The library, and step on it!


Can you identify these YA novels by their New York Times Best Seller descriptions alone? Give it a shot.

posted 19 hours ago via bookriot with 24 notes


This? Is why I think it’s vital that we fight for diverse literature in schools. When the book-banning folks come out, it’s so often to shut down a person belonging to a minority group speaking about experiences that make people uncomfortable. Of course we are uncomfortable. We are complicit. It takes discomfort to impel change.

Not all kids will get a real picture of the world at home; I certainly didn’t. Those kids may go on to be the next generation of oppressors, having been taught lies that cause them to see minorities as subhuman, unless they have outside influences to show them otherwise. It matters that they read books by African-Americans, by women, by LGBT authors. It matters that they gain empathy and experience others’ lives.

It matters that they become uncomfortable enough to change.

posted 2 days ago via booklover · © bookriot with 1,179 notes

Murakami section in Blackwell’s book shop, Oxford.

Anonymous asked: "i adore emma and im so happy it made it onto your list of books that stayed with you, would you mind elaborating on why it was that particular Austen however? i'd love to see you talk about it since you have such a way with words!"

I think there’s something to that “there is a perfect Jane Austen novel for every stage of life” quote.

Pride and Prejudice was the one where it all started when I was a teenager, Sense and Sensibility resonated with me the most in my early twenties (God I’m old), and this last year or so I have felt myself increasingly drawn to Emma.

Maybe it’s because Emma makes a lot of mistakes throughout the novel, but dusts herself off and gets back up again. She thinks she has the world all figured out, that if she does A the result will be B, and over and over again she turns out to be wrong. Instead of letting that stop her, she learns from her mistakes and takes another step towards a greater understanding of the world and emotional maturity. She start off quite arrogant, convinced that she knows people and what’s best for them and that she can make things happen through determination alone, but has to admit that the world just doesn’t work like that.

Having to face that you are not as clever as you thought you were, that so much is out of your control, that you have been truly ignorant and did/said some bad things in the past, that not everything will turn out the way you want them to, that great privilege come with great responsibility, and that you are just one fish in a big, big pond, those are all part of becoming a “proper adult” and Emma’s journey is one that I can really relate to. Watching her adapt and evolve and become a better person by making one mistake after the other, it is an intensely satisfying narrative.

I also find that I admire her sense of independence and that I really like the relationship between Knightley and Emma. It is an affection that runs deep and evolves over time: there is respect and honesty there that makes them both want to be better people. They know each other’s vices and virtues and they truly like each other, for better or worse. Much more satisfying than most love at first sight stories, I think.

Emma is all about the learning curve, about failure and disillusionment, about discovering the complexities of life and your place in it, and it is very dear to my heart, especially now. Who knows which Austen novel is next.

posted 2 days ago with 31 notes

"Much of the pleasure of reading comes from the egotistical sense that we are clever enough to understand. When the author explains to us or interprets for us, we suspect that he or she doesn’t think us bright enough to do it for ourselves."
Writing Fiction: A Guide to the Narrative Craft, Janet Burroway.
posted 2 days ago with 58 notes

a-saint-i-am-not asked: "what do you do when you find out that one or few of your fav writers turn out to be racist/xenophobic/anti-Semitic/homophobic/or down right awful Human ? i know people say you should separate between the person and his art but how can i do that when their ignorant views are already evident in their work ? i just feel little sad and disappointed and i don't know where to move form this point. i understand everyone are merely humans in the end but it makes me feel guilty for buying their work."

We had a conversation
about this very issue
quite recently
as some of you may remember
in relation to Allen Ginsberg

Personally, I think you have to decide for yourself if you can still enjoy someone’s work when you don’t agree with their personal values. It depends on how passionate you are about said values and how much you love the book, I think.

It is a fascinating discussion though, one that I still don’t have a final answer to myself. Where would I draw the line? Should we draw that line at all?

posted 3 days ago with 12 notes

I have already spent a good thirty minutes staring at my bookcase, trying to decide what to read next. I’ve let you decide before and that worked out really well, so I’m going to ask for you advice again!

What should I read next?

1. Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
2. The King’s Speech, Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
3. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
4. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
5. Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell

posted 3 days ago with 20 notes


Seamus Heaney’s last words: ”Don’t be afraid” (Noli timere), painted by Dublin artist Maser


Seamus Heaney’s last words: ”Don’t be afraid” (Noli timere), painted by Dublin artist Maser



If you ever feel like your friendships are prone to drama, just remember that Siegfried Sassoon once wrote an angry letter to Robert Graves telling him that he was going to haunt Graves’ house/family if he died in WWI, and Graves later wrote back to Sassoon saying that Sassoon’s recent gunshot wound to the head knocked some sense into him.

The funny thing is that some of you might think that I am joking or exaggerating when I absolutely am not.