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sgerritson has commented on (9) products.

Off the Map: Bicycling Across Siberia by Mark Jenkins
Off the Map: Bicycling Across Siberia

sgerritson, November 11, 2014

Who could resist a title like that? And the book proved equally intriguing, as I was pulled into the story almost immediately. The book concerns the experiences of a group of Americans and Russians who have received permission to attempt something never done before: traverse Siberia by bicycle, from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg. The account of their interactions among themselves, and with the handlers the Russians insisted on sending along, is almost poetic in its expressiveness. The poignant picture painted of the lives of those who live along the one road (and in the extensive marshes where there is no road at all) is very moving, funny and sad at the same time. Written by one of the participants, the book is an account of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and a great read.
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George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis
George F. Kennan: An American Life

sgerritson, January 7, 2013

This is an extremely well-written book about the man who was largely responsible for US foreign policy after WWII and in the early days of the Cold War. The author is thorough but never tedious, presents a complete picture of the man, and provides enough background information so that the average reader understands both the gamne and the stakes. One of the best biographies I have ever read.
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Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times (Yale Nota Bene) by Thomas R Martin
Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times (Yale Nota Bene)

sgerritson, August 30, 2012

An excellent review of the history of a small area that has had a tremesndous impact on western civilization. Drawing from archeological discoveries as well as written sources from other areas, the author recreates the flow of history and the impact of the Greeks on the Mediterranean world.
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11/22/63 by Stephen King
11/22/63

sgerritson, January 3, 2012

With "11/22/63," Stephen King has returned to the form that gave us "It" and "The Stand." It's a sprawling tale that ranges across the country and back in time to the early 1960s, where/when the protagonist has gone to try to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy. The book is well plotted and paced, the characters have their quirks, and the details - from the descriptions of Lee harvey Oswald's apartment to what it's like to drive a 1959 Chevy - are authentic. A great read that I couldn't put down.
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Nature's Blueprint: Supersymmetry and the Search for a Unified Theory of Matter and Force by Dan Hooper
Nature's Blueprint: Supersymmetry and the Search for a Unified Theory of Matter and Force

sgerritson, September 1, 2011

"Nature's Blueprint" provides a basic primer to the theory of supersymmetry, in language understandable by the general public, without a lot of mathematical formulas. The author, a particle physicist himself, builds the historical record so that theories and discoveries are seen in context and make more sense. Nor does he shy away from the mistakes and dead ends that have marked our efforts to understand the nature of the atom. His portrayal of an inexorable march toward a "grand unified theory" is somewhat flawed, especially by his insistance that "by now, the Higgs boson will probably have been found." The last section, a game in which the reader makes choices about announcing discoveries, is amusing but unnecessary.
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