Wedding Booking Quotes

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GIRL, write YOUR book dammit. Who cares what people think? If writers in the past cared what other people thought we'd still be glossing over 'inappropriate' kissing scenes. Break the fucking rules. Push yourself to the edge. Show the world what YOU can do. This is YOUR book. YOUR blood and guts. AND, don't you EVER, EVER, write one single line for SOMEONE ELSE.
Madeline Sheehan
I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle. This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you. And I will not be afraid of your scars. I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics
If it’s the last kiss, we’d better make it last. I hope you don’t have anywhere to be, because I have the rest of my life free.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
But I too hate long books: the better, the worse. If they're bad they merely make me pant with the effort of holding them up for a few minutes. But if they're good, I turn into a social moron for days, refusing to go out of my room, scowling and growling at interruptions, ignoring weddings and funerals, and making enemies out of friends. I still bear the scars of Middlemarch.
Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy (A Bridge of Leaves, #1))
On everyone’s lap rested a book. Any book. In case the wedding got boring.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
Finally, Cinder gulped. "I'm sorry I had to --" She gestured at the unconscious wedding coordinator, then waved her hand like shaking it off. "But she'll be fine, I swear. Maybe a little nauseous when she comes to, but otherwise...And your android...Nainsi, right? I had to disable her. And her backup processor. But any mechanic can return her to defaults in about six seconds, so..." She rubbed anxiously at her wrist. "Oh, and we ran into your captain of the guard in the hallway, and a few other guards, and I may have scared him and he's, um, unconscious. Also. But, really, they'll all be fine. I swear." Her lips twitched into a brief, nervous smile. "Um...hello, again. By the way.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
Perhaps there's another, much larger story behind the printed one, a story that changes just as our own world does. And the letters on the page tell us only as much as we'd see peering through a keyhole. Perhaps the story in the book is just the lid on a pan: It always stays the same, but underneath there's a whole world that goes on - developing and changing like our own world.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
Armies aren't very good about carrying libraries with them. I can't imagine why. We'd fight so much less if everyone would juste sit down and read.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
If you don't like a book, you can close it. But you have no right to say I can't open it.
Coleen Murtagh Paratore (The Cupid Chronicles (Wedding Planner's Daughter, #2))
We can imagine the books we'd like to read, even if they have not yet been written, and we can imagine libraries full of books we would like to possess, even if they are well beyond our reach, because we enjoy dreaming up a library that reflects every one of our interests and every one of our foibles--a library that, in its variety and complexity, fully reflects the reader we are.
Alberto Manguel
You see, one of the best things about reading is that you'll always have something to think about when you're not reading.
James Patterson (The Christmas Wedding)
Instead, we'd do what we always did, the only thing we'd ever been dependably stellar at: we'd read.
Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
The world in books seemed so much more alive to me than anything outside. I could see things I'd never seen before. Books and music were my best friends. I had a couple of good friends at school, but never met anyone I could really speak my heart to. We'd just make small talk, play soccer together. When something bothered me, I didn't talk with anyone about it. I thought it over all by myself, came to a conclusion, and took action alone. Not that I really felt lonely. I thought that's just the way things are. Human beings, in the final analysis, have to survive on their own.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
He pretended to stretch his arms, in order to shift even closer to her. (This isn’t in the history books, of course, but we’d like to point out that this was the first time a young man had ever tried that particular arm-stretch move on a young woman. Edward was the inventor of the arm stretch, a tactic that teenage boys have been using for centuries.)
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
Unless I’m at a wedding, I don’t like veiled threats.
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
I’m just thinking that would be pleasant. To be reading, say, out of a book, and you to come up and touch me – my neck, say, or my knee – and I’d carry on reading, I might let a smile, no more, wouldn’t lose my place on the page. It would be pleasant to come to that. We’d come so close, do you see, that I wouldn’t be surprised out of myself every time you touched.
Jamie O'Neill (At Swim, Two Boys)
My parents would frisk me before family events. Before weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, and what have you. Because if they didn't, then the book would be hidden inside some pocket or other and as soon as whatever it was got under way I'd be found in a corner. That was who I was...that was what I did. I was the kid with the book.
Neil Gaiman
We do treat books surprisingly lightly in contemporary culture. We’d never expect to understand a piece of music on one listen, but we tend to believe we’ve read a book after reading it just once.
Ali Smith (Artful)
It was the marriage that was important; Jane Austen rarely even bothered to write about the wedding.
Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club)
If you're not reading - with your heart as well as your brain - you will be one stupid grown up. Even worst, you'll be missing out on one of the best experiences you can possibly have. Nowhere will you meet more interesting people than in books.
James Patterson (The Christmas Wedding)
Who wouldn't want to get married in a room full of love stories?
Jen Campbell (The Bookshop Book)
Do you know who I am?" she demanded. "Well, you're Night, I suppose," said Annabeth. "I mean, I can tell because you're dark and everything, though the brochure didn't say much about you." Nyx's eyes winked out for a moment. "What brochure?" Annabeth patted her pockets. "We had one, didn't we?" Percy licked his lips. "Uh-huh." He was still watching the horses, his hand tight on his sword hilt, but he was smart enough to follow Annabeth's lead. [...] "Anyway," she said, "I guess the brochure didn't say much, because you weren't spotlighted on the tour. We got to see the River Phlegethon, the Cocytus, the arai, the poison glade of Akhlys, even some random Titans and giants, but Nyx...hmm, no you weren't really featured." "Featured? Spotlighted?" "Yeah," Percy said, warming up to the idea. "We came down here for the Tartarus tour--like, exotic destinations, you know? The Underworld is overdone. Mount Olympus is a tourist trap--" "Gods, totally!" Annabeth agreed. "So we booked the Tartarus excursion, but no one even mentioned we'd run into Nyx. Huh. Oh, well. Guess they didn't think you were important.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
When I met a truly beautiful girl, I would tell her that if she spent the night with me, I would write a novel or a story about her. This usually worked; and if her name was to be in the title of the story, it almost always worked. Then, later, when we'd passed a night of delicious love-making together, after she’d gone and I’d felt that feeling of happiness mixed with sorrow, I sometimes would write a book or story about her. Sometimes her character, her way about herself, her love-making, it sometimes marked me so heavily that I couldn't go on in life and be happy unless I wrote a book or a story about that woman, the happy and sad memory of that woman. That was the only way to keep her, and to say goodbye to her without her ever leaving.
Roman Payne
I’ll cut jewels in the shape of crumpled-up pieces of paper. Her wedding ring may look like my 33rd attempt at my marriage vows.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
You read all kinds of books and see all kinds of movies about the man who is obsessed and devoted, whose focus is a single solid beam, same as the lighthouse and that intense, too. It is Heathcliff with Catherine. It is a vampire with a passionate love stronger than death. We crave that kind of focus from someone else. We'd give anything to be that "loved." But that focus is not some soul-deep pinnacle of perfect devotion - it's only darkness and the tormented ghosts of darkness. It's strange, isn't it, to see a person's gaping emotional wounds, their gnawing needs, as our romance? We long for it, I don't know why, but when we have it, it is a knife at our throat on the banks of Greenlake. It is an unwanted power you'd do anything to be rid of. A power that becomes the ultimate powerlessness.
Deb Caletti (Stay)
No, no," said Taran slowly, "It would be folly to think of attacking them." He smiled quickly at Fflewddur. "The bards would sing of us," he admitted, "but we'd be in no position to appreciate it.
Lloyd Alexander (The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain, #1))
But I still has enough longing for that concept that I didn't want to dispel it completely. Meaning: I didn't want to tell Lily that I felt we'd all been duped by Plato and the idea of a soul mate. Just in case it turned out that she was mine.
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I married a man who was as much a part of me as my own soul.
C.J. English
We writers are the worst kind of cruel, Because we worship our own stories and poems, And what human can compete with metaphors? Writers stand still and yet vacate our homes Inside our fantasies. We are word-whores, With libidos and egos of balsa wood. We’d have sex with our books, if only we could.
Sherman Alexie (Face)
Delving into the past had unveiled a cruel lesson - that in the book of life it is perhaps best not to turn back pages; it was a path on which, whatever direction we took, we'd never be able to choose our own destiny.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Midnight Palace (Niebla, #2))
All I need to do is place my pen against paper and your love writes for me.
Kamand Kojouri
I preferred to hang out with the dead, dying, or desperate books - used we call them, in a way that we'd never call a person, unless we meant it cruelly
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I didn't say what kind of book. You have a foul mind Bingley." "Don't mock me on my sister's wedding day!" "I mocked you on yours; I hardly see how this is as bad," was Darcy's reply.
Marsha Altman (The Darcys & the Bingleys)
My dad used to say that life was like turning the pages in a book. 'Oh, look,' he'd say, pretending to flip the pages in the air after we'd had something bad happen to us. 'Bad luck here on page ninety-seven. And on ninety-eight. But something good here on ninety-nine! All you had to do was keep reading!
Ally Condie (Summerlost)
Kate thought about their wedding day as a conclusion to something, where he thought about it as a beginning. Rising action versus falling action. They were reading different books.
Mary Beth Keane (Ask Again, Yes)
People were supposed to cry at weddings; they just weren't supposed to cry because they suspected that the bride was going to die.
Alethea Kontis (Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1; Books of Arilland #1))
I was told The average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7 She picks the colors and the cake first By the age of 10 She knows time, And location By 17 She’s already chosen a gown 2 bridesmaids And a maid of honor By 23 She’s waiting for a man Who wont break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment” Someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely Someone who isn’t a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed Someone Who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one they’ve ever seen To be honest I don’t know what kind of tux I’ll be wearing I have no clue what want my wedding will look like But I imagine The women who pins my last to hers Will butterfly down the aisle Like a 5 foot promise I imagine Her smile Will be so large that you’ll see it on google maps And know exactly where our wedding is being held The woman that I plan to marry Will have champagne in her walk And I will get drunk on her footsteps When the pastor asks If I take this woman to be my wife I will say yes before he finishes the sentence I’ll apologize later for being impolite But I will also explain him That our first kiss happened 6 years ago And I’ve been practicing my “Yes” For past 2, 165 days When people ask me about my wedding I never really know what to say But when they ask me about my future wife I always tell them Her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long I say She thinks too much Misses her father Loves to laugh And she’s terrible at lying Because her face never figured out how to do it correctl I tell them If my alarm clock sounded like her voice My snooze button would collect dust I tell them If she came in a bottle I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys If she was a book I would memorize her table of contents I would read her cover-to-cover Hoping to find typos Just so we can both have a few things to work on Because aren’t we all unfinished? Don’t we all need a little editing? Aren’t we all waiting to be proofread by someone? Aren’t we all praying they will tell us that we make sense She don’t always make sense But her imperfections are the things I love about her the most I don’t know when I will be married I don’t know where I will be married But I do know this Whenever I’m asked about my future wife I always say …She’s a lot like you
Rudy Francisco
She looked up. "What I can't figure out is why the good things always end." "Everything ends." "Not some things. Not the bad things. They never go away." "Yes, they do. If you let them, they go away. Not as fast as we'd like sometimes, but they end too. What doesn't end is the way we feel about each other. Even when you're all grown up and somewhere else, you can remember what a good time we had together. Even when you're in the middle of bad things and they never seem to be changing, you can remember me. And I'll remember you.
Torey L. Hayden (Torpedo Run / Banners Of Silk / My Left Foot / Trojan Treasure)
So there we were. Once upon a time, during the storybook version of dating we'd gone through, I'd pretended that it was possible to love her when I only mildly liked her. Now I had no desire to pretend we'd ever be in love, and I liked her madly. 'Can we try to be wise with each other for a very long time?' I asked her. She laughed. 'You mean, can we share our fuckups and see if we can get any wisdom out of them?' 'Yeah,' I said. 'That would be nice.
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
Back in middle school, Catherine and I had gone through this stage where all we would read were fantasy books. We'd consume them like M&M's, by the fistful, J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Brooks and Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander. Susan Boone looked, to me, like the queen of the elves (there's almost always an elf queen in fantasy books). I mean, she was shorter than me and had on a strange lineny outfit in pale blues and greens....
Meg Cabot
I thought we’d seen the worst when we bought two hundred copies of the Invisible Book of Invisibility — cost a fortune, and we never found them. . . 
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Und wenn ich mal heirate, dann muss mein Mann zwei Bedingungen erfüllen: Er muss Bücher und Kinder lieben, alles andere ist nicht so wichtig. Ich meine, wie er aussieht und so. Obwohl es ja nicht schaden könnte, wenn er schöne Zähne hätte.
Astrid Lindgren (Britt-Mari erleichtert ihr Herz)
We tossed the bag into the pool. I resisted the urge to jump in after it. "There you go, Andvari," I said. "Enjoy." Or maybe Andvari was gone. In which case we'd just made a family of trout billionaires.
Rick Riordan (Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead (Book 3))
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Reading a novel after reading semiotic theory was like jogging empty-handed after jogging with hand weights. What exquisite guilt she felt, wickedly enjoying narrative! Madeleine felt safe with a nineteenth century novel. There were going to be people in it. Something was going to happen to them in a place resembling the world. Then too there were lots of weddings in Wharton and Austen. There were all kinds of irresistible gloomy men.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn’t shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we’d be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.
Franz Kafka
Lissa and I had been best friends ever since kindergarden, when our teacher had paired us together for writing lessons. Forcing five-year-olds to spell "Vasilisa Dragomir" and "Rosemarie Hathaway" was beyond cruel and we'd -or rather, I'd- responded appropriately. I'd chucked my book at our teacher and called her a fascist bastard. I hadn't known what those words meant, but I'd known how to hit a moving target.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
In 1800s Paris, women were prohibited from studying the nude human form, because this would've ruined the wedding-night surprise. (Surprise! It's a penis.)
Cracked.com (You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News)
At some point in reading, we realize we have to read not just the books that we'd enjoy, but the books that move us, touch us, those that break us and hurt us, those which remind us that we will always be the ignorant of this life. We have to read the books that make us so little, make us a speck of dust or a grain of sand in a galaxy, until we feed our minds with all the knowledge we need, which is infinite in itself.
