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The Emperor's Blades
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Persepolis Rising
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by James S.A. Corey (Goodreads Author)
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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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Enemies by Tim Weiner
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Current events have peaked my interest in everything from Watergate to the history of the FBI. I'd seen Weiner's Enemies cited by a number of media outlets as a definitive modern history of the institution, so I was excited to jump right in and see w ...more
More of Nicholas's books…
Cormac McCarthy
“If we do not know ourselves in the waking world, what chance in dreams?”
Cormac McCarthy, Cities of the Plain

Donna Tartt
“I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful.

Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm?

A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are.

Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart."

Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?”
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Andrzej Sapkowski
“I don't know,' said Gerald with effort. 'I don't know, Yurga. Sometimes it seems to me that I know. And sometimes I have doubts. Would you like your son to have doubts like that?'

'Why not?' the merchant said gravely. 'He might as well. For it's a human and a good thing.'


'Doubts. Only evil, sir, never has any. But no one can escape his destiny.”
Andrzej Sapkowski

Cormac McCarthy
“You call forth the world which God has formed and that world only. Nor is this life of yours by which you set such store your doing, however you may choose to tell it. Its shape was forced in the void at the onset and all talk of what might otherwise have been is senseless for there is no otherwise. Of what could it be made? Where be hid? Or how make its appearance? The probability fo the actual is absolute. That we have no power to guess it out beforehand makes it no less certain. That we may imagine alternate histories means nothing at all.”
Cormac McCarthy, Cities of the Plain
tags: wisdom

Stephen King
“Pops gave him a cool stare that settled Tom down - a thing not always easy to do. "Son, do you know what history is?"

"Uh...stuff that happened in the past?"

"Nope," he said, trying on his canvas change-belt. "History is the collective and ancestral shit of the human race, a great big and ever growing pile of crap. Right now, we're standin at the top of it, but pretty soon we'll be buried under the doodoo of generations yet to come. That's why your folks' clothes look so funny in old photographs, to name but a single example. And, as someone who's destined to buried beneath the shit of your children and grandchildren, I think you should be just a leetle more forgiving.”
Stephen King, Joyland

94 LOST Book Club — 605 members — last activity Mar 28, 2016 08:32AM
Do you plan on eventually reading every book Sawyer reads on LOST or every book shown on LOST? Whether you plan to or not, join the club of watching a ...more
1016 Dystopias and Social Critiques — 897 members — last activity Apr 09, 2018 07:58AM
This is a group for all the fans of Dystopias out there. Share your favorite dystopias, get new recommendations, and talk with other fans about this e ...more
1543 Page to Stage — 94 members — last activity Oct 14, 2016 06:02AM
Discuss the differences between plays/musicals and the novels that inspired them. Authors who join the group and add their own books to the bookshelve ...more
435 History is Not Boring — 1978 members — last activity Apr 27, 2018 11:31AM
Why do people think history is boring? I don't get it.
6552 Daily Show / Colbert Report / Nightly Show / The Opposition — 400 members — last activity Mar 01, 2016 09:55AM
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