I Want To Live Here | Best Writing of the Week

I’m about to finish Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. It is a fantastic book that I put off reading for far too long.


While reading it on the bus this afternoon I came across a passage that described the room I want to spend all my days in. Fix yourself a cup of tea, or get a glass of red wine and put a stack of books on the table next to you, just to get in the right mood. I’ll wait.

Celia Bowen sits at a desk surrounded by piles of books. She ran out of space for her library some time ago, but instead of making the room larger she has opted to let the books become the room. Piles of them function as tables, others hang suspended from the ceiling, along with large golden cages holding several live white doves.

Another round cage, sitting on a table rather than hanging from above, contains an elaborate clock. It marks both time an astrological movement as it ticks steadily through the afternoon.

A large black raven  sleeps uncaged alongside the complete works of Shakespeare.

Mismatched candles in silver candelabras, burning in sets of three, surround the desk in the center of the room. Upon the desk itself there is a slowly cooling cup of tea, a scarf that has been partially unraveled into a ball of crimson yarn, a framed photograph of a deceased clockmaker, a solitary playing card long separated from its deck, and an open book filled with signs and symbols and signatures procured from other pieces of paper.

Celia sits with a notebook and pen, attempting to decipher the system the book is written in.

The book is magical, reminding me of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrellbut somehow more approachable. Where Strange & Norrell was slow going for a while, The Night Circus is richly detailed. Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy (that is, fantasy in a contemporary, real-world setting) and all readers with eclectic tastes.

Also, who do I know that can make that book-room for me?