What I’m Reading: January 4

Something I’d like to make a regular feature here at wordtraveling is a weekly (or so) update on what I’m reading. This is mostly to keep me reading, even when I’m tempted by the big wide internet full of secrets and mystery and word games. (Let’s be real, reading is more interesting than hours of Text Twist.) But I also want to share any good works that I come across. So in an effort to keep myself accountable and offer reading suggestions, here is the first of a series of What I’m Reading entries.

Title: Great House

Author: Nicole Krauss

Completed?: Not yet. According to my Kindle*, I’m 47% of the way through.

Spoiler-free Opinions: So far, I’m loving this book. I read The History of Love over the summer and really enjoyed that, but I think I like Great House even more. Krauss has such a talent with words and an incredible grasp of human relationships. The novel in a sense follows a desk; it is broken into eight chapters and four sets of characters who are connected by this desk.

In an effort to keep this from becoming a book report, here are some of my favorite quotes thus far. (No worries; none of them will ruin the plot for you.)

Favorite Quotes Thus Far:

“There are moments when a kind of clarity comes over you, and suddenly you can see through walls to another dimension that you’d forgotten or chosen to ignore in order to continue living with the various illusions that make life, particularly life with other people, possible” (Loc. 219-21).

“And when I finally got there, when a word at last came along like a lifeboat, and then another and another, I greeted them with a faint distrust, a suspiciousness that took root and did not confine itself to my work. It is impossible to distrust one’s writing without awakening a deeper distrust in oneself” (Loc. 520-22).

“There is a fallacy that the powerful emotion of youth mellows with time. Not true” (Loc. 829-30).

“I don’t know what that’s supposed to tell you; nothing, except that we take comfort in the symmetries we find in life because they suggest a design where there is none” (Loc. 1219-20).

“Lotte stood looking up at it, kneading her hands in a way she sometimes did when she was thinking, as if the thought itself were lying inside her hands and she had only to polish it” (Loc. 1296-98).

“He awakened a hunger in me–not just for him, but also for the magnitude of life, for the extremes of all it has been given to us to feel” (Loc. 1757-58).

“When at last I came across the right book the feeling was violent: it blew open a hole in me that made life more dangerous because I couldn’t control what came through it” (Loc. 1909-10).

“I’d majored in English because I loved to read, not because I had any idea of what I wanted to do with my life” (Loc. 1910-11).

Verdict Thus Far: Read it. Do it.

*I apologize for the lack of page numbers; Kindles don’t want you to know page numbers, but they will tell you locations, as they don’t change with font size (unlike, I suspect, page numbers).


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