow at times, but it was an enjoyable and helpful read.

2019-07-22

Pretty good! Paced a little oddly and I don't think I loved the ending, but had some pretty gripping parts.

2019-06-04

Let me start by saying I absolutiely adored the frame of this story. Unabashedly. The biggest mark against it was that the prose is, at times, pretty dense. Not all of the stories are great, but some of them are. I liked the absurd bits. The conclusion was pretty good, but I'm not sure it really tied everything up. It's... definitely an interesting read. Not for everyone, but at least give it a bit of a shot.

2019-05-27

A very swashbuckling adventure. I liked the first one more (more complete world building and a more compelling and tight story) but this one was certainly good. Enjoyed seeing another side of "thievery", even though the heist wasn't as central a plot point. Felt a little contrived and rushed eventually, but I maintain that it was enjoyable throughout. Excited to see what the third has in store.

2019-04-22

Very literary. Charming love story. Kind of fun to see the variation in locales. I really liked how the narrative jumped around in time, framing each scene with relevant historical context.

2019-03-15

Great conclusion to the series. It didn't quite match that frame of the first, but it's pretty good payoff and tied everything together well. Great world building.

2019-02-18

Really fun read l the way through. Impressive blend of British history, slang, context, and of course, a heist. Every bit felt satisfying and it was a serious page turner.

2019-01-25

Pretty good! Less character work than the first. It was also lacking the neat frame the first one had. Mostly felt like a stepping stone to the third. Writing continues to be good though.

2019-01-14

I liked it less than Gone Girl. The good, deep characterization was there, but some of the other themes I cared for less. Definitely a creepier story, too. The mystery was less compelling and the book sort of read like a haze (which could have easily been a creative decision). Not bad, good easy brutal vacation reading, but not her best.

2018-12-30

Really great book. Good frame, superb worldbuilding, pretty good characters. The way magic was explained felt fairly satisfying. It sort of throws you into the deep end and everything makes more sense as you go. Doesn't stray from tradegy. Definitely a good start to a series and I'm excited to see what comes next.

2018-12-28

Honestly, I liked a lot of the writing but I felt like it switched to too many gears and ran way long. The horror elements weren't quite my cup of tea, but that was a nice change of pace. There were some very funny passages.

2018-12-24

Looking back, it felt like book 2 dragged a bit. This had less of that, and it’s nice to feel like we have grown with these characters. The ending felt a bit strange, but I’m happy overall. Dude writes good books.

2018-10-28

Really cute book. Slow to start, but then really rolls. Lots of small funny scenes and a good ensemble cast. Builds the world, but not at the expense of storytelling.

2018-08-12

There's some beautiful imagery in this book. There’s unsurprisingly a lot of Buddhist philosophy. Nothing in this book really grabbed me. I liked some of the notions around the passage of time, but wasn’t super fulfilled.

2018-06-23

This book was interesting. Larson did a good job integrating 1st party sources into the narrative and really, building a narrative in the first place. He clearly wanted to write a book about the world fair and the architecture therein, but needed the murder angle to appeal to a wider audience. Ultimately the historical context is interesting, especially if you love Chicago. Overall, it’s slow and dull. The whole murder angle feels like an afterthought and the first half of the book can be summarized as β€œit was expensive and stuff went wrong”.

2018-05-27

Really amazing worldbuilding. Exciting story without a lot of filler. I liked the non-linear nature of the first part. Plenty of swashbuckling. Lacking interesting female characters, but overall a very fun read.

2018-04-16

Ultimately, I’m disappointed. He took all this time to build a world and we don’t really definitely find out what happens I what anything means. There’s a lot of colorful descriptors and dream/hallucination sequences, but not much in the way of explanation. I think it’ll make a better movie than book, which is HIGHLY unusual.

2018-01-30
πŸ₯ˆ

Weir definitely has a style; it's one I enjoy. The issues the characters face are explained succintly with scientific reasoning. The protagonist is quippy, realistic, and driven. Not terribly long, but a good read. --- I did a couple of chapters of this in audiobook form. The performance was great!

2017-12-05

This book was a lot of fun. The first third or so was all character work that was setup, but once the story got rolling it was fun. Good job of describing life in mid century Spain, i'd imagine.

2017-11-26

Pretty good. Collection if vignettes that get tied together with an overarching story. Fun, creepy in parts, but lacks some of the charm and wit of his other books.

2017-11-07

A great follow up to the first book! Masterful pacing and decent tension led to an enjoyable experience.

2017-10-10

The language is very British and fairly antiquated. Also, all of the mystique is ruined by the common knowledge that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person.

2017-07-26

Pretty good read. The book definitely felt exciting, though somehow... unsatisfying. There was a lot of detail about phones, which feels a little less relevant today. He also came across as a bit of a dick as he negatively affected a lot of people in his life over what basically boiled down to an addiction or compulsion. That being said, I enjoyed reading about his success with social engineering, which remains incredibly relevant today.

