The Paisley Persuasion

My name is Charles Nevsimal. This blog is a character study: devoted to the sharing of my life and times as a reader of books. Welcome to my shelf.

Jan 25
Little Free Library …So proud this is happening in my own hometown (click the photo).

Little Free Library …

So proud this is happening in my own hometown (click the photo).

Aug 3

The things people say to you when you’re a young, know-nothing writer …

Once upon a time, Kevin Brockmeier was a young man attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. This was long before he penned such amazing novels as The Brief History of the Dead and this year’s breathtaking The Illumination. Still, at the time, Brockmeier (who is, btw, one of my all-time favorite writers … full disclosure), in display of some sort of astonishing foreknowledge (or perhaps, simply good humor), recorded some of the more interesting things said to him by his professors and his peers. 

There’s nothing like historical perspective to lend clarity to bad advice … care of the Los Angeles Review of Books.


Yet more brilliance from Karen Russell …

It was hard enough to lose my father the first time. Now I can’t even hold on to my memory of him as a basically good person. Mr. Oamaru has taught me that loss isn’t just limited to the present; it can happen in any direction. Even what’s done and vanished can be taken from you. Other, earlier memories that we made of my father sink and revert to water. The past shifts its crystals inside me.* 

And …

Rangi’s been in the choir longer than any other boy. If his voice has changed, it’s done so in secret, with the stealth of wine in a dark bottle. If you ask me, it’s a perverse charity to make the mute boy rehearse with the choir. But Franz Josef says there is music like water frozen inside him. He says he wants the Waitiki Valley Boys Choir to be the heat that melts the blocks of song in Rangi. We think that Franz Josef has fantasies of a TV special, or at least a write-up in the Waitiki Gazette:

Local Choir Director Hailed as Miracle Worker! Mute Moa Youth Has the Music in Him!

*(from “Accident Brief, Occurrence # 00/422”, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Pg. 204)

**(from “Accident Brief, Occurrence # 00/422”, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Pg. 205)

Jul 30

More brilliance via Karen Russell …

From “Out to Sea,” …

…Since moving to Out-to-Sea, he’s become tight-lipped as an oyster. But he can feel the words pearling on his tongue: Girl, you are my moon. You are the tidal pull that keeps time marching forward.
What comes out is: “I used to steal muskrats.”

(Karen Russell, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Pg. 194) 

Jul 25

Soylent Green is people!!!!

Jul 24

Jul 23
Sight for sore eyes. teachingliteracy:

deathbydesk:  (Taken with picplz.)

Sight for sore eyes. 


deathbydesk:  (Taken with picplz.)

Karen Russell is good …

I have been loving me up some Karen Russell, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Her stories are wonderful. Her descriptions are the same …

"He has a face like a catcher’s mitt. The whole thing puckers inward, drooping with the memory of some dropped fly ball."

"At five feet three inches, with wrinkly skin and a bright, bald face, Mr. Uribe looked like an animate peanut."

"He couldn’t even be the understudy for a TV dad."

"She pressed both hands to the parabolic sides of the shell. She closed her eyes and smiled – it felt like being parenthesized."

All four of those appear within a page and a half of each other in the same story, “The City of Shells.” Like I said, Karen Russell is good.  


Jul 21

Sneak peak at the first paragraph to Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 …

"The taxi’s radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janáček’s Sinfonietta—probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn’t seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her eyes, and listened to the music.”

Read more about Murakami’s long-awaited new novel at The Millions

Jul 20
Favorite book cover of the week. 

Favorite book cover of the week. 

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