Nema Al-Araby
Some people buried their fears in food, she knew, and some in booze, and some in planning elaborate engagements and weddings and other life events that took up every spare moment of their time, in case unpleasant thoughts intruded. But for Nina, whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book. Books had been her solace when she was sad; her friends when she was lonely. They had mended her heart when it was broken, and encouraged her to hope when she was down. Yet
Jenny Colgan (The Little Shop of Happy Ever After)
Why didn't you write all this time? Did you not remember us in a song? A dance? In the skies littered with stars? Did you not get drunk? Why didn’t you write all this time? Did you not remember us in a film? A book? In idyllic dusks and dawns? Did you not get high? It is good that you didn't. For all is well. I am drunk and dazed. I have already forgotten you and your bewitching ways.
Kamand Kojouri
We resent being faced with facts we'd prefer to ignore as much as being wrongly accused of doing something we haven't.
Aidan Chambers (This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn)
An angel who makes you cry is better than a devil who makes you smile.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Gulls wheel through spokes of sunlight over gracious roofs and dowdy thatch, snatching entrails at the marketplace and escaping over cloistered gardens, spike topped walls and treble-bolted doors. Gulls alight on whitewashed gables, creaking pagodas and dung-ripe stables; circle over towers and cavernous bells and over hidden squares where urns of urine sit by covered wells, watched by mule-drivers, mules and wolf-snouted dogs, ignored by hunch-backed makers of clogs; gather speed up the stoned-in Nakashima River and fly beneath the arches of its bridges, glimpsed form kitchen doors, watched by farmers walking high, stony ridges. Gulls fly through clouds of steam from laundries' vats; over kites unthreading corpses of cats; over scholars glimpsing truth in fragile patterns; over bath-house adulterers, heartbroken slatterns; fishwives dismembering lobsters and crabs; their husbands gutting mackerel on slabs; woodcutters' sons sharpening axes; candle-makers, rolling waxes; flint-eyed officials milking taxes; etiolated lacquerers; mottle-skinned dyers; imprecise soothsayers; unblinking liars; weavers of mats; cutters of rushes; ink-lipped calligraphers dipping brushes; booksellers ruined by unsold books; ladies-in-waiting; tasters; dressers; filching page-boys; runny-nosed cooks; sunless attic nooks where seamstresses prick calloused fingers; limping malingerers; swineherds; swindlers; lip-chewed debtors rich in excuses; heard-it-all creditors tightening nooses; prisoners haunted by happier lives and ageing rakes by other men's wives; skeletal tutors goaded to fits; firemen-turned-looters when occasion permits; tongue-tied witnesses; purchased judges; mothers-in-law nurturing briars and grudges; apothecaries grinding powders with mortars; palanquins carrying not-yet-wed daughters; silent nuns; nine-year-old whores; the once-were-beautiful gnawed by sores; statues of Jizo anointed with posies; syphilitics sneezing through rotted-off noses; potters; barbers; hawkers of oil; tanners; cutlers; carters of night-soil; gate-keepers; bee-keepers; blacksmiths and drapers; torturers; wet-nurses; perjurers; cut-purses; the newborn; the growing; the strong-willed and pliant; the ailing; the dying; the weak and defiant; over the roof of a painter withdrawn first from the world, then his family, and down into a masterpiece that has, in the end, withdrawn from its creator; and around again, where their flight began, over the balcony of the Room of Last Chrysanthemum, where a puddle from last night's rain is evaporating; a puddle in which Magistrate Shiroyama observes the blurred reflections of gulls wheeling through spokes of sunlight. This world, he thinks, contains just one masterpiece, and that is itself.
David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet)
As we rolled down the Million Dollar Highway, I closed my eyes and held him close around the waist, and he squeezed my hand like it was forever, like we'd really found a way to stop time, and I wanted so, so badly to believe it.
Sarah Ockler (The Book of Broken Hearts)
I hadn’t yet learned that you tend to come out of the big moments—the wedding, the book deal, the trip, the death, the birth—as the exact same person who went in, and that perhaps the strangest surprise of life is it keeps on happening to the same ol’ you.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
There are books written by women. There are books written by men. Somehow, though, it is only books by women, or books about certain topics, that require this special "women's fiction" designation, particularly when those books have the audacity to explore, in some manner, the female experience, which, apparently, includes the topics of marriage, suburban existence, and parenthood, as if women act alone in these endeavors, wedding themselves, immaculately conceiving children, and the like.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)
Birthdays: without them we'd be immortal. But just because you're not immortal, doesn't mean you can't be immature indefinitely.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
He's an eighteen-year-old boy and this is his wedding night. I don't think he's taking me home to play checkers.
Amy Engel (The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1))
Armies aren’t very good about carrying libraries with them. I can’t imagine why. We’d fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read.” Gifford’s laugh rumbled through him, loud against her ear. “A question I often ask myself. Imagine how much money the realm would save if the rulers focused their finances on libraries, rather than wars.” “Not if I were allowed to shop for books.” “England would go bankrupt,” he said gravely. “Thank God for wars.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
1. Society needs laws. While anarchy can often turn a humdrum weekend into something unforgettable, eventually the mob must be kept from stealing the conch and killing Piggy. And while it would be nice if that "something" was simple human decency, anybody who has witnessed the "50% Off Wedding Dress Sale" at Filene's Basement knows we need a backup plan—preferably in writing. On the other hand, too many laws can result in outright tyranny, particularly if one of those laws is "Kneel before Zod." Somewhere between these two extremes lies the legislative sweet-spot that produces just the right amount of laws for a well-adjusted society—more than zero, less than fascism.
Jon Stewart (America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction)
It was like murdering two of your children. I try to make the readers feel they’ve lived the events of the book. Just as you grieve if a friend is killed, you should grieve if a fictional character is killed. You should care. If somebody dies and you just go get more popcorn, it’s a superficial experience isn’t it?
George R.R. Martin
Love is dirty-sloppy-stupid. The problem has always been: How do we contain such a dangerous substance (love) in the confines of holy matrimony without hurting or killing someone? pg ii
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs The Book for Daughters)
If he can't get to the clock, any idea how we deal with this lot?" "With great care," Donegan suggested. "How about we run off shout and they follow?" Said Gracious. "Then, just when they think they've caught us they fall into our trap." "OK," said Tanith. "And that trap would be?" "A big hole we'd dug earlier and covered with branches.' Tanith frowned. "I thought you were meant to be smart." Gracious frowned back at her. "Who told you that?" "Gracious is book smart," said Donegan. "He leaves the real world thinking to people like you and me and small dogs that he meets." "The innocent are often the wisest.
Derek Landy (Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8))
You really think love needs to have a future?” “Absolutely.” “Good,” Lily said. “So do I.” “Good,” I echoed, leaning in. “So do you.” “Don’t repeat what I say,” she told me, swatting at my arm. “Don’t repeat what I say,” I murmured, smiling. “You’re being silly,” she said, but the silliness was falling out of her voice. “You’re being silly,” I assured her. “Lily is the greatest girl who ever was.” I drew closer. “Lily is the greatest girl who ever was.” For a moment, I think we’d forgotten where we were. And then the officers returned, and we were reminded once again.
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
When we think of the masterpieces that nobody praised and nobody read, back there in the past, we feel an impatient superiority to the readers of the past. If we had been there, we can’t help feeling, we’d have known that Moby-Dick was a good book—-why, how could anyone help knowing? But suppose someone says to us, “Well, you’re here now: what’s our own Moby-Dick? What’s the book that, a hundred years from now, everybody will look down on us for not having liked?” What do we say then?
Randall Jarrell (The Third Book of Criticism)
We ran like young wild furies, where angels feared to tread. The woods were dark and deep. Before us demons fled. We checked Coke bottle bottoms to see how far was far. Our worlds of magic wonder were never reached by car. We loved our dogs like brothers, our bikes like rocket ships. We were going to the stars, to Mars we'd make round trips. We swung on vines like Tarzan, and flashed Zorro's keen blade. We were James Bond in his Aston, we were Hercules unchained. We looked upon the future and we saw a distant land, where our folks were always ageless, and time was shifting sand. We filled up life with living, with grins, scabbed knees, and noise. In glass I see an older man, but this book's for the boys.
Robert R. McCammon
We’d each roll to our side of the bed and let our own savior take us away. Soraya’s was sleep. Mine, as always, was a book.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
Books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks — already in the infant mind these couples were compromisingly linked; and after two hundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson would be wedded indissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
God forces us to quantify our religious tenants by measuring them against the family problems they solve. If your religious beliefs aren't solving family problems then something is broke--and it can be fixed. pg iv
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs The Book for Daughters)
I always knew it was ill-fated, but he truly believed I would be his bride. I guess I'd never realized that before. He had taken my mucker hand and looked at my mottled face and believed we would wed. And he hadn't seemed sorry. In fact, he'd swooped me up in a corridor and kissed me. That set me to crying.
Shannon Hale (Book of a Thousand Days)
I think a free library is an outrageous perk. I think being able to take out 50 books at a time is an astounding luxury, especially if you've priced hardbound books anytime since the Clinton administration. Go into a public library, fill out the application, and here you go, we'll loan you $1,000 worth of materials. Collateral? Nah - just take them. You're good for it. We'd do it for anybody. And we would.
Don Borchert (Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library)
If the skies were to fall, we'd have a chance of catching them.
Emylia Hall (The Book of Summers)
It's a damn good thing I'm not the damsel in distress type; we'd all be f*cked.
R.M. Gilmore
If we followed our feelings all the time, we'd be like cats chasin' their tails.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Marriage is a three ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring and suffering. ~  Unknown
Melinda Curtis (Book Boyfriends Cafe Summer Lovin' Anthology)
It’s a stereotype,” he hissed. “It’s a damn stereotype and it’s harmful. If this catches on, we’ll have all sorts of sorcerers running around, waving wands and chanting spells. Do you know how ridiculous we’d look?” Tanith shrugged. “I liked Harry Potter.” “This ain’t about Harry Potter!” “You liked Harry Potter as well.” “They’re good books,” he snapped, “but I do not agree with this wand business. All those guys down there, criminals and mobsters and gangsters, and who are they taking orders from? A wizard with a wand. How can they take him seriously? How are they going to take us seriously when we attack?
Derek Landy (The Maleficent Seven: From the World of Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #7.5))
Marriage is nothing to underestimate. Success in marriage is about getting back up, again and again. Ultimately, the Shulamite had to write her own role in Solomon's drama. She made Solomon's problems her problems. For her, that was worth every bruise. pg ii
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs The Book for Daughters)
Mouthful of Forevers I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle.   This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar on your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.   And I will not be afraid of your scars.   I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: Whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap, your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
If you've ever read one of those articles that asks notable people to list their favorite books, you may have been impressed or daunted to see them pick Proust or Thomas Mann or James Joyce. You might even feel sheepish about the fact that you reread Pride and Prejudice or The Lord of the Rings, or The Catcher in the Rye or Gone With the Wind every couple of years with some much pleasure. Perhaps, like me, you're even a little suspicious of their claims, because we all know that the books we've loved best are seldom the ones we esteem the most highly - or the ones we'd most like other people to think we read over and over again.
Laura Miller (The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia)
Then it dawned on me that men throughout the country had to know about nu shu (women's written word). How could they not? They wore it on their embroidered shoes. They saw us weaving our messages into cloth. They heard us singing our songs and showing off our third-day wedding books. Men just considered our writing beneath them. It is said men have the hearts of iron, while women are made of water. This comes through men's writing and women's writing. Men's writing has more than 50,000 characters, each uniquely different, each with deep meanings and nuances. Our women's writing has 600 characters, which we use phonetically, like babies to create about 10,000 words. Men's writing takes a lifetime to learn and understand. Women's writing is something we pick up as girls, and we rely on the context to coax meaning. Men write about the outer realm of literature, accounts, and crop yields; women write about the inner realm of children, daily chores, and emotions. The men in the Lu household were proud of their wives' fluency in nu shu and dexterity in embroidery, though these things had as much importance to survival as a pig's fart.
Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
Yes. I was just telling Elyse here... frankly, kids, I'm not sure it's even legal to have a female first mate. We'd have to consult the rule book, but as far as I know, regatta's a man's race." Christian's jaw ticked, just like it had with his father the night of the party. "Damn. Must have hit my head on the way out of that time machine. 1850, are we? I might need some new clothes. Elyse, you sew right? Don't all girls sew?
Sarah Ockler (The Summer of Chasing Mermaids)
And out came an insult with the velocity of a whisper. But I could see I offended, so I zipped up my pants and left the wedding reception.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
She bit down on her lower lip, just like the heroines always did in her books. Hopefully it actually looked more sexy temptress than hungry zombie looking for flesh.
Diane Alberts (Falling for the Groomsman (Wedding Dare, #1))
We only had this one life. We could wish for the past all day long. We could look at old pictures and tell ourselves the same old stories but they're just that—stories. Memories. They happened. And maybe they were wonderful and amazing, and maybe they changed our lives in ways we'd never be changed again, but they no longer existed. By the time we stopped to reflect on one moment, it was gone, and another was instantly upon us, also destined to pass.
Sarah Ockler (The Book of Broken Hearts)
I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn't shake us awake like a blow on the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.
Franz Kafka
Book of Common Prayer "With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I endow." "That vow is a pledge that the husband will make love to his wife, and not use her just for sex. The vow expressed the idea that making love is an act of worship. The husband worships his wife with his body, by loving her and giving to her and moving with her toward ecstasy.
Sylvain Reynard
The problem here is that you think love will take all the pain away, like it does for characters in a book. It's not that easy, Stephen, and not that simple; despite all your bards and how much we'd like that to be true. It isn't. Love isn't going to fix me, or you. It's not a laxative that just helps you shit out all the crap you'd rather forget.
