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A Constellation o...
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by Anthony Marra (Goodreads Author)
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The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine
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River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
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Lila by Marilynne Robinson
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Alfred and Guinevere by James Schuyler
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Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
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Shamrock Tea by Ciarán Carson
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More of Megan's books…
Michael Pollan
“The fast-food hamburger has been brilliantly engineered to offer a succulent and tasty first bite, a bite that in fact would be impossible to enjoy if the eater could accurately picture the feedlot and slaughterhouse and the workers behind it or knew anything about the 'artificial grill flavor' that made the first bite so convincing. This is a hamburger to hurry through, no question. By comparison, eating a grass-fed burger when you can picture the green pastures in which the animal grazed is a pleasure of another order, not a simple one, to be sure, but one based on knowledge rather than ignorance and gratitude rather than indifference.
To eat slowly, then, also means to eat deliberately, in the original sense of the word: 'from freedom' instead of compulsion. ”
Michael Pollan

Louise Erdrich
“In praise of mu husband's hair
A woman is alone in labor, for it is an unfortunate fact that there is nobody who can have the baby for you. However, this account would be inadequate if I did not speak to the scent of my husband's hair. Besides the cut flowers he sacrifices his lunches to afford, the purchase of bags of licorice, the plumping of pillows, steaming of fish, searching out of chic maternity dresses, taking over of work, listening to complaints and simply worrying, there was my husband's hair.
His hair has always amazed stylists in beauty salons. At his every first appointment they gather their colleagues around Michael's head. He owns glossy and springy hair, of an animal vitality and resilience that seems to me so like his personality. The Black Irish on Michael's mother's side of the family have changeable hair--his great-grandmother's hair went from black to gold in old age. Michael's went from golden-brown of childhood to a deepening chestnut that gleams Modoc black from his father under certain lights. When pushing each baby I throw my arm over Michael and lean my full weight. When the desperate part is over, the effort, I turn my face into the hair above his ear. It is as though I am entering a small and temporary refuge. How much I want to be little and unnecessary, to stay there, to leave my struggling body at the entrance.
Leaves on a tree all winter that now, in your hand, crushed, give off a dry, true odor. The brass underside of a door knocker in your fingers and its faint metallic polish. Fresh potter's clay hardening on the wrist of a child. The slow blackening of Lent, timeless and lighted with hunger. All of these things enter into my mind when drawing into my entire face the scent of my husband's hair. When I am most alone and drowning and I think I cannot go on, it is breathing into his hair that draws me to the surface and restores my small courage. ”
Louise Erdrich, The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year

Annie Dillard
“Later, while Lou bathed, Maytree copied from a volume of Keats's ever-young letters a possibly unrelated but similarly unanswerable question: Who enjoyed lovemaking more--the man or the woman? He popped it into that spotted notebook in dimeter and trimeter:
Who shall say
between Man and Woman
which is the most [more] delighted?
The woman, everyone knew Tiresias said, but Tiresias was made up. On what grounds had the Greek man let full-fictional and full-switched Tiresias answer, The woman? Did lovemaking then and now run to male or to female, noisemaking? Speaking of wild surmise?
For lovemaking nearly killed Lou. Was she all right? Abashed, he held her steady until she opened her eyes. Was he a brute? What ailed her? --Whoo, she answered once, and another time, Yike. He stopped worrying. Hours afterward he used to see her, firm and young as she was, gripping the rail to check her descent downstairs.
He proposed Keats's question to Lou one morning as they shared the last of the tooth powder. --Say, Lou--here's a question. Keats put it, 'Who shall say between Man and Woman which is the more delighted.' What do you think?
--The woman. Rather prompt of silent Lou. Much later that night in their shack bed she added just as he was rolling asleep, If the man is John Keats. ”
Annie Dillard, The Maytrees

Diana Abu-Jaber
“She stares at her knife and wishes she were smarter about things. Wishes she knew how to say something wise or consoling to him, something that wouldn't sound frightened or awkward. But then she remembers the time after her parents' death, when people would approach her and try to explain her loss to her; they said things that were supposed to cure her of her sadness, but that had no effect at all. And she knew then, even when she was nine years old, that there was no wise or consoling thing to say. There were certain helpful kinds of silences, and some were better than others. ”
Diana Abu-Jaber, Crescent

“Yet Tolstoy found that the truth could not be approached directly, that every attempt at direct expression became a simplification and therefore a lie, and that the 'shortest way to sense' was rather long and indirect. He was acutely aware of the inadequacy of all human means of speaking the truth, but his artistic intuition told him that those means might be composed in such a way as to allow the truth to appear. Against his will, he found that to be an honest man, he had to be a poet.”
― Richard Pevear (translator) in introduction to War and Peace

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