I enjoyed reading the Wayward Pines Thrillers & have enjoyed watching the television series. I am now a certified Blake Crouch Fan and look forwarI enjoyed reading the Wayward Pines Thrillers & have enjoyed watching the television series. I am now a certified Blake Crouch Fan and look forward to anything new by the author....more
The hold list at the library for this novel was extreme - took me about forever and a day to get it & all the librarians have been talking about iThe hold list at the library for this novel was extreme - took me about forever and a day to get it & all the librarians have been talking about it.
This wasn't my favorite story by Ann Patchett, but the characters and situations she has created in Commonwealth are amazing and it's hard to believe this is a work of fiction. In fact, when there is a fictitious novel created within a work of fiction - it makes me question what is real and what is fiction - I love when a novelist does this. The contradictory narrations out of linear context within commonwealth only add to this disorientation. I loved the settings in Switzerland because I have a family heritage connection with that land - would love to visit someday.
Some Favorite Passages: "People are scared of the wrong things," Fix said, his eyes closed. "Cops are scared of the wrong things. We go around thinking that what's going to get us is waiting on the other side of the door: it's outside, it's in the closet, but it isn't like that. What happened to Lomer, that's the anomaly. For the vast majority of the people on this planet, the thing that's going to kill them is already on the inside." ______
Maybe she would stay in Switzerland forever, maybe she would become a Buddhist. ______
She made an appointment with an internist, told him her problems, and then showed him the inside of her mouth. He peered around her tongue and teeth with a penlight, looked at her hands, and then suggested meditation. Or that's what she thought he had said, "You're going to need meditation." The instant she heard the word she felt her heart surge, as if her heart had been waiting for this exact moment. Finally! her heart said to her. At last! "Where can I learn to meditate?" she asked. Just the word on her mouth brought forth joy. The doctor looked at her as if wondering how crazy she might actually be. "Med-i-ca-tion," he said again, slower and louder this time. "You'll need medication for your anxiety. I'm going to write you a prescription for Ativan. We'll work with the dosage. We'll have to figure out what right for you." But Holly dropped the white slip of paper in the trash can after giving the receptionist a twenty for her co-pay. However unwittingly, the doctor had told her how she could be cured. She didn't even understand exactly what meditation entailed at that point but she knew she was going to find out. _______
She believed that most of the human population didn't avail themselves to their full psychic potential. They lived in a state of mental clutter, the bombardment of goods and services, information and striving. They wouldn't be able to recognize true happiness if it were standing on their foot. It had been almost impossible to hear her brother when she was at Berkely, at the Sumitomo Bank, or anywhere in Los Angeles, but in Switzerland, this place where he had never been, well, it was better. _______
. . . age arrived at different rates of speed, in different ways.
I like In the Garden of Happiness, published in 2015, slightly better - that is the volume I own. In the Garden of Thoughts was published in 2012. TheI like In the Garden of Happiness, published in 2015, slightly better - that is the volume I own. In the Garden of Thoughts was published in 2012. The books have different illustrators - beautiful illustrations in both but again I am partial to the volume I own :-)
Favorite Passages: A mind preoccupied with thoughts of resentment and bitterness cannot change the past. Nor do those thoughts wound anyone but the soul that beholds them. _____
If others want to define you, don't linger in their pond. Swim away from their ignorance and find your ocean. _____
Do not become a stranger to yourself by blending in with everyone else.
Your road to happiness should be memorable for the scenery as well as the destination. _____
Every morning I start with a drink from my cup of sunshine, to remind myself of who I am before I step into the world of "this is who we think you are." _____
Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing ever grows but the weeds of "what-if." _____
To be at peace, your opinion of yourself must outweigh the assumptions of others about who you are. It is a conscious decision that their words no longer have the ability to keep you down. _____
Growing old with someone else is beautiful, but growing old while being true to yourself is divine. _____
Knowing who you are is the best defense against who they think you are. _____
A great many battles I have won are those that I have walked away from. They have strengthened my character, helping me learn that, in life, it is not always necessary to prove you are right.
