“Sitting around miserable all day won't make you any happier.”
“...Despite the mayhem that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.”
“The thing about exploring is that you have to know whether the thing you've found is worth finding. Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone. Like a dead mouse at the back of the cupboard.”
“Very slowly he turned his head back to look at Shmuel, who wasn't crying anymore, merely staring at the floor and looking as if he was trying to convince his soul not to live inside his tiny body anymore, but to slip away and sail to the door and rise up into the sky, gliding through the clouds until it was very far away.''
“He looked the boy up and down as if he had never seen a child before and wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do with one: eat it, ignore it or kick it down the stairs.”
“Don't make it worse by thinking it's more painful than it actually is.”
“...who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas and which people wore the uniforms?”
I found The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society rather tedious due to the letter format throughout the book. It was difficult to keep track...moreI found The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society rather tedious due to the letter format throughout the book. It was difficult to keep track of the characters and I struggled to identify with them and get a sense of their motives or feelings. Towards the end the book became fairly clichéd and predictable, but overall it was a tremendous first novel by Mary Ann Shaffer, who sadly died before she could see her masterpiece published and a inspiring effort from her niece Annie Barrows, for ensuring that her legacy was given to the literary world.
"What was it, then? Drink? Other women? A touch of the old Oscar Wilde?"
"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."
"He could talk an angel out of heaven if he chose to speak..."
"Death is still, cold, quiet, and gray. Life is moving, warm, noisy, and full of color. The opposite of life is not only death, it is also the absence of joy."
"By the time we get involved with a body, death has come and gone, leaving us with only the empty shell, the abandoned luggage of what was once a human being."
"Death merely heralds the beginning of our work."
"It takes a special kind of fortitude to willingly confront and interact with a rotting body, or one that is cut up into pieces. And it takes a person who understands the social necessity of this act to do it properly."
"Reality is messier, slower, and less dependent on star detectives."
"In cultures different from the United States, suicide is not considered a failure of the courage to face life, but as a legitimate response to certain life situations."
"...the dead always have something to teach the living."
Australian Tragic was recommended to me by my mother who gave it five stars and lent it to me with a post-it note attached to the inside which stated...moreAustralian Tragic was recommended to me by my mother who gave it five stars and lent it to me with a post-it note attached to the inside which stated "All these stories are true - some sad, some funny, some you know who they are and some you have to guess. But you definitely can't stop reading, which is a shame, because I never wanted it to stop." I spent the first half of this collection flipping back to this review and questioning my mother's taste in books, but by the second half something had changed. Jack Marx
"It was alone that he had learned to cope with dreadful things - alone in the air, watching death come to friends, and enemies too, who never were machines, never would be less than human beings in the minds of those who killed them, with lives more real and precious for every day that they were gone."
"Theirs was a love whose soundtrack was made of smashing bottles and slamming doors."
"Sometimes a loss is as good as a victory, for it's through our mistakes that wisdom grows."
"...it was suicide to show any pain, any doubt, any hesitance, any fear of the contest. It was when one showed such weaknesses that others would pounce through a hole in one's world, to ransack the strengths to be found inside."
"There is some perversity somewhere which tends to create evil out of good, and to deny to man the successes he craves, even when they seem most certainly to be within his reach."
"How strange it is that life, as it grows, becomes less precious in the eyes of the world."
"...schools aren't built to save troubled souls. They are factories designed to mould girls and boys into women and men fit for organised society. They have not the time nor the apparatus to dwell upon the broken ones."
Bill Bryson was not exaggerating; A Short History of Nearly Everything covers almost everything you could ever want to know and have never understood...moreBill Bryson was not exaggerating; A Short History of Nearly Everything covers almost everything you could ever want to know and have never understood about life, the universe and everything in between. Bryson manages to cover some very complex subjects in a way that is as easy as it could possibly be to understand for the unscientifc mind. This book was a truly epic achievement.
"The upshot of all this is that we live in a universe whose age we can’t quite compute, surrounded by stars whose distances we don’t altogether know, filled with matter we can’t identify, operating in conformance with physical laws whose properties we don’t truly understand.”
“Life, it turns out, is infinitely more clever and adaptable than anyone had ever supposed.”
“The bottom line is that life is amazing and gratifying, perhaps even miraculous, but hardly impossible, as we repeatedly attest with our own modest existences.”
“Go back just eight generations to about the time that Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born, and already there are over 250 people on whose coupling your existence depends. Continue further, to the time of Shakespeare and the Mayflower Pilgrims, and you have no fewer than 16,384 ancestors earnestly exchanging genetic material in a way that would, eventually and miraculously, result in you. At twenty generations ago, the number of people procreating on your behalf has risen to 1,048, 576. Five generations before that, and there are no fewer than 33,554,432 men and women on whose devoted couplings your existence depends. By thirty generations ago, your total number of forebears; remember, these aren’t cousins and aunts and other incidental relatives, but only parents and parents of parents in a line leading ineluctably to you, is over one billion (1,073,741,824, to be precise). If you go back sixty-four generations, to the time of the Romans, the number of people on whose cooperative efforts your eventual existence depends has risen to approximately 1,000,000,000,000,000,000, which is several thousand times the total number of people who have ever lived. Clearly something has gone wrong with our math here. The answer is, it may interest you to learn, is that your line is not pure. You couldn’t be here without a little incest, actually quite a lot of incest, albeit at a genetically discreet remove.”
“From an evolutionary point of view, sex is really just a reward mechanism to encourage us to pass on our genetic material.”
“One of the hardest ideas for humans to accept... is that we are not the culmination of anything. There is nothing inevitable about our being here. It is part of our vanity as humans that we tend to think of evolution as a process that, in effect, was programmed to produce us.”
“It’s an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe’s supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously.”
"...will I ever be able to write something great..." "I want to go on living even after my death!" Well Anne Frank you did both!
I think people need t...more"...will I ever be able to write something great..." "I want to go on living even after my death!" Well Anne Frank you did both!
I think people need to consider the context when reading this book. It is not a book about the holocaust. It is a young girl's diary. An unbelievably intelligent, honest, insightful, reflective and brave young girl; who despite her awful circumstances living her teenage years in hiding, manages to remain cheerful and optimistic throughout her ordeal, right up until the very end. It is a somewhat voyeuristic read, but she wrote it with the intention of publishing it, of allowing the world to see and feel the world of Anne Frank.
"...beauty remains, even in misfortune."
"A person who's happy will make others happy; a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery!"
"I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!"
"But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great..."
"One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we'll be people again and not just Jews!"
"There's a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder and kill. And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars will continue to be waged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start all over again!"
"You don't even have to live in fear of eternal punishment; the concepts of purgatory, heaven and hell are difficult for many people to accept, yet religion itself, any religion, keeps a person on the right path. Not the fear of God, but upholding your own sense of honor and obeying your own conscience."
“The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.”
Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the running to spread the truth among such persons.”