2022 & 2023 Reading Challenge discussion

ARCHIVE 2018 > Sharon's Corner 2018

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message 1: by Sharon (last edited Dec 06, 2018 08:07PM) (new)

message 2: by Sharon (last edited Nov 28, 2018 05:42PM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Reading Pile

Books Currently Checked Out from the Library (in the order they are due)
1. Becoming

On Hold/Waiting List at the Library (in the order I expect them to be ready)
1. It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War
2. Passing for Human
3. My Sister, the Serial Killer
4. In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1)

Upcoming/New Releases to Look Forward to
1. The Lost Sisters (Folk of the Air #1.5) — October 2, 2018
2. A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl — October 9, 2018
3. You Were Always Mine — October 16, 2018
4. Heavy: An American Memoir — October 16, 2018
5. Imagine Us Happy — October 23, 2018
6. The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) — January 8, 2019
7. More than Words — February 5, 2019
8. The Lies We Told — October 9, 2019

Books in my Bookcase that I Have yet to Read
1. The White Boy Shuffle
2. The Girl on the Train
3. An Abundance of Katherines
4. High Cotton
5. Some Trick

message 3: by Sharon (last edited Dec 06, 2018 08:09PM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorites of the Year so far
In order of preference

1. The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
3. Beartown by Fredrik Backman
4. She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
5. Circe by Madeline Miller
6. Educated by Tara Westover
7. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
8. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

message 4: by Sharon (last edited Oct 10, 2018 12:48PM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Short Stories I've Read in 2018
Not read as part of short story collections. In the order they were read. Including graphic short stories and flash fiction.

1. The Husband Stitch by Carmen Maria Machado*
2. Girls, at Play by Celeste Ng*
3. Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian
4. Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler*
5. The Quiet Thing by Che Yeun
6. The State of Nature by Camille Bordas
7. A Dark Brown Dog by Stephen Crane
8. Most Die Young by Camille Bordas
9. Rape Fantasies by Margaret Atwood
10. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson*
11. Recitatif by Toni Morrison*
12. The 400 Pound CEO by George Saunders
13. Jumping Monkey Hill by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
14. A Haunted House By Virginia Woolf
15. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood*
16. Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu*
17. Cathedral by Raymond Carver
18. The Arrangements by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
19. Suddenly, A Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret
20. Whenever I Sit at a Bar Drinking Like This, I Always Think What a Sacred Profession Bartending Is by Ryu Murakami
21. A Clean Marriage by Sayaka Murata
22. The Mark of Cain by Roxane Gay
23. The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara
24. Raymond's Run by Toni Cade Cambara
25. There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury*
26. Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl*
27. Last Rung on the Ladder by Stephen King*
28. To Build a Fire by Jack London
29. The Fly by Katherine Mansfield
30. Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders*
31. Click-Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman
32. Bitter Grounds by Neil Gaiman
33. Down to a Sunless Sea by Neil Gaiman
34. The River of Lost Souls by Isabel Greenberg*
35. Dennis and June by Emilybob*
36. If You're So Wise, How Come You're Dead? by Tor Freeman*
37. Displaced | Together by Scott Torrance
38. Last Night by Laura van der Berg
39. The Big Sleep by Meg Pokrass

*Asterisks indicate my favorites of the year.

message 5: by Sharon (last edited Sep 20, 2018 07:41AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Articles and Essays I've Come Across this Year
In no particular order

1. Codas: Returning to the Place Where I Was Raped by Katie Simon

"Survival is what comes afterward."

2. The Legacy of Childhood Trauma by Junot Diaz

I read this essay before women spoke up about his sexual misconduct. Speaking out against the repression of pain and trauma because of cultural traditions and expectations is important and necessary (in Diaz' case, even more so, because he is an example of a victim of abuse who would go on to "abuse," or at least take advantage of women—it's a vicious cycle that needs to end). For Diaz, the pressure to repress his pain mostly came from toxic masculinity, but also being Latinx which I can relate to.