Brandon Shire (Listening To Dust)
I am not the only one who sometimes thinks I came from the pages of a book my father wrote. Maybe it’s like that for all boys of a certain —or uncertain— age: We feel as though there are no choices we’d made through all those miles and miles behind us that hadn’t been scripted by our fathers, and that our futures are only a matter of flipping the next page that was written ahead of us. I am not the only one who’s ever been trapped inside a book.
Andrew Smith (100 Sideways Miles)
After ten whole minutes of painful silence, I finally raised my hand and told Mr. O'Hara I loved Miranda Blythe's romance novels, and I decided I liked him immediately when he didn't laugh or reassure me that we'd be reading real books. Like Mrs. Andrews had last year. He did say, 'I'm afraid Ms. Blythe is not on the curriculum this semester. We'll be starting your education with the epic poets—boring, I know, but necessary building blocks. However, an extra-credit book report is always welcome, and you're free to choose whatever topic you like.' Then Mr. O'Hara added, 'I think Ms. Blythe's works would be a particularly interesting topic for a report. In fact, if you want an example of the archetypal hero journey—' 'Wait, wait, wait.' Fred raised his hand. 'You read romance novels?' 'My dear boy,' Mr. O'Hara replied, 'I read everything.
Caitlen Rubino-Bradway (Ordinary Magic)
Barack insisted that we pay for everything ourselves, using what we'd saved from his book royalties. As long as I've known him, he's been this way: extra-vigilant when it comes to matters of money and ethics, holding himself to a higher standard than even what's dictated by law. There's an age-old maxim in the black community: You've got to be twice as good to get half as far. As the first African American family in the White House, we were being viewed as representatives of our race. Any error or lapse in judgment, we knew, would be magnified, read as something more than it was.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Funerals and weddings often take place in the same location. Some would also argue that they sometimes happen at the same time too.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Self-help isn't really self-help unless someone else is also helping you. We'd like to be that someone.
Kenneth Schwarz
The guy in your book? I’m that guy,” “I’ve never done any of the stuff in that book,” she said, “But I want to. I’ve wanted to for a while.
Laura Kaye (Dare to Resist (Wedding Dare, #0.5))
Writing keeps death at bay. Every book I write is a triumph over death. ... If we did not know we’d die, we’d wander around and sleep like cats.
Ray Bradbury
wedding. If you're using a flash, set your white balance
Scott Kelby (The Digital Photography Book)
My spouse is my shield, my spouse is my strength.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
In modern times couples are more concerned about loyalty than love.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
we think of our children as amazingly fragile and entirely moldable. Both assumptions are mistaken. It’s harder to ruin our kids than we think and harder to stamp them for success than we’d like.
Kevin DeYoung (Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem)
A Ripple Song Once a ripple came to land In the sunset burning- Lapped against a maiden's hand, By the ford returning. Dainty foot and gentle breast- Here, across, be glad and rest. "Maiden, wait," the ripple saith "Wait awhile, for I am Death!" 'Where my lover calls I go- Shame it were to treat him coldly- 'Twas a fish that circled so, Turning over boldly.' Dainty foot and tender heart, Wait the loaded ferry-cart. "Wait, ah, wait!" the ripple saith; "Maiden, wait, for I am Death!" 'When my lover calls I haste- Dame Disdain was never wedded!' Ripple-ripple round her waist, Clear the current eddied. Foolish heart and faithful hand, Little feet that touched no land. Far away the ripple sped, Ripple-ripple-running red!
Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Books)
I stepped inside and stopped, blinking in astonishment. From the exterior I'd expected a charming little book and curio shop with the inner dimensions of a university Starbucks. What I got was a cavernous interior that housed a display of books that made the library Disney's Beast gave to Beauty on their wedding day look understocked.
Karen Marie Moning (Darkfever (Fever, #1))
There's a long tradition that says women gossip, when in fact women are the memory of the world. We keep the family trees and the baby books. We manage the milk teeth. We keep the census of diseases, the records of divorces, battles and medals. We witness the wills. We wash the weddings our of the bedsheets. We know everything there is to know, and we keep it rolled into the newel posts, stuffed into the mattresses, smuggled inside our vaginas if it comes to that. Women's clothing is made without pockets, but we come into the world equipped
Maria Dahvana Headley (The Mere Wife)
Ours is a culture that dances on the edge of ephemerality. If our servers slept for too long or if we left our iPads unplugged for too long, we'd wake up like Rip Van Winkle to find all of our book culture erased.
Jason Merkoski (Burning the Page: The eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading)
I’ve read all the books we have.” She wrinkled her nose. “Armies aren’t very good about carrying libraries with them. I can’t imagine why. We’d fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read.” Gifford’s
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.
Seneca
Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn’t shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we’d be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves.
Franz Kafka
Where did the stereotypical image of the reclusive author in a bathrobe and slippers, indulging in vices and spending hours before a typewriter, even come from? I don't know about you, but most writers don't have the luxury of doing any of this. Otherwise we'd have no life experience and nothing to write about, anyway.
Rebecca McNutt
You can't just pick up a gun and become a gunfighter, or go off and explore for a new world, or pull a sword out of a stone, or rescue a damsel in distress, or-- so we play games and we read books because the world isn't the world we thought we were supposed to get, the world we thought we'd been promised by somebody. Because things didn't turn out the way they were supposed to. So we go someplace else.
J. Michael Straczynski (Spider-Man: One More Day)
So there we were. Once upon a time, during the storybook version of dating we’d gone through, I’d pretended that it was possible to love her when I only mildly liked her. Now I had no desire to pretend we’d ever be in love, and I liked her madly.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
No one talks about it. No one talks about them at all. “The Ancients prefer discretion,” Mom once told me. But some say it’s because they’re so freakish we’d drop dead of fright. Others say they’re too attractive, too tempting. I prefer this theory.
Melissa West
One year ago you walked into the Bodleian Library and straight into my heart. As soon as that wicked mouth of yours smiled, the moment your eyes lightened with recognition even though we’d never met before, I knew that my life would never be the same.
Deborah Harkness
Every day we’re bombarded with information and images—with adolescents in heavy makeup pretending to be grown women as they advertise miraculous creams promising eternal beauty; with the story of an aging couple who climbed Mount Everest to celebrate their wedding anniversary; with new massage gizmos, and pharmacy windows that are chockablock with slimming products; with movies that give an entirely false impression of reality, and books promising fantastic results; with specialists who give advice about how to succeed in life or find inner peace. And all these things make us feel old, make us feel that we’re leading dull, unadventurous lives as our skin grows ever more flaccid, and the pounds pile on irrevocably. And yet we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.” Choose what information you listen to. Place a filter over your eyes and ears and allow in only things that won’t bring you down, because we have our day-to-day life to do that.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Sometimes we think we know people at first sight,” he said. “As though we’d met them a hundred times before, in another life, in another world. And then we realize that we know nothing. How did they look as children? What dreams startle them from their sleep?
Cornelia Funke (The Golden Yarn (Reckless Book 3))
The only bit I have pictured in any detail is the music (maybe 'The Book of Love' by the Magnetic Fields. Or Johnny Cash's 'It Ain't Me, Babe'). It doesn't matter if the selection is slow or fast, but couples shouldn't scramble to select it. If you have ever gone dancing or on a road trip or had a romantic bout of serenaded sex on a winter night, you should have a few to pick from. If not, you probably shouldn't be getting married.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
In fact, most of the pockets you see on women’s pants are just illusions made to taunt you. Or sometimes they really are pockets but they are intentionally sewn closed, as if to say, “I’m letting you have these pockets but I’m sewing them shut for your own good.” And most of us leave them sewn shut because we’d rather look thin than have pockets.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
I'll tell you the same thing I told your father. We make mistakes. They don't make us. If they did, we'd all be royally fucked, especially a coupe of assholes like us." I grin at his last remark, and finally find some words to say, even though I'm not sure I possess the conciliatory feelings to match my town. "You could learn a lot from an asshole." Dugan smiles at that, and it's the first time I've ever seen him do it. "I guess so.
Jonathan Tropper (The Book of Joe)
Uncertainty. Vulnerability. Death. Hard truths have a secret power over us. We’d rather ignore them.
Eran Dror (The Book of Hard Truths: 16 Facts of Life We Should Learn to Accept)
I wish I had a dollar for every hour I've spent in the library," he always says. I have to agree- we'd probably never have to worry about money again.
Gary Paulsen (Notes from the Dog)
Is this yours?’ ‘Yes, Papa.’ ‘Do you want to read it?’ Again, ‘Yes, Papa.’ A tired smile. Metallic eyes, melting. ‘Well we’d better read it then.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Death is a grisly King; Fate is his bride. Now quaintly I've chosen To serve at their table, To dance at their wedding…
Nancy Springer (The White Hart (The Book of Isle, #1))
I remember when I was probably about ten years old I had a pen pal, and writing letters back and forth with him was one of my favorite things to do. His name was Steve and he lived in one of those huge mansions that's so big it has a name. It was called the Louisiana State Penitentiary, and he told me it was even bigger than the mayor's mansion. We'd send letters back and forth and he'd ask me to send him my favorite books and small pieces of metal or wood that were lying around and all the money I could find in my house. And I'd gather them all up and put cute little stickers of cats on the packages and send them away. It was so fun. Eventually we stopped writing because I moved to another city and he moved out to live on his own. He called it "solitary confinement." I was always so impressed by his vocabulary.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
On the black earth on which the ice plants bloomed, hundreds of black stink bugs crawled. And many of them stuck their tails up in the air. "Look at all them stink bugs," Hazel remarked, grateful to the bugs for being there. "They're interesting," said Doc. "Well, what they got their asses up in the air for?" Doc rolled up his wool socks and put them in the rubber boots and from his pocket he brought out dry socks and a pair of thin moccasins. "I don't know why," he said. "I looked them up recently--they're very common animals and one of the commonest things they do is put their tails up in the air. And in all the books there isn't one mention of the fact that they put their tails up in the air or why." Hazel turned one of the stink bugs over with the toe of his wet tennis shoe and the shining black beetle strove madly with floundering legs to get upright again. "Well, why do you think they do it?" "I think they're praying," said Doc. "What!" Hazel was shocked. "The remarkable thing," said Doc, "isn't that they put their tails up in the air--the really incredibly remarkable thing is that we find it remarkable. We can only use ourselves as yardsticks. If we did something as inexplicable and strange we'd probably be praying--so maybe they're praying." "Let's get the hell out of here," said Hazel.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row)
None of us had any experience with literary societies, so we made our own rules: we took turns speaking about the books we'd read. At the start, we tried to be calm and objective, but that soon fell away, and the purpose of the speaker was to goad the listeners into wanting to read the book themselves. Once two members had read the same book, they could argue, which was our great delight. We read books, talked books, argued over books, and became dearer and dearer to one another.
Mary Ann Shaffer
even if Noam Chomsky were right about everything, the Islamic doctrines related to martyrdom, jihad, blasphemy, apostasy, the rights of women and homosexuals, etc. would still present huge problems for the emergence of a global civil society (and these are problems quite unlike those presented by similar tenets in other faiths, for reasons that I have explained at length elsewhere and touch on only briefly here). And any way in which I might be biased or blinded by “the religion of the state,” or any other form of cultural indoctrination, has absolutely no relevance to the plight of Shiites who have their mosques, weddings, and funerals bombed by Sunni extremists, or to victims of rape who are beaten, imprisoned, or even killed as “adulteresses” throughout the Muslim world. I hope it goes without saying that the Afghan girls who even now are risking their lives by merely learning to read would not be best compensated for their struggles by being handed copies of Chomsky’s books enumerating the sins of the West
Sam Harris
By the time we'd moved into that rambling, lopsided wooden house, I'd already fallen in love with reading. I think my love for books sprang from my need to escape the world I was born into, to slide into another where words were straightforward and honest, where there was clearly delineated good and evil, where I found girls who were strong and smart and creative and foolish enough to fight dragons, to run away from home to live in museums, to become child spies, to make new friends and build secret gardens.
Jesmyn Ward (Men We Reaped)
On everyone's lap rested a book. Any book. In case the wedding got boring. As the priest droned on in the same manner as last time, Jane was both pleased and annoyed that no one was taking advantage of her thoughtfulness.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
Dany "Bring me that book I was reading last night." She wanted to lose herself in the words, in other times and other places. The fat leather-bound volume was full of songs and stories from the Seven Kingdoms. Children's stories, if truth be told; too simple and fanciful to be true history. All the heroes were tall and handsome, and you could tell the traitors by their shifty eyes. Yet she loved reading them all the same. Last night she had been reading of the three princesses in the red tower, locked away by the king for the crime of being beautiful. When her handmaiden brought the book, dany had no trouble finding the page where she had left off, but is was no good. She found herself reading the same passage half a dozen times. "Ser Jorah gave me this book as a bride's gift, the day I we'd Khal Drogo" She played at at being a queen, yet sometimes she felt like a scared little girl.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Outside theology and fantastic literature, few can doubt that the main features of our universe are its dearth of meaning and lack of discernible purpose. And yet, with bewildering optimism, we continue to assemble whatever scraps of information we can gather in scrolls and books and computer chips, on shelf after library shelf, whether material, virtual or otherwise, pathetically intent on lending the world a semblance of sense and order, while knowing perfectly well that, however much we'd like to believe the contrary, our pursuits are sadly doomed to failure.
Alberto Manguel (The Library at Night)
I believe he's got a lot of courage to write that book. If the Axis had lost the war, we'd be able to say and write anything we wanted, like we used to; we'd be one country and we'd have a fair legal system, the same one for all of us.
Philip K. Dick
The only difference between having an affair here and having an affair there was that the American men would always ended up losing half of his estates over a woman he was infatuated just as much as the next tramp who would come his way, while Japanese men would only earn more respect from their subordinates through the possession of much younger women, as a sign of prowess and affluence, while their wives at home, as if there were rule books distributed nationally on the “proper” marriage etiquette for all young Japanese women to read before they enter into the matrimony, would turn a blind eye on their disloyalty quietly.
