Monday, January 01, 2007

A few favorite passages from '06 reading

“But she’s still sexy as a pay channel . . . ”

--The Echo Maker, Richard Powers (p. 68)


“But if it was the promised land, it was not because of trees or climate, but because, just getting here, they’d found something new inside themselves.”

--A Sudden Country, Karen Fisher (p. 361)


“ . . . he may be surpassingly admirable, but I don’t feel comfortable with the sort of people who collect his works.”

--Nabokov’s Butterfly, Rick Gekoski (p. 106)
(on Churchill)


“This is family. In the family you are a certain kind of person. Your mother, my mother in particular, piles one half-truth about your character on another until she has built up a whole structure, a fabricated person. It begins in small ways: you are untidy or reliable or good with figures or you eat too fast; you’re frightened of frogs, you hold your pen in the wrong way, and then these threads are woven into the family tapestry, a sort of Bayeux which for ever commemorates this entirely imaginary scene. Now he is becoming – the myth declares – competent.”

--The Promise of Happiness (p.127), Justin Cartwright


“Life is strange. It doesn’t give you warnings. It jumbles everything so you can’t pick and choose, and bloody moments follow moments of grace, just like that. It can make you wonder if man isn’t like one of those pebbles that lie on the road, lying in the same place for entire days until someone kicks it and sends it sailing through the air for no reason. And what can a pebble do?”

--By A Slow River (p. 115), Philippe Claudel*


“Despaiux was waiting for my answer. He stood before me, his contempt growing as I sat there, looking back at him—and beyond him—into the emptiness where I alone could see Clémence. He pulled his hat down and turned his back on me without saying good-bye. He walked off. He went home to his regrets and left me to mine. No doubt he knew—as I do—that you can live in regrets as in a country.”

--By A Slow River (p. 137), Philippe Claudel


“How was it, thought Saga as she stood there, making every effort not to cry, which meant not blinking or uttering a sound or even moving the tiniest bit, that life could give you so much experience, so much pain, yet leave you just as able as you’d ever been to make a fool of yourself?”

--The Whole World Over (p. 274), Julia Glass

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