Marbles is a book of original short prose musings — maxims, epigrams, aphorisms, whatever you’d like to call them — published in the United States by Turtle Point Press. It was listed as one of the 10 best books of 2009 by Granta editor John Freeman.
“It takes a rare gift to write in the aphoristic form, which must be witty and modest at once, and must state in a fresh, arresting way observations which the reader will recognize at once as true. It goes without saying that the aphorist must work out of an unusual perceptiveness and self-knowledge, and I am grateful to James Guida for this book which I have read from start to finish and shall read again.”—Richard Wilbur
“A total delight—incisive, strange, and philosophically compelling. [Guida’s] attention to nuance brings apparently simple experience into a rewarding craggy focus.”—Time Out
“The writing of aphorisms seems a lost art today . . . [Marbles is] full of thought-provoking sayings: some clever, some sad, some funny, some scathing.”—The New Yorker’s Book Bench
“Guida cultivates wryness . . . Advice, beauty, eroticism, gossip, justice, kindness, pride, and rigor are addressed with the right dash of leavening. Thoroughly modern, skateboards, texting and celebrities are mulled upon as well . . . Inventive and imaginative, erudite and atmospheric, Guida seizes us with his perceptive musings.”—The Brooklyn Rail
“Short and sweet. . . . The pleasure of Guida’s aphorisms is the way they illuminate the ridiculous, childlike, or reckless nature of our actions while simultaneously convincing us that we wouldn’t know nearly as much about ourselves and others without our errors.”—The Second Pass
“James Guida tells us with Marbles that he is a contemplative observer of the small stuff and the big stuff, that he is the character who sits silently and notices what most pass over. But his aphorisms don’t relate detachment from society. They are involved, intentionally touching and engaging contemporary orthodoxies from the inside rather than the outside. Marbles is condensed wisdom that feels light and digestible, sweet on the tongue with the occasional biting dash of pepper to straighten the spine . . . Overall, Marbles releases.”—True/Slant