me write pretty one day

Parlons!    About   El Tweeter   Facebook   Goodreads   

Little lady, big mouth

"It doesn’t occur to us, as we turn a page of the morning paper or smile across the room at one another or stop to admire the cut clarity of a diamond, that light’s foremost desire, from the instant of its creation—whether in the fused heart of a star, the sulfurous head of a match, or the glowing filament of a bulb—is to escape." 

(from “Monet in Mourning, by Vincent Czyz)

Saw the author of this piece read tonight at Word. It was small and intimate and before the event started they played The Smiths and Radiohead over the speakers, and everyone had glasses and white names and black coffee and I felt shiny and freakish because I was in a floral skirt and my Madeline sweatshirt, carrying a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic purse. But I digress. 

Mr. Czyz was a damn near perfect reader of his damn near perfect writing, even with the event coordinators futzing with the mic while he was still trying to get into his reading groove. He also read from his book, Adrift in a Vanishing City, and it was warm and atmospheric and tender and you should just get his book as soon as possible. You can thank me later. 

Meantime, do yourself a favor and go read Manet in Mourning here

— 3 months ago
#what we talk about when we talk about books  #author crush 
norwegian wood

There is this weird phenomenon that happens sometimes, where you pine for a book for weeks and weeks, reading reviews, basking in all the praise and adulation said book has received, and dreaming of the day you will finally get to read this book. And then, when it is finally in your anxious little hands…it is nothing at all like what you hoped it would be. 

Such is the case with me and Norwegian Wood

So it’s 1969, and everyone’s angsting really hard, and we the readers follow the sexual exploits of one Toru Watanabe, a college student in Tokyo who has some Serious Emotional Baggage. Said Baggage is of a rather heavy nature, and hinders his decision-making abilities in the face of a blossoming romance. 

But summarizing the book like that makes it sound kind of raunchy and more than a little gross, and it’s not. Erotic, definitely, but not gross. I will make no bone(r)s about it: sexytimes abound in this novel. There is no shortage of that. But at the same time, there’s also a lot of tenderness. 

Only problem is, I didn’t feel it—the tenderness or the arousal. 

And maybe, ultimately, that’s my biggest gripe with this book. See, as a mood piece, it’s absolutely splendid. Murakami does such a wonderful job capturing the mental and spiritual uncertainty of the tippy end of the sixties, with the music the characters listen to and the books they read and the walks they take together…it all comes together very prettily. The settings are described in vivid detail (like the amorous scenes). But on an emotional level…it was incredibly difficult for me to connect with any of the characters and their issues. I couldn’t relate. Everyone has mental problems, and everyone’s a little bit unstable, and everyone has some kind of emotional cross to bear…but by the end of it, I didn’t believe anyone was truly suffering as much as they said they were. I didn’t feel that everyone was stuck in a mental rabbit-hole of angst and self-doubt and whatnot. I didn’t get a sense of the sadness crippling practically every character in this book, or of the numbness that seems to be Toru’s default mode. 

I just didn’t even care anymore.

And at the end, there was this one sex scene that I could not bring myself to understand. Plausibility was nowhere to be found. I don’t have a problem with love scenes, but they should be believable and understandable at least! 

I don’t particularly enjoy writing negative reviews of things, especially books, because I know how much the process of writing a novel can suck. I know how excruciating it can be, and I would imagine that writing this book was tough for Murakami, because it’s so emotionally raw and incisive. 

It’s just not incisive to me. It speaks loud and clear, but not to me. So it’s not that it’s a bad book; it’s just not a book for me

However, since this was my first Murakami novel, I might give him the old college try and read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or something. Who knows? His backlist is so long I’m sure I’ll find something I like. 

— 4 months ago
#what we talk about when we talk about books 
"I fill in the gaps of the crossword at any spot I happen to choose."
— 4 months ago with 174 notes

theparisreview:

“In seventh grade, I was teased mercilessly about my funny speaking voice, and I’ve been self-conscious about it ever since. It took some persuading to get me to make this recording, and it’s a testament to the story that I was game: while I love many things in issue 205, “Local Obits” was what I wanted to share. Anyone familiar with Lydia Davis’s work knows that she can do a lot with a little, and this piece—composed of elliptical snatches of lives, or, rather, someone else’s distillation thereof—turns the quotidian incantatory, funny, bittersweet, strange. A master class in the minimal (if not in performance).” —Deputy editor Sadie Stein on Lydia Davis’s “Local Obits” from issue 205

— 10 months ago with 65 notes
nypl:

The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library opened in its current location on West 20 Street in 1991. Formerly the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the facility was renamed in honor of the former chairman of The New York Public Library. The library provides New York City with Braille and Talking Books and Long Island with Braille Books.
This photo of talking books at Heiskell Library is on display at Mid-Manhattan Library’s Reading Room exhibition, which showcases NYPL’s valued and beloved branch libraries across the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Stop by your local branch today and show your support!

nypl:

The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library opened in its current location on West 20 Street in 1991. Formerly the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the facility was renamed in honor of the former chairman of The New York Public Library. The library provides New York City with Braille and Talking Books and Long Island with Braille Books.

This photo of talking books at Heiskell Library is on display at Mid-Manhattan Library’s Reading Room exhibition, which showcases NYPL’s valued and beloved branch libraries across the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Stop by your local branch today and show your support!

— 10 months ago with 67 notes
Longreads: Reading List: 6 Stories for the Science-Fiction Newbie →

longreads:

image

Hilary Armstrong is a literature student at U.C. Santa Barbara and a Longreads intern. She also happens to love science fiction, so she put together a #longreads list for sci-fi newbies.


Have you heard? Science fiction is “in.” Cloud Atlas, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Oblivion—nerds at…

(Source: longreads)

— 11 months ago with 138 notes
picadorbookroom:

Another gem by Grant Snider. Disclaimer: “There’s no evidence that Emily Dickinson liked cats, but her sister Lavinia was cat-obsessed. So Emily must have been forced to cat-sit occasionally.”

picadorbookroom:

Another gem by Grant Snider.

Disclaimer: “There’s no evidence that Emily Dickinson liked cats, but her sister Lavinia was cat-obsessed. So Emily must have been forced to cat-sit occasionally.”

— 11 months ago with 161 notes
lareviewofbooks:

Jordan Alexander Stein on the power of lip-syncing and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

THIS. 

lareviewofbooks:

Jordan Alexander Stein on the power of lip-syncing and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

THIS. 

(Source: lareviewofbooks)

— 1 year ago with 9 notes