Category: "Books: Excerpt"

May 3rd, 2006
Richard Russo - Empire Falls - 446Is there a term for that? ... The thing everyone is searching for and hoping not to find?

April 24th, 2006
Jeffery Deaver - Garden of Beasts - 32

This detachment was absolutely vital...
He called it touching the ice.

Several years ago, sitting in Hanrahan's gin mill on Forty-eighth Street ... a huge Negro pushed through the door, making the daily delivery of ice. Most icemen use tongs and carried the blocks on their back. But this guy carried it in his hands. No gloves even. Paul watched him walk behind the bar and set the block in the trough. ...
"Let me ask," Paul said. "How come you can carry that ice? Doesn't it hurt?"
"Oh, look here." He held up his large hands. The palms were scar tissue, as smooth and pale as the parchment paper that Paul's father had used when printing fancy invitations.
The Negro explained, "Ice can burn you too, juss like fire. Like leavin' a scar. I been touchin' ice fo' so long I ain't got no feelin' left."

Touching the ice...

That phrase stuck with Paul. It was, he realized, exactly what happened when he was on the job. There's ice within all of us, he believed. We can choose to grip it or not.

April 11th, 2006
David Sedaris - Barrel Fever - 188All of us take pride and pleasure in the fact that we are unique, but I'm afraid that when all is said and done the police are right: it all comes down to the fingerprints.

March 24th, 2006
Tom Robbins - Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates - 22Cosas. Things attach themselves like leeches to the human soul, then they bleed out the sweetness and the music and the primordial joy of being unencumbered upon the land. Comprende? People feel tremendous pressure to settle down in some sort of permanent space and fill it up with stuff, but deep inside they resent those structures, and they're scared to death of that stuff because they know it controls them and restricts their movements.

March 16th, 2006
J.R. Moehringer - The Tender BarWhile I fear that we're drawn to what abandons us, and to what seems most likely to abandon us, in the end I believe we're defined by what embraces us.

March 5th, 2006
Gene Wolfe - The Knight (page 290)It's one of the things fear does to you, it makes you want to kill things that haven't ever hurt you, just because they might.

February 27th, 2006
Tom Robbins - Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates - p. 7That's the way the mind works: the human brain is genetically disposed toward organization, yet if not tightly controlled, will link one imagerial fragment to another on the flimsiest of pretense and in the most freewheeling manner, as if it takes a kind of organic pleasure in creative association, without regard for logic or chronological sequence.

January 3rd, 2006
Ken Kesey - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestThere's something strange about a place where the men won't let themselves loose and laugh...

December 24th, 2005
Malcolm Gladwell - Blink

We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don't really have an explanation for.

...people are ignorant of the things that affect their actions, yet they rarely feel ignorant. We need to accept our ignorance and say 'I don't know' more often.

December 10th, 2005
Stephen King - Wizard and Glass...he had discovered, as many others had before him, that only the first cussword is really hard; after that, there's nothing quite like them for relieving one's feelings.