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

  • To appreciate Cricklewood you have to walk its street, as Howard did that afternoon. Then you find out that there is more charm in a half-mile of Cricklewood's passing human faces than in all the double-fronted Georgian houses in Primrose Hill. The African women in their colorful cent clothes, the whippet blonde with three phones tucked into the waistband of her tracksuit, the unmistakable Poles and Russians introducing the bone structure of Soviet Realism to an island of chinless, browless potato-faces, the Irish men resting on the gates of housing estates like farmers at a pig fair in Kerry ... At this distance, walking past them all, thus itemizing them, not having to talk to any of them, flaneur Howard was able to love them and, more than this, to feel himself, in his own romantic fashion, to be one of them. We scum, we happy scum! From people like these he had come. To people like these he would always belong.

    an excerpt from On Beauty, written by Zadie Smith in 2005

  • Though the passage about Ianthe's soul comes very early in the work, she was now quite familiar with the poem, and when, in after days, she spoke of it as a thing of beauty that she had made her own by long study, she actually did not know that she was lying. As she grew older, however, she quickly became wiser, and was aware that in learning one passage of a poem it is expedient to select one in the middle, or at the end. The world is so cruelly observant now-a-days, that even men and women who have not themselves read their "Queen Mab" will know from what part of the poem a morsel is extracted, and will not give you credit for a page beyond that from which your passage comes.

    an excerpt from The Eustace Diamonds, written by Anthony Trollope in 1871

  • A huge, living, daily increasing grievance that does one no palpable harm, is the happiest possession that a man can have.

    an excerpt from The Eustace Diamonds, written by Anthony Trollope in 1871

Recently Noted

  • I'm a Spufford mega fan here. This is a collection of essays and short writings written about and around his major books. You know when you read a great book and wish there was like, a little bit more? Here are a handful of essays around each of his books. It's just a little bit more! Of everything.

    an note about True Stories, written by Francis Spufford in 2017

  • Eustace Diamond involves a big plot point of Frank dropping a very important letter into a "pillar box", the freestanding mailboxes that were new in England, and then the post office inexorably delivering it while the fates of the characters change around the letter. Trollope actually worked for the post office and was the guy responsible for pillar post boxes in England!

    an note about The Eustace Diamonds, written by Anthony Trollope in 1871

  • Trollope has been my go-to author for 'between reading.' I can burn through a modern sci-fi book in a week, but really enjoy coming back to these.

    an note about The Eustace Diamonds, written by Anthony Trollope in 1871

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