Category: "Books: Excerpt"

April 8th, 2009
F. Scott Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise - 195"People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher -- a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism was him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over."
"Then you blame the press?"
"Absolutely. Look at you; you're on The New Democracy, considered the most brilliant weekly in the country, read by the men who do things and all that. What's your business? Why, to be as clever, as interesting, and as brilliantly cynical as possible about every man, doctrine, book, or policy that is assigned you to deal with. The most strong lights, the most spiritual scandal you can throw on the matter, the more money they pay you, the more people buy the issue. You, Tom d'Invilliers, a blighted Shelley, changing, shifting, clever, unscrupulous, represent the critical consciousness of the race--"

March 19th, 2009
Charles Baxter - The Feast of Love - 23When you're in love you don't have to do a damn thing. You can just be. You can just stay quiet in the world. You don't have to move an inch.

March 16th, 2009
John Irving - The World According to Garp - 159...as Garp put it, "You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else."

March 11th, 2009
F. Scott Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise - 193"You used to be entertaining before you started to write," he continued. "Now you save any idea that you think would do to print."

March 4th, 2009
Gregory Maguire - Wicked - 151Elphaba had an okay voice. [Boq] saw the imaginary place she conjured up, a land where injustice and common cruelty and despotic rule and the beggaring fist of drought didn't work together to hold everyone by the neck. No, he wasn't giving her credit: Elphaba had a good voice. It was controlled and feeling and not histrionic. He listened to the end, and the song faded into the hush of a respectful pub. Later, he thought: The melody faded like a rainbow after a storm, or like wind calming down at last; and what was left was calm, and possibility, and relief.

February 19th, 2009
Michael Connelly - The Last Coyote - 330"I think, young man, that you only run into a person that is a perfect fit once in your life. When you find the one that you think fits, then grab on for dear life. And it's no matter what she's done in the past. None of that matters. Only the holding on matters."

February 9th, 2009
F. Scott Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise - 14Though she thought of her body as a mass of frailties, she considered her soul quite as ill, and therefore important in her life. She had once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more attentive when she was in the process of losing or regaining her faith in Mother Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude. Often she deplored the bourgeois quality of the American Catholic clergy, and was quite sure that had she lived in the shadow of the great Continental catherdrals her soul would still be a thin flame on the mighty altar of Rome. Still, next to doctors, priests were her favorite sport.

January 19th, 2009
Susanna Clark - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - 371But from the first moment of his entering the house Strange found himself subject to that peculiarly uncomfortable Natural Law which states that whenever a person arrives at a place where he is not known, then wherever he stands he is sure to be in the way.

January 14th, 2009
Robin Hobb - Assassin's Apprentice - 174It's a wonder we did not all break our necks. But there it is; sometimes luck belongs to children and madmen. That night I felt we were both.

December 22nd, 2008
Susanna Clark - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - 198The gentlemen among my readers will smile to themselves and say that women never did understand business, but the ladies may agree with me that Mrs Brandy understood her business very well, for the chief business of Mrs Brandy's life was to make Stephen Black as much in love with her as she was with him.