Saturday, May 03, 2014

Quotations from recent reads

From A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke
Copyright 2014
Simon and Schuster

Grief is physical, she thinks. If feels like something corrosive is burning through her insides, dissolving layers of herself, leaving her raw. 
~p. 23

From Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
Copyright 1998
Alfred A. Knopf

Perhaps fairy folk lived in the trees! Abby saw immediately that to live amid the magic feel of this place would be necessarily to believe in magic. To live here would make you superstitious, warm-hearted with secrets, unrealistic. If you were literal, or practical, you would have to move -- or you would have to drink.

~from "Which is More Than I Can Say About Some People", p. 30

It housed a large collection of rare and foreign books, and she had driven across several states to get there, squinting through the splattered tempera of insects on the windshield, watching for the dark tail of a possible tornado [ . . . ]

~from "Community Life", p. 60

But there was in the air that kind of distortion that bent you a little; it caused your usual self to grow slippery, to wander off and shop, to get blurry, bleed, bevel with possibility.

~[ibid] p. 61

They never really spoke to you. They spoke toward you. They spoke at you. They spoke near you, on you.

~[ibid] p. 66

She had already -- carefully, obediently -- stepped through all the stages of bereavement: anger, denial, bargaining, Häagen-Dazs, rage. Anger to rage -- who said she wasn't making progress?

~from "Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens", p. 112

Ever since he began living in the present tense, Bill sees the Constitution as a blessedly changing thing. He does not feel current behavior should be made necessarily to conform to old law. He feels personally, for instance, that he'd throw away a few First Amendment privileges -- abortion protest, say, and all telemarketing, perhaps some pornography (though not Miss April 1965 -- never!) -- in exchange for gutting the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers were revolutionaries, after all. They would be with him on this, he feels. They would be for making the whole thing up as you go along, reacting to things as they happened, like a great, wild performance piece.

from "Beautiful Grade", p. 132

Because everything is behind glass and cannot be touched, Quilty grows bored. " ' The city of Vicksburg,' " Mack reads aloud, " ' forced to surrender to Grant on the Fourth of July, refused to celebrate Independence Day again until 1971. ' " 

"When no one cared anymore," adds Quilty. "I like a place with a strong sense of grudge  [ . . . ]"

~from "What You Want to Do Fine", p. 167

From The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Copyright 2008
Free Press (Simon and Schuster)

My eyes were burning from squinting at books. I should have been heading back toward Delhi Gate to catch a bus. There was a foul taste of book in my mouth -- as if I had inhaled so much particulated old paper from the air. Strange thoughts brew in your heart when you spend too much time with old books. 

~p. 218

The OED says it would have been okay for me to use the word "quotes" rather than "quotations" as the subject of this post because the informal use has become more common. See explanation, here:

Quote vs. Quotation: What's the Difference?

Finding information like that quickly is one of the reasons I'm fond of the Internet, even though -- and apparently science has proven this -- "The Internet is where productivity goes to die." 

©2014 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. You're always reading such sophisticated books.... these quotes are all beautiful.

    1. LOL I do? They are wonderful, aren't they? I didn't love Lorrie Moore's stories but her writing is stunning and I couldn't bear to put the book away till I'd written down some of those wonderful quotes.

  2. I love these quotes! And now I want to read The White Tiger!

    1. The White Tiger is excellent. I highly recommend it. Such a very different story from the usual novel set in India. It's quite funny, at times, but there's always a sinister undercurrent because you know the protagonist has killed someone.

  3. I'm interested in The White Tiger too. I like the quote. Have you read any others by that author? Cheers.

    1. No, this was my first Aravind Adiga but I do have another book by him, somewhere around here!

  4. I'm curious about A Single Breath. Is it general fiction or Christian fiction? That's a great quote!

    1. It's general fiction and it's set in Tasmania, which makes it a really fun armchair travel read.


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