Vann Chow (The White Man and the Pachinko Girl)
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
There would be no more hot dog-eating contests or NASCAR or picnics in the park or Cheetos or America's Funniest Home Videos or revving truck engines or books or children laughing or fetch with a stick or i{hone updates or shopping or electrical jobs or songs or genius inventions or drunken dancing or Fireball whiskey or snow globes or wedding vows or ugly ties or Christmas hugs or...families
Kira Jane Buxton (Hollow Kingdom (Hollow Kingdom, #1))
When I went on my first antidepressant it had the side effect of making me fixated on suicide (which is sort of the opposite of what you want). It’s a rare side effect so I switched to something else that did work. Lots of concerned friends and family felt that the first medication’s failure was a clear sign that drugs were not the answer; if they were I would have been fixed. Clearly I wasn’t as sick as I said I was if the medication didn’t work for me. And that sort of makes sense, because when you have cancer the doctor gives you the best medicine and if it doesn’t shrink the tumor immediately then that’s a pretty clear sign you were just faking it for attention. I mean, cancer is a serious, often fatal disease we’ve spent billions of dollars studying and treating so obviously a patient would never have to try multiple drugs, surgeries, radiation, etc., to find what will work specifically for them. And once the cancer sufferer is in remission they’re set for life because once they’ve learned how to not have cancer they should be good. And if they let themselves get cancer again they can just do whatever they did last time. Once you find the right cancer medication you’re pretty much immune from that disease forever. And if you get it again it’s probably just a reaction to too much gluten or not praying correctly. Right? Well, no. But that same, completely ridiculous reasoning is what people with mental illness often hear … not just from well-meaning friends, or people who were able to fix their own issues without medication, or people who don’t understand that mental illness can be dangerous and even fatal if untreated … but also from someone much closer and more manipulative. We hear it from ourselves. We listen to the small voice in the back of our head that says, “This medication is taking money away from your family. This medication messes with your sex drive or your weight. This medication is for people with real problems. Not just people who feel sad. No one ever died from being sad.” Except that they do. And when we see celebrities who fall victim to depression’s lies we think to ourselves, “How in the world could they have killed themselves? They had everything.” But they didn’t. They didn’t have a cure for an illness that convinced them they were better off dead. Whenever I start to doubt if I’m worth the eternal trouble of medication and therapy, I remember those people who let the fog win. And I push myself to stay healthy. I remind myself that I’m not fighting against me … I’m fighting against a chemical imbalance … a tangible thing. I remind myself of the cunning untrustworthiness of the brain, both in the mentally ill and in the mentally stable. I remind myself that professional mountain climbers are often found naked and frozen to death, with their clothes folded neatly nearby because severe hypothermia can make a person feel confused and hot and convince you to do incredibly irrational things we’d never expect. Brains are like toddlers. They are wonderful and should be treasured, but that doesn’t mean you should trust them to take care of you in an avalanche or process serotonin effectively.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
I promise to dream with you both great dreams and small dreams. To ask your counsel in times of uncertainty. To honor your silence when you seek to be alone. To be ever wondrous at your curiosities and revelations. And to be ever rejuvenated by your passions . . .
Carew Papritz (The Legacy Letters: his Wife, his Children, his Final Gift)
The universality of reason is a momentous realization, because it defines a place for morality. If I appeal to you do do something that affects me—to get off my foot, or not to stab me for the fun of it, or to save my child from drowning—then I can't do it in a way that privileges my interests of yours if I want you to take me seriously (say, by retaining my right to stand on your foot, or to stab you, or to let your children drown). I have to state my case in a way that would force me to treat you in kind. I can't act as if my interests are special just because I'm me and you're not, any more than I can persuade you that the spot I am standing on is a special place in the universe just because I happen to be standing on it. You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other's children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other's children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be a bit better off if I acted selfishly at your expense and you played the sucker, but the same is true for you with me, so if each of us tried for these advantages, we'd both end up worse off. Any neutral observer, and you and I if we could talk it over rationally, would have to conclude that the state we should aim for is the one where we both are unselfish. Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Violet 232 books | 49 friends see comment history Black for hunting through the night For death and mourning the color’s white Gold for a bride in her wedding gown And red to call enchantment down. White silk when our bodies burn, Blue banners when the lost return. Flame for the birth of a Nephilim, And to wash away our sins. Gray for knowledge best untold, Bone for those who don’t grow old. Saffron lights the victory march, Green will mend our broken hearts. Silver for the demon towers, And bronze to summon wicked powers.
Cassandra Clare
All books are good," he said. "That's not true," I said. "I've read some really bad books." I was thinking specifically of Anne of Green Gables, which we'd been forced to read the term before and which was the most stupid, annoying book I'd ever encountered. "They weren't bad books," Phin countered patiently. "They were books that you didn't enjoy. It's not the same thing at all. The only bad books are the books that are so badly written that no one will publish them. Any book that has been published is going to be a 'good book' for someone.
Lisa Jewell (The Family Upstairs)
And yes, you might be thinking that girls can totally wear cargo pants if they want to, but I disagree. Skinny girls might be able to wear those things, but girls like me look like they’re wearing pants with a bunch of purses stapled to them, and that’s really the last thing you need when you’re looking for something slimming in the plus-size section. In fact, most of the pockets you see on women’s pants are just illusions made to taunt you. Or sometimes they really are pockets but they are intentionally sewn closed, as if to say, “I’m letting you have these pockets but I’m sewing them shut for your own good.” And most of us leave them sewn shut because we’d rather look thin than have pockets.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Now," he said. "I want to hear about your day. Did you read any new books?" "I've read all the books we have." She wrinkled her nose. "Armies aren't very good about carrying libraries with them. I can't imagine why. We'd fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read." Gifford's laugh rumbled through him, loud against her ear. "A question I often ask myself. Imagine how much money the realm would save if the rulers focused their finances on libraries, rather than wars." "Not if I were allowed to shop for books." "England would go bankrupt," he said gravely. "Thank God for wars." She pushed him away, playful. "You can't switch sides like that." The corner of his mouth quirked up. "It's too late. I've switched already, and since you've forbidden switching that quickly again, I'm stuck opposing you." "Congratulations," she said. "You've just described our entire relationship.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
My dad used to say that life was like turning the pages in a book. "Oh, look," he'd say, pretending to flip the pages in the air after we'd had something bad happen to us. "Bad luck here on page ninety-seven. And on ninety-eight. But something good here on ninety-nine! All you had to do was keep reading!
Ally Condie (Summerlost)
It probably didn't help that we kept being taken on holiday to monasteries. Not many kids there, just monks. Although you do find the best reverb in monastic chapels. I have a theory that the religious experience is actually based on reverb - which is why outdoor weddings always seem weird. God isn't in the details, he's in the echo.
Tom McRae (Hang the DJ: An Alternative Book of Music Lists)
Some people buried their fears in food, she knew, and some in booze, and some in planning elaborate engagements and weddings and other life events that took up every spare moment of their time in case unpleasant thoughts intruded. But for Nina, whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book.
Jenny Colgan (The Bookshop on the Corner)
All I do is fly, so one-upping Ann was pretty easy. “A few years back, at a book signing, I met a pilot,” I began. “He flew the Newark to Palm Beach route, right? So it’s December twenty-third, and as they touch down in Florida, one of the flight attendants takes the microphone and delivers her standard landing speech. ‘Please remain seated until the FASTEN SEAT BELT sign has been turned off and be careful when opening the overhead bins. We’d like to wish you a merry Christmas and, to those of you already standing, happy Hanukkah.
David Sedaris (Calypso)
Liza Hempstock, who had been Bod's friend for the last six years, was different in another way; she was less likely to be there for him when Bod went down to the nettle patch to see her, and on the rare occasions when she was, she would be short-tempered, argumentative and often downright rude. Bod talked to Mr Owens about this, and after a few moments' reflection, his father said, "It's just women, I reckon. She liked you as a boy, probably isn't sure who you are now you're a young man. I used to play with one little girl down by the duck pond every day until she turned about your age, and then she threw an apple at my head and did not say another word to me until I was seventeen." Mrs Owens stiffened. "It was a pear I threw," she said, tartly, "and I was talking to you again soon enough, for we danced a measure at your cousin Ned's wedding, and that was but two days after your sixteenth birthday." Mr Owens said, "Of course you are right, my dear." He winked at Bod, to tell him that it was none of it serious. And then mouthed "Seventeen" to show that, really, it was.
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
My best friend came to visit from far away. She took two planes and a train to get to Brooklyn. We met at a bar near my apartment and drank in a hurry as the babysitter's meter ticked. In the past, we'd talked about books and other people, but now we talked only of our respective babies, hers sweet-faced and docile, mine at war with the world. We applied our muzzy intellects to a theory of light. That all are born radiating light but that this light diminished slowly (if one was lucky) or abruptly (if one was not). The most charismatic people—the poets, the mystics, the explorers—were that way because they had somehow managed to keep a bit of this light that was meant to have dimmed. But the shocking thing, the unbearable thing it seemed, was that the natural order was for this light to vanish. It hung on sometimes through the twenties, a glint here or there in the thirties, and then almost always the eyes went dark.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation)
She seated herself on a dark ottoman with the brown books behind her, looking in her plain dress of some thin woollen-white material, without a single ornament on her besides her wedding-ring, as if she were under a vow to be different from all other women; and Will sat down opposite her at two yards' distance, the light falling on his bright curls and delicate but rather petulant profile, with its defiant curves of lip and chin. Each looked at the other as if they had been two flowers which had opened then and there. Dorothea for the moment forgot her husband's mysterious irritation against Will: it seemed fresh water at her thirsty lips to speak without fear to the one person whom she had found receptive; for in looking backward through sadness she exaggerated a past solace.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
Before we'd arrived, I'd asked my brother to stock our room with paperback classics and murder mysteries - Jamie Watson's poison, if you'll excuse the expression - and I hope that he'll be engrossed enough in Slaughterhouse 5 to not notice that, from time to time, I would slip out to do some work on my own. The fact that Milo ordered those books in German is an unfunny joke and hardly my fault.
Brittany Cavallaro (The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes, #2))
Every week seems to bring another luxuriantly creamy envelope, the thickness of a letter-bomb, containing a complex invitation – a triumph of paper engineering – and a comprehensive dossier of phone numbers, email addresses, websites, how to get there, what to wear, where to buy the gifts. Country house hotels are being block-booked, great schools of salmon are being poached, vast marquees are appearing overnight like Bedouin tent cities. Silky grey morning suits and top hats are being hired and worn with an absolutely straight face, and the times are heady and golden for florists and caterers, string quartets and Ceilidh callers, ice sculptors and the makers of disposable cameras. Decent Motown cover-bands are limp with exhaustion. Churches are back in fashion, and these days the happy couple are travelling the short distance from the place of worship to the reception on open-topped London buses, in hot-air balloons, on the backs of matching white stallions, in micro-lite planes. A wedding requires immense reserves of love and commitment and time off work, not least from the guests. Confetti costs eight pounds a box. A bag of rice from the corner shop just won’t cut it anymore.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Some people buried their fears in food, she knew, and some in booze, and some in planning elaborate engagements and weddings and other life events that took up every spare moment of their time in case unpleasant thoughts intruded. But for Nina, whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book. Books had been her solace when she was sad, her friends when she was lonely. They had mended her heart when it was broken, and encouraged her to hope when she was down. Yet much as she disputed the fact, it was time to admit that books were not real life.
Jenny Colgan (The Bookshop on the Corner)
A little girl was threatened by a wolf while walking through the forest, and as she fled from him she met a woodsman with an ax, but in this story the woodsman did not merely kill the wolf and restore the girl to her family, oh no. He cut off the wolf’s head, then brought the girl to his cottage in the thickest, darkest part of the forest, and there he kept her until she was old enough to wed him, and she became his bride in a ceremony conducted by an owl, even though she had never stopped crying for her parents in all the years that he had kept her prisoner. And she had children by him, and the woodsman raised them to hunt wolves and to seek out people who strayed from the paths of the forest. They were told to kill the men and take what was valuable from their pockets, but to bring the women to him.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
One of Victor’s friends had a pet called “Terry the Truth Cat.” When she was little and her father thought she was lying he would pick up the cat and say, “You kids tell me the truth or Terry gets it.” I guess it was supposed to help with honesty but it seems pretty fucked up. Plus, I don’t think I could threaten a cat. Maybe we could get Terry the Truth Turtle and threaten him with a fake gun. We’d be trying to get our daughter, Hailey, to tell the truth and he’d just hide his head in his shell like, “I’m not part of this. I’m not with you guys.” But I don’t like guns so maybe we could hold it over a pot of boiling
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Nina bobo, ni ni bobo," he was singing in his deep, beautiful voice, an Indonesian lullaby, much older than Magnus himself. He rocked their child in his arms. Max was waving his hands as though to conduct the song, or to catch the firefly-bright and cobalt-blue sparks of magic floating around the room. Magnus was smiling down at Max, a small, tender, and impossibly sweet smile, even as he sang. Alec meant to let them be and return to bed, but Magnus paused in his song and tossed Alec a glance as though he knew he'd been watching. Alec leaned in the doorway of the bedroom, resting his hand over his head against the doorframe. "Is that your bapak?" he said to Max. After some consideration, Max said, "Bapak." The look Magnus gave Alec was golden as a coin, as Nephilim wedding cloth, as the morning light through the windows of home.
Cassandra Clare (The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2))
Atticus adjusted his glasses as he peered down at the blanket. “Hey, is that the book Nellie told us about?” Jake’s eyes flicked to Olivia’s book. “You’ve got it outside in the sun? Are you out of your minds?” Amy crossed her arms. “We’re being careful.” “It’s not about careful, this is a five-hundred-year-old manuscript! You should be wearing gloves—Atticus brought some—and keeping it out of the sunlight.” “It didn’t take you long to start barking orders!” Any exclaimed, her face flushing. “But then you always know best, don’t you?” “Somebody has to be mature in this situation,” Jake said, his gaze flashing at Ian, who was now intently trying to brush cookie crumbs off his pants. “True. In that case, we’d rather consult your little brother,” Ian said with a smirk. “Medieval manuscripts are his field, am I right?” “Technically, it’s early Renaissance,” Jake said. “Thanks for the correction, my good man. Amy is right—you do know best.” Ian slipped his arm around Amy. “She’s so perceptive. One of the many things I adore about her.” “It’s getting chilly. Why don’t we go inside?” Amy suggested brightly as she tried to step out of the circle of Ian’s arm. Ian took the opportunity to rub her shoulder. “You do feel rather cold,” he said. “Let’s sit by the fire. Jake, since you’re so interested in proper handling, why don’t you take the book?” Jake snatched up the book and furiously stomped off toward the house. “You forgot to wear gloves!” Ian called after him. Amy pushed him away. “Really, Ian.” “What a touchy guy,” Ian said. “Frankly, I don’t know what you see in him.” He winced as the kitchen door slammed, then glanced at Amy’s red face. “Hmmm. It might be a good time for me to take a walk.
