Leslie Cook

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How to Be an Adul...
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Girl at War
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by Sara Nović (Goodreads Author)
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May 23, 2018 04:06AM


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Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell
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I picked this book up in the university book store because I had to break a hundred. I don't often splurge on hardbacks, but I am glad I pick this book to do so. At a time in my own life where I am thinking about raising my own daughter to be a fulfi ...more
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Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Year of Yes
by Shonda Rhimes (Goodreads Author)
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I listened to Ms. Rimes read this book and felt like she was sitting next to me. Her friendly style only went overboard for me a time or two, but the content of this memoir of a year of this amazing writer's life rang true. I will listen to it again ...more
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Girls, Social Class, and Literacy by Stephanie Jones
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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
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To be honest, I had never read any Vietnam-era literature when I read this book 8 years ago. Since reading it the first time, I have come back to passages in this book over and over again. It's not just the story of the war, but the brilliant way O'B ...more
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Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
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More of Leslie's books…
Paulo Coelho
“Closing The Cycle

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.”
Paulo Coelho

Willa Cather
“The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.”
Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

Ta-Nehisi Coates
“White America” is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies. Sometimes this power is direct (lynching), and sometimes it is insidious (redlining). But however it appears, the power of domination and exclusion is central to the belief in being white, and without it, “white people” would cease to exist for want of reasons. There will surely always be people with straight hair and blue eyes, as there have been for all history. But some of these straight-haired people with blue eyes have been “black,” and this points to the great difference between their world and ours. We did not choose our fences. They were imposed on us by Virginia planters obsessed with enslaving as many Americans as possible. They are the ones who came up with a one-drop rule that separated the “white” from the “black,” even if it meant that their own blue-eyed sons would live under the lash. The result is a people, black people, who embody all physical varieties and whose life stories mirror this physical range. Through The Mecca I saw that we were, in our own segregated body politic, cosmopolitans. The black diaspora was not just our own world but, in so many ways, the Western world itself.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates
“The meek shall inherit the earth” meant nothing to me. The meek were battered in West Baltimore, stomped out at Walbrook Junction, bashed up on Park Heights, and raped in the showers of the city jail. My understanding of the universe was physical, and its moral arc bent toward chaos then concluded in a box.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

“Love is a rebellious bird,
that nobody can tame,
and you call him quite in vain,
if it suits him not to come.”
Ludovic Halévy

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