Footnotes & Reviews


Although our blog is not centered on reviews, they're still an important part of the process of discussing books to death around here, so we figured it wouldn't hurt to have a working definition of "book review." We like to think of our reviews as snapshots. We are not professional book reviewers, whatever that means, and we do not strive to be. What we want to do in our reviews is to capture the mixture of feelings and ideas that a books leaves behind once we're done reading. Sometimes feelings prevail, and you get a review that's all about us and our emotions and how this book made us remember our childhoods. Sometimes ideas prevail, and you get a review where we argue to death some pedantic point that we're oh-so-sure no one could've thought of before. And sometimes, in the best of cases, you get a review that balances both feelings and ideas, tells you what we thought and what we felt reading a book. 


Reviews are not exhaustive. They are a limited format and the number of things you can say about a book is... well, close to unlimited. So when we feel that we have more things to say about a book than can be written in a review, we will supplement our reviews with footnotes. Footnotes are posts in which we split hairs. They can be discussions about a character, historical analyses, comparisons between books or just random musings. There is no limit to the number of footnotes we can write about a book or to when we can post them. If we get a nagging thought about a book we reviewed months ago, we'll post it. But not all books will get footnotes.

Format & Rating System

In the beginning we tried to stick to a structured review format, but we quickly decided against it. Each book is different and each review demands its own structure. So although there may be some recurring features in our reviews (favorite quote, bottom line, where to go from here), we don't have a fixed format. As for rating, it is not the central point of our reviews, but we use Goodreads' rating system, where books we absolutely love get 5 stars and books we absolutely hate 1 star, and the rest fall in between.

List of reviews


Ajvaz, Michal - The Other City
Austen, Jane - Persuasion + footnotes


Baldwin, James - Giovanni's Room
de Beauvoir, Simone - The Second Sex
Bram, Christopher -  Surprising Myself
Bukowski, Charles - Factotum


Christie, Agatha - Three Blind Mice
Collins, Wilkie - The Woman in White + footnotes


de Duras, Claire - Ourika


Eliot, George - Daniel Deronda + footnotes
Eliot, George - The Lifted Veil + footnotes


Forster, E.M - Where Angels Fear to Tread
Forster, E.M. - Howards End + footnotes
Forster, E.M - The Machine Stops

Foucault, Michel - The History of Sexuality

Isherwood, Christopher - A Single Man 

James, Henry - A Tragedy of Error 
James, Henry - The Story of a Year
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady 
James, Henry - What Maisie Knew
Joyce, James - Ulysses + footnotes

Kerouac, Jack - On the Road + footnotes 
Kushner, Tony - Angels in America 


Mann, Thomas - Death in Venice
Mantel, Hilary - Wolf Hall
McColl, Gale & Grace Wallace, To Marry An English Lord

Morrison, Toni - Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination


Sabato, Ernesto - The Tunnel + footnotes
Salinger, J.D. - Catcher in the Rye
Scarry, Elaine - On Beauty and Being Just
Smith, Zadie - On Beauty + footnotes
Sontag, Susan - The Double Standard of Aging
Strachey, Lytton - Eminent Victorians + footnotes

Wharton, Edith - The Buccaneers
Wilde, Oscar - An Ideal Husband 
Winterson, Jeanette - Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Woolf, Virginia - Orlando