“Currently Reading” Archive



D (A Tale of Two Worlds) by Michael Faber

“Maybe the point was that Mrs. Robinson was a sphinx and therefore more comfortable being what she really was than pretending to be a dog.” Pg 116


Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser

“The world wold have been different – and better – if women had had an equal say in the development of literature, medicine, chemistry, physics, peace and economics. Better, not because women are better, but because they are more than half of humanity, representing more than half of what it means to be human.”


Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

“What I Know: 1. What you don’t know, you’re not supposed to know yet. 2. More will be revealed. 3 Crisis means to sift. Let it all fall away and you’ll be left with what matters. 4.What matters most cannot be taken away. 5. Just do the next right thing one thing at a time. That’ll take you all the way home.”




To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

“A light here required a shadow there.” Pg. 53


Deep Creek by Pam Houston

“Could a person mourn and be joyful simultaneously? I understood it as the challenge of the twenty-first century. Maybe it was simply what being a grown up meant.”


Bright Precious Thing by Gail Caldwell

“She reminds me of the innocence of forward motion, and I try to give her a palette for all that hope.” Pg. 4


Upstream by Mary Oliver

“And I walk on, over the shoulder of summer and down across the red-dappled fall; and, when it’s late winter again, out through the far woodlands of the Province Lands, maybe another few hundred miles, looking for the owl’s nest, yes, of course, and looking at everything else along the way.” Pg. 139


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Kya knew from reading Albert Einstein’s books that time is no more fixed than the stars. Time speeds and bends around planets and suns, is different in the mountains than in the valleys, and is part of the same fabric as space, which curves and swells as does the sea.” Pg. 186


Untamed by Glennon Doyle

“Pain is not tragic. Pain is magic. Suffering is tragic. Suffering is what happens when we avoid pain and consequently miss our becoming. That is what I can and must avoid: missing my own evolution because I am too afraid to surrender to the process.” Pg. 52


There There by Tommy Orange

“‘That’s the way this whole thing is set up,” she said. “You’re not ever supposed to know. Not all the way. That’s what makes the whole thing work the way it does. We can’t know. That’s what makes us keep going.”


The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

“Wars, plagues, names upon tombs tell us only what happened. But history lies in the cracks in between. In the inexplicable, invisible turns and decisions. A person saying no instead of yes. …It is not that they had lived…but how.” 


Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

“When somebody mattered like that, you didn’t lose her at death. You lost her as you kept living.”


The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood

“‘Memories are the most precious things we have.'” Pg. 24





The Knife-Edge Path by Patrick T. Leahy

“What was supposed to be, now was.” Pg. 119


Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan

“To look at the face and not see humanity is to lack humanity.” Pg 17


Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch

“With Virginia Woolf there will perhaps be a long walk in a garden or along a shore, perhaps a walk that will last all day. She will put her arm in yours and gaze out. At your backs will be history. In front of you, just the ordinary day, which is of course your entire life. Like language. The small backs of words. Stretching out horizonless.” Pg. 213


The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch

“I don’t know where they will go, I just know we are made from everything we see.” Pg. 260


The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

“I looked at her aghast, with much like the expression I used when shown the sketches of the metal bikini. The one I wore to kill Jabba (my favorite moment in my own personal film history), which I highly recommend your doing: finding an equivalent of killing a giant space slug in your head and celebrate that.” Pg. 39


Whip Smart by Melissa Febos

“Honesty brought my double lives together and in doing so made the world a bigger place, in which I could move more freely.” Pg. 257


Abandon Me by Melissa Febos

“The things that mark us are the things that make us.” Pg. 26


Honolulu by Alan Brennert

“When we are young, we think life will be like a supo: one fabric, one weave, one grand design. But in truth, life turns out to be more like the patchwork cloths – bits and pieces, odds and ends – people, places, things we never expected, never wanted, perhaps. There is harmony in this, too, and beauty. I suppose that is why I like the chogak po.” Pg. 11


Euphoria by Lily King

“We’re always, in everything we do in this world, she said, limited by subjectivity. But out perspective can have an enormous wingspan if we give it the freedom to unfurl.” Pg. 50


Deep Creek by Pam Houston

“I want to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief without having to diminish one to accommodate the other…” Pg. 299


Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

“We are, in the end, a sum of our parts, and when the body fails, all the virtues we hold dear go with it.”


