New York Times book critic Dwight Garner has been collecting quotes for more than four decades.
On this week’s episode, Dwight Garner discusses Garner’s Quotations: A Modern Miscellany (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov. 10), an “uncommon commonplace book from a wide-ranging reader” (Kirkus). This idiosyncratic collection represents just a small slice of the weird, wild, and witty snippets Garner has gathered over the course of his life, beginning in high school in the 1980s. Through his early career and storied tenure at the Times, he continued to note bon mots from books and plays, films and TV shows, rap songs and the Paris Review. Taken in toto, they are a pleasing and peculiar measure of a literary life.
Garner and host Megan Labrise discuss whether he set out to keep a commonplace book (or added the label later); some of his collection’s themes; English journalist, novelist, and misanthrope Auberon Waugh; the allure of expletives; famous commonplace bookkeepers; how to incorporate quotations into one’s own writing, and much more.
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.
Exploring the Elements: A Complete Guide to the Periodic Table by Isabel Thomas, illus. By Sara Gillingham (Phaidon)
The Way Back by Gavriel Savit (Knopf)
American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic by Andrew Cuomo (Crown)
Memorial by Bryan Washington (Riverhead)
Also mentioned in this episode:
My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame, trans. by Anne Ishii (Pantheon)
Midnight Diner (Japanese TV series)
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.