3. In the Wake of His Damage by Shreerekha

Wow. In beautiful prose with poetic interludes, Shreerekha responds to being reduced to an initial in Diaz' essay linked above. It's a beautiful, emotional read and pairs perfectly in accompaniment with the article: In Light of the Junot Díaz Essay, What About the Women Who Have Loved Male Survivors? by Gwen Benaway.

4. Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? by Nicholas Kristof

A fascinating article that delves deep into the harsh realities of our corrupt justice system. Race and class are so ingrained in our society that they permeate even the institution that is most expected (or at least hoped) to be fair and impartial.

5. It Will Look Like a Sunset by Kelly Sundberg

Her raw and heartbreaking story as a survivor of domestic violence. What I find incredible is that one would expect anger and rage from Sundberg and she would be justified in feeling so, but instead she tells this story with love... I'm amazed by her. Since then, she's published her memoir Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival and it is definitely on my to-read list.

6. How Do You Rebuild Your Life After Leaving a Polygamous Sect? by Anne Helen Peterson

Once in a while BuzzFeed News actually does publish a serious article. This was a fascinating read, the kind that leads you down a rabbit hole of research, as I did when I couldn't stop reading about the FLDS and other cults in America after reading this. I am so happy for the admirable women who escaped and find the strength to speak out about the horrors they lived through in hopes to help others.

7. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Comes to Terms With Global Fame by Larissa MacFarquhar

This profile of Adichie portrays her as a fierce woman with strong opinions, but who is (like all of us) still learning as she goes. She's still contemplating how to discuss racism and sexism with her daughter. Just because she is a well-known African feminist does not mean she has all the answers.

8. Where a Taboo is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls by Jeffrey Gettleman

This article discusses the tradition of chhaupadi, which is still practiced in many villages of Western Nepal. During their period, girls and women are banished to huts and not allowed in their homes or to touch anyone from their household. They believe the woman is "unpure" during this time and that any contact with the members of the household will make them sick, particularly the head of the household... aka the men (of course, right?)

I truly believe that many traditions and humans' ridiculous desire to maintain them are behind some of the biggest issues in the world.

9. New Black Gothic by Sheri-Marie Harrison

Brilliant, brilliant essay! Harrison discusses the new Black gothic and among her evidence is Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video, Donald Glover's (yes, same person) tv-show Atlanta and SNL sketches, Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing, and Jordan Peele's Get Out. I can't even attempt to describe it, because it's such a fantastic essay... just read it!

10. ‘I Couldn’t Tell Anyone’: Women Around the World Reveal Intimate Stories of Abortion by Josephine Sedgwick

Exactly what the title says. Powerful and necessary.

11. What it Means to Be Loved by a Dog by Margaret Renkl

This is the sweetest opinion column I have ever read. I don't know if I believe in heaven or hell, but if heaven is real, then dogs are our glimpse into that place. They are wondrous, angelic little slices of heaven.

12. The Full Story of Thailand’s Extraordinary Cave Rescue

This article details the entire story of The Wild Boars, the soccer team trapped miles deep in a cave in Thailand. It is complete with videos of the boys, volunteers, divers; maps and diagrams; and the strategy plans for the rescue mission. This truly was an intense story of hope and survival. RIP to the amazing Saman Gunan who died while trying to rescue the boys. Everyone else survived, all twelve boys and their coach were brought out alive thanks to all of the selfless, courageous people who stepped up from the people washing the clothes of the divers, providing clothes and rides to the volunteers, aiding the families, providing medical assistance, to the incredible divers.

13. Confessions of an Unredeemed Fan by Leslie Jamison

"It was unending, our collective fascination with the self-inflicted weakness of a beautiful woman."

