Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Invisible Writers

Writers are hidden beings; you have never actually met one. If you should ever believe you are seeing a writer, or having an argument with a writer, or going to lunch with a writer, or listening to a talk by a writer, then you can be sure it is all a mistake.
-Cynthia Ozick, "Ghost Writers"

Monday, September 20, 2010

the drips

As if words could unite an ardent intellect with the external material world. Listen to the drips. The limits of personality. It's in the nature of language to encourage, and in part to justify, such Faustian longings. Break them up into uncounted continuous and voluminous digressions. The very word "diary" depresses me.

-Lyn Hejinian, My Life

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Now that I've moved to what feels like a very small town, I'm really interested in comparing the sizes of cities, figuring out who's bigger than who and by how much. So I've compiled some populations:

Snohomish, WA (the town I grew up in): 9,220
Bellingham, WA (where I spent the last four years): 80,055
Moscow, ID (where I now live and will be the next three years): 23,131
Missoula, MT (where Rhiannon is from and where I visited last weekend): 68,202
Coeur d'Alene, ID (one of the closest cities to Moscow): 43,683
Spokane, WA (where my friend Kathelyn lives and one of the closest cities to Moscow): 203,276
Seattle, WA (just for reference): 617,334

Western Washington University (where I just graduated from): 14,575
University of Idaho (where I now attend): 11,957

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On Esme's Bookshelf

Books I finished reading in July

Titus Alone by Mervyn Peake, the third of the Gormenghast novels. Not as good as the first two in the series.

Is that all I finished reading in July? Really? I read a short story by Angela Carter, I started Persuasion, I started The Wizard, I read from my meditation books. OK, I guess Titus Alone was all I finished.

Books I finished reading in August

The Wizard by Gene Wolfe, the second of The Wizard Knight. These two books were not all they were crapped up to be. Oh no, they weren't.

by A.S. Byatt. Wonderful.

The Discovery
by K.A. Applegate. The 20th book in the Animorphs series. I actually read most of this a year ago, and then while moving out of my apartment I picked it up and read the last chapter before bed because I didn't want to start anything.

The Threat
by K.A. Applegate. The 21st book in the Animorphs series. Finishing The Discovery got me back in the Animorphs mode. I think they're my version of comfort food.

The Solution by K.A. Applegate. The 22nd book in the Animorphs series.

Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields. Review to come.

The Pretender by K.A. Applegate. The 23rd book in the Animorphs series.

At this point I regretted having left my Animorphs collection at my parents' house when I moved to Idaho. All outta Animorphs, and the library won't let me check out books.

Question: What's your literary version of comfort food?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Fact of the day:

Plato was a championship wrestler.