COOL QUOTE // Brain on Fire

The Vacation Mode Brain on Fire“Sometimes, just when we need them, life wraps metaphors up in little bows for us.  When you think all is lost, the things you need the most return unexpectedly.”

 – Susannah Cahalan

I read Brain on Fire after being urged by a friend and found it riveting from beginning to end. This young woman’s brave story is equal parts terrifying and inspiring.  Have you read it?  Full review to come!

COOL QUOTE // Girl With a Pearl Earring

“I looked at the painting one last time, but by studying it so hard I felt something slip away. It was like looking at a star in the night sky – if I looked at one directly I could barely see it, but if I looked from the corner of my eye it became much brighter.”

– Griet

I’m on a family getaway near Bend, Oregon at the moment and despite coming fully prepared with my chosen reads, I couldn’t resist a perusal through the rental house’s well-stocked bookshelves.

I plucked out Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and haven’t been able to put it down!  The quote above is a great example of its beautiful prose.  Hopefully I make it all the way through, else management may find themselves short a book :-).

COOL QUOTES // Choke

There were so many thought-provoking zingers in Choke (read my review here)it didn’t feel fair to pick just one. Scroll down for some of the raddest (IMHO) lines from Chuck Palahniuk’s provocative novel.  Any favorites of yours that I left out?

Choke by vacation MODE

You gain power by pretending to be weak.  By contrast, you make people feel so strong.  You save people by letting them save you.

It’s ok to cry as long as you’re faking it.

I used rebellion as a way to hide out. We use criticism as a fake participation.

Language, she said, was just our way to explain away the wonder and the glory of the world.  To deconstruct. To dismiss.  She said peope can’t deal with how beautiful the world really is.  How it can’t be explained and understood.

“Anything you can acquire,” she says, “is only another thing you’ll lose.”

Unless I’m scamming for money, I’d rather people hate me than feel sorry for me.

On the radio, they talk about where to find traffic, a two-car accident on the bypass, a stalled tractor-trailer on the airport freeway.  After I fill the gas tank, I just find and accident and get in line.  Just to feel like I’m part of something.

We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are.  Sane or insane.  Saints or sex addicts. Heros or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are.
Letting our past decide our future.
Or we can decide for ourselves.
And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.

 

COOL QUOTE // Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber“Strong as he was, he couldn’t protect me; willing he might be, but he couldn’t help. For the first time, I wasn’t safe in his arms, and the knowledge terrified both of us.

– Claire Randall

Stillllll chugging my way through Dragonfly in Amber.  I’m into it but it’s not that all-consuming kind of read I’ve experienced before…where I’ll spend every spare moment devouring every word and every non-spare moment in anticipation of picking it up again.  Where I’ll abandon sleep or food or human interaction, and find ingenious ways to sneak it into my work day.  Ever hidden a book INSIDE a magazine?  Just me?  Yeah, my job is pretty weird (/awesome?) where holding a magazine comes off as more industrious than holding a book…but that’s another story for another day.

Continue reading

COOL QUOTE // Dragonfly in Amber

Gabaldon-Dragonfly-in-Amber-220x332“Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger’s touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-cheeked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body.

But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says “I am,” and forms the core of personality.

In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And “I am” grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh.

The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven. The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves.

In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center, as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until “I am” is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.”

— Claire Randall

Continue reading

COOL QUOTE // The Other Boleyn Girl

“After all, this is our meal ticket and our fortune that we are sending to his bed, hardly a girl at all.  Come, child!  You have work to do for us Boleyns, and we are counting on you!”

— George Boleyn, to his sisters Mary and Anne

I’m currently working my way through The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, and I’m having a hard time putting it down!  Full review to come but I thought this line spoke volumes about the perceived role of women during the Tudor era (plus a shitload of other eras, arguably).  Anyone read this book?  Would love your thoughts!