Tag Archives: 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 […]

Fascinations for the Week of March 18th

1. The 1970 Booker winning novel Troubles by J.G. Farrell :  Brendan, aka The Major, goes to the crumbling hotel where his fiance’s family lives in Ireland. Having just returned from the trenches, the Major is not sure what is normal in this strange world of decay and turmoil. He barely knows his fiance, is not sure […]

Fascinations for the Week of February 20th

Pay Phone Libraries appear in New York City. So much for the demise of the book, although one could argue one Luddite replaces another. I found these awhile ago, but I’m still obsessing over them. Label Ghostly International has a bunch of interesting computer wallpapers based on various artists’ drawings for album covers. I particularly like the Michael […]