theme
❝ I find it hard to name the one book that was so damn delightful it changed my life. The truth is, they have all changed my life, every single one of them—even the ones I hated. Books are my version of “experiences.” I’m made of them. ❞
—   Zadie Smith, What It Means To Be Addicted to Reading   —

featheredgrace:

The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snicket 
↳ letters from beatrice: (4/6) 

"That was me, knocking on your office door yesterday evening. I know you were inside, because I followed you from the library.

Why didn’t you answer? Why won’t you answer any of my questions? I must have at least twelve.”

❝ Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time. ❞
—   Edwin Percy Whipple (via bibliophilebunny)   —

Title: The Goldfinch
Author: Donna Tartt
Year: 2013
Quotes:

"At the sight of her I was paralyzed with happiness; it was her, down to the most minute detail, the very pattern of her freckles, she was smiling at me, more beautiful, and yet not older, black hair and funny upward quirk of her mouth, not a dream but a presence that filled the whole room: a force all her own, a living otherness" (7). 

"People die, sure, but it’s so heartbreaking and unnecessary how we lose things. From pure carelessness. Fires, wars. The Parthenon, used as a munitions storehouse. I guess that anything we manage to save from history is a miracle” (28). 

"I was fascinated by strangers, wanted to know what food they ate and what dishes they ate from, what movies they watched and what music they listened to, wanted to look under their beds and in their secret drawers and night tables and inside the pockets of their coats. Often I saw interesting-looking people on the street and thought about them relentlessly for days, imagining their lives, making up stories about them on the subway or the crosstown bus" (28). 

Better wasn’t even the word for how I felt. There wasn’t a word for it. It was more that things too small to mention - laughter in the hall at school, a live gecko scurrying in a tank in the science lab - made me feel happy one moment and the next like crying. Sometimes, in the evenings, a damp, gritty wind blew in the windows from Park Avenue, just as the rush hour traffic was thinning and the city was emptying for the night; it was rainy, trees leafing out, spring deepening into summer; and the forlorn cry of horns on the street, the dank smell of wet pavement had a electricity about it, a sense of crowds a static, lonely secretaries and fat guys with bags of carry-out, everywhere the ungainly sadness of creature pushing and struggling to live. For weeks, I’d been frozen, sealed-off; now, in the shower, I would turn up the water as hard as it would go and howl, silently. Everything was raw and painful and confusing and wrong and yet it was as if I’d been dragged from freezing water through a break in the ice, into sun and blazing cold” (149). 

"The silence between us was happy and strange, connected by the cord and the icy voices thinly echoing. ‘You don’t have to talk,’ she said. ‘If you don’t feel like it.’ Her eyelids were heavy and her voice was drowsy and like a secret. ‘People always want to talk but I like being quiet’" (156). 

"Your descriptions of the desert - that oceanic, endless glare - are terrible, but also very beautiful. Maybe there’s something to be said for the rawness and emptiness of it all. The light of long ago is different from the light of today, and yet here, in this house, I’m reminded of the past at every turn. But when I think of you, it’s as if you’ve gone away to the sea on a ship - out in a foreign brightness where there are no paths, only stars and sky" (281). 

"Quickly I slid it out, and almost immediately its glow enveloped me, something almost musical, an internal sweetness that was inexplicable beyond a deep, blood-rocking harmony of rightness, the way your heart beat slow and sure when you were with a person you felt safe with and loved" (317). 

"She accepted my hand in hers, without saying anything - all bundled up, she hadn’t let them take her coat. Long sleeves in summer - always swathed in a half dozen scarves, like some sort of cocooned insect wrapped in layers - protective padding for a girl who’d been broken and stitched and bolted back together again” (614). 

"Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only - if you care for a thing enough, it take on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things - beautiful things - that they connect you to some larger beauty? Those first images that crack your heart wide open and you spend the rest of your life chasing, or trying to recapture, in one way or another?" (757). 

"Because: if our secrets define us, as opposed to the face we show the world: then the painting was the secret that raised me above the surface of life and enabled me to know who I am. And it’s there there in my notebooks, every page, even though it’s not . Dream and magic, magic and delirium. The Unified Field Theory. A secret about a secret" (764). 

"Because, here’s the truth: life is a catastrophe. The basic fact of our existence - of walking around to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do - is a catastrophe" (767). 

"As much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strike reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic" (770). 

the-library-and-step-on-it:

LITERARY FRIENDSHIPS:

Donna Tartt and Bret Easton Ellis.

The only really tense moment [Donna] and I ever had was in this writing tutorial where she’d brought the novel. It was just me and Donna and one other girl. At that point I’d read the first eighty to ninety pages of The Secret History. I thought it was beautifully written; I only had one criticism. I said, ‘Here’s this guy, the narrator, a freshman at college, and he has no sort of sexual feeling, no desire at all. It just doesn’t seem realistic.’ She gave the stoniest look I ever got. I almost wilted into my chair.
❝ Books can harm you, and a careless John I would be if I were to let you open this volume and think you had a nice plump dog on a satin leash who would do your bidding and ask for no more than you liked to give. Books are not like that. They want to eat you up. They want you to spend yourself on their iron hearts and submit to their wills. An unsuspecting man who happens to find himself in this unfortunate world which is practically ruled by books has but two choices—give in and go under the page with the secret smile of the slattern on one’s lips, or become the thing the book spends itself upon, become himself the iron princess with horns of gold, become fantastical and gorgeous beyond measure, nearly impossible to believe, but not so impossible that the spell is broken. Become the thing the tale tells of, something so strange that some book somewhere simply bursts into being to record your supereminence. ❞
—   John of Mandeville, The Folded World (Catherynne M. Valente)   —

Book Lover

ofyourshadow:

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them!
Tagged by allthishashappened.

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Oscar and the Lady in Pink by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Bradbury
  • City of Bohane by Kevin Barry 
  • The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
  • Old Times by Harold Pinter
  • Never Let Me Go by Kakuo Ishiguro
  • Mister God, This is Anna by Flynn
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

knizhnitsa:

book covers reimagined: a great and terrible beauty by libba bray

part of the gemma doyle trilogy read along

❝ She wondered whether the books she loved consoled her precisely because they were the manifestations of her own isolation. ❞
—   Rachel Cusk, Arlington Park (via larmoyante)   —
❝ You never love a book the way you love a book when you are ten. It is an honor to be in that sacred space in some children’s brains. ❞
—   Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket)  (via queerpotters)   —
❝ Ask her what she craved, and she’d get a little frantic about things like books, the woods, music. Plants and the seasons. Also freedom. Not being bought and sold by some idiot employer, not having the moments of her days valued in fractions of a dollar by somebody other than herself. ❞
—   Charles Frazier, Nightwoods (via splitterherzen)   —

Gorgeous color-grouped books from Huckster Haven and The Whole Book on Etsy

myidealhome:

  • white shelves, colourful books (via Stadshem)
culture consumption
Reading
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

Watching
GBBO S5
Intruders S1
Outlander S1
The Good Wife S6
BSG Rewatch S4

Waiting For
LTiH S3
Corp + Anam S2
OB S3
Broad City S2