The story’s architecture

The story’s architecture

Real life from of February to August was overwhelmingly about work and its myriad demands—not to mention dealing with the consequent upheavals in other parts of my life because of those demands—my reading life was desperate at best, and lackluster at worst. I was quite unambitious, and even acknowledging that in those days wasn’t a comfort. I, again, simply wanted more. The challenge, I thought then, was a novel. A novel that I could get lost in—through the story perhaps, through its language, preferably. I wanted a novel that challenged, basically. Enter Eleanor Catton's The Rehearsal, closely followed by Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox. Both books are characterized by unconventional storytelling, even a marked fascination with storytelling itself. In many ways, both books re-launched me into the world of fiction, helped me trudge on to where I am now, babbling to you, Dear Ether. [Continue reading.]

sunday salon || On to the canon, and other follies

sunday salon || On to the canon, and other follies

And so I plod on with my own little ambitions—to amass as much of the Classics that I want to read, which involves reading a lot of the Oxford World’s Classics [oh, that unrelenting white spine] and amassing more of NYRB Classics, too [I’ve been shy-stalking the NYRB Classics group on Goodreads, and it’s a treat]. I’ve also just recently bought Proust’s Swann’s Way—partly because of the heathenhood factor, partly because I trust Lydia Davis’ translating prowess. I’ve bought this beautiful annotated and unexpurgated edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as yet another edition of Jane Eyre. I want to read Frankenstein, too, and Dracula, and Moby-Dick. I’ve bought Anna Karenina, and one of these days, I am taking a deep breath. I want more of Sherlock Holmes. And then there’s Raymond Carver and Richard Yates—we need reunions, we do—them, and Wilfrido Nolledo and Kerima Polotan. I want more of the books people have forgotten over time but are recently rediscovering—it’s not unlike being privy to a great secret, not unlike being part of a movement. I want more dead writers in my shelves, more people-characters that have grown timeless right in my head, were they justly belong. I just want more. [Continue reading.]

“The past is obdurate”

“The past is obdurate”

The house I used to live in—the one I shared with my now-ex boyfriend, a boss, and a former instructor—had a second-floor landing, one with built-in bookshelves. It remains vivid, that January day: P. and I were desperate for a new house (the landlady had just sold the apartment complex and waited until the very last minute to tell us), and here was one with walls just repainted, with this generous space inviting quietness and the consolation of reading. Three bedroom doors opened to the landing, letting in the sunlight—and P. and I had looked at each other, not daring to hope—and P. and I had looked at each other, and I know now that we’d had the same thought: This could work, babe. In the room we would share, a long plank of heavy wood had been drilled to the wall. We would share that too: My novels in neat arrangement (in a system that made sense only to me, I’d assume) keeping space with his art books, art magazines, and issues of National Geographic from the 1970s that P. liked to mine for photographs he could re-render. [Continue reading.]

A quick hello; a “See you soon!”

A quick hello; a “See you soon!”

Sasha, you were once so arrogant to say, “I’ll always have time for reading.” [Insert a crack of lightning:] In the chant of many a spoiled mistress, books demanded you make time for them, and who were you to disobey? [Ahem.] Well, pumpkin, the Universe decided to take you down a notch: You are now so busy, you don’t know where you end and work begins; you are now so grateful for those toothbrushing minutes that allow you to read the calorie content of toothpaste. Look at your life, Sasha; look at your choices. [Continue reading.]

Sweeping Declarations

Here's to another year, and let's hope it's above ground. - From The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shields. Not even I, with my faux coolness, can resist the symbolism of the new year. Logically, it's nothing more than continuation, or even an arbitrary transition. But I can't help but feel the momentous-ness of this shiz. [...]

Cobwebs for Christmas

It’s Christmas, and so I thought I’d do this blog a well-earned kindness and shut it down. Heh. I kid. Revive it, more like. I hope. The past several weeks were an unexpected—albeit not an unwelcome—hiatus. I haven’t had time [or, truthfully, the inclination] to read as much as I usually do, and so I [...]

Reading Weekend

Just checking in before I get cracking on blogging duties. Also, excuse the apparent lack of imagination with the picture above [compared to those here]—just think, rightly, that I never left my bed, only turning over once in a while to get the cricks out of my joints. So, yeah, that stack was what happened. [...]

Oh, the ambitious!

The 24-Hour-Readathon is this Saturday, and I am excited pants. I’ve usually bowed out in the past two years, usually because real life got in the way—but, dammit, since the past couple of weeks, real life has been all up in my business, I will read my way through the weekend. Here in my sunny [...]