Know that there are people you can never please and questions you simply don't need to answer. _____
When I reach the place of my dreams, I will thank my failures and tears. They too, kept me going....more
Wayward Pines is just like living in Utah. Yes, I will admit I read book two before book one, but hey I'm crazy so I do crazy stuff - and it all makesWayward Pines is just like living in Utah. Yes, I will admit I read book two before book one, but hey I'm crazy so I do crazy stuff - and it all makes sense in my crazy head.
A Favorite Passage (which reminds me of my childhood): (view spoiler)[ They walked four blocks down to Main Street and crossed to a candy store called The Sweet Tooth. Some of the school kids had beaten them there - clusters of boys and girls grazing the hundreds of glass jars filled with gumballs, Spree, Sweet Tarts, Pixy Stix, Cry Baby bubble gum, Jolly Ranchers, Jawbreakers, M&M'S, Starburst, Pez, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Smarties, Atomic Fireballs - no staple of teeth-rotting goodness absent from the collection. Ethan knew that like everything else, it had all been stored in suspension. But he couldn't help thinking that if anything could last unchanged for two thousand years, it had to be a jawbreaker. (hide spoiler)]...more
A quirky take on the story of how Nikolas of Finland became known as Father Christmas or Santa Claus. This magical backstory is sure to delight readerA quirky take on the story of how Nikolas of Finland became known as Father Christmas or Santa Claus. This magical backstory is sure to delight readers of all ages (well, unless you don't believe in magic). I felt right at home with this book because I believe in talking animals, gnomes, fairies and pixies.
My favorite title for a chapter is: "A Very Short Chapter with a Long Title in Which Not Very Much Happens" :-)
I found the Father Vodol elf regime strikingly similar to the ideology of the new President Trump Regime in 2017. Vodol had taken over after the reign of the peaceful Mother Ivy, enacting new strict rules & isolating Elfhelm from outsiders.
Favorite Passages: It didn't really matter how small a house was if you had a big imagination. And Nikolas spent his time daydreaming and thinking of magical things like pixies and elves. ______
I'm a child of the forest. ______
But if you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. I is most certainly not for you. Because this book is full of impossible things. ______
The old woman was quite weird, but not weird enough to understand mouse language, so she just looked at Nikolas and shook her head. ______
"Back in Mother Ivy's time, I would have been obliged to cook you gingerbread and show you my spickle dancing, and yet now I have permission to chop you up into little pieces. I cry myself to sleep every night, but society it definitely improving."
"I quite like the sound of your old society."
"It was a mistake. It was full of friendliness and happiness and dancing. Not important things like fear and disliking outsiders. Father Vodol has made us see the error of our ways." ______
I love seeing heads explode. I can't help it! ______
Children who don't have parents. Children who have to live with horrible people like my aunt Carlotta. In a world like that, it's very easy to be bad. So when someone is good, or kind, it's a magic in itself. It gives people hope. And hope is the most wonderful thing there is.. ______
An impossibility is just a possibility that you don't understand yet. ______
Perhaps a wish was just a hope with a better aim. ______
Little Kip was still a very young elf, and although he didn't know Nikolas, he was skilled at spotting goodness inside someone, and could see the kindness in Nikolas's eyes. He seemed to understand. ______
Toys are great. But being good is better than being rich. ______
It would have been wonderful to go there. But nothing was as wonderful as doing the right thing. ______
Without the confidence of a single, clear wish, magic was useless. Making impossibilities possibilities was harder than it looked. ______
To lose someone you love is the very worst thing in the world. It creates an invisible hole, and you feel you are falling down it and will never land. People you love make the world real and solid, and when they suddenly go away forever, nothing feels solid anymore. ______
There was nothing that made him feel better than the simple act of giving. ______
"Sometimes," she said, her eyes shining, "people look up to people not for who they have been, but for what they could become. For what they know they could be. They see in you something special." ______
Nothing was impossible. But even better than that, he now had a sense that he was in Elfhelm for a reason. He might never be able to be a true elf. But he was here now, and like everything in life, there was a purpose at work. ______
It takes some people a long time to work out exactly what they are here for. In Nikolas's case, it took him another forty years. ...more
This little book is an easy read. As I was reading, I kept asking myself "Are you sure this is fiction?". The characters and story seem very real. AnoThis little book is an easy read. As I was reading, I kept asking myself "Are you sure this is fiction?". The characters and story seem very real. Another Brooklyn speaks to the truth I have found - that we must make peace with our past in order to move forward. I also really like the name of August for a character :-)
Interesting Note: While reading this novel, Mary Tyler Moore died at age 80. See below a significant reference to Mary Tyler Moore in Another Brooklyn.
