Thursday Quotables: Backpacking with the Saints

quotation-marks4From Backpacking with the Saints by Belden C. Lane:

Half of the beauty in coming here is the simplicity it demands. Backpacking reminds me of how little I require to be happy, how light I can travel, how many of the resources I imagine I need are superfluous out in the wild.


Thursday Quotables is a weekly event hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies!



Thursday Quotables: The Sense of Style

quotation-marks4I’m currently reading The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker, after reading So Many Books’ review.

It’s incredibly interesting, but also a very slow read. I’m slowly digesting a page or two at a time. Some parts are revelatory, and others — like this one — are just plain funny:

Like an actor with wooden delivery, a writer who relies on canned verbal formulas will break the spell. This is the kind of writer who gets the ball rolling in his search for th eholy grail, but finds that it’sneither a magic bullet nor a slam dunk, so he rolls with the punches and lets the chips fall where they may while seeing the glass as half-full, which iseasier said than done.

Avoid cliches like the plague — it’s a no-brainer.

Thursday Quotables is a weekly event hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies!


Thursday Quotables: Squirting out of the driveway

quotation-marks4I recently picked up A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller. Set in West Virginia, this mystery surrounds three murders related to drug violence, highlighting the issues that Appalachia has been facing with painkiller abuse.

I’m a sucker for a rural setting, especially an Appalachian one. And Keller does some interesting things with character conflict and point of view. But I didn’t finish the book. Instead of a review, I’ll provide this quote.

The morning was milky-gray and cold.

Head turned to peer out the back window, right arm stretched across the top of the passenger seat, Bell backed the Explorer out of her driveway. Once in the street, she gave a quick look around to make sure Shelton Avenue was clear — no kids, dogs, cats, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, or snapping turtles, all of which, at one time or another, she’d had to swerve to avoid when she squirted out of her driveway in a hurry — and then shifted from reverse into drive. All systems go.

In ten minutes she’d be on Route 6, climbing the side of the mountain, which meant accelerating her way into a series of dizzy, lurching turns of legendary peril.

If that sounds okay to you, then you should go pick up this book. If not… look somewhere else. This passage is typical of at least the first eight chapters.

Thursday Quotables is a weekly event hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies!


Celia’s House: Comfort Reading and Some Advice on Childbearing

I’ve been indulging in some comfort reading over Christmas Break. Celia’s House, by D.E. Stevenson, does a beautiful job of making me laugh, and avoids all the uncomfortable sorts of plot tension while still holding my attention.

Here’s some advice on childbearing and rearing from the titular Celia:

You should certainly have more children– not that I like children very much (I find them tiresome) but they grow up into people if you give them time. In my young days parents were not afraid to admit that they found their children tiresome. Now it is considered unnatural and yet people have fewer.

Readers: This is my first time reading Stevenson – which of her books should I try next?


Thursday Quotables: Misplaced Tolerance

The Buddhist texts mention what is called ‘misplaced tolerance,’ or ‘misplaced forbearance.’ …  the sense of endurance that some individuals have when they are subject to a very destructive, negative activity… The appropriate response really is to actively resist it, to try to change this environment rather than accept it. One should take some action.

— The Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness at Work by Howard C. Cutler
Thursday Quotables is a weekly event hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies!