Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life is Amazing

"I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer."
- Friedrich Nietzsche 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind."
Kurt Vonnegut, November 11. 1922 - April 11, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Scream It So the Cheap Seats Can Hear

"My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out." 
- Dylan Thomas

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Want To Kiss This Quote On the Mouth

“The main effort of arranging your life should be to progressively reduce the amount of time required to decently maintain yourself so that you can have all the time you want for reading.”
                                                  - Norman Rush

Monday, September 24, 2012

Why Write

Why Write

i've always look for joy as a pretext to write
but could not or would not
fall face down upon the knot of pain which seems 
to make even the simplest things
a complete and frightening mystery.
this way i have avoided being torn
by the terrific closeness with that heart-shaped weapon
which makes us die. i have left out
important fragments of my life. i've taken only
the juice out of the squalor. i have avoided 
loving more than i could love.

- Andrei Codrescu

Sunday, September 23, 2012



death covers me with a fine dust.
i love fat used books. they are
like used fat bodies coming out of sleep 
covered with fingerprints and shiny 
snail trails.
i wish to read the way i love:
jumping from mirror to mirror like a drop of oil
father and farther from my death.
but god gives us fat books and fat bodies
to use for different reasons
and less a metaphor i cannot say
what haunts me

- Andrei Codrescu

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot. 
- D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bibliognost in the Big City

I arrived in NYC on Monday, where I spent the afternoon in Word Brooklyn, buying books, because I don't own any. Or because I have an addiction to buying books. One of these things is true. Then Stephanie took me to lunch at Five Leaves, where they make dreams THAT YOU CAN EAT. These are the ricotta pancakes. I want to move to Greenpoint so I can eat them every day. 

After lunch, we went shopping, where I discovered it is legal in New York to sell house cats in convenience stores.

Later, we met up with Josh and Jenn and Rebecca, where I  posed with Stephanie and Rebs for the greatest redhead picture in the history of redheads.

After dinner, we attended the fantastic Bookrageous party at Housing Works Bookstore. I finally got to meet dozens of people from the internet that I had never met before - it was great! It turns out, I'm a hugger.

The next day, I headed out for my first day of Book Expo America. This is the lobby of the Javits Center, where BEA was held. Javits is ENORMOUS. You could fit all of immediate downtown Portsmouth inside. But you wouldn't want to, because then there would be no place for books.

Lots of vendors were nice enough to hand out tote bags. I filled two with books almost immediately. Quirk Books reps wandered the floor, and if they saw you with their bag, they took your photo to hang in their booth, and gave you a prize. (Notice I am not holding up my bag - it's because I wouldn't set down the cookie Emma Straub gave me.)

This is my new favorite title.

One of the best things about BEA was getting to meet all my Book Riot cohorts! It was an amazing evening. They are all really awesome. We went to dinner at The Half King, where I fell a little in love with the cute tatted waitress who called me Momma. Rachel ordered the fried baby spaghetti monsters.

I stayed with Stephanie most of the week. This was my roommate, Dmitri. He didn't snore, but he did talk a lot. And drool on my pillow.

The next day, I hauled ass to the Javits to make sure I got a place in line for this:

Yes, this happened. Neil Young sat down with Patti Smith and had a conversation about music and writing and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced. They were brilliant and funny. I cried a little. What? Shut up.

I got to spend another dinner with Book Riot cohorts. We sat outside, where the trees dropped annoying little flowers on our meals and in our hair the whole time. I had to pick Rebs clean like a monkey. She and I write the Well-Readheads column together. Here we are enjoying beverages: 

BEA is like summer camp for book people! I got to see so many of my friends. I went to Andrew Shaffer's signing for his new book, "Fifty Shames of Earl Grey." I'm pretty sure the hand sign we're making in this picture means "We miss you, Jerry." 

I also saw this book, and I was disappointed that they didn't have any ARCs to give away, because I have a friend who I think would really like it:

Really. It would have been for a friend.

I spent the last day of BEA like all the other days - filling my arms up with books, and visiting with friends. And I had a meeting next to the Brooklyn Bridge. THAT was impressive. And there was ice cream! All meetings should include ice cream.

On my last day there, I insisted on revisiting the ricotta pancakes before I left. Seriously. I can't get over them.

Thank you to everyone who helped this country mouse find her way around the big city. I had the best time this year! Especially since last year, my front tooth got knocked out. (It's a long story - let's just say there were ninja werewolves and I was outnumbered.)

Here's my haul from my trip. The bag of books I brought home weighed 42 lbs.

And here are Millay and Steinbeck jumping for joy upon my return:

Despite the fantastic time I had in NYC, it's like what Dorothy (that witch-squishing, red-shoed, self-centered bitch) said: There's no place like home. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read

“there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

a space

and even during the
best moments
the greatest times

we will know it

we will know it
more than

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

we will wait

in that space.”

- Charles Bukowski, August 16, 1920 - March 9, 1994

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ain't No Houellebecq Girl

Since I'm not really a football fan, I decided to start the #SuperBookBowl hashtag on Twitter last night. Soon, people were contributing awesome tweets of their own - it was so much fun! Seriously - one of my biggest nerdpurrs ever.

Here's my commentary:

- Garcia Marquez just sacked Vargas Llosa!

- Philip Roth keeps patting everyone on the ass.

- James Patterson runs one yard, then stops. Runs one yard, then stops...

- Remember a few years ago, when Norman Mailer stabbed a ref with a steak knife?

- Shocked to hear that Beverly Cleary will not be in tonight's game, after testing positive for steroids.

- Man, George R. R. Martin takes a really long time before he throws the ball.

- Harper Lee has taken herself out of the game!

- Murakami throws the ball..........Incomplete!

- The Authors call a time out - Houellebecq is missing. Wait, hold on - they have located him. He was at the beer cart.

- Ohhhhhhh! Joyce Carol Oates has a wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show!

- Jonathan Franzen has been ejected from the game after arguing with the ref, Michiko Kakutani.

- There's Coach Jennifer Egan - her players tell us that she illustrates the plays of the game for them in Power Point.

- I tell ya, The Authors could not have better cheerleaders than the Indie Booksellers. They are SPECTACULAR.

- Time out - @Shteyngart has let a dachsund out on the field.

- Brrrr! Eugenides must have chosen the uniforms - those vests look cold!

- Another time out - streaker on the field. Is that...wait...yep - it's Edith Pearlman.

Hold everything! Turns out, J.K. Rowling has actually been playing for the other team THE WHOLE GAME!

- Milan Kundera is leaving the field injured - looks like a pulled groin.

- The entire opposing team has piled on top of Zadie Smith!

- Still too early to call the game, but Joan Didion has already started looting.

- Neal Stephenson runs over 1000 yards for a touchdown!

- That's Jonathan Safran Foer sitting in the stands, holding the sign protesting the use of pig's skin.

- Q.R. Markham steals the ball from Robert Ludlum!

- And Tom Clancy scores a touchdown with his butt!


- Lauren Myracle has been named MVP of the #SuperBookBowl! No, wait...Nope - they're awarding MVP to Franny Billingsley instead.

- #SuperBookBowl fans out in the streets, setting off fireworks and smashing e-readers.