19 As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naive and simple-hearted than we suppose. And we ourselves are, too.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
(I honestly wanted to quote this entire book; it’s absolutely beautiful.)
It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else. 4
We all live inside this terrible engine of authority, and it grinds and shrieks and burns so that no one will say, lines on maps are silly. 17
A stirring that she could not name fluttered within her–something deep and strange, to do with the sea and the sky. 23-24
Hats change everything. September knew this with all her being, deepening the place where she knew her own name, that her mother would still love her even though she hadn’t waved goodbye. For one day, her father had put on a hat with golden things on it and suddenly he hadn’t been her father anymore, he had been a soldier, and he had left. Hats have power. Hats can change you into someone else. 26
No one may know the shape of the tale in which they move. And, perhaps, we do not truly know what sort of beast it is, either. Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble. 36
“Splendid things are often frightening. Sometimes, it’s the fright that makes them splendid at all.” A-through-L, the Wyverary 44-45
[She] liked it best when words did not pretend to be simple, but put on their full armor and rode out with colors flying. 51
“When you are born,” the golem said softly, ” your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off staircases, saying your first words without fearing someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things and dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up living. So every once in a while, you have to scrub it up and get the works going or else you’ll never be brave again.” 60
“For the wishes of one’s old life wither and shrivel like old leaves if they are not replaced with new wishes when the world changes. And the world always changes. Wishes get slimy, and their colors fade, and soon they are just mud, like all the rest of the mud, not wishes at all, but regrets.” Lye, the soap golem 61
Though you can have grief without adventures, you cannot have adventures without grief. 68
“I wouldn’t even consider it if I were you. But then if I were you, I would not be me, and if I were not me, I would not be able to advise you, and if I were unable to advise you, you’d do as you like, so you might as well do as you like and have done with it.” Iago the Panther 105
[She] remembered what he said, that they belonged to each other. She rather liked to think that. She felt it was a thing she might take out and look at when all was dark and cold, and it might warm her. 138
As all mothers know, children travel faster than kisses. The speed of kisses is, in fact, what [one] would call a cosmic constant. The speed of children has no limits. 156
The sea makes a girl strong, you know. 195
“No one is chosen. Not ever. Not in the real world…You chose. You chose it all.” Green Wind 206
I did not start at the beginning, and sometimes I got swept away by the story and forgot, but these are a portion of the quotes I noticed and loved from The Secret Life of Bees (with page numbers–you’re welcome).
“The only thing I could compare it to was the feeling I got one time when I walked back from the peach stand and saw the sun spreading across the late afternoon, setting the top of the orchard on fire while darkness collected underneath. Silence had hovered over my head, beauty multiplying in the air, the trees so transparent I felt I could see through to something pure inside them. My chest had ached then, too, this very same way” (71).
“I couldn’t help but envy the way a good storm got everyone’s attention” (75).
“The secret of a good lie is don’t overly explain, and throw in one good detail” (76).
“‘Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.'” -August Boatwright (107)
“It was the in-between time, before day leaves and night comes, a time I’ve never been partial to because of the sadness that lingers in the space between going and coming. August gazed at the sky where the moon was rising, large and ghostly and silver.
‘Look at her good, Lily,’ she said, ”cause you’re seeing the end of something.’
‘Yes, you are, because as long as people have been on this earth, the moon has been a mystery to us. Think about it. She is strong enough to pull the oceans, and when she dies away, she always comes back again. My mama used to tell me Our Lady lived on the moon and that I should dance when her face was bright and hibernate when it was dark.’
August stared at the sky a long moment and then, turning toward the house, said, ‘Now it won’t ever be the same, not after they’ve landed up there and walked around on her. She’ll be just one more big science project.’
I thought about the dream I’d had that night Rosaleen and I slept by the pond, how the moon had cracked to pieces. August disappeared into the house, and Rosaleen headed for her cot in the honey house, but I stayed on and stared at the sky, imagining Ranger 7 blasting away for it.
I knew one day I would go back into the parlor when no one was around and touch the Lady’s heart. Then I would show August the picture of my mother and see if the moon broke loose and fell out of the sky” (113-114).
“Quietness has a strange, spongy hum that can nearly break your eardrums” (134).
“‘Some things happen in a literal way, Lily. And then other things, like this one, happen in a not-literal way, but they still happen. Do you know what I mean? …What I mean is that the bees weren’t really singing the words from Luke, but still, if you have the right kind of ears, you can listen to a hive and hear the Christmas story somewhere inside yourself. You can hear silent things on the other side of the everyday world that nobody else can.'” August (144)
‘”You know, some things don’t matter that much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart–now that matters. The whole problem with people is…they know what matters, but they don’t choose it. You know how hard that is, Lily? I love May, but it was still so hard to choose Caribbean Pink. The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.'” August (147)
“Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing he button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long. But that’s just my opinion” (170).
