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).

32

“I prefer ‘screaming,’ ” Alfred said. “Sometimes twice in a week. Sometimes not for a couple of months. Overall… maybe twenty times a year?”

“Do you do it with friends?”

“Most people can’t tolerate it.”

“Family?”

“Zero tolerance. That’s a direct quote.”

“As in, someone used the phrase ‘zero tolerance’ to address the issue of your screaming?”

“As in, they used it all together in an intervention to address the issue of my screaming.”

“Wow. What happened?”

“I see less of them.”

“Because you can’t scream?”

“Because it depresses me to know they’re using phrases like ‘craves negative attention’ to explain my project.”

“Families,” Kristen said with a roll of her beautiful eyes. Then she asked, “Do you? Crave negative attention?”

The café had mostly emptied and the apple tea had gone cold. Alfred sensed that his answer was important. He was vaguely aware of having left out the need he felt to scream at times, like an urge to yawn or sneeze. He hoped this went without saying.

“Actually, it’s the opposite,” he said. “I put up with negative attention in exchange for something else that matters more.”

Kristen watched him alertly. “Authenticity,” he said, unfurling the word like an ancient, holy scroll. He almost never uttered it, lest overuse diminish its power. “Genuine human responses rather than the made-up crap we serve each other all day long. I’ve sacrificed everything for that. I think it’s worth it.”

He was encouraged by Kristen’s look of fascination. “Do you do it during sex?” she asked. “Never,” he said, then added, with heady boldness, “That’s a promise.”

cute

—p.32 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

“I prefer ‘screaming,’ ” Alfred said. “Sometimes twice in a week. Sometimes not for a couple of months. Overall… maybe twenty times a year?”

“Do you do it with friends?”

“Most people can’t tolerate it.”

“Family?”

“Zero tolerance. That’s a direct quote.”

“As in, someone used the phrase ‘zero tolerance’ to address the issue of your screaming?”

“As in, they used it all together in an intervention to address the issue of my screaming.”

“Wow. What happened?”

“I see less of them.”

“Because you can’t scream?”

“Because it depresses me to know they’re using phrases like ‘craves negative attention’ to explain my project.”

“Families,” Kristen said with a roll of her beautiful eyes. Then she asked, “Do you? Crave negative attention?”

The café had mostly emptied and the apple tea had gone cold. Alfred sensed that his answer was important. He was vaguely aware of having left out the need he felt to scream at times, like an urge to yawn or sneeze. He hoped this went without saying.

“Actually, it’s the opposite,” he said. “I put up with negative attention in exchange for something else that matters more.”

Kristen watched him alertly. “Authenticity,” he said, unfurling the word like an ancient, holy scroll. He almost never uttered it, lest overuse diminish its power. “Genuine human responses rather than the made-up crap we serve each other all day long. I’ve sacrificed everything for that. I think it’s worth it.”

He was encouraged by Kristen’s look of fascination. “Do you do it during sex?” she asked. “Never,” he said, then added, with heady boldness, “That’s a promise.”

cute

—p.32 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
50

“She’s the opposite of incorrigible. She’s making amends.”

“I don’t want her amends. I want her to disappear.”

“What makes you say things like that, Miles?”

I remember exactly where I was standing when we had that conversation: on the deck of the lakeside Winnetka home Trudy and I had overleveraged ourselves to buy (she was pregnant with Polly, our first) and painstakingly decorated together: the site of a planned domestic idyll of children, holidays, and family reunions that we’d rapturously envisioned since meeting in law school at the University of Chicago. Holding my phone, looking out at twinkling Lake Michigan, I understood with sudden clarity that doing the right thing—being right—gets you nothing in this world. It’s the sinners everyone loves: the flailers, the scramblers, the bumblers. There was nothing sexy about getting it right the first time.

Fuck Sasha, I thought.

—p.50 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

“She’s the opposite of incorrigible. She’s making amends.”

“I don’t want her amends. I want her to disappear.”

“What makes you say things like that, Miles?”

