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

  • There is actually no more dangerous solitude than that of the man who is lost in a crowd, who does not know he is alone and who does not function as a person in a community either. He does not face the risks of true solitude or its responsi-bilities, and at the same time the multitude has taken all other responsibilities off his shoulders. Yet he is by no means free of care; he is burdened by the diffuse, anonymous anxiety, the nameless fears, the petty itching lusts and the all pervading hostilities which fill mass society the way water fills the ocean.

    an excerpt from New Seeds of Contemplation, written by Thomas Merton in 1949

  • Therefore keep me, above all things, from sin. Keep me from the death of deadly sin which puts hell in my soul. Keep me from the murder of lust that blinds and poisons my heart. Keep me from the sins that eat a man's flesh with irresistible fire until he is devoured. Keep me from loving money in which is hatred, from avarice and ambition that suffocate my life. Keep me from the dead works of vanity and the thankless labor in which artists destroy themselves for pride and money and reputation, and saints are smothered under the avalanche of their own importunate zeal. Stanch in me the rank wound of covetousness and the hungers that exhaust my nature with their bleeding. Stamp out the serpent envy that stings love with poison and kills all joy.

    Untie my hands and deliver my heart from sloth. Set me free from the laziness that goes about disguised as activity when activity is not required of me, and from the cowardice that does what is not demanded, in order to escape sacrifice.

    an excerpt from New Seeds of Contemplation, written by Thomas Merton in 1949

  • A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him. It "consents," so to speak, to His creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree.

    The more a tree is like itself, the more it is like Him. If it tried to be like something else which it was never intended to be, it would be less like God and therefore it would give Him less glory.

    No two created beings are exactly alike. And their individuality is no imperfection. On the contrary, the perfection of each created thing is not merely in its conformity to an abstract type but in its own individual identity with itself.

    an excerpt from New Seeds of Contemplation, written by Thomas Merton in 1949

Recently Noted

  • Got this from the library mostly because I've loved seeing weird medieval doodles pop up on social media. Cute.

    an note about Weird Medieval Guys, written by Olivia Swarthout in 2024

  • And now South America!

    an note about Crucible of Gold, written by Naomi Novik in 2012

  • I gave up pacing through this novel series, and I'm just checking each new one out from the library as soon as I finish the last one. This time our heroes are banished to Sydney, which is a backwater unpleasant colony, on the edge a harsh terra ingognito.

    I could have skipped some of the long slog thru the outback - a bit of a retread of the Taklaman transit - but I enjoyed the whole thing.

    an note about Tongues of Serpents, written by Naomi Novik in 2010

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