“I saw a shiny film across her eyes–the beginning of tears. Looking at her eyes, I could see a fire inside them. It was a hearth fire you could depend on, you could draw up to and get warm by if you were cold, or cook something on that would feed the emptiness in you. I felt like we were all adrift in the world, and all we had was the wet fire in August’s eyes. But it was enough” (181).
“He bent his face close to mine and kissed me. At first it was like moth wings brushing my lips, then his mouth opening on mine. I gave way against him. He kissed me gently, but at the same time hungrily, and I liked how he tasted, the scent of his skin, the way his lips opened and closed, opened and closed. I was floating on a river of light escorted by fish. Jeweled with fish. And even with so much beautiful aching inside my body, with life throbbing beneath my sin and the rushing ways of love taking over, even with all of that, I could feel the fish dying against my heart” (230).
“When we’d first come out onto the porch, the sky had been clotted with stars, the Milky Way shining like an actual road you could walk down and find your mother standing at the end of with her hands on her hips” (248).
“‘And when you get down to it, Lily, that’s the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love–but to persist in love.'” August (289)
I recently finished East of Eden, and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite quotes (with page numbers!).
“‘There’s a capacity for appetite that a whole heaven and earth of cake can’t satisfy.'” -Samuel Hamilton
“‘I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed…'” -Lee 302
“‘I do not believe all men are destroyed. I can name you a dozen who are not, and they are the ones the world lives by. It is true of the spirit as it is true of battles–only the winners are remembered. Surely most men are destroyed, but there are others who like pillars of fire guide frightened men through the darkness.'” -Samuel 307
“Each storm waited courteously until its predecessor sank beneath the ground.” -narrator 308
“‘My father said she was a strong woman, and I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is almost indestructible.'”-Lee 354
“‘”There’s more beauty in the truth even if it is a dreadful beauty. The storytellers at the city gate twist life so that it looks sweet to the lazy and the stupid and the weak, and this only strengthens their infirmities and teaches nothing, cures nothing, nor does it let the heart soar.”‘” -Lee’s father 356
“In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love.” -narrator 412-13
“We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a fresh new face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.” -narrator 413
“With the evening the air was so full of their [frogs’] song that it was a kind of roaring silence. It was a veil, a background, and its sudden disappearance, as after a clap of thunder, was a shocking thing…In their millions the frog songs seemed to have a beat and a cadence, and perhaps it is the ears’ function to do this just as it is the eyes’ business to make stars twinkle.” -narrator 426
“‘All great and precious things are lonely.'” -Lee 520
“‘Maybe it’s true that we are all descended from the restless, the nervous, the criminals, the arguers and the brawlers, but also the brave and independent and generous.'” -Lee 568
Once again, Robin Woods wows her readers. The third book in the Watchers series did not disappoint. More action, more intrigue, more of everything that has kept us all such avid followers of Ali’s story appears in this new installment. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page at times. This book is truly worth the read (Be warned: you might finish in one sitting ;D), especially for those who have adored the other books as much as I have.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Watcher-Book-Three/dp/0985454245/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356846723&sr=1-1&keywords=the+sacrifice+woods
Author website: http://robinwoodsfiction.com/
Author Tumblr: http://robinwoodsfiction.tumblr.com/
Author fan website: http://robinwoodsfan.wordpress.com/
I don’t usually read (or enjoy) psychic fiction. However, this time, for Maggie Steifvater, I read the book anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by the unique characters and the lack of make-out scenes. Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy a good romance, but young adult books are now so full of them that they seem to take away from real character development and plot. I look forward to the next installment of this series with an eager anticipation of further knowledge of Blue, Gansey, and the other fascinating characters.
Author website: http://maggiestiefvater.com/
First, let me say that C.S. Lewis is my absolute favo(u)rite author (note the optional u in the word to account for his British background), and I have read the Narnia series at the very least four times–several books I have read five or six. C.S. Lewis himself declared, “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once” (The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, page 439).
Having said that, the reason I chose The Magician’s Nephew to review over the other Narnia books was its broader appeal. The Horse and His Boy is generally the least interesting to readers because of a lack of fantastical elements (excepting talking horses) and a surplus of “dry” traveling and plot. The Last Battle seems to be the least understood and the most obscure (when ignoring the brilliant allegorical techniques used). The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader all have brand new movies, and I wanted to avoid simply ranting about what the production companies changed or ignored. The Silver Chair I have read less recently. All of these books are wonderful, and I highly recommend them for all readers.
The Magician’s Nephew is unique in that it explores the creation story through allegory. As Lewis is also a brilliant philosopher, it is really interesting to compare the behavior and thoughts of Jadis–the villain–to the beliefs of certain individuals and groups in our culture. The writing is, of course, phenomenal, because C.S. Lewis is a highly revered writer, and the seemly simplistic plot for children reveals more complex allegory every time I read it.