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In the pursuit of exploring my own literature derived masochism, I recently tackled David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, a notoriously ‘difficult’ novel. Over 900 pages of narrative combined with 300 pages of footnotes later, I have some very brief, truncated thoughts on the text. These epistles do not represent the whole of the superbly rich experience (an ongoing series into perpetuity could ma
Generally speaking, I love strange people. Let me clarify. I love the quirky, offbeat, and freakishly brilliant. These are people who might obsess over a certain historical figure or know everything imaginable about farming practices during the Neolithic period. They might read 5 books a week on whatever topic has captured their keen attention and then move onto their next area of study. If they were teenagers in the late 1980s, they made hundreds of mix tapes full of songs by unknown bands. While perhaps a bit socially awkward, these kinds of people are both infinitely gifted and g
Recently, another librarian and I were batting around title ideas for a new book discussion group when I had to stop and double-check the names for two authors. Was I remembering their names correctly? Surely they didn’t BOTH share “Moriarty” as a last name. I mean, that’s kind of unusual, isn’t it?
Eighth grade. I was sitting in Mrs. Wolffes’s English class wearing bell-bottom hip-huggers and a smock top. I wore small gold wire-framed glasses and my nails were perfectly manicured in frosty lilac. At the end of class Mrs. Wolffes approached me and said she had just finished a book she thought I would enjoy. She gave me the title and the author’s name; Zelda by Nancy Milford.
When Donna Tartt published her first novel, The Secret History, in 1992 I was smitten. For me, she had written the perfect book—one that appealed to me on every level—the setting (college in New England), the characters (intellectuals with a dark side), the plot (taught psychological drama), and exquisite language that made me read slowly to savor every word.