Tag Archives: Art & Illustrations

An embarrassment of riches

These are my first purchases in more than a month. Am I trying, finally, to fill the gaping reading-shaped hole in my already-listless life? Or am I just trying to fight how terribly, nauseatingly pathetic my inner life has been lately? Through Comic Book Day. And Tintin, for some reason. And, naturally, Batman. [Continue reading.]

Mostly unmoved / unmoving

Have been rather ambivalent about updating this blog, as I’ve been largely unmoved in what paltry reading I’ve done this March. In the past couple of weeks, there has been a limping parade of books-that-thought-they-could. I argue that I read them because they were the only ones that called to me, albeit feebly—in a, “Hey, you feeling unreaderly? Feed that dreadful feeling with me!”—from my curiously undemanding-of-late bookshelves. I could also argue that I read these books because I needed to read something—and though I would have loved to have had my soul lifted from my body and shaken willy-nilly, the increasingly-exhausted-with-life Sasha gives herself an awkward pat on the back for getting reading done, at least. Chin up, you. [Continue reading.]

Of doe-eyed women

This is a great volume to have in a romance-reader’s shelf, in an art-lover’s stack of coffee table books. But I wanted it to be an invaluable book—and a little more effort, a lot more digging through the stacks, a lot more reading of the actual books featured, would have made it thus. [Continue reading.]


Dawkins wants me to raise a skeptical child—yes, I’d like to keep this in my shelves, within easy reach of some little monster, eventually. A child who believes in fact, embraces speculations, but relies on logic, evidence, and common sense—without sacrificing an imagination that’s the very foundation of these vast myths he’s dismissively disassembled. A child who’d rather lose himself in the wonder of reality, one ceaselessly amazing because it what is true. (It’s why I like science so much: It assuages your curiosity, and it keeps reminding you how everything makes sense, because the world has rules—serendipity that abounds, the awe-inspiring logic of different grades of intricacy.) [Continue reading.]


The conceit is this: The book is Min’s catalogue of the objects she has salvaged from a short, but no less emotionally expansive, relationship with Ed. Every trinket has a story, and as Min weaves the story of their young love, so does she show us—and Ed, especially Ed—how it faltered. Her narration is vulnerable, in the way some of us become more tender when hurting. It is defiant. It forms a spectrum of boundless exuberance, invincibility, and goddamned self-deprecating chants of Oh, why did I love you?—and this voice, the teetering between one wild emotion and the next, the small pockets of quietness that allow for a greater strength to grow—this is Min’s voice. This, I suppose, was my voice years ago, as it was the voice of many of us when we first loved, when we first hurt, and, later, when we wished to tell those who’ve hurt us—This is what you do to me now, but you I rid you the power of doing it to me ever again. [Continue reading.]

The Engineheart of Christopher Boucher’s Debut

Dear How to Keep a Volkswagen Alive: What strange creature are you? What manner of sorcery, Christopher Boucher? So very strange, with its own dream-logic and its own contortions of language. It’s a world built on symbolism and puns and metaphors, and everything still makes sense, and it still manages to be affective. Maybe Kevin Thomas’ […]

Changing my mind

Upon finishing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children more than a week ago, I scurried to Twitter to announce what an “amazing and disquieting book” it was, and that it left me “awed and scream-ish,” and even thanked the author Ransom Riggs for letting me read a book that cobbled together a story [that also […]

“I never thought this labyrinth would be a pleasant thing to return to.” — My own quest for answers within House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and some remaining questions

That up there are some of my notes on House of Leaves, the novel-creature by Mark Z. Danielewski. I skipped Little Red Moley with this one, and used Giant Fat Red Moley Journal — and even then I used at least five different kinds of Post-its, haha. I could not scribble on the margins of […]

“A goddamn spatial rape.” — An examination of the uncanny and the house on Ash Lane Tree in House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielweski

[More rambling and squealing over House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. The first two posts: initial impressions and encounters with the book, then the style and structure of the book. Methinks this post will be the penultimate. If you have not read the book, or wish to read the book without my inanity in […]

Style, structure, and the “endless snarls of words” of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

[More on House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski — because I’m resigned that I need more than one post to process this creature. The first part of this ongoing series talks about initial impressions and first encounters with the book.] In his introduction, Johnny Truant describes The Navidson Record, the manuscript of his friend’s […]