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

  • But Mr. Slide did not know that he was lying, and did not know that he was malicious. The weapon which he used was one to which his hand was accustomed, and he had been led by practice to believe that the use of such weapons by one in his position was not only fair, but also beneficial to the public. Had anybody suggested to him that he was stabbing his enemy in the dark, he would have averred that he was doing nothing of the kind, because the anonymous accusation of sinners in high rank was, on behalf of the public, the special duty of writers and editors attached to the public press. Mr. Slide's blood was running high with virtuous indignation against our hero as he inserted those last cruel words as to the choice of an obscure but honest profession.

    an excerpt from Phones Redux, written by Anthony Trollope in 1873

  • Editors of newspapers are self-willed, arrogant, and stiff-necked, a race of men who believe much in themselves and little in anything else, with no feelings of reverence or respect for matters which are august enough to other men...

    an excerpt from Phones Redux, written by Anthony Trollope in 1873

  • There is no harder life than this. Here and there we may find a man who has so trained himself that day after day he can devote his mind without compulsion to healthy pursuits, who can induce himself to work, though work be not required from him for any ostensible object, who can save himself from the curse of misusing his time, though he has for it no defined and necessary use; but such men are few, and are made of better metal than was Mr. Maule.

    an excerpt from Phones Redux, written by Anthony Trollope in 1873

Recently Noted

  • A book that should've been a blog post. Dematerialization of consumption and advanced technologies means that human population can grow and economies can advance while using fewer of the earth's natural resources. Eg, it takes a lot fewer atoms to run Netflix than it does a movie theater. Sure! I buy it!

    an note about More from Less, written by Andrew McAfee in 2019

  • OH. Oh. I just looked up some reviews and learned something that really influences that question of 'what is this book FOR, even.' The first half of the book is about George, a grieving modern-day teenager who is processing the sudden loss of her mother, and how that processing involves some frescoes from 15th c Italy. The second half switches abruptly to the fresco's painter - who is half a memory of his life and half a haunting of George's. Fine enough, interesting enough.

    BUT, apparently some copies were printed with George's story first, and then the painter's second. But others were printed with the painter's first and THEN George. Which would for sure influence how it was read! I think it does become a very interesting exercise to write a double-faced novel this way, where each influences the other based on the order. Huh.

    an note about How to be Both, written by Ali Smith in 2014

  • A contemporary lit fic work that's clearly GOOD; Smith is a great writer and has a ton of technical prowess here. It's a semi-intertwined pair of tales: a modern teen student, and 15th cent young adult painter. Obviously this is well written, quick-paced and enjoyable, but still left me a little cold. Like... what is this book...for?

    an note about How to be Both, written by Ali Smith in 2014

Looking for more recent books? Check out the Personal Timeline.



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