Jude Watson (Nowhere to Run (The 39 Clues: Unstoppable, #1))
News of the disaster at Little Bighorn reached the Eastern Seaboard shortly after July 4, and not just any ordinary July 4 but the grand celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Republic. A country feeling its oats, flexing its muscles, vigorous and rich, cocksure and confident, has seen the impossible happen, the unthinkable become fact. Sitting Bull has spoiled their glorious Centennial, pissed on Custer's golden head, the head of a genuine Civil War hero, the head of someone who has recently been touted as a future President of the United States. Somehow a wedding and a funeral got booked for the same hour in the same church.
Guy Vanderhaeghe (A Good Man)
I can tell you think being a romantic is a bad thing, and while I freely admit to wanting to find a man to spend the rest of my life with, I do know the world isn’t always sunshine and roses. Most of the time it’s overcast skies and poison ivy. That’s why I read the books and watch the movies I do. If the only way I can experience romance is through my imagination and fairy-tale books and the weddings of English Royalty, I’m going to do it.
Susan Stoker (Rescuing Rayne (Delta Force Heroes, #1))
You sayin' you want to go?" "Don't you?" "Hell no!" "Okay,I'll tell Matt and Jared that they can go to Paris without us." The only response was stunned silence, and I finally turned to smile at him. "Do you want to reconsider?" I asked. "The wedding's in Paris?" "Yep." His dark eyes were huge, and I could see so much in them. He was excited, almost giddy. I could see it bubbling up in him, but he was trying t stay calm and not get his hopes up. "Can we afford Paris?" "No," I said, "but it doesn't matter. Cole's footing the bill." He grabbed my shirt and pushed me back against the countertop, almost as if he was going to kiss me, but stopped short, looking into my eyes. "Are you serious?" "Would I lie to you about something like this?" "No." "Do you think I'd make it up just to tease you?" "No." "Yes." He backed up a step. "Yes what?" he asked. I could hardly keep from laughing that I'd finally managed to turn the tables on him with his own backward form of communication. "Yes, I'm absolutely serious. Cole offered to fly us all to Paris." ... His expression was so full of hope, I thought it was a good thing I hadn't tried to say no. He put his hand against my cheek and looked into my eyes. "Tell me what you want to do." All I had to do was tell him the truth. I brushed his hair out of his eyes and said, "I want to do whatever will make you happy." He smiled at me, the huge, excited smile of a child who woke up from his nap to find himself in Disneyland. "I want to go to Paris." "Okay," I said as I leaned down to kiss him. "Then you will.
Marie Sexton (Paris A to Z (Coda Books, #5))
The world is getting noisier. We've gone from boomboxes to Walkmen to portable CD players to iPods to any song we want, whenever we want it. We've gone from the four television channels of my childhood to the seeming infinity of cable and streaming. As technology moves us faster and faster through time and space, it seems to feel like story is getting pushed out of the way, I mean, literally pushed out of the narrative. But even as our engagement with stories change, or the trappings around it morph from book to audio to Instagram to Snapchat, we must remember our finger beneath the words. Remember that story, regardless of the format, has always taken us to places we never thought we'd go, introduced us to people we never thought we'd meet and shown us worlds that we might have missed. So as technology keeps moving faster and faster, I am good with something slower. My finger beneath the words has led me to a life of writing books for people of all ages, books meant to be read slowly, to be savored.
Jacqueline Woodson
What do they think has happened, the old fools, To make them like this ? Do they somehow suppose It's more grown-up when your mouth hangs open and drools And you keep on pissing yourself, and can't remember Who called this morning ? Or that, if they only chose, They could alter things back to when they danced all night, Or went to their wedding, or sloped arms some September ? Or do they fancy there's really been no change, And they've always behaved as if they were crippled or tight, Or sat through days of thin continuous dreaming Watching light move ? If they don't (and they can't), it's strange: Why aren't they screaming ? At death, you break up: the bits that were you Start speeding away from each other for ever With no one to see. It's only oblivion, true: We had it before, but then it was going to end, And was all the time merging with a unique endeavour To bring to bloom the million-petalled flower Of being here. Next time you can't pretend There'll be anything else. And these are the first signs: Not knowing how, not hearing who, the power Of choosing gone. Their looks show that they're for it: Ash hair, toad hands, prune face dried into lines- How can they ignore it ? Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms Inside your head, and people in them, acting. People you know, yet can't quite name; each looms Like a deep loss restored, from known doors turning, Setting down a Iamp, smiling from a stair, extracting A known book from the shelves; or sometimes only The rooms themselves, chairs and a fire burning, The blown bush at the window, or the sun' s Faint friendliness on the wall some lonely Rain-ceased midsummer evening. That is where they live: Not here and now, but where all happened once. This is why they give An air of baffled absence, trying to be there Yet being here. For the rooms grow farther, leaving Incompetent cold, the constant wear and tear Of taken breath, and them crouching below Extinction' s alp, the old fools, never perceiving How near it is. This must be what keeps them quiet. The peak that stays in view wherever we go For them is rising ground. Can they never tell What is dragging them back, and how it will end ? Not at night? Not when the strangers come ? Never, throughout The whole hideous inverted childhood? Well, We shall find out. - The Old Fools
Philip Larkin
These things matter to me, Daniel, says the man with six days to live. They are sitting on the porch in the last light. These things matter to me, son. The way the hawks huddle their shoulders angrily against hissing snow. Wrens whirring in the bare bones of bushes in winter. The way swallows and swifts veer and whirl and swim and slice and carve and curve and swerve. The way that frozen dew outlines every blade of grass. Salmonberries thimbleberries cloudberries snowberries elderberries salalberries gooseberries. My children learning to read. My wife's voice velvet in my ear at night in the dark under the covers. Her hair in my nose as we slept curled like spoons. The sinuous pace of rivers and minks and cats. Fresh bread with too much butter. My children's hands when they cup my face in their hands. Toys. Exuberance. Mowing the lawn. Tiny wrenches and screwdrivers. Tears of sorrow, which are the salt sea of the heart. Sleep in every form from doze to bone-weary. Pay stubs. Trains. The shivering ache of a saxophone and the yearning of a soprano. Folding laundry hot from the dryer. A spotless kitchen floor. The sound of bagpipes. The way horses smell in spring. Red wines. Furnaces. Stone walls. Sweat. Postcards on which the sender has written so much that he or she can barely squeeze in the signature. Opera on the radio. Bathrobes, back rubs. Potatoes. Mink oil on boots. The bands at wedding receptions. Box-elder bugs. The postman's grin. Linen table napkins. Tent flaps. The green sifting powdery snow of cedar pollen on my porch every year. Raccoons. The way a heron labors through the sky with such a vast elderly dignity. The cheerful ears of dogs. Smoked fish and the smokehouses where fish are smoked. The way barbers sweep up circles of hair after a haircut. Handkerchiefs. Poems read aloud by poets. Cigar-scissors. Book marginalia written with the lightest possible pencil as if the reader is whispering to the writer. People who keep dead languages alive. Fresh-mown lawns. First-basemen's mitts. Dish-racks. My wife's breasts. Lumber. Newspapers folded under arms. Hats. The way my children smelled after their baths when they were little. Sneakers. The way my father's face shone right after he shaved. Pants that fit. Soap half gone. Weeds forcing their way through sidewalks. Worms. The sound of ice shaken in drinks. Nutcrackers. Boxing matches. Diapers. Rain in every form from mist to sluice. The sound of my daughters typing their papers for school. My wife's eyes, as blue and green and gray as the sea. The sea, as blue and green and gray as her eyes. Her eyes. Her.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
George Orwell introduced the dictator Big Brother in his novel 1984, as I’m sure you know. The book was an allegorical treatment of Stalinism, of course. And ever since then, the term ‘Big Brother’ has functioned as a social icon. That was Orwell’s great accomplishment. But now, in the real year 1984, Big Brother is all too famous, and all too obvious. If Big Brother were to appear before us now, we’d point to him and say, ‘Watch out! He’s Big Brother!’ There’s no longer any place for a Big Brother in this real world of ours.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84)
My, you ought to seen old Henry the Eight when he was in bloom. He was a blossom. He used to marry a new wife every day, and chop off her head next morning. And he would do it just as indifferent as if he was ordering up eggs. 'Fetch up Nell Gwynn,' he says. They fetch her up. Next morning, 'Chop off her head!' And they chop it off. 'Fetch up Jane Shore,' he says; and up she comes, Next morning, 'Chop off her head'—and they chop it off. 'Ring up Fair Rosamun.' Fair Rosamun answers the bell. Next morning, 'Chop off her head.' And he made every one of them tell him a tale every night; and he kept that up till he had hogged a thousand and one tales that way, and then he put them all in a book, and called it Domesday Book—which was a good name and stated the case. You don't know kings, Jim, but I know them; and this old rip of ourn is one of the cleanest I've struck in history. Well, Henry he takes a notion he wants to get up some trouble with this country. How does he go at it—give notice?—give the country a show? No. All of a sudden he heaves all the tea in Boston Harbor overboard, and whacks out a declaration of independence, and dares them to come on. That was his style—he never give anybody a chance. He had suspicions of his father, the Duke of Wellington. Well, what did he do? Ask him to show up? No—drownded him in a butt of mamsey, like a cat. S'pose people left money laying around where he was—what did he do? He collared it. S'pose he contracted to do a thing, and you paid him, and didn't set down there and see that he done it—what did he do? He always done the other thing. S'pose he opened his mouth—what then? If he didn't shut it up powerful quick he'd lose a lie every time. That's the kind of a bug Henry was; and if we'd a had him along 'stead of our kings he'd a fooled that town a heap worse than ourn done. I don't say that ourn is lambs, because they ain't, when you come right down to the cold facts; but they ain't nothing to that old ram, anyway. All I say is, kings is kings, and you got to make allowances. Take them all around, they're a mighty ornery lot. It's the way they're raised.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
There’s a long tradition that says women gossip, when in fact women are the memory of the world. We keep the family trees and the baby books. We manage the milk teeth. We keep the census of diseases, the records of divorces, battles, and medals. We witness the wills. We wash the weddings out of the bedsheets. We know everything there is to know, and we keep it rolled into the newel posts, stuffed into the mattresses, smuggled inside our vaginas if it comes to that. Women’s clothing is made without pockets, but we come into the world equipped.
Maria Dahvana Headley (The Mere Wife)
I was Juliet and Quinn was Romeo, and the lines weren't dead black-and-white words on a page but somehow alive, as natural and real as the argument we'd had about the spider and the fly. The rows of empty seats were gone, and we were in a candlelit ballrooom, wrapped in our own cocoon of words. But the playful banter of our words couldn't mask what we both knew--that after this, nothing would be the same . And then we got to the kissing part, which we'd only read through together and had never really rehearsed. But it didn't matter, because I was still Juliet and Quinn was still Romeo, his gray-green eyes fixed on mine. And when he bent to kiss me, it was Romeo's lips on Juliet's. Even so, Juliet was just as stunned as I would've been. When I said the last line, I was speaking for both of us. You kiss by the book.
Jennifer Sturman
The first three years of our marriage were miserable. Until I got a divorce. A divorce from loving myself and seeking my own way. I was reading the book of Galatians one night when I stumbled on the verse, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (2:20), and the most profound thought hit me: If I am dead, and Christ lives in me, can my wife see Him there? Finding the right person, I have since discovered, is less important than being the right person. The happiest married people I know discovered early on that the "better" comes after the "worse".
Phil Callaway (Family Squeeze: Tales of Hope and Hilarity for a Sandwiched Generation)
We're not going to make it," I said. The words caught in my throat, choking me. What was it Leslie had said to me when we were discussing Shannon's and Antoinetta's disappearance? 'You're beginning to sound like one of the characters in your books, Adam.' She'd been right. If this were a novel my heroes would have arrived just in the nick of time and saved the day. But real life didn't work like that. Real life had no happy endings. Despite our best efforts, despite my love for Tara [his wife] and my determination to protect her, and after everything we'd been through at the LeHorn house, fate conspired against us. We were still nine or ten miles from home, and night was almost upon us. By the time we got there it would already be too late. I fought back tears. I had the urge just to lie down in the middle of the road and let the next car run over me.
