Category books

Comfort Reading: Found in 1930s Yorkshire

I’ve been thinking about book lists a lot lately, probably because I’m far from done with what I should have already read this summer. That is one of the problems of being an English grad student — during the year, it is a mad race to try to finish every book for both your own […]

Loser Takes All in the Art of a Novella

My mother has a strange fixation upon the fact that I might end up with a gambler. Not just someone who enjoys an occasional outing to Vegas or the racetrack, but the kind you find in 50s era movies that have a haunted, burnt-out look and a cheap, crumpled suit. Of course, this is absurd […]

The Force of the Crowd, Part 2: The Day of the Locust

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been reading Nathanael West these past few weeks and one of the things that struck me in his novels is the importance of the crowd upon each novel. While the crowd seems to be an important background element in Miss Lonelyhearts, being the wave that attempts to break down the […]

The Force of the Crowd, Part 1: Miss Lonelyhearts

Lately, I’ve been reading Nathanael West’s¬†Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust,¬†published in a neat omnibus with an introduction by Jonathan Lethem and stylized cover of black and white. While not exactly the “ideal” summer read, ending on the failures of American society at large, both books are comic in their overall defeatism and […]

The State of the Library, Pop-Ups, and Generally Luddite-ness

I often get asked what I think about books. Not just what book I’m reading or why I like studying literature, but what the future of the format of the book is. Of course, I strongly believe the paper book is not going anywhere soon, but this then leads to questions of whether I’m a […]

Judging a Book By Its Cover

I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with my friend, Alyson about what a favorite book says about an individual. It has been an interesting discussion given that the reasons why someone chooses a book often say a lot about their interests and character, as well as their state of mind when they read it. Of […]

Least Favorite Books of 2011

As I recently wrote in an email to a friend, it is hard for me to stop discussing books. This was after a simple question she had put forth about the question of the aesthetics of favorite books and what it says about an individual’s personality. It’s quite an interesting question and something that I […]