Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Year of Magical Thinking

Photo: LIFE
"As a child I thought a great deal about meaninglessness, which seemed at the time the most prominent negative feature on the horizon... No eye was on the sparrow. No one was watching me. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end."

The Year of Magical Thinking, pp. 189-90
By Joan Didion
Published 2006

Monday, December 27, 2010


"Somewhere in The Great Gatsby (which was my Tom Sawyer when I was twelve), the youthful narrator remarks that everybody suspects himself of having at least one of the cardinal virtues, and he goes on to say that he thinks his, bless his heart, is honesty. Mine, I think, is that I know the difference between a mystical story and a love story. I say that my current offering isn't a mystical story, or a religiously mystifying story, at all. I say it's a compound, or multiple, love story, pure and complicated."

Zooey, p. 49
By J.D. Salinger
Published 1957


Photo: Here and here.
"At that moment, though, he chanced to look up from the table and see someone he knew across the room - a classmate, with a date. Lane sat up a bit in his chair and adjusted his expression from that of all-around apprehension and discontent to that of a man whose date has merely gone to the john, leaving him, as dates do, with nothing to do in the meantime but smoke and look bored, preferably attractively bored."

Franny, p. 21
By J.D. Salinger
Published 1955

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ethan Frome

"The words went on sounding between them as though a torch of warning flew from hand to hand through a black landscape."

Ethan Frome, p. 105
By Edith Wharton
Published 1911

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters

"Why, then, did I go on sitting in the car? Why didn't I get out while, say, we were stopped for a red light? ... There seems to me at least a dozen answers to these questions, and all of them, however dimly, valid enough. I think, though, that I can dispense with them, and just reiterate that the year was 1942, that I was twenty-three, newly drafted, newly advised in the efficacy of keeping close to the herd - and, above all, I felt lonely. One simply jumped into loaded cars, as I see it, and stayed seated in them." - Buddy Glass

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, p. 25
By J.D. Salinger
Published 1963

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seymour: An Introduction

"They may shine with the misinformation of the ages, but they shine."

Seymour: An Introduction, p. 213
By J.D. Salinger
Published 1963

The Texts of Chuang-tzu

"The sage is full of anxiety and indecision in undertaking anything, and so he is always successful."

The Texts of Chuang-tzu, Book XXVI
By Chuang-tzu
Published 4th century BC

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mr. Muo's Traveling Couch

Photo: Here
"So you've struck it rich?"
"No. All the profits go to the prison. But that's a reasonable price to pay for my daytime freedom. At dusk I go back to spend the night in a cell for lifers. It's right next to death row. Every time there's an execution I see a guard going past the door with a plate of meat for the man who's going to be shot the next day. That's when I say to myself, Shit, I've done pretty well for myself, avoiding the last supper."

Mr. Muo's Traveling Couch, p. 79
By Dai Sijie
Published 2003

Dandelion Wine

Photo: TFS
"Kindness and intelligence are the preoccupations of age. Being cruel and thoughless is far more fascinating when you're twenty." -Helen Loomis

Dandelion Wine, p. 147
By Ray Bradbury
Published 1957

Saturday, November 6, 2010


"...I live in a world where the two truths coexist; where both hell and hope lie in the palm of my hand."

Lucky, pg. 243
By Alice Sebold
Published 1999

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Poisonwood Bible


"According to my Baptist Sunday-school teachers, a child is denied entrance to heaven merely for being born in the Congo rather than, say, north Georgia, where she could attend church regularly. This was a sticking point in my own little lame march to salvation: admission to heaven is gained by the luck of the draw." -Adah Price

The Poisonwood Bible, pg. 171
By Barbara Kingsolver
Published 1998

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Wolf at the Table

Photo: Flickr
"I came to think that maybe God was what you believed in because you needed to feel you weren't alone. Maybe God was simply that part of yourself that was always there and always strong, even when you were not. And if I put everything in God's hands, wasn't that a cop-out?"

A Wolf at the Table, pg. 163
By Augusten Burroughs
Published 2008

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Anthropology of an American Girl

Photo: JAK&JIL
"Sometimes a day is a symbolic day, and you behave symbolically. Sometimes you search inside for a feeling, and finding none, you remember that no feeling is frequently the most possible feeling."

Anthropology of an American Girl, pg. 260
By Hillary Thayer Hamann
Published 2010 (Self-published 2003)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life of Pi


"What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape... It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse."

Life of Pi
By Yann Martel, p. 285
Published 2001

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Secret Life of Bees

"She said a scholarship was my only hope for a future and lent me her private books for the summer. Whenever I opened one, T. Ray said, 'Who do you think you are, Julius Shakespeare?' The man sincerely thought that was Shakespeare's first name, and if you think I should have corrected him, you are ignorant about the art of survival."

The Secret Life of Bees, pg. 16
By Sue Monk Kidd
Published 2002

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Book of Lost Things


"We all have our routines," he said softly. "But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all."

The Book of Lost Things, p. 94
By John Connolly
Published 2006