It’s Easier Thank You Think by Sylvia Boorstein

“Becoming aware of fragility, of temporality, of the fact that we will surely all be lost to one another, sooner or later, mandates a clear imperative to be totally kind and loving to each other always.” Pg. 119




Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

“Well, well see’t. Come, madam wife, sit by my side and let the world slip: we shall ne’er be younger.” Pg. 10


Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves

“If man could keep the Divine Light in mind (which, when out of the prison of the body we can realize as Permanent Life), man has the power to transform those particles into finer vibration.

The difficulty is that, when we are bombarded by the consciousness of the denser vibrations which make up our bodies, and all the so-called matter of the material world, the Light Eternal is doused and dimmed, sometimes being extinguished altogeter.” Pg. 26


Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert

“‘Consider the brave fisherman,” he began, “and the jeopardy of the sea…”


Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

“The effect of this cannot be understood without being there.The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you.”


Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins

“Being ‘all over time’ is the same as being out of time, because the notion of time is welded inseparably to the notion of progression, but what is already everywhere cannot possibly progress.” Pg. 220


Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

“We ‘re all yearning for a wedge of sky, aren ‘t we? I suspect God plants these yearnings in us so we’ll at least try and change the course of things. We must try, that’s all.”


Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

“And so there’s a struggle, or a contest, I guess you could say, all the time, it seems to me. And remorse, well, to be able to show remorse—to be able to be sorry about what we’ve done that’s hurt other people—that keeps us human.”


Come, My Beloved by Pearl S. Buck

“This is our fate and so it must be. Yet all that there can be we have had.” Pg. 354


To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

“Since he belonged, even at the age of six, to that great clan which cannot keep this feeling separate from that, but must let future prospects, with their joys and sorrows, cloud what is actually at hand, since to such people even in earliest childhood any turn in the wheel of sensation has the power to crystallise and transfix the moment upon which its gloom or radiance rests, James Ramsay, sitting on the floor cutting out pictures from the illustrated catalogue of the Army and Navy stores, endowed the picture of a refrigerator, as his mother spoke, with heavenly bliss.” Pg. 1




This Is Not The Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson

“I’ve always loved that Michelangelo believed his sculptures were already in the block of stone, in the same way the human soul is found within the physical body. Michelangelo kept his slave sculptures unfinished, to show how we enslave ourselves.” Pg. 112


East of Eden by John Steinbeck

“And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.”


The Lost City of Z by David Grann

“Fawcett had determined that an ancient, highly cultured people still existed in the Brazilian Amazon and that their civilization was so old and sophisticated it would forever alter the Western view of the Americas.” Pg. 12


A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley

“My mother described her reactions better than I ever could mine: she said she was ‘surprised with thunder’ that her boy had come back, and that the happiness in her heart was ‘as deep as the sea.'”


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

“I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound.” Pg.143


The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

“Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.” Pg. 36


The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr

“You spend your life avoiding these things; you end up seeking them out.” Pg. 21


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for the living.”




The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

“Jestine had told me never to rush something I was creating, but instead to let it come into being as if it had a soul of its own.” Pg. 193


Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

“She didn’t like to be alone. Even more, she didn’t like being with people.” Pg. 148


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

“‘If you speak the truth,’ the monster whispered in his ear, ‘you will be able to face whatever comes.’”


The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough

“The place had its hold on him. He went on bird walks; he read; he talked and talked and talked.” Pg. 47


The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert

“‘You can do anything you believe you can do.’” Pg. 132


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

“For humans – trapped in biology – there was no mercy: we lived a while, we fussed around for a bit and died, we rotted in the ground like garbage. Time destroyed us all soon enough. But to destroy, or lose, a deathless thing – to break bonds stronger than the temporal – was a metaphysical uncoupling all its own, a startling new flavor of despair.” Pg. 695


Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

“He’s lived the life he’s lived. He’s loved the woman he’s loved. No one ever has or ever will travel quite the same path on this earth, and that’s all right by him.” Pg. 342


The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

“Einar felt lonely, and he wondered if anybody in the world would ever know him.”


Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

“Maybe we’re all like that with our mothers. They seem ordinary until one day they’re extraordinary.”


The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker

“Only in this madness was it possible to feel such purpose.”


