Karen Thompson Walker – The Age of Miracles

January 30, 2013 – February 6, 2013

P. 11

The eucalyptus trees were fluttering like sea anemones in the wind, and my mother’s jug of sun tea looked nearly dark enough to drink

P. 18

I remember hoping she could convince him not to leave, but he continued to tie his shoes. He liked the loops in his bows to be exactly the same size.

P. 29

The real catastrophes are always different – unimagined, unprepared for, unknown.

P. 36

The bus stop was the hard ground where our school days always began, where insults were slung and secrets spilled or spread.

P. 39

I could feel the eyes of the other kids on my face, attracted to cruelty like flies to meat.
A lie formed in my mouth. It tumbled out like a broken tooth.

P. 41

From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of regret? But the new gravity was not enough to overcome the pull of certain other forces, more powerful, less known – no law of physics can account for desire.

P. 43

This was middle school, the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove.

P. 45

Mr. Jensen had a ponytail and a beard. He wore a lot of tie-dye. He rode a bike to school, and it was rumored that he cooked his meals on the Bunsen burners in the back of the classroom and slept in a sleeping bag under his desk. He wore hiking boots to school every day. He looked like he could live for many months in the desert with only a compass and a pocketknife and a canteen.

P. 67

The Ferris wheel stood only partially erect: a single red bucket dangled from a single spoke like the last fruit of summer, or like autumn’s final leaf.

P. 96

Even beauty, in abundance, turns creepy.

P. 102

With a little persuasion, any familiar thing can turn abnormal in the mind.

P. 190

There’s a certain kind of shock that’s possible only when you’re young.

P. 202

On dark days like that one, the library windows looked lit up like an aquarium, the inhabitants on display for all the other kids to see: here the most exotic fish, the lonely, the unloved, the weird.

Points of Interest: Plants mentioned

  • bougainvillea
  • anemones
  • eucalyptus
  • dandelions
  • daisies
  • honeysuckle
  • roses
  • marigolds
  • orchids
  • pine
  • fir
  • ficus
  • Bermuda grass
Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Laura Lee Gulledge – Page by Paige

book cover
January 22, 2013
No page numbers.

Rule #5: Bad experiences are like bad drawings. They stay in our sketchbooks. They stay a part of us. You can’t erase your past or who you are. You have to deal with it, I suppose.

Points of Interest – Books within Books
Y – The Last Man
Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories (Love & Rockets)

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

David Levithan – Every Day

book cover
January 7, 2013 – January 21, 2013

P. 54

I can see that the sadness has returned. And it’s not a beautiful sadness — beautiful sadness is a myth. Sadness turns our features to clay, not porcelain.

P. 56

I no longer think she’s just being nice. She’s being kind. Which is more a sign of character than mere niceness. Kindness connects to who you are, while niceness connects to how you want to be seen.

P. 142

In my experience, desire is desire, love is love. I have never fallen in love with a gender. I have fallen for individuals. I know this is hard for people to do, but I don’t understand why it’s so hard, when it’s so obvious.

P. 182

I run. I am made for running. Because when you run, you could be anyone. You hone yourself into a body, nothing more or less than a body. You respond as a body, to the body. If you are racing to win, you have no thoughts but the body’s thoughts, no goals but the body’s goals. You obliterate yourself in the name of speed. You negate yourself in order to make it past the finish line.

P. 223

But I see no sin in a kiss. I only see sin in the condemnation.

P. 281

I wanted love to conquer all. But love can’t conquer anything. It can’t do anything on its own. It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf.

P. 301

I know its never going to happen. And that knowledge is a flash of light I can’t quite see through.

Points of Interest: Books within Books< Feed – M.T. Anderson
Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Destroy All Cars – Blake Nelson
First Day on Earth – Cecil Castellucci

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Max Brooks – World War Z: An oral history of the Zombie War

book cover
December 4, 2012 – December 26, 2012
P. 136

But instead his little penis popped out and he peed in my face.

P. 209

“Isn’t that odd? Even at the height of my breakdown, my social anxiety was so great that actually risking personal contact was still taboo.”

P. 232

“Freedom isn’t something you have for the sake of having, you have to want something else first and then want the freedom to fight for it.”

P. 334

At least we’re cleaning up our own mess, and maybe that’s the best epitaph to hope for. “Generation Z, they cleaned up their own mess.

Vocabulary / Persons / Points of Interest
thermobaric weapons – weapons that produce a larger blast wave than conventional weapons.

John Lethbridge – invented first underwater diving suit

A replica of the Lethbridge diving machine at the Cité de la Mer (‘City of the Sea’) in Cherbourg, France.

hibakusha – the surviving victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Movie due out this summer.

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Shawn Green with Gordon McAlpine – The Way of Baseball : finding stillness at 95 mph

November 14, 2012 – December 4, 2012

P. 64

Besides, it’s important in any endeavor to know when to focus and when to relax, when to joke around and flick sunflower seeds, and I was finally finding the right formula.