I remember exactly where I was standing when we had that conversation: on the deck of the lakeside Winnetka home Trudy and I had overleveraged ourselves to buy (she was pregnant with Polly, our first) and painstakingly decorated together: the site of a planned domestic idyll of children, holidays, and family reunions that we’d rapturously envisioned since meeting in law school at the University of Chicago. Holding my phone, looking out at twinkling Lake Michigan, I understood with sudden clarity that doing the right thing—being right—gets you nothing in this world. It’s the sinners everyone loves: the flailers, the scramblers, the bumblers. There was nothing sexy about getting it right the first time.

Fuck Sasha, I thought.

—p.50 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
54

I’m aware that, in the telling, my love affair with Janna is hopelessly clichéd—its components so familiar from life, or Lifetime TV, that it could be written out mathematically. How to explain the enthrallment of living it? My family and work —so long the crux of everything I did—became thin topsoil over a deep, bitter root system where my real life took place. Once I’d entered that system, it was all I cared about. As with Damon (whom I patronized on an accelerating schedule), there was no pretense with Janna, no restraint. The thing itself. Seven kids and two spouses between us were nothing against our mutual longing, and we fucked in bathrooms, on cold sand by the lake after dark, and in Janna’s basement rec room during the small hours when neither of us could sleep. I adored her with a heedlessness poor Trudy had never glimpsed in me; I’d never seen it in myself. I told Janna I would die for her, and I think I assumed I would have to; for all the fervor of our passion, it was death-infused from the start.

—p.54 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I’m aware that, in the telling, my love affair with Janna is hopelessly clichéd—its components so familiar from life, or Lifetime TV, that it could be written out mathematically. How to explain the enthrallment of living it? My family and work —so long the crux of everything I did—became thin topsoil over a deep, bitter root system where my real life took place. Once I’d entered that system, it was all I cared about. As with Damon (whom I patronized on an accelerating schedule), there was no pretense with Janna, no restraint. The thing itself. Seven kids and two spouses between us were nothing against our mutual longing, and we fucked in bathrooms, on cold sand by the lake after dark, and in Janna’s basement rec room during the small hours when neither of us could sleep. I adored her with a heedlessness poor Trudy had never glimpsed in me; I’d never seen it in myself. I told Janna I would die for her, and I think I assumed I would have to; for all the fervor of our passion, it was death-infused from the start.

—p.54 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
65

At dinner he hangs back, watching the rest of us laugh around the firepit. I’d looked forward to showing off Lincoln —graduated early from Stanford and working nearby in tech —and Alison, who everyone loves, a junior at UCLA. But Miles’s awkward solitude makes me feel petty for having craved these triumphs. He hardly interacts with Beatrice, his half sister, and I wonder if it’s shyness—whether Sasha and I should be asking him more about what he’s doing. But Miles’s history makes those questions feel loaded, or patronizing, and anyway, we’re all in our fifties—do people even ask what we’re “doing” anymore? Hasn’t that already been decided?

—p.65 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

At dinner he hangs back, watching the rest of us laugh around the firepit. I’d looked forward to showing off Lincoln —graduated early from Stanford and working nearby in tech —and Alison, who everyone loves, a junior at UCLA. But Miles’s awkward solitude makes me feel petty for having craved these triumphs. He hardly interacts with Beatrice, his half sister, and I wonder if it’s shyness—whether Sasha and I should be asking him more about what he’s doing. But Miles’s history makes those questions feel loaded, or patronizing, and anyway, we’re all in our fifties—do people even ask what we’re “doing” anymore? Hasn’t that already been decided?

—p.65 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
68

By the time the sun nudged at the mountaintop, we were high above the desert. It felt strange to be in the open air at such a height; the intermittent hum from the balloon’s burner wasn’t like an engine noise, and I could hear birdsong from below. As I drank from my water bottle, the sun’s upper edge cleared the mountain and dropped its lighton the world below. In that instant, a skein of brilliant color snapped into view: Sasha’s sculpture. From the ground, it had seemed a hodgepodge, but from my new height, it acquired structure and logic, like random scribbles aligning into prose. Skipping lines of color raced through the desert, skittering and twisting, backtracking, thickening, then scattering almost away: a skylarking utterance of surpassing joy that rushed up from the land and encompassed me. Where the sculpture gave way, the desert looked empty.

Tears broke in my eyes, and I pulled down the bill of my cap. “Look,” I said to Drew. “Look what she did.”