The Witches by Stacy Schiff

“Sometimes too we turn out to be captives or our ideas. Salem is in part the story of what happens when a set of unanswerable questions meets a set of unquestioned answers.” Pg. 9




Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

“His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.” Pg. 34


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

“You just have to learn how to trust it.” Pg. 245


Astoria by Peter Stark

“What might have come as a startling revelation about striking out into the unknown is that though the questions confronting one are often mundane – this route or that, this river drainage or another – the implications are profound, and sometimes fatal.” Pg. 11


The Martian by Andy Weir

“They say no plan survives first contact with implementation. I’d have to agree.” Pg. 41


Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

“He’d blindly believed in love.” Pg. 297


A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin

“In that moment, he doubted if there could be any mental state more relentlessly cruel than the desiring of real meaning from circumstances that lacked useful or definitive answers.” Pg. 238


The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer

“Why, Morgaine wondered, should this be so? It had to do with the knowledge that the world was as it was because of what men believed it was.” Pg. 749


Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

“In making even horizontal and clear inspections we colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in.” Pg. 23


The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

“You go find out.” Pg. 311


Serena by Ron Rash

“’I done explained the science behind it, same as I explained what darksomeness can do to a man,” Snipes said, sighing deeply. “It’s ever been the way of the man of science or philosophy. Many folks stay in the dark and then complain they can’t see nothing’.” Pg. 185


The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

“…the difference between waking and dreaming. Some never learn that.” Pg. 81


Small Victories by Anne Lamott

“But they are willing to redefine themselves, and life, and okayness. Redefinition is a nightmare – we think we’ve arrived, in our nice Pottery Barn boxes, and that this or that is true. Then something happens that totally sucks, and we are in a new box, and it is like changing into clothes that don’t fit, that we hate. Yet the essence remains. Essence is malleable, fluid.” Pg. 10




Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

“For Susan and Libby. Because there is no map for where we are going.” Dedication


The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.” Pg. 2


Looking for Alaska by John Green

“Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless.” Pg. 218


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

“They believed in him. They had looked at him in his yachting shoes, and listened to what he said, and they had made a decision in their hearts and minds to ignore the evidence and to imagine something bigger and infinitely more beautiful than the obvious.” Pg. 37


The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

“There is no one to tell this to and yet it seems very important to get this right. The reality and what it is like to escape it. That even now it is sometimes too beautiful to bear.” Pg. 50


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

“The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them.” Pg. 1


The Key-Lock Man by Louis L’Amour

“‘I love the stillness,” she said. ‘Somehow it seems to soak through me, smoothing out all the rough places, making all my troubles seem as nothing.'”


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

“Though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates.” Pg. 148


The Best American Essays 2013 edited by Cheryl Strayed

“Trying, attempting, and testing are what writers do in every form, of course – the making of literature is always an experiment – but I think those words convey something essential and particular about the art of the essay. Behind every good essay there’s an author with a savage desire to know more about what is already known. A good essay isn’t a report about what happened. It’s a reach for the stuff beyond and beneath … The essay’s engine is curiosity; its territory is the open road.” Cheryl Strayed, pg. xvi-xvii


Volt by Alan Heathcock

“But the grace of Krafton came with the seasons, sowing, reaping, breeding an understanding that last year has no bearing on this one; this crop might be better, or worse, and regardless there’ll be another and then another.” Pg. 33


The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

“For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” Pg. 75


The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

“But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition.” Pg. 2


A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz

“Our egos, Austen was telling me, prevent us from owning up to our errors and flaws, and so our egos must be broken down – exactly what humiliation does, and why it makes us feel so worthless. “Humiliation,” after all, comes from “humility.” It humbles us, makes us properly humble. So just as Pride and Prejudice taught be that it’s ok to make mistakes, it also told me that it’s okay to feel bad about them. Austen understood that growing up hurts – that it has to hurt, because otherwise it won’t happen.” Pg. 62


The Free by Willy Vlautin

“As hard as all that was, he [a homeless dog] said he knew if he could hang on long enough he would meet us, and then he would be able to disappear into us when he died. That is if he could just make it until then he would never be lonely again…Maybe that’s how things work.” Pg. 273


Demon Camp by Jennifer Percy

“Physical pain is corporeal and so wounds feel like evidence. We point to bloodied knees. We cough in napkins because yellowed phlegm means sick lungs. We stick lights down our throat to illuminate a gathering of strep.

