February Bookshelf: Finches and Flamethrowers

“And just as music is the space between notes, just as the stars are beautiful because of the space between them, just as the sun strikes raindrops at a certain angle and throws a prism of color across the sky – so the space where I exist, and I want to keep existing, and to be quite frank I hope I die in, is exactly this middle distance: where despair struck pure otherness and created something sublime.”

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

I am writing this on the evening of World Book Day, which I celebrated by finishing my novel on the way to work and having nothing to read for the rest of the day or for my commute home; an uncommon horror. Continue reading “February Bookshelf: Finches and Flamethrowers”

January Bookshelf: Sing, Lost Child

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

I’ve been thinking a lot about reading as therapy recently. Bibliotherapy is what I do for a living, but even in our day to do lives, outside of a specifically therapeutic contexts, reading is healing. Why is that? What is it about getting out of our own skin for a few hours that allows us to come back refreshed and ready? Continue reading “January Bookshelf: Sing, Lost Child”

October Bookshelf: Men, Women, and Normal People

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”

Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

What book lover doesn’t love Halloween? Either you’re a horror fiend (like I am) in which case you want nothing more than to be chilled by Shirley Jackson or MR James, or you’re timid to the holiday’s proclivities, in which case a book is the perfect distraction. What could be better than a book and a hot drink when the moon is full and witches are abroad?  Continue reading “October Bookshelf: Men, Women, and Normal People”

September Bookshelf: Descent into Idiothood

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

Philip Pullman

September was spent on a train, I feel. I commute almost an hour to work in the morning, and though it eats up a lot of my day I find myself not really minding (though I at least partly credit it for the increase in colds I’ve had recently). Continue reading “September Bookshelf: Descent into Idiothood”