Monday, October 31, 2011

What I read in October

by Susan

The Revisionists. Thomas Mullen [on the Kindle]

It seems I am surrounded by text in this city. Even without my seeking it out, it haunts me, hovers in the background, is invisibly sent from one handheld to another. I am a mere punctuation mark--we all are--in stories someone else is writing. Or has already written.

Caleb Williams. William Godwin (for the Classics Circuit) [on the Kindle]

The pride of philosophy has taught us to treat man as an individual. He is no such thing. He holds necessarily, indispensably, to his species. He is like those twin-births, that have two heads indeed, and four hands; but if you attempt to detach them from each other, they are inevitably subjected to miserable and lingering destruction.

Nightwoods. Charles Frazier

At some point, Stubblefield wondered how much he was really learning about Luce. She would talk freely about dress patterns, the daily details of gardening, his grandfather. But Stubblefield kept feeling like he was watching a cardsharp shuffle the deck, all the fine subtle movements to misdirect your attention, and at the end, a reassuring spread of hands to hide the pit opening under her life.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Helen Simonson (for book club) [on the Kindle]

"I did give [Kipling] up for many decades," she said. "He seemed such a part of those who refuse to reconsider what the Empire meant. But as I get older, I find myself insisting on my right to be philosophically sloppy. It's so hard to maintain that rigor of youth, isn't it?"

Pillars of Gold. Alice Thomas Ellis

Only a few years before, Camille had been acutely concerned about her mother's appearance, sometimes refusing to be seen with her in public, but now it seemed that she no longer minded: she had expropriated from Scarlet's wardrobe those few articles that she felt would suit herself and had thereafter left her mother to her own devices. It gave Scarlet the impression that she had grown very old and from now on might just as well go round in her shroud.

Home Life. Alice Thomas Ellis

One of the things I like about the country is that the problems it presents are different. For instance while the drain in London sometimes get blocked up it is never because there is a hedgehog in it.

Zone One. Colson Whitehead

 If the beings they destroyed were their own creations, and not the degraded remnants of the people described on the things' driver's licenses, so be it. We never see other people anyway, only the monsters we make of them.


  1. I love Alice Thomas Ellis!

    I want to read Colson Whitehead's book, I think.

  2. It doesn't have much of a plot, so as long as you're okay with that, it's a good one. I was rather sad when it ended--an I'm certainly not a zombie fan. :)

  3. What did you think of The Revisionists? I got a ARC at BEA but I can't make up my mind whether I want to actually read it.

  4. I liked it, but I think I would have liked it more if I hadn't already read five other time travel novels this year. Still, I'm glad I read it. And it is possible to read it as if it isn't a time travel novel, especially since it's set in the here-and-now. In the DC area, actually. Don't know if that would be a draw for you or a turn-off.

  5. Well you did read some good ones, most of which are on my list to read in the future. I'm especially excited to read the new one by Frazier, even though I have read some mixed reviews of it.


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