This article focuses on Amy Winehouse's addictions which were chronicled in a very public and tragic way. Addiction has been heavy on my mind with the news of pop artist, Demi Lovato's relapse and overdose all over the internet. I have been thinking about addiction in celebrities and in our own communities. How we react to them, treat them, how we claim to understand addiction when we can't possibly do so without being addicts ourselves. It's not that we should pity them, it's that we should try to sympathize with them and change the dialogues we have about addiction, so that there isn't a stigma that prevents them from getting help, encourages their addictions, or that paints them as either victims or villains. It's not black and white. It's heartbreaking.

14. I Won't Be Marginalized by Online Harassment by Kelly Marie Tran

"I want to live in a world where children of color don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence. I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings."

Kelly Marie Tran is the first Asian cast in a leading role in the very famous and successful Star Wars franchise and the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair. In this article published by the NY Times, she responds to the vitriol backlash and bullying she received that led her to erase her social media accounts.

"You might know me as Kelly.

I am the first woman of color to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie.

I am the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair.

My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started."

15. What do we Owe Her Now? by Elizabeth Bruenig

"So I look back uneasily, unconvinced that we have come such a long way after all. Because there will always be opportunities to do evil and evil opportunists. There will always be acts of cruelty prepackaged with plausible deniability, or the easy cover of crowds to disperse responsibility. There will always be people nobody believes: people with lesser reputations, people who struggle with addiction, people without much capital, social or otherwise, to credit them. And there will always be cases of offenses that are real and true but hard to prosecute, which means that justice in the world — if it’s to exist at all — will have to take some other form than the formalized and official, and peace will have to arise from some other reckoning than a proper settling of accounts.

This is my imperfect offering toward that end: a record of what happened, and the willingness to have been troubled by it all these years. It still troubles me now — it will always be unresolved — and I hope that it troubles you, because the moral conscience at ease accomplishes nothing."

message 6: by Sharon (last edited Dec 06, 2018 08:12PM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Personal Challenge: More works by POC
And Always More Female Writers

I want at least half of the books I read this year to be by people of color. So far, most of the books I've read are by women and that is amazing, but there are too many brilliant authors of color to just keep reading work by white men who are—or will be—canonized. I read them and respect them, but I want to support fellow people of color, and make sure their greatness and talents are also known and admired.

Some of these authors will overlap and there are many more than the number of books I've read because I am including writers from my other lists of short stories, essays, articles, etc.

Writers of Color I've Read Work by This Year
1. Anuk Arudpragasam
2. Celeste Ng
3. Jesmyn Ward
4. Han Kang
5. Carmen Maria Machado
6. Junot Diaz
7. Octavia Butler
8. Che Yeun
9. Shreerekha
10. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
11. Ken Liu
12. Ryu Murakami
13. Sayaka Murata
14. Min Jin Lee
15. Yrsa Daley-Ward
16. Roxane Gay
17. Toni Cade Bambara
18. Esmeralda Santiago
19. Tayari Jones
20. Fateema Farheen Mirza
21. Sayaka Murata
22. Aminder Dhaliwal
23. Wayétu Moore

Female Writers I've Read Work by This Year
1. Celeste Ng
2. Jesmyn Ward
3. Isabel Greenberg
4. Han Kang
5. Margaret Atwood
6. Heather Lloyd
7. Zoe Whittal
8. Charlie Jane Anders (identifies as transgender)
9. Georgia Hunter
10. Holly Black
11. Gail Honeyman
12. Elizabeth Berg
13. Carmen Maria Machado
14. Kristen Roupenian
15. Octavia Butler
16. Che Yeun
17. Camille Bordas
18. Katie Simon
19. Shreerekha
20. Kelly Sundberg
21. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
22. Ursula K. Le Guin
23. Virginia Woolf
24. Sayaka Murata
25. Min Jin Lee
26. Yrsa Daley-Ward
27. Roxane Gay
28. Toni Cade Bambara
29. Katherine Mansfield
30. Emilybob
31. Tor Freeman
32. Esmeralda Santiago
33. Lorrie Moore
34. Tayari Jones
35. Tara Westover
36. Lauren Graham
37. Laura van der Berg
38. Christina Dalcher
39. Shirley Jackson
40. Alice Hoffman
41. Madeline Miller
42. Fateema Farheen Mirza
43. Sayaka Murata
44. Aminder Dhaliwal
45. Wayétu Moore
46. Liana Finck

message 7: by Sharon (last edited Jun 20, 2018 08:05PM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Other Challenges

