Things I Wish I Said

“The problem was, knowing the reason I was insecure didn’t help me to undo the damage that had been done. Something in me had been broken, and I now knew it was well intentioned— a duster knocking the ornament onto the tiled floor rather than its being smashed deliberately— but broken just the same.” ~Rosamund Lupton, Sister.

“The day you were found, time went demented; a minute lasted half a day, an hour went past in seconds. Like a children’s storybook, I flew in and out of weeks and through the years— second star to the right and straight on to a morning that would never arrive. I was in a Dalí painting of drooping clocks, a Mad Hatter’s tea-party time. No wonder Auden said, ‘Stop all the clocks’; it was a desperate grab for sanity.” ~Rosamund Lupton, Sister: A Novel.

“Rewriting her work gave Tengo a renewed sense that Fuka-Eri had written the piece without any intention of leaving behind a work of literature. All she had done was record a story— or, as she had put it, things she had actually witnessed— that she possessed inside her, and it just so happened that she had used words to do it.” ~Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

“‘Oh, scissors!’ I said again. i should have to put off my researches until another time. As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
No…eight days a week.” ~Alan Bradley, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

“We had recently ceased to be twins. We were born ten months apart and until I went to high school we came as a matched set, more Siamese twins than fraternal or identical, defined by an uncanny unseparability. Joined not at the hip or spleen or nervous system but at that more important place – that spot on your self where you meet the world.” ~Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor

“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” ~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Resist much, obey little.” ~Walt Whitman

“What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening whereever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do.” ~Alan Bennett

“Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have
happened.” ~Thomas Hardy

“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” ~Federico Garcia Lorca

“Live not for Battles Won.
Live not for The-End-of-Song.
Live in the along.”
~Gwendolyn Brooks

“Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.” ~Saul Bellow

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” ~William Styron

“For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.”
~W.B. Yeats

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~Margaret Atwood. Mmmm…and books, too.

“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for other reason that sheer enjoyment.” ~Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I wonder how the book got to [you]? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.” ~Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“Our generation has no Great War, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives.”  ~Chuck Palahniuk

“Although every man believes his decisions and resolutions involve the most multifarious factors, in reality they are a mere oscillation between flight and longing.” ~Herman Broch

“You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.” ~Albert Camus

“To be the baby of such a family is to know you’re the last little caboose of a long roaring train. They loved me so, when they paid any attention to me at all, I was like a creature dazed and blinded by intense, searing light that might sudenly switch off and leave me in darkness.” ~Joyce Carol Oats, We Were the Mulvaneys

“Always it seemed, hard as I tried I could never hope to catch up with all their good times, secrets, jokes – their memories. What is a family, after all, except memories? – haphazard and precious as the contents of a catchall drawer in the kitchen…” ~Joyce Carol Oats, We Were the Mulvaneys

“[T]his document isn’t a confession. Not at all. I’ve come to think of it as a family album…absolute truth-telling….But if you’ve been a child in any family you’ve been keeping such an album in memory and conjecture and yearning, and it’s a life’s work, it may be the great and only work of your life.” ~Joyce Carol Oats, We Were the Mulvaneys

“When I think of us then, when we were the Mulvaneys of High Point farm…blurred at the edges as in a dream…Getting us into focus requires effort, like getting a dream into focus and keeping it there.
One of those haunting, tantalizing dreams that seem so vivid, so real, until you look closely, try to see – and they begin to fade, like smoke.” ~Joyce Carol Oats, We Were the Mulvaneys

“What does my smile look like now? Vivi wondered. Can you reclaim that free-girl smile, or is it like virginity – one you lose it, that’s it?” ~Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

“Vivi swung wide in her waltzes with angels, in her jousting with demons, and her daughter learned to choreograph drama from these fluctuations.” ~Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

“I learned to love singing from Mama, she thought. These days nobody sings the way Mama and the four of us used to do.
What Sidda did not know what how much more singing there was when Vivi was growing up. That’s the kind of thing the history books don’t tell. How people sang outdoors all the time. How it was impossible to walk downt eh street in Thornton, LA, in the thirties and forties andnot hear somebody singing. Singing or whistling. Housewives singing while they hung out the clothes; old codgets whistling while they sat in front of the courthouse on River Street; gardeners humming while they weeded and hoed; children lilting and yodeling while they tore through the neighborhoods on their Schwinns and Radio Flyers. Even serious businessmen whistled on their way in and out of the bank. These were people with pianos, not TVs in their living rooms. Their singing didn’t always mean they were happy; sometimes the tunes were old dirges or the old hymns. Often the music flowed from Black people whose songs touched a sadness inside Vivi that she herself had no words for. In those days, it seemed, everybody sang.” ~Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

“The past is never where you think you left it.” ~Katherine Anne Porter

“Do your bit to save humanity from lapsing back into barbarity by reading all the novels you can.” ~Richard Hughes

“It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere.” ~Lois Lowry

“The Hagarty siblings were in the row behind them: in-laws and babies were sieved out into further pews, and it is possible that we sat, even then, in order of age; ‘steps and stairs’ as people used to croon, though the staircase was now bocketty, with gaps and broken planks and disproportion between one fat stoop and the next. Grown up, we all loked like cuckoos, every single one of us: we all looked wrong.” ~Anne Enright, The Gathering

They take you places you hadn’t planned.
If it was true in stories, it was also true in life, and it was exactly how I felt that winter; unmoored, discontent, waiting for something to happen, without knowing exactly what it might possibly be. Everyone – everything – seemed to be waiting, too distracted to act properly; fires never behaved in their grates, servants walked out the door during meals, letters were posted but never received.” ~Melanie Benjamin, Alice I Have Been

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