2017-07-18

Superb as always! I like how my perspective shifts each time I read it. I always feel like I respond differently as I age. This time around, I thought a lot about what it means to be an adult vs a kid and a bit about the power dynamics addressed in the story.

2017-07-16

Pretty awesome read. Felt a lot like name of the wind, but with less flowery language. Not a bad rung, but a different style. Felt very direct. That was good though, seemed like lots of time for things to happen.

2017-07-13

Slow in the middle, but picked up. Lacked some of the tension and mystery from the first one. Excited to see where the finale goes. Hopefully there are some answers!

2017-07-09

I had fond memories of this book from when I was younger. Acted as a great palate cleanser after 1984. Cute premise, we get the evil side or the story, and the characters are well rounded. Light, but fun!

2017-05-20

I first read this in high school and it definitely clicked with me more now. Honeslty the reason I wanted to read this had a lot to do with the increasingly authoritarian government and the "alternative facts" fiastco. In high school, this all seemed ridiculous and sci fi. Now, I'm not so sure. The scene about "the will of man will prevail" really got me thinking, and not in a great way.

2017-05-02

Moore is a fun writer and this book shows it. His dialogue flows well and his interpretation of the "lost years of Jesus", as they were, is imaginative and exciting.

2017-01-12

A great performance and a surprisingly honest book lead to an enjoyable listening experience. This provided a really interesting juxtaposition with McHale's book that I listened to right before, too. Both good in their own way

2016-12-20

I mostly enjoyed this. He's got a knack for storytelling and has certainly lead an interesting life. I didn't like how many lists there were. Frequently he'd talk about meals and name 7 things they had, mostly in French. I get that this helps emphasize his knowledge and the breadth of the food he eats, but after the second time they stopped adding to the story. That, and the cursing. In an effort to describe the culture of the kitchen staff, he went into great deal of detail about how their insult structure worked. This was super interesting, but again the list of multilingual curses he'd stream to drive his point home were more annoying than anything else. But, that stuff aside I really enjoyed most of it.

2016-12-07

I really wanted to like this. It seemed like Cloud Atlas, which I was into. This had a worse frame and less likable characters, so I never made it through it. Just couldn't bring myself to.

2016-11-22
πŸ”ˆ
πŸ₯‰

Enjoyable book! A mix of humor and memoir. The other thing I really liked about the audio book was that he had celebrity friends leave voicemails to introduce chapters, which was a nice touch. Also there were some audiobook specific jokes about not being able to see the pictures and stuff. There was a lot of bravado on top of the stories, but there was also a very genuine person under there somewhere. Enjoyable read!

2016-11-19

Definitely dragged in parts, but the quality of writing and story was there. A little silly how many different people Kvothe banged, but I guess that's what you do as a central character who has hit puberty. A worthy second outing!

2016-11-12

Great narrator. I think the fact that the book is a story told in an inn lends it particularly well to an audiobook.

2016-09-24

Enjoyable read. Fairly light. It's hard to get such a one sided view of events and at times it seems like points have been exaggerated for entertainment value. Hard to say. It is worth noting that his experience at Hubspot is not representative of all startups and while they certainly have flaws, they are overall good places. Anyway, if you're curious about one guy's terrible work experience, I'd give it a read.

2016-07-11

A book that starts out by asking a lot of questions and having a fairly strict premise. It answers some of the questions eventually but drags after it departs from said premise. Generally enjoyable, but I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a little more focused.

2016-06-30

Ended up being kinda heady. Lots of philosophical discussion, but with a lot of (fairly time appropriate) racist language that detracts from the experience.

2016-06-20

Great premise, lackluster execution. Very similar to movie Megamind, but without the satisfactory payoff. So close to enjoyable.

2016-04-18
πŸ₯‡

A battle of sociopaths, great twists, believable characters. Loved it.

2016-04-06

Originally read as a classic. It still holds up. It manages to be delightfully creepy without any real horror.

2016-02-11
πŸ₯ˆ

Clever spin on the alternate reality. Interesting characters, immersive environment

2016-01-16

Short, enjoyable, light. Captures the excitmenet of a great puzzle hunt along with a lot of 80's nostalgia I've only ever experienced secondhand.

2015-12-29

He describes the augmented reality systems well, but definitely drags at points. There's also a big side plot about library factions that wanders a bit.

2015-12-13

A fiction book that reads like boring nonfiction. It describes the woes of an IT manager working on a project that's behind schedule. Dialogue was forced, characters like stereotypes from an office manual. I didn't even finish it.

2015-08-27

Read this in 5th grade originally, was looking to see if it was still as good as I remembered. It was!

2015-08-22

Delightful settings, great mix of realism and fantasy, satisfying conclusion, good wrapping up on the multiple plotlines

2015-08-17

Sprawling characters, great Americana, good sense of scale, really enjoyable read.

2015-07-08

Hits all of my buttons- some breaking of the 4th wall, great characters, good tv history parallels.

2015-01-06

Read it through on one long road trip. Made me think a lot about how it's lonely at the top.

2013-08-24