June TBR Twins
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee w/ Kara
Progress: 100% done

message 8: by Sharon (last edited Jun 07, 2018 06:08AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Newsletters

I love literary newsletters. They introduce me to so many works that I probably would have taken longer to find out about. They're also the way I come across writer profiles because it's not something I would actively search for. Every few months, I find a new one that I subscribe to, so I will be adding to this as the year goes on. Here are some of my favorites:

1. The LitHub weekly newsletter
(They have a daily one, but that results in too many emails, so I suggest subscribing to the weekly round-up newsletter.)
2. Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter
(I don't think Kleon would categorize his newsletter as a literary one only. He talks about so much: parenting, drawing, music, movies, etc. But he gives tons of reading recommendations, posts updates about what he's reading, and creates lists about his favorite books.)
3. BuzzFeed Reader
4. BuzzFeed Books
5. NYPL Top Picks
6. New York Times Book Review

message 9: by Sharon (last edited Jul 09, 2018 06:50AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Passages from The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K Le Guin

Life is the left hand of darkness
and darkness the right hand of light.
Two are one, life and death, lying
together like lovers in kemmer,
like hands joined together,
like the end and the way.

• “Tell me, Genry, what is known? What is sure, predictable, inevitable—the one certain thing you know concerning your future, and mine?”

“That we shall die.”

“Yes. There’s really only one question that can be answered, Genry, and we already know the answer. . . . The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.” (75)

• “I had my eyes on the stars, and didn’t watch the mud I walked in.” (91)

• “No one is quite so thoroughly “tied down” here as women, elsewhere, are likely to be—psychologically or physically... Therefore nobody here is quite so free as a free male anywhere else [...] There is no division of humanity into strong and weak halves, protective/protected, dominant/submissive, owner/chattel, active/passive. In fact the whole tendency to dualism that pervades human thinking may be found to be lessened, or changed, on Winter.” (100)

•“One of the most dangerous is the implication that civilization, being artificial, is unnatural: that it is the opposite of primitiveness. . . . Of course there is no veneer, the process is one of growth, and primitiveness and civilization are degrees of the same thing. If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of those two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both.” (109)

• “The mission I am on overrides all personal debts and loyalties.”

“If so,” said the stranger with fierce certainty, “it is an immoral mission.” (112)

• “It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” (237)

• "Do they [women] differ much from your sex in mind behavior? Are they like a different person?"

"No. Yes. No, of course not, not really. But the difference is very important. I suppose the most important thing, the heaviest single factor in one's life, is whether one's born male or female. In most societies it determines one's expectations, activities, outlook, ethics, manners—almost everything. Vocabulary. Semiotic usages. Clothing. Even food. Women... tend to eat less. . . . It's extremely hard to separate the innate differences from the learned ones. Even where women participate equally with men in the society, they still after all do all the childbearing, and so most of the child-rearing. . . ."

"Equality is not the general rule, then? Are they mentally inferior?"

"I don't know. They don't often seem to turn up mathematicians, or composers of music, or inventors, or abstract thinkers. But it isn't that they're stupid. Physically they're less muscular, but a little more durable than men. Psychologically—" (253)

• "And I saw then again, and for good, what I had always been afraid to see, and had pretended not to see in him: that he was a woman as well as a man. Any need to explain the sources of that fear vanished with the fear; what I was left with was, at last, acceptance of him as he was. Until then I had rejected him, refused his own reality. He had been quite right to say that he, the only person on Gethen who trusted me, was the only Gethenian I distrusted. For he was the only one who had entirely accepted me as a human being: who had liked me personally and given me entire personal loyalty, and who therefore had demanded of me an equal degree of recognition, of acceptance. I had not been willing to give it. I had been afraid to give it. I had not wanted to give my trust, my friendship to a man who was a woman, a woman who was a man."

