Ex Libris Kirkland

Ex Libris Kirkland is my entirely self-centered way to keep track of what I read, what I like, and what I want to remember.

Recently Quoted

  • The look on his face was a mixture of boredom and irritation shared by all natural-born bureaucrats.

    an excerpt from Persepolis Rising, written by James S. A. Corey in 2017

  • Nastasia occupied a medium-sized, but distinctly tasteful, flat, beautifully furnished and arranged. At one period of these five years of Petersburg life, Totski had certainly not spared his expenditure upon her. He had calculated upon her eventual love, and tried to tempt her with a lavish outlay upon comforts and luxuries, knowing too well how easily the heart accustoms itself to comforts, and how difficult it is to tear one's self away from luxuries which have become habitual and, little by little, indispensable.

    an excerpt from The Idiot, written by Fyodor Dostoevsky in 1869

  • Parliamentary management was his forte. There have been various rocks on which men have shattered their barks in their attempts to sail successfully into the harbours of parliamentary management. There is the great Senator who declares to himself that personally he will have neither friend nor foe. There is his country before him and its welfare. Within his bosom is the fire of patriotism, and within his mind the examples of all past time. He knows that he can be just, he teaches himself to be eloquent, and he strives to be wise. But he will not bend;—and at last, in some great solitude, though closely surrounded by those whose love he had neglected to acquire,—he breaks his heart.

    Then there is he who seeing the misfortune of that great one, tells himself that patriotism, judgment, industry, and eloquence will not suffice for him unless he himself can be loved. To do great things a man must have a great following, and to achieve that he must be popular. So he smiles and learns the necessary wiles. He is all for his country and his friends,—but for his friends first. He too must be eloquent and well instructed in the ways of Parliament, must be wise and diligent; but in all that he does and all that he says he must first study his party. It is well with him for a time;—but he has closed the door of his Elysium too rigidly. Those without gradually become stronger than his friends within, and so he falls.

    But may not the door be occasionally opened to an outsider, so that the exterior force be diminished? We know how great is the pressure of water; and how the peril of an overwhelming weight of it may be removed by opening the way for a small current. There comes therefore the Statesman who acknowledges to himself that he will be pregnable. That, as a Statesman, he should have enemies is a matter of course. Against moderate enemies he will hold his own. But when there comes one immoderately forcible, violently inimical, then to that man he will open his bosom. He will tempt into his camp with an offer of high command any foe that may be worth his purchase. This too has answered well; but there is a Nemesis. The loyalty of officers so procured must be open to suspicion. The man who has said bitter things against you will never sit at your feet in contented submission, nor will your friend of old standing long endure to be superseded by such converts.

    All these dangers Sir Timothy had seen and studied, and for each of them he had hoped to be able to provide an antidote. Love cannot do all. Fear may do more. Fear acknowledges a superior. Love desires an equal. Love is to be created by benefits done, and means gratitude, which we all know to be weak. But hope, which refers itself to benefits to come, is of all our feelings the strongest. And Sir Timothy had parliamentary doctrines concealed in the depths of his own bosom more important even than these. The Statesman who falls is he who does much, and thus injures many. The Statesman who stands the longest is he who does nothing and injures no one. He soon knew that the work which he had taken in hand required all the art of a great conjuror. He must be possessed of tricks so marvellous that not even they who sat nearest to him might know how they were performed.

    an excerpt from The Duke's Children, written by Anthony Trollope in 1880

Recently Noted

  • There's a good new character who works for the new uprising culture - he really does the 'I'm bound by duty to do terrible things to people and also I'm a coward' kind of Fascist Leader thing really well. Interesting to read this in tandem with The Duke's Children, where the Duke is torn between the loving response he wants to give to his children and his hidebound sense of duty to the Right Thing.

    an note about Persepolis Rising, written by James S. A. Corey in 2017

  • Book 7 in a trilogy of trilogies, I think? Our favorite crew of spacefarers is back at it but surprise!(?), it's thirty years later. Cap is retiring, and hey remember that martian guy who noped out of one of those gates with a bunch of ships? He's back.

    This was fine, really, nothing standout but after six audiobooks I'm basically guaranteed to listen to the rest. I enjoyed the new scifi tech stuff!

    an note about Persepolis Rising, written by James S. A. Corey in 2017

  • There are a lot of cute lines in these books, but I’m listening to an audiobook and so I don’t really have access to quote them, at least not without a bunch of work. One bit I really enjoyed: a message from an admiral who is conquering his way through the solar system with cataclysmic, overwhelming force, asking the opponents to surrender. He says something like:

    How many more deaths? Your continued resistance is futile and will just result in the deaths of the people you love and serve. How many more corpses do you need before you can tell yourself you tried to resist me honorably? A hundred? A thousand? A billion? Tell me the number of corpses you need, and I will provide them.

    an note about Persepolis Rising, written by James S. A. Corey in 2017

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Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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