Brian Keene (Dark Hollow (Levi Stoltzfus, #1))
As we were wrapping up the book, I sat down and thought about all the lessons I’d learned over the past two years. I couldn’t list them all, but here are a few: Never complain about the price of a gift from your spouse--accept it with love and gratitude. You can’t put a price on romance. Take lots of videos, even of the mundane. You will forget the sound of your children’s voices and you will miss your youth as much as theirs. Celebrate every wedding anniversary. Make time for dates. Hug your spouse every single morning. And always, ALWAYS, say “I love you.” Believe in your partner. When you hit hard times as a couple, take a weekend away or at least a night out. The times that you least feel like doing it are likely the times that you need it the most. Write love notes to your spouse, your children, and keep the ones they give you. Don’t expect a miniature pig to be an “easy” pet. Live life looking forward with a goal of no regrets, so you can look back without them. Be the friend you will need some day. Often the most important thing you can do for another person is just showing up. Question less and listen more. Don’t get too tied up in your plans for the future. No one really knows their future anyway. Laugh at yourself, and with life. People don’t change their core character. Be humble, genuine, and gracious. Before you get into business with someone, look at their history. Expect them to be with you for the long haul, even if you don’t think they will be. If they aren’t someone you could take a road trip across the country with, don’t do business with them in the first place. Real families and real sacrifices live in the fabric of the Red, White, and Blue; stand for the national anthem.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
As I thought about endings and – being a lover of fairy tales – I knew immediately that the deeply rooted last line in folk stories, ‘And they lived happily ever after’, is the core of what we think we know about endings. We hear it always in our hindbrain because it’s the last line most of us in the West have grown up with. That line stops the story at the point of greatest happiness. The wedding, the homecoming, the mystery unraveled, the villain disposed of, families reunited, babies born. If we went on in the story Cinderella, she might be whispered about in court: after all, her manners are not impeccable, she always has smudges of ash on her nose, and no one can trace her bloodline back enough generations. Perhaps she has grown fat eating all that rich food in the castle, and the prince’s eye has strayed. If we went on in The Three Little Pigs, the brother who builds with bricks will have kicked the other two lay-abouts out of his house, or hired them to run his successful company and they – angry at their lower status – plot to kill him. But, having little imagination, do it the only way they know how, by trying to boil him in the pot that still holds the memory of the wolf’s demise, so of course the brick building pig finds them out. But modern books pose a different problem. They present harder choices. It’s no longer fairy tale endings we are talking about, but the other stuff, more realistic, stronger, difficult, and maybe not happy-ever-after stuff.
Jane Yolen
I Missed His Book, But I Read His Name" Though authors are a dreadful clan To be avoided if you can, I'd like to meet the Indian, M. Anantanarayanan. I picture him as short and tan. We'd meet, perhaps, in Hindustan. I'd say, with admirable elan , "Ah, Anantanarayanan -- I've heard of you. The Times once ran A notice on your novel, an Unusual tale of God and Man." And Anantanarayanan Would seat me on a lush divan And read his name -- that sumptuous span Of 'a's and 'n's more lovely than "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan" -- Aloud to me all day. I plan Henceforth to be an ardent fan of Anantanarayanan -- M. Anantanarayanan.
John Updike
I do understand. Every day we’re bombarded with information and images—with adolescents in heavy makeup pretending to be grown women as they advertise miraculous creams promising eternal beauty; with the story of an aging couple who climbed Mount Everest to celebrate their wedding anniversary; with new massage gizmos, and pharmacy windows that are chockablock with slimming products; with movies that give an entirely false impression of reality, and books promising fantastic results; with specialists who give advice about how to succeed in life or find inner peace. And all these things make us feel old, make us feel that we’re leading dull, unadventurous lives as our skin grows ever more flaccid, and the pounds pile on irrevocably. And yet we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.” Choose what information you listen to. Place a filter over your eyes and ears and allow in only things that won’t bring you down, because we have our day-to-day life to do that. Do you think I don’t get judged and criticized at work? Well, I do—a lot! But I’ve decided to hear only the things that encourage me to improve, the things that help me correct my mistakes. Otherwise, I will just pretend I can’t hear the other stuff or block it out.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
This is not a book about God; nor about intelligent design; nor about creationism. Neither of us is into any of those. We thought we’d best make that clear from the outset, because our main contention in what follows will be that there is something wrong–quite possibly fatally wrong–with the theory of natural selection; and we are aware that, even among those who are not quite sure what it is, allegiance to Darwinism has become a litmus for deciding who does, and who does not, hold a ‘properly scientific’ world view. ‘You must choose between faith in God and faith in Darwin; and if you want to be a secular humanist, you’d better choose the latter’. So we’re told.
Jerry A. Fodor (What Darwin Got Wrong)
My job is never boring," Staples said. "There's nuts-and-bolts stuff like getting the tarpaulin over the shaft when it rains, and so in. Cataloging and reshelving. The shelves are in a shocking state. And when you've got everything ever written or lost to keep track of, it's quite a job. And there's fetching books. "I used to really look forward to requests for books way down in the abyss. We'd all rope up, follow our lines down for miles. The order falls apart a way down but you learn to sniff out class-marks. Sometimes we'd be gone for weeks, fetching volumes.' She spoke with a faraway voice. "There are risks. Hunters, animals, and accidents. Ropes that snap. Sometimes someone gets separated. Twenty years ago, I was in a group looking for a book someone had requested. I remember, it was called 'Oh, All Right Then': Bartleby Returns. We were led by Ptolemy Yes. He was the man taught me. Best librarian there's ever been, some say. "Anyway, after weeks of searching, we ran out of food and had to turn back. No one likes it when we fail, so none of us were feeling great. "We felt that much worse when we realized that we'd lost Ptolemy. "Some people say he went off deliberately. That he couldn't bear not to find the book. That he's out there still in the Wordhoard Abyss, living off shelf-monkeys, looking. And that he'll be back one day, book in his hand.
China Miéville (Un Lun Dun)
Romance Of A Youngest Daughter" Who will wed the Dowager’s youngest daughter, The Captain? filled with ale? He moored his expected boat to a stake in the water And stumbled on sea-legs into the Hall for mating, Only to be seduced by her lady-in-waiting, Round-bosomed, and not so pale. Or the thrifty burgher in boots and fancy vest With considered views of marriage? By the tidy scullery maid he was impressed Who kept that house from depreciation and dirt, But wife does double duty and takes no hurt, So he rode her home in his carriage. Never the spare young scholar antiquary Who was their next resort; They let him wait in the crypt of the Old Library And found him compromised with a Saxon book, Claiming his truelove Learning kept that nook And promised sweet disport. Desirée (of a mother’s christening) never shall wed Though fairest child of her womb; “We will have revenge,” her injured Ladyship said, “Henceforth the tightest nunnery be thy bed By the topmost stair! When the ill-bred lovers come We’ll say, She is not at home.
John Crowe Ransom
Don't laugh, it's people like her who make this lousy world a place worth visiting.' 'Whores?' 'No. We're all whores, sooner or later. I mean good-hearted people. And don't look at me like that. Weddings turn me to jelly.' We remained there embracing that special silence, gazing at the reflections on the water. After a while dawn tinged the sky with amber, and Barcelona woke up. We heard the distant bells from the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, just emerging from the mist on the other side of the harbour. 'Do you think Carax is still there, somewhere in the city?' I asked. 'Ask me another question.' 'Do you have the rings?' Fermin smiled. 'Come on, let's go. They're waiting for us, Daniel. Life is waiting for us.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
I think back to the last time I saw her. It had been about two weeks ago, the day before she’d left for New York. She’s a consultant in the UK division of a huge American consultancy firm, Finchlakers, and often goes to the US on business. That evening, we’d gone to the cinema together and then on for a drink. Maybe that was when she’d asked me to get something for Susie. I rack my brains, trying to remember, trying to guess what we might have decided to buy. It could be anything – perfume, jewellery, a book – but nothing rings a bell. Had I forgotten? Memories of Mum, uncomfortable ones, flood my mind and I push them away quickly. It isn’t the same, I tell myself fiercely, I am not the same. By tomorrow, I’ll have remembered.
B.A. Paris (The Breakdown)
What are you two doing?” Her uncle’s teasing voice came into the room before he did. But his voice was the second warning that they were no longer alone, since Violet had tasted his presence long before he’d actually stepped into her house. Ever since saving her and Jay at Homecoming, her uncle carried an imprint of his own. The bitter taste of dandelions still smoldered on Violet’s tongue whenever he was near. A taste that Violet had grown to accept. And even, to some degree, to appreciate. “Nothing your parents wouldn’t approve of, I hope,” he added. Violet flashed Jay a wicked grin. “We were just making out, so if you could make this quick, we’d really appreciate it.” Jay jumped up from beside her. “She’s kidding,” he blurted out. “We weren’t doing anything.” Her uncle Stephen stopped where he was and eyed them both carefully. Violet could’ve sworn she felt Jay squirming, even though every single muscle in his body was frozen in place. Violet smiled at her uncle, trying her best to look guilty-as-charged. Finally he raised his eyebrows, every bit the suspicious police officer. “Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?” “Of course you can—” Jay started to say. “Probably not—“ Violet answers at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.” Her uncle looked at the pile of discarded books on the table in front of the couch. Not one of them was open. He glanced skeptically at Violet but didn’t say a word. “We may have gotten a little distracted,” she responded, and again she saw Jay shifting nervously. After several warnings, and a promise from Violet that she would lock the doors behind him, Uncle Stephen finally left the two of them alone again. Jay was glaring at Violet when she peeked at him as innocently as she could manage. “Why would you do that to me?” “Why do you care what he thinks we’re doing?” Violet had been trying to get Jay to admit his new hero worship of her uncle for months, but he was too stubborn—or maybe he honestly didn’t realize it himself—to confess it to her. “Because, Violet,” he said dangerously, taking a threatening step toward her. But his scolding was ruined by the playful glint in his eyes. “He’s your uncle, and he’s the police chief. Why poke the bear?” Violet took a step back, away from him, and he matched it, moving toward her. He was stalking her around the coffee table now, and Violet couldn’t help giggling as she retreated. But it was too late for her to escape. Jay was faster than she was, and his arms captured her before she’d ever had a chance. Not that she’d really tried. He hauled her back down onto the couch, the two of them falling into the cushions, and this time he pinned her beneath him. “Stop it!” she shrieked, not meaning a single word. He was the last person in the world she wanted to get away from. “I don’t know . . .” he answered hesitantly. “I think you deserve to be punished.” His breath was balmy against her cheek, and she found herself leaning toward him rather than away. “Maybe we should do some more homework.” Homework had been their code word for making out before they’d realized that they hadn’t been fooling anyone. But Jay was true to his word, especially his code word, and his lips settled over hers. Violet suddenly forgot that she was pretending to break free from his grip. Her frail resolve crumbled. She reached out, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to her. Jay growled from deep in his throat. “Okay, homework it is.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
A Christian people doesn't mean a lot of goody-goodies. The Church has plenty of stamina, and isn't afraid of sin. On the contrary, she can look it in the face calmly and even take it upon herself, assume it at times, as Our Lord did. When a good workman's been at it for a whole week, surely he's due for a booze on Saturday night. Look: I'll define you a Christian people by the opposite. The opposite of a Christian people is a people grown sad and old. You'll be saying that isn't a very theological definition. I agree... Why does our earliest childhood always seem so soft and full of light? A kid's got plenty of troubles, like everybody else, and he's really so very helpless, quite unarmed against pain and illness. Childhood and old age should be the two greatest trials of mankind. But that very sense of powerlessness is the mainspring of a child's joy. He just leaves it all to his mother, you see. Present, past, future -- his whole life is caught up in one look, and that look is a smile. Well, lad, if only they'd let us have our way, the Church might have given men that supreme comfort. Of course they'd each have their own worries to grapple with, just the same. Hunger, thirst, poverty, jealousy -- we'd never be able to pocket the devil once and for all, you may be sure. But man would have known he was the son of God; and therein lies your miracle. He'd have lived, he'd have died with that idea in his noddle -- and not just a notion picked up in books either -- oh, no! Because we'd have made that idea the basis of everything: habits and customs, relaxation and pleasure, down to the very simplest needs. That wouldn't have stopped the labourer ploughing, or the scientist swotting at his logarithms, or even the engineer making his playthings for grown-up people. What we would have got rid of, what we would have torn from the very heart of Adam, is that sense of his own loneliness... God has entrusted the Church to keep [the soul of childhood] alive, to safeguard our candour and freshness... Joy is the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share... What would it profit you even to create life itself, when you have lost all sense of what life really is?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
In fact, there are all sorts of great institutions and human enterprises that the Bible doesn’t address or regulate. And so we are free to invent them and operate them in line with the general principles for human life that the Bible gives us. But marriage is different. As the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship says, God “established marriage for the welfare and happiness of humankind.” Marriage did not evolve in the late Bronze Age as a way to determine property rights. At the climax of the Genesis account of creation we see God bringing a woman and a man together to unite them in marriage. The Bible begins with a wedding (of Adam and Eve) and ends in the book of Revelation with a wedding (of Christ and the church). Marriage is God’s idea.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
When I was a young girl, I studied Greek in school. It's a beautiful language and ever so many good things were written in it. When you speak Greek, it feels like a little bird flapping its wings on your tongue as fast as it can. This is why I sometimes put Greek words into my stories, even though not so many people speak Ancient Greek anymore. Anything beautiful deserves to be shared round, and anything I love goes into my stories for safekeeping. The word I love is Arete. It has a simple meaning and a complicated meaning. The simple one is: excellence. But if that were all, we'd just use Excellence and I wouldn't bring it up until we got to E. Arete means your own excellence. Your very own. A personal excellence that belongs to no one else, one that comes out of all the things that make you special and different. Arete means whatever you are best at, no matter what that is. You might think the Greeks only meant things like fighting with bronze swords or debating philosophy, but they didn't. They meant whatever you're best at. What makes you feel like you're doing the rightest thing in the world. And that might be fighting with bronze swords and it might mean debating philosophy—but it also might mean building machines, or drawing pictures, or playing the guitar, or acting in Shakespeare plays, or writing books, or making a home for people who need one, or listening so hard and so well that people tell you the things they really need to say even if they didn't mean to, or running faster than anyone else, or teaching people patiently and boldly, or even making pillow forts or marching in parades or baking bread. It could be lending out just the right library book to just the right person at just the right moment. It could be standing up to the powerful even if you don't feel very powerful yourself, even if you're lost and as far away from home as you can get. It could be loving someone with the same care and thoroughness that a Wyvern takes with alphabetizing. It could be anything in the world. And it isn't easy to figure out what that is. It's even harder to get that good at it, because nothing, not even being yourself, comes without practice. But your arete goes with you everywhere, just waiting for you to pay attention to it. You can't lose it. You can only find it. And that's my favorite thing that starts with A.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
... The Sirens of Titan …. … ‘That’s a funny name for a book,’ I said with a gulp. ‘Are those women going to get arrested?’ Mr Peterson didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. ‘They’re not wearing many clothes,’ I pointed out. ‘What’s your point?’ he asked. ‘So I thought maybe the sirens might be for them.’ Mr Peterson frowned. ‘ I think the police are allowed to arrest you for wearing too few clothes,’ I explained. Comprehension dawned on Mr Peterson’s face. ‘No, kid. Not sirens as in police sirens. Sirens as in Homer.’ I frowned. ‘Simpson?’ ‘The Odyssey!’ I looked at him blankly. At some point in the last thirty seconds, we’d stopped speaking the same language. Mr Peterson sighed and rubbed his wrinkled forehead. ‘The Odyssey’s a very old Greek story by a very old Greek man called Homer. And in The Odyssey there are these very beautiful women called sirens …… ‘oh’, I said. ‘So the women are the sirens? And that’s why they’re not wearing very many clothes?” ‘Right. Except in Kurt Vonnegut’s book the Sirens don’t live in the Mediterranean. They live on Titan, which is one of Saturn’s moons.’ ‘Yes, I know that,’ I said. (I didn’t want Mr Peterson to think I was an idiot). ‘It’s the second largest moon in the solar system, after Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. It’s actually larger than Mercury, though not nearly so dense.’ Mr Peter frowned again and shook his head. ‘I guess these days school puts a big emphasis on sciences instead of the arts, huh?’ ‘No, not really. School puts a big emphasis on exam questions. Do sirens breathe methane?
