Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From John Brown, by W. E. B. Du Bois


"The mystic spell of Africa is and ever was over all America."

The first line from Chapter One

Saturday, January 30, 2016

If Ant and Bee Were Alive Today...

Daily Dose

From Pogo Evidence to the Contrary: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 3, by Walt Kelly, edited Carolyn Kelly and Eric Reynolds


"Some folks got all the taste an' finer sensibilities of a can of warm bait."

-- Churchy La Femme, July 1, 1954

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Portable Charles Lamb, edited by John Mason Brown


"I wear my shackles more contentedly for having respired the breath of an imaginary freedom."

From On the Artificial Comedy

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Caricature

"This is Me," by Bad Kid Billy. [Official Music Video]

Seems I'm in this for a hot second.  I remember being asked to participate one day on the street in front of the bookstore where I work.  I didn't think to ask what it was for, or even so much as the name of the song or the band.  Didn't want to be late coming back from lunch.  Silly bugger.  The very nice young woman with the green hair also featured herein happens to work at Magus Books.  She mentioned she'd seen me.  Told me the name of the band, and here we are.

Daily Dose

From My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout


"So much of life seems speculation."

From page 14

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

If He Were alive Today...

Daily Dose

From A Talent to Annoy: Essays, Articles and Reviews 1929 - 1968, by Nancy Mitford


"Carlyle's Frederick the Great, though dishonest to a comic degree about Frederick's morals, is a work of art; the secondary characters are brilliantly portrayed; Voltaire summed up once and for all.  His French Revolution has the grandeur of a thunderstorm."

From Reading for Pleasure

Monday, January 25, 2016

If She Were Alive Today...

Daily Dose

From How to Live or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell


"As the exuberant and anarchic home of Chaucer and Shakespeare, English seemed the right language for such an author."

From 16. Q. How to Live? A. Philosophize only by accident, Fifteen Englishmen and an Irishman

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Today We Are Seven

Daily Dose

From The Last Essays of Elia, by Charles Lamb


"'Do you remember the brown suit, which you made to hang upon you, till
all your friends cried shame upon you, it grew so thread-bare--and all
because of that folio Beaumont and Fletcher, which you dragged home
late at night from Barker's in Covent-garden? Do you remember how we
eyed it for weeks before we could make up our minds to the purchase,
and had not come to a determination till it was near ten o'clock of
the Saturday night, when you set off from Islington, fearing you
should be too late--and when the old bookseller with some grumbling
opened his shop, and by the twinkling taper (for he was setting
bedwards) lighted out the relic from his dusty treasures--and when
you lugged it home, wishing it were twice as cumbersome--and when you
presented it to me--and when we were exploring the perfectness of it
(_collating_ you called it)--and while I was repairing some of the
loose leaves with paste, which your impatience would not suffer to be
left till day-break--was there no pleasure in being a poor man? or can
those neat black clothes which you wear now, and are so careful to
keep brushed, since we have become rich and finical, give you half
the honest vanity, with which you flaunted it about in that over-worn
suit--your old corbeau--for four or five weeks longer than you should
have done, to pacify your conscience for the mighty sum of fifteen--or
sixteen shillings was it?--a great affair we thought it then--which
you had lavished on the old folio. Now you can afford to buy any book
that pleases you, but I do not see that you ever bring me home any
nice old purchases now.'"
From Old China 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Breakfast at the Bookstore #62

Daily Dose

From Tom Jones, Volume Two, by Henry Fielding


"And now, reader, as we are in haste to attend our heroine, we will leave to thy sagacity to apply all this to the Boeotian writers, and to those authors who are their opposites.  This thou wilt be abundantly able to perform without our aid.  Bestir thyself therefore on this occasion; for, though we will always lend thee proper assistance in difficult places, as we do not, like some others, expect thee to use the arts of divination to discover our meaning, yet we shall not indulge thy laziness where nothing but thy own attention is required; for thou art highly mistaken if thou dost imagine that we intended, when we began this great work, to leave thy sagacity nothing to do; or that, without sometimes exercising this talent, thou wilt be able to travel through our pages with any pleasure or profit to thyself."

From Chapter IX

Friday, January 22, 2016

If She Were Alive Today...

Daily Dose

From The Portable Charles Lamb, edited by John Mason Brown


"Your letter was just what a letter should be, crammed and very funny."

From a letter to Thomas Manning, dated 15th February, 1802

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Song of Derivations

The Lady Poverty

Daily Dose

From The Portable Charles Lamb, edited by John Mason Brown


"My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it."

From a letter to William Wordsworth, dated 20th March, 1822

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In Prison

England and America

Daily Dose

From The Portable Charles Lamb, edited by John Mason Brown


"I have something to do in these book-clubs, and know the trick and mystery of it.  Every new publication that is likely to make a noise, must be had at any rate.  By some they are devoured with avidity.  These would have been readers in the old time I speak of.  The only loss is, that for the good old reading of Addison or Fielding's days is substituted that never-ending flow of thin novelties which are kept up like a ball, leaving no possible time for better things, and threatening in the issue to bury or sweep away from the earth the memory of their cobbler predecessors."

From Readers Against the Grain

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Summum Bonum

Daily Dose

From The Essays of Elia, by Charles Lamb


"Whatever is, is to me a matter of taste or distaste; or when once it becomes indifferent, it begins to be disrelishing. I am, in plainer words, a bundle of prejudices—made up of likings and dislikings—the veriest thrall to sympathies, apathies, antipathies. In a certain sense, I hope it may be said of me that I am a lover of my species. I can feel for all indifferently, but I cannot feel towards all equally. The more purely-English word that expresses sympathy will better explain my meaning. I can be a friend to a worthy man, who upon another account cannot be my mate or fellow. I cannot like all people alike."

