Posts Tagged ‘Read’

Abject failure to keep up with this small corner of the internetz. I had visions of tracking my first year of grad school, sharing the delights and stresses therein and, well, I’ve managed to regurgitate only one post forgotten from july. Perhaps a different tack is in order. this week: *Mary Karr’s Lit. My first […]

if God looks like us…what’s the point?

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

The Booksmith will be the death of me, or at least of my groaning bookshelves. Most recent reads: Penelope Lively’s Family Album and Jane Gardam’s God on the Rocks. Both excellent, both deal very differently with coming of age in a specific kind of family. In Lively’s book, it’s the English-countryside-Edwardian-manor-house family. Six kids, vast […]

Alberto Manguel is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers thanks especially to The Library at Night and his most recent book, A Reader on Reading. Writing about reading is not unusual. Many scholars write about the importance of canonical literature, as if to convince modern readers that there IS value in their old high school reading […]

Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it–don’t cheat with it. Thanks, Hemingway.

…a sacred reference point, no matter how abstract. The above was quoted to me as a definition of home: summing the idea up better than any of my more recent mental gymnastics have.* See, I went back to Denver last week, to the place that was home to me for the first 18 years of […]

while reading you grow sober, lucid, kind.

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I was flipping through an old moleskine yesterday and came across something I wrote during a trip back to pdx: …the desire to hold and the desire to enjoy are mutually destructive. …I possess this now, therefore I am happy. I cannot possess this forever, and therefore I am sad. (from fowles’ the french lieutenant’s […]

I fail to understand the appeal of pumpkin as a flavor. Pumpkin as a vegetable, great. As a pie filling, better. As a flavor though? People really want their coffee to taste like squash? Except it’s not squash, it’s a nice spicy warmth followed by the most disgusting palate-busting, slimy-saccharine-overload possible. I apologize to you, […]

Or, in my case, all the books on my shelves I have not yet read. Instead, I’m reading in Field Work tonight, Seamus Heaney’s 1979 collection of poems. So many lines I love. Such attention to the senses, to the unglamorous realities of daily life, death, the cruelty of the natural world; nonetheless so beautiful. […]

Hedgehog moment.

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

…the conceit that what we can know of reality is an imagination made of language–all this finds its material manifestation in that self-portrait we call a library. And our love for it, and our lust to see more of it, and our pride in its accomplishments as we wander through shelves full of books that […]

My Obi-Wan, or, Tennyson

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Tonight is an In Memoriam night. Among my favorites… … Behold, ye speak an idle thing:                                                                               […]

Lately: My Cousin Rachel, Daphne duMaurier. Love her. Did not so much love the neuroses of her narrator, and dammit, Rachel was not that  interesting. How to Read and Why, Harold Bloom. Fust loves him and Asher hates him–I’m not sure where I stand. I am a little frightened by Bloom’s brain and the sheer […]

It’s like the literature gods have my number and are determined to stuff my brain with wonder until it explodes. So many recent books written Just For Me. Today at the Coop (supposedly looking for a math workbook, and while I was at it the Perec that may or may not be out of print, […]

To set the darkness echoing.

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Young Adult fiction–which, naturally, I try to stay on top of, what?–has shifted toward some pretty edgy, dramatic stuff in the last couple of years. It’s a fascinating genre, and I think an important one since some of my most vivid memories are the things I read as an adolescent–when I read constantly, impressionably, and […]

Golden sunsets and shit like that.

Monday, May 18th, 2009

So  Dorothy Parker over there is saying that wild, cruel and reckless waves are the way to live. Over here, Paloma pauses for the simplicity of Satie on the piano wafting through an open window. Waves, well, I’m finding those okay, and I’ve never had trouble enjoying simple pleasures. But What Does It All Mean […]

Perhaps it was being in Portland, not thinking of work or inhaling coffee for the first time in months, the smell of Powell’s, the warm rain or some other mystic combination of good vibes, but I was primed to devour a good book and Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog fit the bill. I […]

I like to think that if I had been alive in New York circa 1920-30 Dorothy Parker and I would have been a great friends. In reality, she’d have scared the crap out of me with her cleverness and very sharp tongue. In her poetry in particular, beneath some stellar wordplay, lurks irritation, rage,  frustration, […]

(I’ve intended to write about The Elegance of the Hedgehog for days now, but as it is one of the best things I’ve read in a long while I’m nervous about doing it justice. Perhaps when I’m finished with my third read-through I’ll have some better-formulated thoughts…) …’Til then,  to take a break from small […]

…the courses most alive.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

In thinking about where to even begin to begin the first steps of a new journey, I’m taking some comfort in knowing that what is new and strange to me has been glaringly obvious for years to those who know me best. Case in point: the letter excerpted below, written to me upon my graduation […]