If the existence of pain is always, if possible, confirmed through the flesh, then the pain of the mind – psychic pain, tragic pain, the pain of broken hearts – must also desire such confirmation.” Pg. 199


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

“I would have done anything to feel real again.” Pg. 73


Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

“There is no why. you don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding. And, dear one, you and I both were granted a mighty generous hand.” Pg. 205




Julia Child Rules by Karen Karbo

“Instead, learn to be amused, and find things that give you pleasure. It feels like an old-fashioned concept – to spend time doing things that have no self-improving component, that are done simply for the pleasure of doing them.” Pg. 59


The Christmas Box Miracle by Richard Paul Evans

“For one precious, fleeting moment, to hold the child in my arms, and would that time stood still.” Kindle 715


Lit by Mary Karr

“Mock that experience as random chance if you like, but from then on, I start to arrive in the instant as never before, standing up in it as if pushed from behind like a wave, for it feels as if I was made – from all the possible shapes a human might take – not to prove myself worthy but to refine the worth I’m formed from, acknowledge it, own it, spend it on others.” Pg. 384


Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle

“…but anything worth doing is worth failing at.” Pg. 8


Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Some of these differences are significant, others not so much, but all of them are inalterable. In the end, it seems to me that forgiveness may be the only realistic antidote we are offered in love…” Pg. 133


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“It’s a good country for myths. Things seem to take root here.” Pg. 10


Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz

“‘A man has to make a stand in his life, at least once,’ he said. ‘That’s what happened here. They knew they’d lose but they were going down defiant, right here on the land where they lived.” Pg. 263


Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

“My worst fears have been realized. And strangely, it’s liberating.” Pg. 510


Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake

“Lieutenant Dunbar had fallen in love. He had fallen in love with this wild, beautiful country and everything it contained. It was the kind of love people dream of having with other people: selfless and free of doubt, reverent and everlasting.” Pg. 2


The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

“Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.” Pg. 189


The Longest Way Home by Andrew McCarthy

“…I need to step back and stake turf, for D, for my kids, for myself. And so I’m going on these journeys, not to escape the commitment I recently made – but quite the opposite, I’m going to use them the way I have always used travel: to find answers. I’m setting out in order to gain the insight necessary to bring me home.” Pg. 26


Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

“…it was actually kind of cool in retrospect, although really not at all at the time. Much like life. Also, you wish Lion-O Thundercat would call you, but instead you spend a lot of time unnecessarily worrying about gerbils getting stuck inside of you. Which is also kind of a metaphor for life. A really, really bad one.” Pg. 79


Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

“Things have their shape in time, not space alone. Some marble blocks have statues within them, embedded in their future.” Book 3, Pg. 24


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“It took all I had to cover nine miles a day. To cover nine miles a day was a physical achievement far beyond anything I’d ever done. Every part of my body hurt. Except my heart. I longed for nothing but food and water and to be able to put my backpack down. I kept carrying my backpack anyway.” Pg. 70


Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

“To step out of this story is to fall off the edge of the world. There’s no way out of it except through death.” Pg. 37


Call of the Mild by Lily Raff McCaulou

“Shooting my first pheasant gave me the same exhilaration that I got from reading my favorite chapter books when I was nine or ten years old: The world around me suddenly became bigger than I had ever imagined and, at the same time, it moved closer within my reach.” Pg. 116


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“There was no solution, but that universal solution which life gives to all questions, even the most complex and insoluble. That answer is: one must live in the needs of the day – that is, forget oneself.” Pg. 7

“He suddenly felt that the very thing that was the source of his sufferings had become the source of his joy; that what had seemed insoluble while he was judging, blaming, and hating, had become clear and simple when he forgave and loved.” Pg. 389




The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson

“Most people who deal in words don’t have much faith in them and I am no exception – especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean, little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony. I feel at home with these, because they are scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest or a fool to use them with any confidence.” Pg. 56


In Morocco by Edith Wharton

“It is a good thing to begin with such a mishap … because it lets one at once into the mysterious heart of the country, a country so deeply conditioned by its miles and miles of uncitied wilderness that until one has known the wilderness one cannot begin to understand the cities.”      Pg. 12


The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner:

“You need experience …. Recording life is a poor substitute for living it. So for the next twenty minutes I sit on that terrace, listening to the roar of the river and doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. No notebook, no camera, or tape recorder. Just me and life. And a vicious swarm of killer Bhutanese mosquitoes. That’s enough experience for now.”           Pg. 86

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