Category Archives: Books

Reading Main Street

“It has not yet been recorded that any human being has gained a very large or permanent contentment from meditation upon the fact that he is better off than others.”

Sinclair Lewis, Main Street (NY: Library of America, 20xx), p.284.

Robert Adams

Love the last line of the second paragraph.
Responsible teaching is an all-out effort.

Adams, Robert. Robert Adams: Why People Photograph: Selected Essays and Reviews. 1st edition. New York: Aperture, 2005.

Book Store Friday

Not a bad haul.

The Dostoevsky I’ve not read and it’s clean paperback edition.
Ken Burns does it again; I haven’t read Hemingway since college and I liked the look of this edition and got it.
Someone had donated a number of these penguin editions. One of my favorite professors in college recommended Pnin and a $5 hardback seemed worth it.
While I’d read “If I had a hammer” as a kid, I had not read this autobiography and I’m looking forward to it.

The Human STain

“…how easily life can be one thing rather than another and how accidentally a destiny is made…on the other hand, how accidental fate may seem when things can never turn out other than they do.”

(As I read the third round of Gatsby essays, this time on the American Dream, and feel the same ideas bubbling up, many of which flow directly from a google search of “Gatsby American Dream” or “Gatsby Opportunity”, I’m wondering if next year if I shape the essays as a response to quotes like this. ).

Roth, Philip. The Human Stain.(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000), pp.125-126.

Great Line on introductions

What the reader wants to know is not what you plan to say but where you stand. They need some assurance that your point of view promises fresh illumination. They listen to your tone of voice, which conveys your intentions more quickly and clearly than a summary outline of the forthcoming composition. A vigorous introduction, therefore, will seek to establish not so much the subject matter to be addressed as the author’s way of addressing it. It will announce or at least prefigure the argument the author plans to pursue.

Lasch, Christopher. Plain Style: A Guide to Written English. Edited by Stewart Weaver. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.


“I wouldn’t worry about him too much. Nothing can ruin a good boy except growing up, and he’s going to do that no matter where you live.” 179

“Ann herself was no stranger to adversity, but she always hated any situation that could only be endured. She was able to summon the courage for a bold, confident stroke, but simply getting by left her dispirited, and it seemed that the older she got, the more frequent these situations became.”

Richard Russo, Mohawk, (NY: Vintage, 1986).