Ex Libris Kirkland

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


Recently Quoted

  • But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know.

    Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

    an excerpt from Middlemarch, written by George Eliot in 1872

  • "My dear fellow, we are rather apt to consider an act wrong because it is unpleasant to us," said the Rector, quietly. Like many men who take life easily, he had the knack of saying a home truth occasionally to those who felt themselves virtuously out of temper. Sir James took out his handkerchief and began to bite the corner.

    an excerpt from Middlemarch, written by George Eliot in 1872

  • "Then why can't you think it your duty to submit a little to what James wishes?" said Celia, with a sense of stringency in her argument. "Because he only wishes what is for your own good. And, of course, men know best about everything, except what women know better." Dorothea laughed and forgot her tears.

    an excerpt from Middlemarch, written by George Eliot in 1872

Recently Noted

  • Before I picked up Middlemarch, I always had this vague sense that I didn't like George Eliot, but I cannot for the life of me determine when or where I decided that. I have certainly never read any of her other work. I knew their titles: Middlemarch as the most famous, but shorter works are always at every used bookstore ever.

    But I heard a long podcast about it (Thanks Melvyn), and was convinced to give it a spin as part of my Only Read Books from before 1900 in 2018 projcect. And dang; it's a TOME - 850 pages in my penguin edition - but SO good. I absolutely get why it's a classic.

    I've been on a Trollope kick before, and moving from genial Trollope to the more acidic (acerbic?) Eliot was a shocker at first: she's just so much more cutting about everybody. But through that, there's really a deep well of empathy for her characters, and I felt affectionate towards everyone in Middlemarch by the end. Except Mr. Brooke.

    an note about Middlemarch, written by George Eliot in 1872

  • A collection of very academic (maybe in the loose sense rather than strictly belonging to the academy) essays. But enjoyable!

    an note about The Inklings and King Arthur, written by Sørina Higgins in 2017

  • Descent Into Hell is probably the *best* novel by Williams - it's the fullest statement of his weird-but-compelling ideas about the Christian life, and also brings together more than a few of his obsessions. Plus, it's a spooky page-turner!

    In this one, there's an amateur play being produced in a newly-built suburb. One of the actresses is haunted by her doppelgänger, a military historian is seduced by a succubus of his own creation, a nice old lady just might be an ageless witch, and a construction worker who committed suicide when the suburb was being built is haunting the neighborhood. There's also... TIME TRAVEL. In the meantime, the play must go on!

    an note about Descent Into Hell, written by Charles Williams in 1937

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