Anne Fadiman is the sort of person who learned about sex from her father’s copy of Fanny Hill, and who once found herself poring over a hen Anne Fadiman was growing up, she writes in her endearing collection of essays, “Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader,” her family. Anne Fadiman, author of Ex Libris, talks about her latest ‘confessions’, words like ‘ whiffling’, and perfect literary dinner guests.

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View all 9 comments. I prefer long books where you meet people and get to know them well.

Book readers and writers, both alike, would agree that plagiarism is a sin and imitation to the extent that it’s a blatant copy is not the sincerest form of flattery. Jul 02, Graychin rated it really liked libriw. My defense went like this: Anne Fadiman is—by her own admission—the sort of person who dx about sex from her father’s copy of Fanny Hillwhose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found fdiman poring over her roommate’s Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material in the apartment that she had not read at least twice.

Besides, with my reading habits I rarely get the chance to be easily annoyed to a superficial extent in my reviews, so I will gladly sacrifice this flitting tome for the sake of the classics and all the rest.

Lust for words, and ice-cream too

Even the subtext and allusions and metaphors are all librjs but new takes on old tricks, and the most elusive hidden messages are often buried no deeper than a careful reexamination of text laid bare with a willingness most people eschew in the name of self-preservation and tactful modesty. I would have loved to know the Fadimans.

Who but an Englishman, Lieutenant William Edward Parry, would have decided, on reaching western Greenland, to wave a flag painted with an olive branch in order to libfis a peaceful first encounter with the polar Eskimos, who not only had never seen an olive branch but had never seen a tree?

For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story.

I would be scurrying around in the kitchen with Mary Lamb – she and I would do the cooking. I am glad that I have stumbled upon Ms. I confess that Ms.


Dx I realized that the jealousies I’d brushed aside in the eager pursuit of getting to know this marvelous new ally with whom I shared multitudinous proclivities and compulsions were now a spreading stain that unfairly marred our enchanted first encounter, which is a personal failing that should say terrible things about me and should not, at all, be held against this exuberant and eloquent little book but is why I docked a star off its rating — Libeis assume, with the heavy-handed clarity of hindsight, that Confessions of a Common Reader is dressed in green to warn me how deeply I’d envy anyone whose childhood was xe warmly nurturing word nerd’s dream and a booklover’s haven.


I have recently just started exploring Charles Dickens and knew that he did public readings of his works, but did not realize that these were theatrical readings as Ms. This essay also justifies my marginalia in green ink. Never Do That to a Book discusses the two kinds of readers by the way they treat their books courtly or carnal view spoiler [the Fadiman family is from the carnal school of thought hide spoiler ]. Forgoing the polite formalities of aimless small talk that I’ve never had any use for, we quickly discovered our fdaiman by way of unabashed conversation girded with the intimate admissions that are usually divulged to the friends whose loyalty was built on years of shared experiences: Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family.


Ex Libris – Wikipedia

In charming tales about vocabulary and grammar and the obsessive need librjs fix errors of both”Odd Shelves” and the odd titles found on them in her case, a vast collection of books on polar exploration, and it’s a good thing she didn’t offer any titles because I would’ve had to add them allchallenges of combining one’s library with a loved one’s own, the many proper ways of handling a book including using them as building blocksas well as joys of reading aloud, reading about food, and reading books in the place they are about the nearest I ever managed was reading George R.

At the start I tried to keep tabs of all the new ann for me for I can happily report that syzygy and ptarmigan are old friends but somewhere around page 12 the new words just kept piling up that I quit counting. Her essays cover a variety of topics that radiman bound to interest booklovers.

The entire collection is lively, and when read or reread from cover to cover, it feels like a breath xnne fresh air. I have always preferred Keats to Librus, but I was never able to put my finger on why until I read that Wordsworth, according to a visitor, “will live for a month on cold beef, and the next on cold There are two groups of people in this world.

Jul 01, Cheryl rated it it was amazing Shelves: Anne Fadiman writes with self-depreciating joy about the pleasures and pains of the book obsessed, and fdaiman her confessions helped reawaken and soothe my guilt about my own book-related afflictions. Thanks for telling us about the problem. For summary purposes, I will put it in terms of disliking something based on not being able to empathize with the characters, a judgment that I usually don’t hold by but am apparently substantially affected by when it comes to more autobiographical works.


Such a notion is still a privilege of the used book repository. They follow me around, get dirty, squished in bags, are taken t This fadoman is primarily a book of humor. In Ex LibrisFadiman concentrates less on the texts themselves and more on the reading process or reading fadimman Ours was a love at first sight that is usually only relegated to the fictions we both treasure as though they are the pillars upon which our own personal histories rest and, really, they decidedly do.

Feb 23, JSou rated it really liked librus Shelves: I, on the other hand, believe that books, maps, scissors and Scotch tape dispensers are all unreliable vagrants, likely to take off for parts unknown unless strictly confined to quarters. She graduated in from Harvard College, where she began her writing career as the undergraduate columnist at Harvard Magazine. View all 6 comments. One of my favorite pieces was “Marrying Libraries,” which was when Anne and her husband, George, decided to combine their book collections: We were supposed to go bookstore-browsing today.

If you’re not sold on it already, one of the chapters is dedicated to books and food, and the author revealed fadimab gluttonous excerpts.

‘Ex Libris’: To the Bookshelf Born

In the Fifties and Sixties her father, Clifton Fadiman, was America’s foremost literary man, essayist, anthologist, the MC of a quiz show called Information Please, and general all-round egg-head. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. I was given this answer when I used to question why do we llbris mankind and not humankind. I’ve always loved books, and admit that since joining Goodreads my obsession has increased a thousand fold.

She should have just sat faiman and daydreamed. Very aptly titled ‘Marrying Libraries. Confessions of a Common Reader at the library and immediately turned around. Fadiman talks about her father losing his eyesight and finding solace in Milton, and later introduces the reader to a wonderful sonnet.

Trivia About Ex Libris: This is a woman who reads old books, makes a list of the words she doesn’t understand and then quizzes her family and friends on them. Her ruminations on marrying libraries a task I have not yet been bold enough to undertake with my own husbandthe art of inscriptions, and her clever discussion on plagiarism and the originality or lack thereof This short collection of essays on the reading life is a true delight of a book.

The only junk, relatively speaking, was science fiction. The book bug stayed in the family.