Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

21

liked Samuel best when he was asleep, though even then his drooling and the curl of his little marsupial hands irritated me. No one had told me it was possible to dislike your child. Or at least if you did, it was supposed to happen later, when they were bratty teenagers and then ungrateful, smug adults. I didn’t like Samuel right off the bat. Don’t get me wrong: I loved him – in the sense that I had every intention of discharging my obligations towards him – but, to be frank, he was annoying.

He was fussy, for a start, fussy about temperature and sunlight and noise. He had a series of illogical phobias: he was scared of denim and windshield wipers, and would scream if he could smell bananas. When he danced, he used moves that were weirdly sophisticated, even risqué – rolling his body, thrusting his hips – things he must have dragged up out of the collective unconscious, because he certainly didn’t see me or Connor dance like that, or at all. In some ways I was looking forward to the inevitable bullying he’d receive. I was hoping that the cruelty of other children would effect developmental changes that I couldn’t seem to trigger.

Worsening all of this was the fact that Connor seemed oblivious. He took no responsibility for his part in creating a defective human being.

One night, in bed, I’d tried to talk to him about it.

‘Do you think Samuel’s a little . . .’

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to finish the sentence.

‘A little what?’

I rolled my eyes in the darkness.

‘What?’ Connor hissed. He still had some grit about him then. He wasn’t spending his days on forums, trying to chat up faecal donors.

‘You know. You know what I mean.’

‘You’re talking about our son here.’

‘I know that.’

‘And there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s perfect just as he is.’

‘Okay, geez,’ I said. ‘No need to get defensive.’

—p.21 Hold Your Fire (19) missing author 2 months, 2 weeks ago

liked Samuel best when he was asleep, though even then his drooling and the curl of his little marsupial hands irritated me. No one had told me it was possible to dislike your child. Or at least if you did, it was supposed to happen later, when they were bratty teenagers and then ungrateful, smug adults. I didn’t like Samuel right off the bat. Don’t get me wrong: I loved him – in the sense that I had every intention of discharging my obligations towards him – but, to be frank, he was annoying.

He was fussy, for a start, fussy about temperature and sunlight and noise. He had a series of illogical phobias: he was scared of denim and windshield wipers, and would scream if he could smell bananas. When he danced, he used moves that were weirdly sophisticated, even risqué – rolling his body, thrusting his hips – things he must have dragged up out of the collective unconscious, because he certainly didn’t see me or Connor dance like that, or at all. In some ways I was looking forward to the inevitable bullying he’d receive. I was hoping that the cruelty of other children would effect developmental changes that I couldn’t seem to trigger.

Worsening all of this was the fact that Connor seemed oblivious. He took no responsibility for his part in creating a defective human being.

One night, in bed, I’d tried to talk to him about it.

‘Do you think Samuel’s a little . . .’

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to finish the sentence.

‘A little what?’

I rolled my eyes in the darkness.

‘What?’ Connor hissed. He still had some grit about him then. He wasn’t spending his days on forums, trying to chat up faecal donors.

‘You know. You know what I mean.’

‘You’re talking about our son here.’

‘I know that.’

‘And there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s perfect just as he is.’

‘Okay, geez,’ I said. ‘No need to get defensive.’

—p.21 Hold Your Fire (19) missing author 2 months, 2 weeks ago
24

Roger had no ethical qualms whatsoever about building weapons that could cause massive, instant carnage. I know this because, unprompted, he told me. It was my first week, and I was in our staff kitchen heating up some noodles in the microwave. He was on his way back from lunch. He stuck his head into the room.

‘I think your ramen days are over, don’t you?’

I looked at the spinning bowl, thought of the invisible waves causing the molecules to go haywire.

‘It’s good to stay humble. Isn’t it?’

He scoffed at this.

‘Don’t ever be ashamed,’ he said. ‘Not of the work, the money – none of it. That’s what the little people want. To shame you. They don’t understand.’

He came close and his voice was low and conspiratorial. Even his halitosis smelled expensive, like beurre blanc and fennel.

‘The way I see it,’ he said, ‘it’s like karate. You learn karate so that you never have to use it. And no one looks askance at a man for learning karate, do they?’

I had to agree; they didn’t.

‘That’s the thing you need to remember Fifi,’ Roger said, pleased with his own wisdom. ‘Everyone holds their fire. It might come down to the last minute, the last second even. But no one really wants to press the button.’

I told Connor about this view of my new position, and he was only too happy to agree.

—p.24 Hold Your Fire (19) missing author 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Roger had no ethical qualms whatsoever about building weapons that could cause massive, instant carnage. I know this because, unprompted, he told me. It was my first week, and I was in our staff kitchen heating up some noodles in the microwave. He was on his way back from lunch. He stuck his head into the room.

‘I think your ramen days are over, don’t you?’

I looked at the spinning bowl, thought of the invisible waves causing the molecules to go haywire.

‘It’s good to stay humble. Isn’t it?’

He scoffed at this.

‘Don’t ever be ashamed,’ he said. ‘Not of the work, the money – none of it. That’s what the little people want. To shame you. They don’t understand.’

He came close and his voice was low and conspiratorial. Even his halitosis smelled expensive, like beurre blanc and fennel.

‘The way I see it,’ he said, ‘it’s like karate. You learn karate so that you never have to use it. And no one looks askance at a man for learning karate, do they?’

I had to agree; they didn’t.

‘That’s the thing you need to remember Fifi,’ Roger said, pleased with his own wisdom. ‘Everyone holds their fire. It might come down to the last minute, the last second even. But no one really wants to press the button.’

I told Connor about this view of my new position, and he was only too happy to agree.

—p.24 Hold Your Fire (19) missing author 2 months, 2 weeks ago
76

‘I’m going to find him,’ she spat, and she jerked the wooden spoon from the stew and flung it down onto the stove, dotting the countertop and backsplash with beef gravy. The spoon ricocheted off of the toaster and clattered to the floor. My mother turned abruptly, and her hair swung around to cover her face and stayed there as she passed. I could feel the giant particles of air parting to accommodate her as she flung open the laundry-room door and stomped through to the garage. The panic was returning now, beginning at the base of my spine, just outside the body, like an injection or parasite, and plunging in and up through my chest. I felt I might collapse, implode, as though I were tumbling to the bottom of the sea.

I knew what my mother would find. I realized now that I’d known it all along, that I’d seen but elected not to register the shape hanging from the rafters in the gloom of the empty half of the garage, and the faint glint of the kicked-over stepstool. ‘Mom, wait,’ I said, or thought I did; my mouth formed the words, but the breath had left me. Where had it gone? There: she had taken it. She was drawing it in, the way the sea pulls still water back and stands it up, suspends it before the crash. Her scream began as a percussive groan, as though she’d been punched; it stretched into a bass note, then gathered strength, rising in volume and pitch until it filled the house, my head, the world. That should have been me, out there, bearing witness. She didn’t have to see it. And though it was too late, my body moved of its own volition, as though it thought it could turn back time. I stood up too fast, bashed my knee against the table leg, spun around and stumbled against the chair I’d just tipped over. The gray linoleum rose to meet me, and I could make out its many streaks and gouges, the dust and dead insects and bits of fallen food my mother didn’t have time to clean. I closed my eyes, bracing for impact, but instead I passed through the floor and into darkness, as gravity, or something like it, pulled me from every direction.

this was a weird and mostly empty story but this bit really cut through me

—p.76 The Station (59) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago

‘I’m going to find him,’ she spat, and she jerked the wooden spoon from the stew and flung it down onto the stove, dotting the countertop and backsplash with beef gravy. The spoon ricocheted off of the toaster and clattered to the floor. My mother turned abruptly, and her hair swung around to cover her face and stayed there as she passed. I could feel the giant particles of air parting to accommodate her as she flung open the laundry-room door and stomped through to the garage. The panic was returning now, beginning at the base of my spine, just outside the body, like an injection or parasite, and plunging in and up through my chest. I felt I might collapse, implode, as though I were tumbling to the bottom of the sea.

I knew what my mother would find. I realized now that I’d known it all along, that I’d seen but elected not to register the shape hanging from the rafters in the gloom of the empty half of the garage, and the faint glint of the kicked-over stepstool. ‘Mom, wait,’ I said, or thought I did; my mouth formed the words, but the breath had left me. Where had it gone? There: she had taken it. She was drawing it in, the way the sea pulls still water back and stands it up, suspends it before the crash. Her scream began as a percussive groan, as though she’d been punched; it stretched into a bass note, then gathered strength, rising in volume and pitch until it filled the house, my head, the world. That should have been me, out there, bearing witness. She didn’t have to see it. And though it was too late, my body moved of its own volition, as though it thought it could turn back time. I stood up too fast, bashed my knee against the table leg, spun around and stumbled against the chair I’d just tipped over. The gray linoleum rose to meet me, and I could make out its many streaks and gouges, the dust and dead insects and bits of fallen food my mother didn’t have time to clean. I closed my eyes, bracing for impact, but instead I passed through the floor and into darkness, as gravity, or something like it, pulled me from every direction.

this was a weird and mostly empty story but this bit really cut through me

—p.76 The Station (59) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago
90

The husband watches the wife sleep. The house is nicest whenever she is asleep because he worries less about her and knows for a fact that she is resting, and for a little while at least he manages to forget that she is dying. This is more bearable than watching her lie awake and worry about dying. The husband is unsure if he has loved anyone in his life, at least in the way he thought he would love when he was younger, but now he thinks that maybe this is what love is supposed to be; you build a life around a person and when they threaten to go, you worry and worry that they will take you with them. If this is it, then he would prefer to go back to being a stranger to his wife.

—p.90 Hair (89) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The husband watches the wife sleep. The house is nicest whenever she is asleep because he worries less about her and knows for a fact that she is resting, and for a little while at least he manages to forget that she is dying. This is more bearable than watching her lie awake and worry about dying. The husband is unsure if he has loved anyone in his life, at least in the way he thought he would love when he was younger, but now he thinks that maybe this is what love is supposed to be; you build a life around a person and when they threaten to go, you worry and worry that they will take you with them. If this is it, then he would prefer to go back to being a stranger to his wife.

—p.90 Hair (89) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago
131

I could narrate my neighborhood’s relentless transformation, but you already know the story. Gone: Bright Food Shop, the Big Cup, Eighteenth & Eighth, David Barton Gym, Petite Abeille. The clothing shop of Raymond Dragon, a porn star and designer who made very small bathing suits. A shop that sold only striped French fabric. A ramen place on Sixth run by a group of very friendly young men who wanted you to like them, and made good soup, though they seemed to be playing the part of cafe staff in an extended, laddish prank. The Peruvian barber shop that trimmed my head for a decade, then became the office of a gelato parlor next door, and then a purveyor of rolled, unappealing slices of pizza, then nothing. The gelato place is gone too. Nothing is more common now than it used to be, since landlords learned they can ask for rent so high almost no one can pay it, then deduct the resultant losses of income from their taxes, engineering zones of absence that sometimes empty most of a block, and riddle even prosperous neighborhoods.

so stupid

—p.131 You Are Here, You Are Not a Ghost (129) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I could narrate my neighborhood’s relentless transformation, but you already know the story. Gone: Bright Food Shop, the Big Cup, Eighteenth & Eighth, David Barton Gym, Petite Abeille. The clothing shop of Raymond Dragon, a porn star and designer who made very small bathing suits. A shop that sold only striped French fabric. A ramen place on Sixth run by a group of very friendly young men who wanted you to like them, and made good soup, though they seemed to be playing the part of cafe staff in an extended, laddish prank. The Peruvian barber shop that trimmed my head for a decade, then became the office of a gelato parlor next door, and then a purveyor of rolled, unappealing slices of pizza, then nothing. The gelato place is gone too. Nothing is more common now than it used to be, since landlords learned they can ask for rent so high almost no one can pay it, then deduct the resultant losses of income from their taxes, engineering zones of absence that sometimes empty most of a block, and riddle even prosperous neighborhoods.

so stupid

—p.131 You Are Here, You Are Not a Ghost (129) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago
144

[...] When I came to the wide descending hallway that leads to the turnstiles, the air filled with a dense, brassy music, confident and driving, a great propulsive swing to it. Half hidden behind a column, a man sat on a high wooden stool, body wrapped around the long golden shape of the saxophone he played with a superbly controlled abandon. No one in the corridor but me, and his music swelled like a warm golden current. I recognized the tune, though I couldn’t name it – an upbeat jazz standard, something from a musical? It didn’t matter; it was a song about the will and nerve to go forward, to walk out into the night with the sure knowledge that more awaited you than exhaustion and loss. There is in us, the music said, refusal, will, momentum, joy. I was startled by what it called to mind – the watercolored drawings I’d seen weeks before in London, elongated women and men veiled and rayed in warm yellows, layers of golden light: the human form divine. Halfway down the corridor I turned back, walked to where the musician sat and dropped the two dollars I had into the open instrument case at his feet. He didn’t look up or otherwise acknowledge me. Maybe a very slight tip of the head? Either he didn’t care or was pouring himself entirely into those passages, making a corridor of his own out of this burnished splendor made with his own breath. A corridor I walked down, all the way to the A, and felt warmed by even after the doors of the train car closed.

—p.144 You Are Here, You Are Not a Ghost (129) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] When I came to the wide descending hallway that leads to the turnstiles, the air filled with a dense, brassy music, confident and driving, a great propulsive swing to it. Half hidden behind a column, a man sat on a high wooden stool, body wrapped around the long golden shape of the saxophone he played with a superbly controlled abandon. No one in the corridor but me, and his music swelled like a warm golden current. I recognized the tune, though I couldn’t name it – an upbeat jazz standard, something from a musical? It didn’t matter; it was a song about the will and nerve to go forward, to walk out into the night with the sure knowledge that more awaited you than exhaustion and loss. There is in us, the music said, refusal, will, momentum, joy. I was startled by what it called to mind – the watercolored drawings I’d seen weeks before in London, elongated women and men veiled and rayed in warm yellows, layers of golden light: the human form divine. Halfway down the corridor I turned back, walked to where the musician sat and dropped the two dollars I had into the open instrument case at his feet. He didn’t look up or otherwise acknowledge me. Maybe a very slight tip of the head? Either he didn’t care or was pouring himself entirely into those passages, making a corridor of his own out of this burnished splendor made with his own breath. A corridor I walked down, all the way to the A, and felt warmed by even after the doors of the train car closed.

—p.144 You Are Here, You Are Not a Ghost (129) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago
153

Alex was happy for William. It was sweet how he and Layla huddled together in the kitchen. The little presents which William picked up for her when he was out and about with Alex – a beaded necklace, or a silver bracelet – which Alex was invariably asked to give his opinion on, in William’s quest to identify Layla’s tastes and preferences, to please her by surprising her.

But the courtship was interfering with work. William was slow to leave the compound when Layla was in. And, when he and Alex were out on one of their expeditions, he was always impatient to return. No matter how often Alex explained to William the intricacies of mapping – yes, he had to map all the grazing routes, and yes, it was necessary to document precise coordinates of water wells in the district, which meant that they did, indeed, have to travel to all of them – William didn’t get it. The long drives, the hours spent fiddling with equipment, the mindless waiting were all great chunks of time that it was clear he’d rather be spending with Layla.

i love the way this story is written from Alex's perspective - contrasting Alex's self-important/entitled frustration with his driver with the absolute futility of his actual work, which William clearly gives 0 shits about

—p.153 Diminishing Returns (147) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Alex was happy for William. It was sweet how he and Layla huddled together in the kitchen. The little presents which William picked up for her when he was out and about with Alex – a beaded necklace, or a silver bracelet – which Alex was invariably asked to give his opinion on, in William’s quest to identify Layla’s tastes and preferences, to please her by surprising her.

But the courtship was interfering with work. William was slow to leave the compound when Layla was in. And, when he and Alex were out on one of their expeditions, he was always impatient to return. No matter how often Alex explained to William the intricacies of mapping – yes, he had to map all the grazing routes, and yes, it was necessary to document precise coordinates of water wells in the district, which meant that they did, indeed, have to travel to all of them – William didn’t get it. The long drives, the hours spent fiddling with equipment, the mindless waiting were all great chunks of time that it was clear he’d rather be spending with Layla.

i love the way this story is written from Alex's perspective - contrasting Alex's self-important/entitled frustration with his driver with the absolute futility of his actual work, which William clearly gives 0 shits about

—p.153 Diminishing Returns (147) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago
169

weizman: A ‘classical’ border set-up like that would be based on the assumption that the ‘enemy’ is always outside. Today’s system is based on the belief that the enemy – whether that is a migrant, a terrorist, a social movement or group of protesters – is already inside.

Surveillance exists not only at the borders but everywhere, which might make us continuously anxious, but we have become anaesthetised to it. Because when something is everywhere, you stop feeling it. And the only solution would be collective political action. Individually we can try to camouflage ourselves – encrypt our messages, drop out of social media – but only collective action could truly confront the physical-digital regime of the everywhere-border. First, though, we would have to acknowledge that this is our reality. And it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge that you live in a permanent state of anxiety.

—p.169 Crimes of Space (157) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago

weizman: A ‘classical’ border set-up like that would be based on the assumption that the ‘enemy’ is always outside. Today’s system is based on the belief that the enemy – whether that is a migrant, a terrorist, a social movement or group of protesters – is already inside.

Surveillance exists not only at the borders but everywhere, which might make us continuously anxious, but we have become anaesthetised to it. Because when something is everywhere, you stop feeling it. And the only solution would be collective political action. Individually we can try to camouflage ourselves – encrypt our messages, drop out of social media – but only collective action could truly confront the physical-digital regime of the everywhere-border. First, though, we would have to acknowledge that this is our reality. And it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge that you live in a permanent state of anxiety.

—p.169 Crimes of Space (157) by Granta 2 months, 2 weeks ago