"All that can be done is for each one of us to invent our own ideal library of our classics."
"There are days when solitude… is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom” - Colette.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.” - Thomas Paine. I picked up four books from the @penguinbooks “Great Ideas” series at The Abbey Bookshop in Paris last week. I couldn‘t wait to crack the spine on “Common Sense” after discussing it with the owner of the shop.
"Here, indeed, was a formidable sentence--one that was on intimate terms with the comma, and that held the period in healthy disregard." ?
“He‘d been sent out to pick firewood from the forest, sticks and timbers wrenched loose in the storm. Light met him as he stepped outside, the living day met him with its details, the scuffling blackbird that had its nest in their apple tree.”
Mysteries and pastries for the win. Crime and cake are 👌🏻
Works of fiction contain a single plot, with all its imaginable permutations. Those of a philosophical nature invariably include both the thesis and the antithesis, the rigorous pro and con of a doctrine. A book which does not contain its counterbook is considered incomplete.”
"FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not -- and very surely do I not dream." Poe - The master of unreliable narrators!
"Here is a 'palace of books' where Proust, Flaubert, Nabokov, Flannery O'Connor, Chekhov, Baudelaire and Kafka wander happily alongside the author's own friends and colleagues--Romain Gary, Jean-Paul Sartre, Claude Roy--and his mentor, Albert Camus."
We had coffee with the Penguin Classics team last week, and they treated us to a copy of the much anticipated “Classic Penguin Cover to Cover.” Admission: We haven‘t been able to put this beauty down since, and the rest of our summer reading pile looks resentful. Highly recommend!
I read a lot of crappy reviews about this, but... cmon. Who doesn't want to read sketchy (double meaning in that!) Goethe? I love that it's a disjointed, ramble-y smattering of ideas. Some gems in here. Side note: about those Blackwing pencils...
“If each poet, musician, dancer, florist and pastry chef had been told, early in their lives, that it was pretentious for them to take an interest in literature, music, theater, gardening or cooking... then millions of imaginations and minds would have been stunted…"
"stayed on the market
youth of my twenties
fainted in offices
wept on typewriters” - Allen Ginsberg, My Alba
Happy birthday to one of the badass-iest of beats.
Cold ice cream. HOT book cover. Re-reading this beloved, subversive satire because I could not resist this cover. Want to read a wild, Russian romp? Pick up a copy.
I picked up “The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty” at Three Lives in the West Village a few days ago after a recommendation from the staff. Part meditation on beauty, part murder mystery? Surrealist literary farce? I‘m in.
“He asked Star to shine through the clouds so he could dance to the rain‘s tapping beat. All of Fox‘s happiness was bound to the flickering light of the star. And so it had always been.” Coralie Bickford-Smith's illustrations are magical and the prose is delightful. A gorgeous book.
“It stretches, this little trick of mine, from book to book, and everything else, comparatively, plays over the surface of it.” I‘m enjoying this literary chess game. If you‘ve ever searched for meaning in an author‘s work, this may cause you to consider whether you‘ve been played.
"All dressed up on the L? This enticing entrepreneur must have a big pitch today. He‘s so adorable that I‘d by whatever he‘s selling. Orange-scented toilet paper? Have to have it. Battery-powered scissors? Completely reasonable. The purrfect cat tower? I‘ll take two." New edition to the coffee table
Just a few pages in, but here's a great excerpt from one of the first letters dated April 1920. "It occurs to me that I really can‘t remember your face in any precise detail. Only the way you walked away through the tables in the cafe, your figure, your dress, that I still see.”
“To remain silent is to give the impression that one has no opinions, that one wants nothing, and in certain cases it really amounts to wanting nothing.” - Albert Camus. Just when you‘re on the verge of taking a break from this demanding read, a sentence reaches out and gut-punches you.
“It is a most wonderful comfort to sit alone beneath a lamp, book spread before you, and commune with someone from the past whom you have never met.” - Yoshida Kenko. Well, it‘s nice to meet you, Mr. Kenko
"I don't need to be showered in chocolates and fine wine, / A text with proper grammar would do me just fine.”