P. 204

From time to time we all need to get inside the monster in our lives before we can emerge into the bright lights.

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ben Lerner – Leaving the Atocha Station

October 10, 2012 – November 14, 2012

P. 91

And when you read about your reading in the time of your reading, mediacy is experienced immediately.

anhedonia – the absence of pleasure or the ability to feel it
insufflation – blowing air or medicated powder into the lungs (or into some other body cavity

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Miranda July – No One Belongs Here More than You

September 13, 2012 – October 4, 2012

P. 17
The Swim Team

It was still diving, it was still letting go of mammalian pride and embracing gravity.

P. 31

Life is just this way, broken, and I am crazy to hope for anything else.

P. 67
Something That Needs Nothing

We were kites flying in opposite directions attached to strings held by one hand.

P. 115
Making Love in 2003

What a terrible mistake to let go of something wonderful for something real.

P. 155
Mon Plaisir

We never really had a proper courtship; we met at a potluck where we quickly discovered that we were both recovering from a break-up. By the time we stopped talking about our exes, we’d been together for a year.

P. 161

When you can see the beauty of a tree, then you will know what love is.

Posted in books | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Misha Glouberman with Sheila Heti – The Chairs are Where the People Go

August 28, 2012 – September 10, 2012

P. 3 People’s Protective Bubbles are OK

That’s what a city is: a city is a place where you can be alone in public, and where you have that right.

P. 5 How to Make Friends in a New City

Being a host – it’s a really super valuable service that a lot of people are disinclined to do, and if you can do it, it’s a great way to meet people.

P. 45 Improv

There’s a real joy in starting a sentence and not knowing how its going to finish.

P. 29.80 Sitting on the same side of the table

It’s so, so easy to mistake damage to your enemy as personal gain.

P. 30.83 Seein my Friends Drunk for the first time

That’s one of the many reasons why drinking isn’t as bad for young people as it is for older people. When people are nineteen, they get drunk and it really does lead them into interesting misadventure, or they wind up in a new part of town — and that’s what you want when you’re nineteen. The drugs and alcohol help make that more possible in a number of ways. When you’re older, drugs and alcohol just give you greater tolerance for a boring time.

P. 31.88

A decision is a thing you make. But there’s no way you’re going to eliminate uncertainty.

P. 53.140 Storytelling is Not the Same Thing as Conversation

It seems to me that the most pleasing thing you can find yourself saying in a conversation is something you haven’t said before.

What’s In The Chairs Are Where The People Go: Misha Glouberman from The Lavin Agency on Vimeo.

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sheila Heti – The Middle Stories

August 15, 2012 – August 28, 2012

P. 8

Breasts were one thing, but the path of one’s life was another.

P. 59

…there’s nothing heroic about love

The girl who was blind All the Time
P. 106

The rest of her life was like a long thin line with little diminuendos and tiny little crescendos, and friends visiting from out of town.
She had a big, bright, curly head of hair that made her look like a clown, and nobody ever told her.

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sheila Heti – Ticknor

August 15, 2012

P. 5

There was a woman I loved more than books, but now she is gone. I was not a favorite of girls, and I am still not favored among women. You loved first a drunk, second a woman who was deformed in the face. I have only ever loved hopeless women, which is surely what has kept me from the highest circles. It’s all that would have been necessary to find myself in the warm glow of the dinner table at the Prescotts’. To have only had a woman you could show off would have put you in the proper place. I tried not to love the women I loved. Now I only want to be quite simple and childlike with some dear woman, with no code of morals, yet I fear its too late. Few people feel a real and deep passion more than once in a life. Perhaps you will never again love in the same true way, or find a human being who is such perfect rest to you.

Getting somewhere always involves more effort than the effort of getting there is worth.

P. 34

A talented man puts all his understanding, all the sensitivity of his soul, into his work. My attitude toward work is obtuse and indifferent.

PP 60-61

I often go to the mirror when crying, to see how I might look. I wonder whether I’d have any sympathy for a man such as myself. Sometimes I feel I would, and it makes me cry even harder; other times I do not and it fills me with despair – well, then I weep more pitifully than before. In these ways I find I am able to enjoy myself. The pure times I spend alone are rare.
All my life I have been on the lookout for the consolation in things. So long as one’s sensitiveness is to run from the rough impact of life, it is neither strenuousness nor austerity that one needs, but only consolation.

P. 62

When a person needs justification, time will elapse. What a person wants is a lapse in bed and time for self-pity. Convalescence.

P. 68

Naturally I dislike most forms of communication and often there isn’t time. If ten years pass and I find myself without friends, this failing will be the cause…
My manner of life is, like everyone’s, patchwork. This is the reason – if anyone had the interest to look into it – why I’ve ended up the way I have.

P. 80

Some lives are simply not worth living, and it is up to science, not morality, to discover whose.

P. 81

a law is like a dog: once released, it will follow its own nature, not yours.

P. 116

Then I move through the streets proud, like a man who’s loved nothing.

Posted in books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment