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.

 

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BOOK REVIEW // Choke

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Choke by vacation MODEVictor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, go on to send checks to support him. When he’s not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park.

I scored Choke for a great deal in my favorite LA bookstore.  This was my introduction to Chuck Palahniuk’s work, though I’ve definitely heard of him before – like any other member of my generation, I’ve seen the Fight Club movie approximately one billion times.  While I know it’s not kablamo to judge an author’s work by a film adaptation; I perceived a lot of thematic similarities between that film and this book.  Anarchism, sex, apathy/disgust for commercialism and society, and an anithero protagonist who, underneath everything, just wants to be loved…you feel me. Continue reading

(Somewhere Over the) RAINBOW SHELF

Just bought a great new bookshelf and made a little weekend project out of organizing it.  Here’s a section in progress – recognize any of your favorite titles?

And real talk to my book blogging homies – guys, how do you organize your shelves?  Is it by color, author, genre, series…? This rainbow theme make me SO HAPPY but I had to split some of the series up, which gives me anxiety…what if they miss each other??

Hope you’re all having an awesome week xx

Photo from my Instagram.  Let’s be insta-friends!

BOOK REVIEW // Dragonfly in Amber

The Vacation Mode Dragonfly in Amber

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones … about a love that transcends the boundaries of time … and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his….

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart … in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising … and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

Well, I did it.  I really did it – I made it through Dragonfly in Amber.  I don’t know why this book was such a challenge to finish (the “break” I took to binge-read The Selection Series might have had something to do with it) but all in all, it was really good.

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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.

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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

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BOOK REVIEW // The Other Boleyn Girl

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There’s no rhyme or reason behind how I determine what to read next – I’ll explore or revisit classics, pepper in some fantasy/sci-fi, indulge guiltily in the occasional YA bestsellers…kind of schizo. At any given time I’ll have a deep reserve of titles to choose from at random, amassed through various bookstore or Amazon perusals. I picked up a used copy of The Other Boleyn Girl during a daytrip to Ojai in the fall; when we stumbled upon the amazing Bart’s Books and I knew I needed a token to commemorate the occasion. This book caught my eye, probably in memory of that (awful? It was pretty bad right?) Natalie Portman movie that I think I feel asleep to years ago. I’ve been drawn to a lot of historical fiction lately – it’s rewarding to feel like you might be learning a little without the sensation of facts and dates getting shoved down your throat. Continue reading