Saturday, October 11, 2014


I have this habit of writing down bits and passages from books that strike me when I'm reading.  Sometimes it is just the way something is phrased, or it is funny, witty. Sometimes it strikes a deep chord of truth, even if wrapped in a joke. They aren't all from great works of literature, religion, or philosophy. The snippets aren't necessarily deep thoughts that bear reflection and change your view of the world, is what I'm saying.  For whatever reason, at that particular moment they seemed important and worth noting for future reference.

I've been doing this for years -- literally, years.  I have journals full of this stuff.  Being me, I also noted the title, author and page number of each one, like I was going to have to provide a citation in a paper at some point.  They are things I wanted to remember, and I have always remembered things better when I physically write them down.  I was the person in school who took a ridiculous amount of notes during class.

I was reorganizing things last night, and I was moving all of these journals again, and I took a peek through.  I thought I'd share some of them here. Maybe you'll like them too, or feel inspired to read the books they came from.  Maybe not.  Maybe I will unwittingly be giving you a peek into the deep inner workings of my psyche.  Who knows?

On to the snippets (and I will spare the you the page citations.)

Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint

He called them mythistories, those odd little tales of his.  They were the ghosts of fancies that he would track down from time to time and trap on paper.  Oddities.  Some charming, some grotesque.  All of them enchanting.  Foolishness, he liked to say, offered from one fool to others.

But it was the chance carelessness of it which particularly appealed to Dirk because words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through.

Taking one's chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late and you can do nothing else but scream and cling to a plastic duck.

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

He doesn't understand the subtleties of slights and pains, that it is not the big events that hurt the most but rather the smallest questionable shift in tone at the end of a spoken word that can plow most deeply into a heart.

Personal Days by Ed Park

Jack II says that when you feel a tingling in your fingers, it means someone is Googling you.

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

As most New Yorkers have done, I have given serious and generous thought to the state of my apartment should I get killed during the day.

Who Let the Blogs Out? by Biz Stone

The self-organizing power of a hyper-connected population is frightening to regimes that are used to the illusion that they have control over the information that citizens receive. When knowledge can spread virally anywhere in the world, we will be getting somewhere.

Without logic, reason is useless.  With it, you can win arguments and alienate multitudes.

Austenland by Shannon Hale

I wasn't aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja.

A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making living more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something.

My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart

You think that a delicious jelly snack is ever crippled by self-doubt?  Nope.  And you shouldn't be either.

Still Life by Louise Penny

The mixture of cafe-au-lait and impatience was producing an exquisite vibration.

The Bhagavad Gita (I believe this is the edition I read)

The mind that regulates itself by the undisciplined senses loses discernment, as the wind blows a ship from its course at sea.

The Between Boyfriends Book by Cindy Chupack

I believe in soul mates, although lately I've been wondering if mine might be agoraphobic.

See?  Told you they weren't all deep thoughts that would change the world.  I think I've prattled on long enough now.  You're busy.  You've got lots of things to do beside read my nonsense.

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