Reality is in the details and even if you can predict what’s going to happen you can’t imagine how you’ll feel.

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus (via bloomcity)

this is Ruth’s ILD quote of choice, mine is the tagline of my original blog. What’s yours? 

(via emilygould)

"I think the sheer fact of talking, being, paradoxical, inexplicable, flip, self-destructive but above all else public is the most revolutionary thing in the world."

(via profoundbusiness)

Excellent one. I talked to a (younger) person recently who told me she doesn’t think it’s the most revolutionary thing in the world anymore! I still think it is. 

I got to the scene at the couple’s house when it first becomes clear that they’re using the narrator to reenact their daughter’s rape and murder and it’s just so excruciating to be in her head. I couldn’t handle it. I put it down because I felt like it was a book I couldn’t be alone with. I felt like if I read it, it would be almost like I’d had those experiences, like those memories would be mine now.
A chat with Mark Doten of Soho Press about reading Notice by Heather Lewis and the evolution of Emily Books. Thanks, Mark!  (via emilybooks)

The Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviewer’s New Year’s Resolutions


1.  When I wake up in the middle of the night and have to go to the bathroom, I’m going to get up right away, instead of thinking the need will eventually pass, and then lying there for four hours unable to sleep.

That is all.

Note that this has been my resolution for the last two years.  Because biting my nails is here to stay.

FOUND IT! (ok actually Nicole found it) 

Lazy self-indulgent review of an experience

I woke up at 5 and couldn’t fall back asleep and I started thinking about Nicole Cliffe.

Last night I went to Nicole’s talk with Rebecca Mead about Rebecca’s new book. It was one of two times I’ve seen Nicole in the flesh in my life, but I feel like I’ve known her intimately for years, due to the miracle of blogs, specifically the miracle that was Nicole’s first Tumblr, Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviews, and then later the miracles that are the Hairpin and The Toast.  Through her writing, I’ve become aware of Nicole’s feelings about many different types of literature, but I’ve also learned as much about Nicole’s life — her husband, her horses, her daughter, her dog (RIP) — as I know about … well, I don’t know that much about that many other people!

I think part of it is Nicole’s generosity — this sounds sarcastic, but it’s earnest — with the insights she gleans from everyday life, and how seamlessly she incorporates that kind of knowledge with her “book learning,” the knowledge she’s gleaned from reading TEN HUNDRED KABILLION BOOKS, all of which she remembers in great detail, because she is a fucking genius.  She’s also a great writer, and her sentences stick in your head. I always remember her opinion, even when I totally disagree with her (which I do, about books, kind of a lot!)  I can’t tell you how often a Nicole-ism has flitted through my head completely unbidden. This makes her sound like the Fergie of literature, but it’s a good thing. Anyway, I knew she was a great writer, but what I didn’t know until last night was how well she commands a room, with utter confidence and articulate grace, and how great she is at asking an author questions about her work. It’s hard to strike a balance between putting the person at ease, “fangirling all over them” (this was something Nicole accused herself of last night), and eliciting interesting and genuine responses that might add to a reader’s appreciation for a book. I have been to a LOT of “in conversation with” events in my life and this one was different.  It had a different energy. It was a breath of fresh (Utah-y?) air.

Lying awake (still, somehow) I started thinking about the irony in the subtitle of Nicole’s first tumblr, “the graveyard of personal literary ambition.” Or maybe it’s not quite irony, maybe it’s Alany, whatever, I didn’t get a ton of sleep. But it’s clear that this was the beginning of an incredibly ambitious project for Nicole, and that if Nicole wanted to she could live in New York and do what she she effortlessly, brilliantly did last night all the time. Instead she lives in Utah and skis a lot and rides horses and has a baby and — she would say this too, in these exact words! — a rich husband. She doesn’t have to pay someone the GDP of a small nation to take care of her daughter while she works at a job she semi-hates so that she can afford to keep a foothold in this, The Greatest City In The World.  I was clearly going down a weird insomniac thought spiral here. I thought about taking out my phone and scrolling through Instagram til I got sleepy again, which obviously does not work.

And then I remembered something Nicole once wrote, one of her trademark memorable Nicole-isms.  Years ago, she wrote (I can’t find this on the Internet! Nicole, do you know where it is? I googled up some AMAZING stuff while searching for it) that her New Year’s Resolution was, if she woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee, she would get up and pee right away, not lie there half-asleep in the hopes that the pee would somehow reabsorb into her body.

Nicole is wise. I got up, peed, and fell back asleep.

I don’t need to be the billionth person who tells you that most writers don’t make their whole living from their writing. For example: I don’t!

I have in the past, though, and that was great, but doing other stuff besides writing can be good too — for your life, your mental health, and even … for your writing. How else will you get the experiences of the world and other people and relationships that you need in order to reimagine them in fiction or memoir? The key is just to find work that won’t steal all your energy and kill your spirit. This is hard, and takes time, but you will find it eventually if you keep trying.

The cops who arrest Nina on the way to bringing her to jail, the hospital, and ultimately to mandated therapy— which is the usual progression for arrested street sex workers, at least on the first offense—gangrape her. That’s true to life, too.They claim that she violently resisted arrest, which prompts the hospital to put her into seclusion, where the hospital staff also rape her. She is committed to the mental hospital in the first place because a powerful abusive client puts her there. I read this as shorthand for the ways politicians, psychiatrists, and policemen are hypocritical clients in one role and attempt to exert control over the whores they cannot buy with their money alone in another, “rescuing” them against their will. This, then, is treatment.

Emily Books: The Ones Buying It 

Thoughtful, wrenching analysis of Notice by Heather Lewis from Tits and Sass’s Caty Simon.