Gavin Extence (The Universe Versus Alex Woods)
I wake on the fiction couch deeply hungover, my head cracking, with Rachel telling me to get up. She’s holding my eyelids open like she used to do in high school when we’d stayed up all night talking and then slept through the morning alarm. ‘Get. Up. Henry.’ ‘What time is it? I ask, batting off her hands. ‘It’s eleven. The shop’s been open for an hour. There are customers asking for books I can’t find. George is yelling at a guy called Martin Gamble who’s here to help me create the database. And as a separate issue, Amy’s waiting in the reading garden.’ ‘Amy’s here?’ I sit up and mess my hair around. ‘How do I look?’ ‘I decline to answer on the grounds that technically you’re my boss and I don’t want to start my new job by insulting you.’ ‘Thank you,’ I say. ‘I appreciate that.
Cath Crowley (Words in Deep Blue)
INT. NEWT’S SITTING ROOM—FIVE MINUTES LATER—NIGHT The threesome sit at a table bearing NEWT’S mismatched crockery, the atmosphere tainted by TINA’S absence. QUEENIE’S case lies open on the sofa. QUEENIE: Tina and I aren’t talking. NEWT: Why? JACOB’S POV—pink and hazy, as though happily drunk. QUEENIE: Oh well, you know, she found out about Jacob and I seeing each other and she didn’t like it, ’cause of the “law.” (miming quotation marks) Not allowed to date No-Majs, not allowed to marry them. Blah, blah, blah. Well, she was all in a tizzy anyway, ’cause of you. NEWT: Me? QUEENIE: Yeah, you, Newt. It was in Spellbound. Here—I brought it for you— She points her wand at her suitcase. A celebrity magazine zooms to her: Spellbound: Celebrity Secrets and Spell Tips of the Stars! On the cover, an idealized NEWT and an improbably beaming Niffler. BEAST TAMER NEWT TO WED! QUEENIE opens the magazine. THESEUS, LETA, NEWT, and BUNTY stand side by side at his book launch. QUEENIE (showing him): “Newt Scamander with fiancée, Leta Lestrange; brother, Theseus; and unknown woman.” NEWT: No. Theseus is marrying Leta, not me. QUEENIE: Oh! Oh dear . . . well, see, Teen read that, and she started dating someone else. He’s an Auror. His name’s Achilles Tolliver.
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay)
We’d thought the same, once. We’d deceived ourselves into thinking we were the masters, that every force bowed to our command. And what happened? They destroyed everything!’ ‘I don’t-’ ‘Understand! I see that! They are conjurations — manifestations — they exist to warn you. They are the proof that all that you think to enslave will turn on you.’ And it backed away. ‘The end begins again, it begins again.’ Cotillion stepped forward. ‘Light, Dark and Shadow — these three — are you saying-’ ‘Three?’ Tulas Shorn laughed with savage bitterness. ‘What then of Life? Fire and Stone and Wind? What, you fools, of the Hounds of Death? Manifestations, I said. They will turn — they are telling you that! That is why they exist! The fangs, the fury — all that is implacable in nature — each aspect but a variation, a hue in the maelstrom of destruction!
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
In the nineteenth century, Emile Durkheim, the founder of sociology and an early pioneer of the social sciences, ran a thought experiment in one of his books: What if there were no crime? What if there emerged a society where everyone was perfectly respectful and nonviolent and everyone was equal? What if no one lied or hurt each other? What if corruption did not exist? What would happen? Would conflict cease? Would stress evaporate? Would everyone frolic in fields picking daises and singing the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's Messiah? Durkheim said no, that in fact the opposite would happen. He suggested that the more comfortable and ethical a society became, the more that small indiscretions would become magnified in our minds. If everyone stopped killing each other, we wouldn't necessarily feel good about it. We'd just get equally upset about the more minor stuff. Developmental psychology has long argued something similar: that protecting people from problems or adversity doesn't make them happier or more secure; it makes them more easily insecure. A young person who has been sheltered form dealing with any challenges or injustices growing up will come to find the slightest inconveniences of adult life intolerable, and will have the childish public meltdown to prove it.
Mark Manson (Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope)
Sometimes, when I’m bored, I can’t help but think what my life would be like if I hadn’t written the book. Monday, I would’ve played bridge. And tomorrow night, I’d be going to the League meeting and turning in the newsletter. Then on Friday night, Stuart would take me to dinner and we’d stay out late and I’d be tired when I got up for my tennis game on Saturday. Tired and content and . . . frustrated. Because Hilly would’ve called her maid a thief that afternoon, and I would’ve just sat there and listened to it. And Elizabeth would’ve grabbed her child’s arm too hard and I would’ve looked away, like I didn’t see it. And I’d be engaged to Stuart and I wouldn’t wear short dresses, only short hair, or consider doing anything risky like write a book about colored housekeepers, too afraid he’d disapprove. And while I’d never lie and tell myself I actually changed the minds of people like Hilly and Elizabeth, at least I don’t have to pretend I agree with them anymore.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Kierkegaard, in 'Either/Or,' makes fun of the 'busy man' for whom busyness is a way of avoiding an honest self-reckoning. You might wake up in the middle of the night and realize that you're lonely in your marriage, or that you need to think about what your level of consumption is doing to the planet, but the next day you have a million little things to do, and the day after that you have another million things. As long as there's no end of little things, you never have to stop and confront the bigger questions. Writing or reading an essay isn't the only way to stop and ask yourself who you really are and what your life might mean, but it is one good way. And if you consider how laughably unbusy Kierkegaard's Copenhagen was, compared with our own age, those subjective tweets and hasty blog posts don't seem so essayistic. They seem more like means of avoiding what a real essay might force on us. We spend our days reading, on screens, stuff we'd never bother reading in a printed book, and bitch about how busy we are.
Jonathan Franzen (The End of the End of the Earth: Essays)
We are supposed to consume alcohol and enjoy it, but we're not supposed to become alcoholics. Imagine if this were the same with cocaine. Imagine we grew up watching our parents snort lines at dinner, celebrations, sporting events, brunches, and funerals. We'd sometimes (or often) see our parents coked out of our minds the way we sometimes (or often) see them drunk. We'd witness them coming down after a cocaine binge the way we see them recovering from a hangover. Kiosks at Disneyland would see it so our parents could make it through a day of fun, our mom's book club would be one big blow-fest and instead of "mommy juice" it would be called "mommy powder" There'd be coke-tasting parties in Napa and cocaine cellars in fancy people's homes, and everyone we know (including our pastors, nurses, teachers, coaches, bosses) would snort it. The message we'd pick up as kids could be Cocaine is great, and one day you'll get to try it, too! Just don't become addicted to it or take it too far. Try it; use it responsibly. Don't become a cocaine-oholic though. Now, I'm sure you're thinking. That's insane, everyone knows cocaine is far more addicting than alcohol and far more dangerous. Except, it's not...The point is not that alcohol is worse than cocaine. The point is that we have a really clear understanding that cocaine is toxic and addictive. We know there's no safe amount of it, no such thing as "moderate" cocaine use; we know it can hook us and rob us of everything we care about...We know we are better off not tangling with it at all.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
He’s a dumb ass,” Emilio said to me. “I’m almost finished.” The second he was out of earshot, Marcus sauntered back up to the bench with stiff, rehearsed swag. Definitely a mirror practicer, that one. “Why you messin’ with Emilio? What’s up with you and me?” He wiped his hand on his black tank top and held it out, presumably for me to take, at which point we’d presumably climb aboard his moped and ride off into the sunset. Before I could shatter his dreams, Samuel smacked his hand away. “Keep it movin’,” Samuel said. He nudged him back toward the bikes, but the guy was unfazed. “She likes me.” “She thinks you stupid,” Samuel said. “And she right.” Marcus cocked an eyebrow and licked his lips, more dazzling mirror work, and leaned in for another proposition. “When you’re ready to graduate from a boy to a man, you call me.” “How about I call when you’re ready to graduate from a boy to a man?” The other guys howled, and just when I decided this game might be kind of fun, Emilio was at the bench, tugging a shirt over his head. “Vamos, princesa.
Sarah Ockler (The Book of Broken Hearts)
Our appetite for destruction grew with feeding. I started gingerly, pulling some books out of a case, but soon was tearing out pages by the handfuls and throwing them around. Jerry got a knife and ripped the stuffing out of the mattresses. He threw feathers from the sofa cushions. McQuilly, driven by some dark Scottish urge, found a crowbar and reduced wooden things to splinters. And Bill was like a fury, smashing, overturning, and tearing. But I noticed he kept back some things and put them in a neat heap on the dining-room table, which he forbade us to break. They were photographs. The old people must have had a large family, and there were pictures of young people and wedding groups and what were clearly grandchildren everywhere. When at last we had done as much damage as we could, the pile on the table was a large one. "Now for the finishing touch," said Bill. "And this is going to be all mine." He jumped up on the table, stripped down his trousers, and squatted over the photographs. Clearly he meant to defecate on them, but such things cannot always be commanded, and so for several minutes we stood and stared at him as he grunted and swore and strained and at last managed what he wanted, right on the family photographs.
Robertson Davies (The Manticore (The Deptford Trilogy, #2))
Takes them less than a week to run the Line thro’ somebody’s House. About a mile and a half west of the Twelve-Mile Arc, twenty-four Chains beyond Little Christiana Creek, on Wednesday, April 10th, the Field-Book reports, “At 3 Miles 49 Chains, went through Mr. Price’s House.” “Just took a wild guess,” Mrs. Price quite amiable, “where we’d build it,— not as if my Husband’s a Surveyor or anything. Which side’s to be Pennsylvania, by the way?” A mischievous glint in her eyes that Barnes, Farlow, Moses McClean and others will later all recall. Mr. Price is in Town, in search of Partners for a Land Venture. “Would you Gentlemen mind coming in the House and showing me just where your Line does Run?” Mason and Dixon, already feeling awkward about it, oblige, Dixon up on the Roof with a long Plumb-line, Mason a-squint at the Snout of the Instrument. Mrs. Price meantime fills her Table with plates of sour-cherry fritters, Neat’s-Tongue Pies, a gigantick Indian Pudding, pitchers a-slosh with home-made Cider,— then producing some new-hackl’d Streaks of Hemp, and laying them down in a Right Line according to the Surveyors’ advice,— fixing them here and there with Tacks, across the room, up the stairs, straight down the middle of the Bed, of course, . . . which is about when Mr. Rhys Price happens to return from his Business in town, to find merry Axmen lounging beneath his Sassafras tree, Strange Stock mingling with his own and watering out of his Branch, his house invaded by Surveyors, and his wife giving away the Larder and waving her Tankard about, crying, “Husband, what Province were we married in? Ha! see him gape, for he cannot remember. ’Twas in Pennsylvania, my Tortoise. But never in Maryland. Hey? So from now on, when I am upon this side of the House, I am in Maryland, legally not your wife, and no longer subject to your Authority,— isn’t that right, Gents?” “Ask the Rev,” they reply together,
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
There was a small public library on Ninety-third and Hooper. Mrs. Stella Keaton was the librarian. We’d known each other for years. She was a white lady from Wisconsin. Her husband had a fatal heart attack in ’34 and her two children died in a fire the year after that. Her only living relative had been an older brother who was stationed in San Diego with the navy for ten years. After his discharge he moved to L.A. When Mrs. Keaton had her tragedies he invited her to live with him. One year after that her brother, Horton, took ill, and after three months he died spitting up blood, in her arms. All Mrs. Keaton had was the Ninety-third Street branch. She treated the people who came in there like her siblings and she treated the children like her own. If you were a regular at the library she’d bake you a cake on your birthday and save the books you loved under the front desk. We were on a first-name basis, Stella and I, but I was unhappy that she held that job. I was unhappy because even though Stella was nice, she was still a white woman. A white woman from a place where there were only white Christians. To her Shakespeare was a god. I didn’t mind that, but what did she know about the folk tales and riddles and stories colored folks had been telling for centuries? What did she know about the language we spoke? I always heard her correcting children’s speech. “Not ‘I is,’ she’d say. “It’s ‘I am.’” And, of course, she was right. It’s just that little colored children listening to that proper white woman would never hear their own cadence in her words. They’d come to believe that they would have to abandon their own language and stories to become a part of her educated world. They would have to forfeit Waller for Mozart and Remus for Puck. They would enter a world where only white people spoke. And no matter how articulate Dickens and Voltaire were, those children wouldn’t have their own examples in the house of learning—the library.