—p.68 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

By the time the sun nudged at the mountaintop, we were high above the desert. It felt strange to be in the open air at such a height; the intermittent hum from the balloon’s burner wasn’t like an engine noise, and I could hear birdsong from below. As I drank from my water bottle, the sun’s upper edge cleared the mountain and dropped its lighton the world below. In that instant, a skein of brilliant color snapped into view: Sasha’s sculpture. From the ground, it had seemed a hodgepodge, but from my new height, it acquired structure and logic, like random scribbles aligning into prose. Skipping lines of color raced through the desert, skittering and twisting, backtracking, thickening, then scattering almost away: a skylarking utterance of surpassing joy that rushed up from the land and encompassed me. Where the sculpture gave way, the desert looked empty.

Tears broke in my eyes, and I pulled down the bill of my cap. “Look,” I said to Drew. “Look what she did.”

—p.68 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
80

Now, that is funny for sure, at least it was when M told the story at O’Brien’s taco party when each team member shared a childhood anecdote. And yet embedded in the comedy are both sadness and triumph—sadness because M was already isolated, friendless, and at odds with her family, and the ceiling debacle resulted in the dismantling of her plant system, and—when she afterward refused to eat— hospitalization and tube feeding. Triumph because now she is M!, gorgeous and sexy and well paid, and the world has bent her way. Most of the stories we tell—my fellow counters and I—have both these components, sadness and triumph, because the world has come around to us. It’s unbelievable. I still can’t believe it. And while our ranks are fortified by typicals whose adolescence may have included popularity and statistical expertise limited to sanctioned realms like baseball stats, the fact is that we are simply better at counting—we are native speakers, if you will, many of us having understood numbers before we did language.

—p.80 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Now, that is funny for sure, at least it was when M told the story at O’Brien’s taco party when each team member shared a childhood anecdote. And yet embedded in the comedy are both sadness and triumph—sadness because M was already isolated, friendless, and at odds with her family, and the ceiling debacle resulted in the dismantling of her plant system, and—when she afterward refused to eat— hospitalization and tube feeding. Triumph because now she is M!, gorgeous and sexy and well paid, and the world has bent her way. Most of the stories we tell—my fellow counters and I—have both these components, sadness and triumph, because the world has come around to us. It’s unbelievable. I still can’t believe it. And while our ranks are fortified by typicals whose adolescence may have included popularity and statistical expertise limited to sanctioned realms like baseball stats, the fact is that we are simply better at counting—we are native speakers, if you will, many of us having understood numbers before we did language.

—p.80 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
82

Avery is using a code that only I and other native counters are likely to comprehend: The defector is a typical—likely an impressionist—beguiled by a fantasy of freedom and escape. It is a state of mind I can grasp only theoretically. There is nothing original about human behavior. Any idea I have is likely occurring to scores of others in my demographic categories. We live in similar ways, think similar thoughts. What the eluders want to restore, I suspect, is the uniqueness they felt before counting like ours revealed that they were an awful lot like everyone else. But where the eluders have it wrong is that quantifiability doesn’t make human life any less remarkable, or even (this is counterintuitive, I know) less mysterious—any more than identifying the rhyme scheme in a poem devalues the poem itself. The opposite!

have to think about this more [reminds me of what's his name, the literary critic guy, franco moretti?]

—p.82 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Avery is using a code that only I and other native counters are likely to comprehend: The defector is a typical—likely an impressionist—beguiled by a fantasy of freedom and escape. It is a state of mind I can grasp only theoretically. There is nothing original about human behavior. Any idea I have is likely occurring to scores of others in my demographic categories. We live in similar ways, think similar thoughts. What the eluders want to restore, I suspect, is the uniqueness they felt before counting like ours revealed that they were an awful lot like everyone else. But where the eluders have it wrong is that quantifiability doesn’t make human life any less remarkable, or even (this is counterintuitive, I know) less mysterious—any more than identifying the rhyme scheme in a poem devalues the poem itself. The opposite!

have to think about this more [reminds me of what's his name, the literary critic guy, franco moretti?]

—p.82 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
86

What! How can so many thoughts and observations possibly have elapsed in so brief a period? An impressionist will answer along the lines of “The distortions inherent in our perception of time,” but to us counters, time is a bore— and not just because too much has been said and written about it. Time is irrelevant to math. [...]

