Archives

There’s no writer I admire more, on a line-by-line basis, than Virginia Woolf

I’m reading Woolf’s The Years now, which is the final book published within her lifetime. It’s the same family, shown in cross-sections, with each chapter taking place in a different year. And I guess that over time it’ll show some kind of social change or something. Woolf does not get enough credit for being a political […]

Read More

Been reading lots of new releases lately

Lately I’ve been reading lots of new releases! Mostly books by friends and acquaintances. But not always! Sometimes just the books that’ve been getting a lot of buzz (for instance, Katherine Heiny’s collection Single, Mellow, Carefree and Rachel Cusk’s Outline both came out this year). In one case, I read a story collection that’s gotten no buzz (my […]

Read More

I’ve been retyping MRS. DALLOWAY

One learning technique that writers sometimes recommend is the practice of retyping a work that you really admire. The point is to make yourself slow down and think about this work on a word by word level, and also to get your fingers used to idea of typing complex and interesting sentences. I think this […]

Read More

How I select the next book I’m going to read

I’m sure that everyone out there has an extremely rigorous “next book” selection process. It’s really something of a necessity for modern life. You can’t just pick up whatever’s at hand, because a book cannot be consumed in a single sitting. You need a book that speaks, not merely to your current setting and mood, […]

Read More

[Wrap Up 2013] This year, I learned that I shouldn’t bank on any reading project that involves more than 3 to 7 books.

I’m a big fan of grand reading plans. A few years ago, I read all the Russians. The year after that, I read Proust. And last year I read lots of Victorian literature. At the beginning of the year, I announced that I was going to spend this year reading all of the 19th century […]

Read More

Woolf’s _Orlando_ was about everything and about nothing

Over the weekend, I read Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. It was really fantastic. Another of those book that makes you want to re-read it the moment you finish it, because the act of reading it has taught you so much that re-reading the beginning would be an entirely different experience. I never quite understood Orlando before […]

Read More

Literary novels only have two kinds of endings

I am a huge believer that reading books should not be work. And that, conversely, there is a right time at which to read every book. And if you read a book at the wrong time, then you rob yourself of the chance to read it at the right time. That’s why I hate being […]

Read More

Just finished Mrs. Dalloway, it was one of the most engrossing reading experiences of my life

            Three years ago, I got my first Kindle and I almost immediately loaded a whole bunch of classic novels onto it. One of those novels was Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. I’d just finished reading To The Lighthouse, and I really wanted to read more Woolf. However, my reaction to To […]

Read More