Some Favorite Passages: Who hasn't walked through a life of small tragedies. ______
Years erase us. ______
In eastern Indonesia, families keep their dead in special rooms in their homes. Their dead are not truly dead until the family has saved enough money to pay for the funeral. Until then, the dead remain with them, dressed and cared for each morning, taken on trips with the family, hugged daily, loved deeply. ______
How do we dream ourselves out of this? ______
Everywhere we looked, we saw the people trying to dream themselves out. As though there was someplace other than this place. As though there was another Brooklyn. ______
We lived inside our backstories. The memory of a nightmare stitched down my brother's arm. My mother with a knife beneath her pillow. A white devil we could not see, already inside our bodies, slowly being digested. And finally, Sister Loretta, dressed like a wingless Flying Nun, swooping down to save us. ______
I knew I was lost inside the world, watching it and trying to understand why too often I felt like I was standing just beyond the frame - of everything. ______
On another planet, we could have been Lois Lane or Tarzan's Jane or Mary Tyler Moore or Marlo Thomas. We could have thrown our hats up, twirled and smiled. We could have made it after all. We watched the shows. We knew the songs. Se sang along when Mary was big-eyed and awed by Minneapolis. We dreamed with Marlo of someday hitting the big time. We took off with the Flying Nun. _______
Two steps to the left or right or back or front and you're standing outside your life.
Quotes from Author's Note On Writing Another Brooklyn: Creating a novel means moving into the past, the hoped for, the imagined. It is an emotional journey, fraught at times with characters who don't always do or way what a writer wishes. I am often asked to explain this and find that I can't - when I am inside my novel, it makes sense. But once I emerge form the world I've created, I find it difficult to go back to the moments before my characters walked through it with me. I guess in many ways, the characters a writer creates have always existed somewhere. ______
I am surprised this series is still going. I thought this story was interesting enough, even though the negativity & drama of the characters can sI am surprised this series is still going. I thought this story was interesting enough, even though the negativity & drama of the characters can sometimes get me down. Since I've read all the other books, I don't feel that I can stop at this point. Chaos is far from the best in the series and far from the worst. ...more
This is a great series with a uniquely different narrative in each book.
While I was reading The Trespasser, I watched a BBC Television Drama Series cThis is a great series with a uniquely different narrative in each book.
While I was reading The Trespasser, I watched a BBC Television Drama Series called The Fall starring Gillian Anderson. There were some similar chords shared between Trespasser and The Fall - I would recommend the show.
Some Favorite Passages from The Trespasser: No one needs a relationship. What you need is the basic cop-on to figure that out, in the face of all the media bullshit screaming that you're nothing on your own and you're a dangerous freak if you disagree. The truth is, if you don't exist without someone else, you don't exist at all. And that doesn't just go for romance. I love my ma, I love my friends, I love the bones of them. If any of them wanted me to donate a kidney or crack a few heads, I'd do it, no questions asked. And if they all waved good-bye and walked out of my life tomorrow, I'd still be the same person I am today. _______
Then I sit there, running the heat to try and thaw my feet after Lucy's flat, and watch the people going past. They make me edgy. Dozens and dozens of people, they just keep coming, and every single one of their heads is crammed with stories they believe and stories they want to believe and stories someone else has made them believe, and every story is battering against the thin walls of the person's skull, drilling and gnawing for is chance to escape and attack someone else, bore its way in and feed off that mind too. _______
The wonder in his voice. He sounds like a teenager, lifting with joy and amazement, he sounds so tender you could bruise him with the wrong touch. Time after time it's left me gobsmacked , how people will tell you things they should keep locked inside for life; how ferociously they need the story to be out in the air, in the world, to exist somewhere outside their own heads. _______
I take one more look up at the rest of my life, waiting for me inside those neat sturdy squares of gold light....more