• “A profound love between two people involves, after all, the power and chance of doing profound hurt.” (268)

message 10: by Sharon (last edited Jun 07, 2018 05:16PM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Heads of the Colored People
by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

When I read short story collections, I sometimes forget the names of the stories (because I mostly remember the name of the collection as a whole) and I especially forget any that were less memorable than the others. I thought I'd use my corner to write down the titles of the stories in this collection.

1. Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology*
2. The Necessary Changes Have Been Made
3. Belles Lettres*
4. The Body's Defenses Against Itself
5. Fatima, the Biloquist: A Transformation Story*
6. The Subject of Consumption
7. Suicide, Watch
8. Whisper to a Scream
9. Not Today, Marjorie
10. This Todd
11. A Conversation About Bread
12. Wash Clean the Bones

*Asterisks indicate my favorites.

message 11: by Sharon (last edited Jun 20, 2018 07:01AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Literary Magazines
These are my favorites for reading short stories and profiles on writers– in no particular order

1. The New Yorker
2. Granta
3. The Paris Review
4. The Atlantic
5. American Short Fiction
6. The Kenyon Review
7. Words Without Borders
8. Electric Literature

message 12: by Sharon (last edited Jul 10, 2018 09:21AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Quotes and Poems from bone
by Yrsa Daley-Ward

I borrowed the book from the library, so I couldn't write in the margins or underline anything.

Favorite Poems:

liking things
when it is but it ain't
you don't know the half of it
some kind of man
true story
when they ask

Favorite quotes/passages:

Remember on the right night and
under the right light
any idea can seem like a good one
and love
love is mostly ill-advised but always
-from the poem: artichokes

But you don't know the half of it.
The brightest of stars, frankly, are just a load of hot air.
And diamonds, sadly, were just formed from dust and rock,
And the butterfly, remember,
used to crawl on its belly and tiny legs through the dirt.
-from the poem: you don't know the half of it

The pastor makes twenty-four
references to hell
in the sermon at church and forgets
to talk
about love.
-from the poem: kid

untitled 1
If you're afraid to write it,
that's a good sign.
I suppose you know you're writing the
truth when you're terrified.

message 13: by Sharon (last edited Jul 09, 2018 01:28PM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Quotes from When I Was Puerto Rican
by Esmeralda Santiago

"Even at the tender age when I didn't yet know my real name, I was puzzled by the hypocrisy of celebrating a people everyone looked down on."

"The soul is the part of us that never dies."

"Well, it is the soul of a person that writes poetry. [...] The soul lives inside a person when he's alive. It's the part of a person that feels. A poet's soul feels more than regular people's souls. And that's what makes him write poetry."

message 14: by Sharon (last edited Jul 10, 2018 09:28AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Quotes from Self-Help
by Lorrie Moore

"Your numbness is something perhaps you cannot help. It is what the world has done to you. But your coldness. That is what you do to the world."

"That is what is wrong with cold people. Not that they have ice in their souls—we all have a bit of that—but that they insist their every word and deed mirror that ice. They never learn the beauty or value of gesture. The emotional necessity. For them, it is all honesty before kindness, truth before art. Love is art, not truth. It's like painting scenery."

"There is never anything conclusive, just an endless series of tests."

"You live if you dance to the voice that ails you."