From Imperfect Sympathies

Monday, January 18, 2016

Letty's Globe

Daily Dose

From Henry IV, Part One, by William Shakespeare


“How now, my sweet creature of bombast! How long is't ago, Jack, since thou saw'st thien own knee?”

From Act II, Scene 4

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New from Scholastic!

Daily Dose

From Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye, by Michael Shermer


"Lacking a fundamental comprehension of how science works, the siren song of pseudoscience becomes too alluring to resist, no matter how smart you are."

From Chapter 19, Smart People Believe Weird Things

Saturday, January 16, 2016

If He Were Alive Today...

Daily Dose

From Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll


"The new words, in the poem 'Jabberwocky', have given rise to some differences of opinion as to their pronunciation: so it may be well to give instructions on that point also. Pronounce 'slithy' as if it were the two words 'sly, the': make the 'g' hard in 'gyre' and 'gimble': and pronounce 'rath' to rhyme with 'bath'."

From the author's 1896 Preface

Friday, January 15, 2016

If He were Alive Today...

Daily Dose

From The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Volume 3, 1926 - 1929, edited by Rena Sanderson, Sandra Spanier, and Robert W. Trogdon


 “Am Continuing my life in original role of son of a bitch sans peur et sans rapproche.”

From a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, dated 1 December 1926

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #61

Daily Dose

From The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb, edited by E. V. Lucas


"Do you know what it is to succumb under an insurmountable day-mare,—"a whoreson lethargy," Falstaff calls it,—an indisposition to do anything, or to be anything,—a total deadness and distaste,—a suspension of vitality,—an indifference to locality,—a numb, soporifical, good-for-nothingness,—an ossification all over,—an oyster-like insensibility to the passing events,—a mind-stupor,—a brawny defiance to the needles of a thrusting-in conscience."

From a letter to Bernard Barton, dated  January 9th, 1824

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Henry IV, Part One, by William Shakespeare


“Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us that are squires of the night’s body be called thieves of the day’s beauty. Let us be Diana’s foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon, and let men say we be men of good government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.” 

From Act One, Scene 2

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Javanese Dancers

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Essays of Elia, by Charles Lamb


"I am no Quaker at my food. I confess I am not indifferent to the kinds of it. Those unctuous morsels of deer's flesh were not made to be received with dispassionate services. I hate a man who swallows it, affecting not to know what he is eating. I suspect his taste in higher matters."

From Grace Before Meat

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Birth Bond

Daily Dose

From The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb 1821 - 1842, edited by E. V. Lucas


"And yet I am accounted by some people a good man. How cheap that character is acquired! Pay your debts, don't borrow money, nor twist your kittens neck off, or disturb a congregation, &c.— your business is done. I know things (thoughts or things, thoughts are things) of myself which would make every friend I have fly me as a plague patient."

From a letter to Bernard Barton, dated  February 25, 1824.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

To an Insect

Daily Dose

From The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb 1796 - 1820, edited by E. V. Lucas


"Good Heaven! what a bit only I've got left! How shall I squeeze all I know into this morsel!"

From a letter to Thomas Manning, dated  December 5, 1806

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Dragon Fly

Daily Dose

From The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb 1796 - 1820, edited by E. V. Lucas


"Confusion blast all mercantile transactions, all traffick, exchange of commodities, intercourse between nations, all the consequent civilization and wealth and amity and link of society, and getting rid of prejudices, and knowlege of the face of the globe—and rot the very firs of the forest that look so romantic alive, and die into desks. Vale."

From a letter to William Wordsworth, dated April 28, 1815

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Robin's Grave

Daily Dose

From Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye, by Michael Shermer


“Skepticism is the default position because the burden of proof is on the believer, not the skeptic.”

From Chapter 33 Rupert's Resonance

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #60

Daily Dose

From Thus Spoke Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann


"Ten times a day you must laugh and be cheerful; else you will be disturbed at night by your stomach, this father of gloom."

From On the Teachers of Virtue

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Busy, Curious, Thirsty Fly

Daily Dose

From The Geography of Genius, by Eric Weiner


 “What distinguishes the creative genius from the merely talented is not knowledge or intelligence but vision.  As the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, ‘Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.’“

From Chapter Four, Genius Is Practical: Edinburgh

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

If He Were Alive Today...

Daily Dose

From Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, by Sunil Yapa


“Son, how easily an open heart can be poisoned, how quickly love becomes the seeds of rage.  Life wrecks the living.”

From Chapter 20

Monday, January 4, 2016

If She Were Alive Today...

Daily Dose

From Europe in Sepia, by Dubravka Ugresic, translated by David Williams


"And, in her, in a moment of premonition, I caught a glimpse of a potential 'executor.'  The image scurried past me like a mouse's thin shadow.  Yes, one day she'll be sitting in a publishing house somewhere, deciding whether to acquire my book, or she'll work at a newspaper, if there are still newspapers, and ever so sure of herself pass judgement on my work (didn't she say she was studying literary criticism?).  The girl looked at me with her vacant stare, and I asked myself how it was I hadn't noticed it before, the mouse's shadow.  Look, how many there are, everywhere..."

From Mice Shadows