Walter Mosley (White Butterfly)
...he never so much as looks at me. He just sits there reading his old history books, that really gets me. I ought to go up to him, I really feel this, I should say, Martin, it's so stupid reading all those books. Don't fool yourself, how many of these wretched books do you think you know? Go on, you've got plenty of intelligence, so let's say you read two books a week, for fifty years. In your lifetime, you'll have read how many? Five thousand? That's nothing. Nothing at all, compared to what we have here: two hundred and fifty thousand, seven hundred different books. And in the National Library, they've got fourteen million. We're just cockroaches. So we'd do better to have a bit of fun, look at each other, talk and reproduce, don't you think? If you like, we can go to Versailles, together, any time at all, we can go wherever you want to go, to some beach somewhere, I'll be your Pompadour and we'll love each other until the end of love, hand in hand, we'll gaze at the sea, the sea that begins and ceases and then again begins, the pounding of the surf, the flow of water, the flow of light coming in new every day, fresh surges from the deep, the tide will carry us off, and the flow of paper, every year fifty thousand new titles, fifty thousand books fighting for the chance to come swell our groaning bookshelves, and every year they make me more aware of my limited span, my old age and my insignificance.
Sophie Divry (The Library of Unrequited Love)
Guess what song they picked for their first dance.” “What song?” “‘From This Moment On’ by Shania Twain.” He frowns. “I never heard of that before.” “It’s really cheesy, but they love it, apparently. Do you realize that we don’t have a song? Like, a song that’s ours.” “Okay, then let’s pick one.” “It doesn’t work like that. You don’t just pick your song. The song picks you. Like the Sorting Hat.” Peter nods sagely. He finally finished reading all seven Harry Potter books and he’s always eager to prove that he gets my references. “Got it.” “It has to just…happen. A moment. And the song transcends the moment, you know? My mom and dad’s song was ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton. They danced to it at their wedding.” “So how did it become their song, then?” “It was the first song they ever slow danced to in college. It was at a dance, not long after they first started dating. I’ve seen pictures from that night. Daddy’s wearing a suit that was too big on him and my mom’s hair is in a French twist.” “How about whatever song comes on next, that’s our song. It’ll be fate.” “We can’t just make our own fate.” “Sure we can.” Peter reaches over to turn on the radio. “Wait! Just any radio station? What if it’s not a slow song?” “Okay so we’ll put on Lite 101.” Peter hits the button. “Winnie the Pooh doesn’t know what to do, got a honey jar stuck on his nose,” a woman croons. Peter says, “What the hell?” as I say, “This can’t be our song.” “Best out of three?” he suggests.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)
Ignoring me, she looked up at the pigeons sitting on the windowsills, which this year were so caked with droppings that they looked quite disgusting. The pigeons were a big problem at Wolfsegg; year in, year out, they sat on the buildings in their hundreds and ruined them with their droppings. I have always detested pigeons. Looking up at the pigeons on the windowsills, I told Caecilia that I had a good mind to poison them, as these filthy creatures were ruining the buildings, and moreover there was hardly anything I found as unpleasant as their cooing. Even as a child I had hated the cooing of pigeons. The pigeon problem had been with us for centuries and never been solved; it had been discussed at length and the pigeons had constantly been cursed, but no solution had been found. [i]I've always hated pigeons[/i], I told Caecilia, and started to count them. On one windowsill there were thirteen sitting close together in their own filth. The maids ought at least to clean the droppings off the windowsills, I told Caecilia, amazed that they had not been removed before the wedding. Everything else had been cleaned, but not the windowsills. This had not struck me a week earlier. Caecilia did not respond to my remarks about the pigeons. The gardeners had let some tramps spend the night in the Children's Villa, she said after a long pause, during which I began to wonder whether I had given Gambetti the right books, whether it would not have been a good idea to give him Fontane's [i]Effi Briest[/i] as well.
Thomas Bernhard (Extinction)
Likewise, we “trusted the process,” but the process didn’t save Toy Story 2 either. “Trust the Process” had morphed into “Assume that the Process Will Fix Things for Us.” It gave us solace, which we felt we needed. But it also coaxed us into letting down our guard and, in the end, made us passive. Even worse, it made us sloppy. Once this became clear to me, I began telling people that the phrase was meaningless. I told our staff that it had become a crutch that was distracting us from engaging, in a meaningful way, with our problems. We should trust in people, I told them, not processes. The error we’d made was forgetting that “the process” has no agenda and doesn’t have taste. It is just a tool—a framework. We needed to take more responsibility and ownership of our own work, our need for self-discipline, and our goals. Imagine an old, heavy suitcase whose well-worn handles are hanging by a few threads. The handle is “Trust the Process” or “Story Is King”—a pithy statement that seems, on the face of it, to stand for so much more. The suitcase represents all that has gone into the formation of the phrase: the experience, the deep wisdom, the truths that emerge from struggle. Too often, we grab the handle and—without realizing it—walk off without the suitcase. What’s more, we don’t even think about what we’ve left behind. After all, the handle is so much easier to carry around than the suitcase. Once you’re aware of the suitcase/handle problem, you’ll see it everywhere. People glom onto words and stories that are often just stand-ins for real action and meaning. Advertisers look for words that imply a product’s value and use that as a substitute for value itself. Companies constantly tell us about their commitment to excellence, implying that this means they will make only top-shelf products. Words like quality and excellence are misapplied so relentlessly that they border on meaningless. Managers scour books and magazines looking for greater understanding but settle instead for adopting a new terminology, thinking that using fresh words will bring them closer to their goals. When someone comes up with a phrase that sticks, it becomes a meme, which migrates around even as it disconnects from its original meaning. To ensure quality, then, excellence must be an earned word, attributed by others to us, not proclaimed by us about ourselves. It is the responsibility of good leaders to make sure that words remain attached to the meanings and ideals they represent.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Fear and desire for pleasure. Aggressiveness comes out of fear, predominantly, and sexuality predominantly out of the other. But they mix in the middle. Anyway, both of these impulses can destroy order, which comes out of both drives, and which is another human need I haven't yet fit into my scheme. So both have to be controlled. But in fact, despite religious commands to the contrary, aggressiveness has never really been condemned. It's been exalted, from the Bible through Homer and Virgil right down to Humbert Hemingway. Have you ever heard of a John Wayne movie being censored? did you ever see them take war books off the bookstands? They leave the genitals off Barbie and Ken, but they manufacture every kind of war toy. Because sex is more threatening to us than aggression. There have been strict rules about sex since the beginning of written rules, and even before, if we can believe myth. I think that's because it's in sex that men feel most vulnerable. In war they can hype themselves up, or they have a weapon. Sex means being literally naked and exposing your feelings. And that's more terrifying to most men than the risk of dying while fighting a bear or a soldier. Look at the rules! You can have sex if you're married, and you have to marry a person of the opposite gender, the same color and religion, an age close to your own, of the right social and economic background, even the right height, for God's sake, or else everybody gets up in arms, they disinherit you or threaten not to come to the wedding or they make nasty cracks behind your back. Or worse, if you cross color or gender lines. And once you're married, you're supposed to do only certain things when you make love: the others all have nasty names. When after all, sex itself, in itself, is harmless, and aggression is harmful. Sex never hurt anyone.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
This place, our little cloud forest, even though we missed our papi, it was the most beautiful place you've ever seen. We didn't really know that then, because it was the only place we'd ever seen, except in picture in books and magazines, but now that's I've seen other place, I know. I know how beautiful it was. And we loved it anyway even before we knew. Because the trees had these enormous dark green leaves, as a big as a bed, and they would sway in the wind. And when it rain you could hear the big, fat raindrops splatting onto those giant leaves, and you could only see the sky in bright blue patches if you were walking a long way off to a friend's house or to church or something, when you passed through a clearing and all those leaves would back away and open up and the hot sunshine would beat down all yellow and gold and sticky. And there were waterfalls everywhere with big rock pools where you could take a bath and the water was always warm and it smelled like sunlight. And at night there was the sound of the tree frogs and the music of the rushing water from the falls and all the songs of the night birds, and Mami would make the most delicious chilate, and Abuela would sing to us in the old language, and Soledad and I would gather herbs and dry them and bundle them for Papi to sell in the market when he had a day off, and that's how we passed our days.' Luca can see it. He's there, far away in the misty cloud forest, in a hut with a packed dirt floor and a cool breeze, with Rebeca and Soledad and their mami and abuela, and he can even see their father, far away down the mountain and through the streets of that clogged, enormous city, wearing a long apron and a chef's hat, and his pockets full of dried herbs. Luca can smell the wood of the fire, the cocoa and cinnamon of the chilate, and that's how he knows Rebeca is magical, because she can transport him a thousand miles away into her own mountain homestead just by the sound of her voice.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
Early on it is clear that Addie has a rebellious streak, joining the library group and running away to Rockport Lodge. Is Addie right to disobey her parents? Where does she get her courage? 2. Addie’s mother refuses to see Celia’s death as anything but an accident, and Addie comments that “whenever I heard my mother’s version of what happened, I felt sick to my stomach.” Did Celia commit suicide? How might the guilt that Addie feels differ from the guilt her mother feels? 3. When Addie tries on pants for the first time, she feels emotionally as well as physically liberated, and confesses that she would like to go to college (page 108). How does the social significance of clothing and hairstyle differ for Addie, Gussie, and Filomena in the book? 4. Diamant fills her narrative with a number of historical events and figures, from the psychological effects of World War I and the pandemic outbreak of influenza in 1918 to child labor laws to the cultural impact of Betty Friedan. How do real-life people and events affect how we read Addie’s fictional story? 5. Gussie is one of the most forward-thinking characters in the novel; however, despite her law degree she has trouble finding a job as an attorney because “no one would hire a lady lawyer.” What other limitations do Addie and her friends face in the workforce? What limitations do women and minorities face today? 6. After distancing herself from Ernie when he suffers a nervous episode brought on by combat stress, Addie sees a community of war veterans come forward to assist him (page 155). What does the remorse that Addie later feels suggest about the challenges American soldiers face as they reintegrate into society? Do you think soldiers today face similar challenges? 7. Addie notices that the Rockport locals seem related to one another, and the cook Mrs. Morse confides in her sister that, although she is usually suspicious of immigrant boarders, “some of them are nicer than Americans.” How does tolerance of the immigrant population vary between city and town in the novel? For whom might Mrs. Morse reserve the term Americans? 8. Addie is initially drawn to Tessa Thorndike because she is a Boston Brahmin who isn’t afraid to poke fun at her own class on the women’s page of the newspaper. What strengths and weaknesses does Tessa’s character represent for educated women of the time? How does Addie’s description of Tessa bring her reliability into question? 9. Addie’s parents frequently admonish her for being ungrateful, but Addie feels she has earned her freedom to move into a boardinghouse when her parents move to Roxbury, in part because she contributed to the family income (page 185). How does the Baum family’s move to Roxbury show the ways Betty and Addie think differently from their parents about household roles? Why does their father take such offense at Herman Levine’s offer to house the family? 10. The last meaningful conversation between Addie and her mother turns out to be an apology her mother meant for Celia, and for a moment during her mother’s funeral Addie thinks, “She won’t be able to make me feel like there’s something wrong with me anymore.” Does Addie find any closure from her mother’s death? 11. Filomena draws a distinction between love and marriage when she spends time catching up with Addie before her wedding, but Addie disagrees with the assertion that “you only get one great love in a lifetime.” In what ways do the different romantic experiences of each woman inform the ideas each has about love? 12. Filomena and Addie share a deep friendship. Addie tells Ada that “sometimes friends grow apart. . . . But sometimes, it doesn’t matter how far apart you live or how little you talk—it’s still there.” What qualities do you think friends must share in order to have that kind of connection? Discuss your relationship with a best friend. Enhance
Anita Diamant (The Boston Girl)
A second later, Ron had snatched his arm back from around her shoulders; she had dropped The Monster Book of Monsters on his foot. The book had broken free from its restraining belt and snapped viciously at Ron’s ankle. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Hermione cried as Harry wrenched the book from Ron’s leg and retied it shut. “What are you doing with all those books anyway?” Ron asked, limping back to his bed. “Just trying to decide which ones to take with us,” said Hermione. “When we’re looking for the Horcruxes.” “Oh, of course,” said Ron, clapping a hand to his forehead. “I forgot we’ll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library.” “Ha ha,” said Hermione, looking down at Spellman’s Syllabary. “I wonder…will we need to translate runes? It’s possible…I think we’d better take it, to be safe.” She dropped the syllabary onto the larger of the two piles and picked up Hogwarts, A History. “Listen,” said Harry. He had sat up straight. Ron and Hermione looked at him with similar mixtures of resignation and defiance. “I know you said after Dumbledore’s funeral that you wanted to come with me,” Harry began. “Here he goes,” Ron said to Hermione, rolling his eyes. “As we knew he would,” she sighed, turning back to the books. “You know, I think I will take Hogwarts, A History. Even if we’re not going back there, I don’t think I’d feel right if I didn’t have it with--” “Listen!” said Harry again. “No, Harry, you listen,” said Hermione. “We’re coming with you. That was decided months ago--years, really.” “But--” “Shut up,” Ron advised him. “--are you sure you’ve thought this through?” Harry persisted. “Let’s see,” said Hermione, slamming Travels with Trolls onto the discarded pile with a rather fierce look. “I’ve been packing for days, so we’re ready to leave at a moment’s notice, which for your information has included doing some pretty difficult magic, not to mention smuggling Mad-Eye’s whole stock of Polyjuice Potion right under Ron’s mum’s nose.” “I’ve also modified my parents’ memories so that they’re convinced they’re really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins, and that their life’s ambition is to move to Australia, which they have now done. That’s to make it more difficult for Voldemort to track them down and interrogate them about me--or you, because unfortunately, I’ve told them quite a bit about you. “Assuming I survive our hunt for the Horcruxes, I’ll find Mum and Dad and lifted the enchantment. If I don’t--well, I think I’ve cast a good enough charm to keep them safe and happy. Wendell and Monica Wilkins don’t know that they’ve got a daughter, you see.” Hermione’s eyes were swimming with tears again. Ron got back off the bed, put his arm around her once more, and frowned at Harry as though reproaching him for lack of tact. Harry could not think of anything to say, not least because it was highly unusual for Ron to be teaching anyone else tact.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))