Short stories in this collection:
-How to Be an Other Woman
-What is Seized
-The Kid's Guide to Divorce
-Go Like This
-How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes)
-Amahl and the Night Visitors: A Guide to the Tenor of Love
-How to Become a Writer
-To Fill

message 15: by Sharon (last edited Jul 18, 2018 06:43AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Short Stories in this Collection:
I Will Follow You
Water, all its Weight
The Mark of Cain*
Difficult Women*
La Negra Blanca*
Baby Arm
North Country*
Requiem for a Glass Heart
In the Event of my Father's Death
Break all the Way Down*
Bad Priest
Open Marriage
A Pat
Best Features
Bone Density
I am a Knife
The Sacrifice of Darkness*
Noble Things*
Strange Gods*

*Asterisks indicate my favorites.

message 16: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Quotes from Educated: A Memoir

“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”

"I had started on a path of awareness, had perceived something elemental about my brother, my father, myself. I had discerned the ways in which we had been sculpted by a tradition given to us by others, a tradition of which we were either willfully or accidentally ignorant. I had begun to understand that we had lent our voices to a discourse whose sole purpose was to dehumanize and brutalize others—because nurturing that discourse was easier, because retaining power always feels like the way forward."

"Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. If I yielded now, I would lose custody of my own mind. This was the price I was being asked to pay, I understood that now. What my father wanted to cast from my wasn't a demon: it was me."

“The decisions I made after that moment were not the ones she would have made. They were the choices of a changed person, a new self. You could call this selfhood many things. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Falsity. Betrayal. I call it an education.”

message 17: by Sharon (last edited Aug 30, 2018 06:33AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Books I Did Not Finish 2018

These were good books, just not for me:

1. There There by Tommy Orange
2. The Incendiaries

Cringe-worthy Books I Couldn't Get Through in 2018

1. White Bodies by Jane Robins
(view spoiler)

2. The Pisces by Melissa Broder
As I wrote in my one-star review: I'm a Pisces, so the title caught my attention, but I just couldn't get through it. I could not... no matter how hard I tried. It made me cringe every few paragraphs. I felt like I was reading a book about the kind of woman I don't want to be in my late 30's—someone who judges others based on their looks and whether or not they have a partner or a sex buddy.

message 18: by Sharon (last edited Aug 20, 2018 07:49AM) (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Quotes/Passages from Beartown

"If you are honest, people may deceive you. Be honest anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfishness. Be kind anyway. All the good you do today will be forgotten by others tomorrow. Do good anyway."

"The only time I'm not moving forward is when I'm taking aim."

"Sports create complicated men, proud enough to refuse to admit their mistakes, but humble enough always to put their team first."

“Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that's easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe - comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.”

“What an uncomfortable, terrible source of shame it is for the world that the victim is so often the one left with the most empathy for others.”

“The love a parent feels for a child is strange. There is a starting point to our love for everyone else, but not this person. This one we have always loved, we loved them before they even existed. No matter how well prepared they are, all moms and dads experience a moment of total shock, when the tidal wave of feelings first washed through them, knocking them off their feet. It's incomprehensible because there's nothing to compare it to. It's like trying to describe sand between your toes or snowflakes on your tongue to someone who's lived their whole life in a dark room. It sends the soul flying.”

“There are few words that are harder to explain than "loyalty." It's always regarded as a positive characteristic, because a lot of people would say that many of the best things people do for each other occur precisely because of loyalty. The only problem is that many of the very worst things we do to each other occur because of the same thing.”

“Difficult questions, simple answers. What is a community? It is the sum total of our choices.”

“Loneliness is an invisible ailment.”

“Community is the fact that we work toward the same goal, that we accept our respective roles in order to reach it. Values is the fact that we trust each other. That we love each other.” David thought about that for a long while before asking: “What about culture, then?” Sune looked more serious, choosing his words carefully. In the end he said: “For me, culture is as much about what we encourage as what we actually permit.”

message 19: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (bookwormsharon) | 23 comments Favorite Quotes from Convenience Store Woman

"My very cells exist for the convenience store."

"My present self is formed almost completely of the people around me. [...] Infecting each other like this is how we maintain ourselves as human is what I think."

"Good, I pulled off being a 'person'."

"Maybe people who thought they were being violated felt a bit better when they attacked other people in the same way."

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