Monthly Archives: January 2010

Cultural Aspirations

I’ve been keeping my new year’s resolutions: I’ve only bought one book, Cook’s Illustrated 2002 in a beautiful leather-bound edition, and I’ve managed to be more cultural, because as all Proust devotees know, there is nothing more important in the world than CULTURE. A few weeks ago I went to the Natural History Museum’s First […]

Unread and Unloved

I promised myself that I wouldn’t list anything for awhile, but I can’t shake myself of this bad habit. Perhaps I was inspired when I came across my copy of The Polysyllabic Spree, in which author Nick Hornby documents the books he bought and the books he read each month, creating a disparate set of […]

An American in Italy, continued

This is an addendum to my previous entry: Faded greatness seems so passe. It’s the standard trope for the decay in Edgar Allen Poe or the early Romantics, whether it be Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey” or the physical decay of Frankenstein’s monster. At one point in my life, I was a devoted enough reader of Louisa […]

An American in Italy?

In reading Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady, I’ve been struck by his dismissal of Paris. It seems almost egregious that an American should not be fascinated by Paris, and yet, he constantly turns to Northern Italy to shed light on the glory of Europe. I felt like I was walking the streets of […]


In this upcoming year of 2010, I am going to make some profound resoltions: 1. Stop buying books on sale just because. 2. Read all those books I bought just because they were on sale. 3. Write more. I only work part-time, I have no excuse. 4. Take the GREs? I question this because I […]