Monthly Archives: May 2011

May 2011 Reads

May feels like those creaking weeks after some Mysterious Illness, where you instinctively know that thy must not Exert thyself. Which accounts for cautious reading, which accounts for a mound of books set aside and, also, a mound of books you simply have to bear, since you’re too blargh to exert the energy to look […]

On When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

I bought Eloisa James’ When Beauty Tamed the Beast on impulse—I think I was drawn to the flagrantly purple-fuchsia concoction that is its cover. Can you blame me? Anyhoo, the impulse has paid off, and continues to: It’s been weeks since I last read this, and I still keep going back to certain images, certain […]

On The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

What to say about The Summer without Men, favorite author Siri Hustvedt’s latest? For one, it’s unlike any other novel of hers I’ve read. In fact, although I love this novel, if you’d taped over her name on the cover, I wouldn’t have known this was a Hustvedt book. That’s a compliment, I guess, yes—although […]

On Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

Notes made while reading Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin: • I guess it’s only natural that after I’ve read ten [mostly] kitschy erotic romance novellas in quick yet listless succession, I’d go for the tried-and-tested kind. Still. This is just my first encounter with Nin—she scares me. Or, well, I’m scared that she’ll disappoint […]

Make way for the falco peregrinus

Some notes / questions-to-self made while reading The Pilgrim Hawk: A Love Story, a novella by Glenway Wescott. This edition, published by NYRB Classics, includes an introduction by Michael Cunningham. • Is it possible for a really short book to transcend the usual burdens of symbol? See, the eponymous pilgrim hawk is, as Michael Cunningham points […]

Stuff I’ve Been Reading While I Disappeared from the Glittery World of the Intarwebz

It’s definitely an improvement: I’m guilty about abandoning this blog for fewer hours in a day. The usual excuses: Work’s been crazier than ever, I like sleeping, I like reading, I am lazy, blah and blah. Still, though, I owe it to my O.C. tendencies to kick-start this blog with a moratorium of the books […]

“This book tells the story of humanity’s most intimate exchange.”

The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us by Sheril Kirshenbaum I bought—and read almost immediately—this book because the moment I saw it, I reached up and mumbled, “This is relevant to my interests. I need this in my life.” Flashback to about two years ago, Sasha scouring the web looking for facts […]

General mutterings on prose, boredom, and credible love, or: Reuniting with my romance novels, v.02

My reunion with the romance novel has gotten the gears turning, and I’ve spent the past weeks since then devouring, acquiring, swooning over, and muttering about the genre—and here are three: General Muttering #01: Romance Novel Prose? Just recently, over at Tumblr, a “quiz” popped up on my dashboard—given the Royal Wedding hoopla, the writers […]

On The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht – and, yes, there’s a tiger in there somewhere (I think)

01 Funny how when you first hear about a book, it’s not even about the book per se, or the critical acclaim the book’s getting—but the dubiousness of the goodness of the book. “No one could like a book that much, something’s up!” was pretty much what filtered down to me about The Tiger’s Wife, […]

On “A Year of Grace,” short story from Nights in the Gardens of Brooklyn by Harvey Swados

Does every reader have the compulsion to seek out authors on the hopes that you’ll find traces of your long-favorite authors in their work? Say, you’ll swear by Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, by the short fiction of Raymond Carver, of Elizabeth Hardwick—that you’ll willingly flirt with F. Scott Fitzgerald, with Anne Tyler, or the […]