I ran into Monica McDougall at a party recently. “How are you? How are the kids?” I asked, expecting an enthusiastic response. “Normal,” she replied, with her lovely wry smile, a smile that conveyed the vagaries, hassles, worries, and aggravations of family life. “And I’m grateful.”
Monica tells it like it is, always – and her answer has stuck with me. Today, I’m grateful that she’s sharing part of her reading list…
At the end of each year, there are lists and more lists. Lists of things we did, lists of things we didn’t. Lists of top movies and top reads. On my desk right now is a newspaper article listing the top new Nashville restaurants of 2016. I’m hoping to try some this year (on my to-do list), but most likely my husband and I will discuss these options over chicken kabobs at Zoe’s. An old roommate laughed once when I added an accomplished task to my list and promptly crossed it off. So satisfying.
I’ve always had a proclivity for quotes from books. There is something about an unusual sentence structure or a perfectly chosen word that amazes me. Once discovered, I write them thoughtfully on a fine embossed notecard, or scratch them illegibly on the back of a discarded envelope. I’ve even stooped to taking a photo of an eye-catching, thought-provoking quote to be written out by hand later (must add to some list).
Thus, below is a list of admired excerpts from recently read books. Hopefully I’ve chosen some that are interesting and telling of the novel, so much so that you may be tempted to add one to your reading list.
The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
We didn’t believe when we first heard because you know how church folk can gossip.
News of the World, by Paulette Jiles
Maybe life is just carrying news. Maybe we just have one message, and it is delivered to us when we are born and we are never sure what it says; it may have nothing to do with us personally but it must be carried by hand through life, all the way; and at the end handed over, sealed.
Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
You see, I grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember.
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Later, when his ebullience became a temptation to Ifemelu, an unrelieved sunniness that made her want to strike at it, to crush it, this would be one of her best memories of Curt, as he was in the tarot shop on South Street on a day filled with the promise of summer: so handsome, so happy, a true believer.
Write for Bacon- check!
* * *
Have you saved any wonderful quotations lately? Please share with the rest of us in the comments!
Here’s one from me, or rather from Rachel Cusk in Transit:
I’ve never quite been able to grasp, Gerard said, the moral of that story. I think it might have something to do with paying attention not to what comes most naturally but to what you find most difficult. We are so schooled, he said, in the doctrine of self-acceptance that the idea of refusing to accept yourself becomes quite radical.
* * *
Top image: Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_iqoncept’>iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo</a>