You must be logged in to see this comment.

—p.86 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

What! How can so many thoughts and observations possibly have elapsed in so brief a period? An impressionist will answer along the lines of “The distortions inherent in our perception of time,” but to us counters, time is a bore— and not just because too much has been said and written about it. Time is irrelevant to math. [...]

You must be logged in to see this comment.

—p.86 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
108

They’re tough customers, those two. They’ve got me doing pigtails. And buns.

Incredulous laughter. I don’t believe you, said Charlie, our oldest sister. She dragged her chair next to our father and offered him her golden hair, which fell almost to her waist. Make a bun, she dared him.

Our father gathered Charlie’s hair in his fists but seemed unsure at first what to do with it. Girls, he roused us. Get me the pins and brush.

Serious! Stickler! came the table howls.

Our father brushed Charlie’s hair until it crackled in the candlelight. Then he herded it into a shimmering bundle and looped it expertly around, pins pursed between his teeth. Silence fell on the room as everyone watched. Our father slid the pins into Charlie’s hair and anchored in place a beautiful, shining bun. It made Charlie look like a little girl,although she must have been in her twenties by then.

Laugher broke at the table, and everyone clapped.

Charlie’s eyes brimmed and overflowed. I don’t know why I’m crying, she kept saying as she flicked away the tears. But they wouldn’t stop.

We knew why. We were getting the best of him.

—p.108 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

They’re tough customers, those two. They’ve got me doing pigtails. And buns.

Incredulous laughter. I don’t believe you, said Charlie, our oldest sister. She dragged her chair next to our father and offered him her golden hair, which fell almost to her waist. Make a bun, she dared him.

Our father gathered Charlie’s hair in his fists but seemed unsure at first what to do with it. Girls, he roused us. Get me the pins and brush.

Serious! Stickler! came the table howls.

Our father brushed Charlie’s hair until it crackled in the candlelight. Then he herded it into a shimmering bundle and looped it expertly around, pins pursed between his teeth. Silence fell on the room as everyone watched. Our father slid the pins into Charlie’s hair and anchored in place a beautiful, shining bun. It made Charlie look like a little girl,although she must have been in her twenties by then.

Laugher broke at the table, and everyone clapped.

Charlie’s eyes brimmed and overflowed. I don’t know why I’m crying, she kept saying as she flicked away the tears. But they wouldn’t stop.

We knew why. We were getting the best of him.

—p.108 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
140

The river is smooth and still, pressed between walls of redwoods and so cold that their fingers throb when they dip them in. Could it harm them to submerge? Lou has heard of very cold water causing heart attacks, and feels responsible, having led everyone here. As they’re mulling over the safety of swimming, Tim Breezely suddenly strips off his clothes and dives from a log, buck-naked. The smash of cold stops his breathing; he has a brief blackout sensation of death. But when he surfaces, howling, what’s died is his gloom—he’s left it on the river bottom. Freedom! Joy! Tim Breezely will soon divorce—they’ll all divorce—everyone will divorce. An entire generation will throw off the fetters of rote commitment in favor of invention, hope—and we, their children, will try to locate the moment we lost them and worry that it was our fault. Tim Breezely will become a dedicated jogger before anyone jogs who isn’t being chased. He’ll write books about exercise and mental health that will make him a household name, and will receive thousands of letters from people whose lives he has transformed, even saved.

—p.140 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

The river is smooth and still, pressed between walls of redwoods and so cold that their fingers throb when they dip them in. Could it harm them to submerge? Lou has heard of very cold water causing heart attacks, and feels responsible, having led everyone here. As they’re mulling over the safety of swimming, Tim Breezely suddenly strips off his clothes and dives from a log, buck-naked. The smash of cold stops his breathing; he has a brief blackout sensation of death. But when he surfaces, howling, what’s died is his gloom—he’s left it on the river bottom. Freedom! Joy! Tim Breezely will soon divorce—they’ll all divorce—everyone will divorce. An entire generation will throw off the fetters of rote commitment in favor of invention, hope—and we, their children, will try to locate the moment we lost them and worry that it was our fault. Tim Breezely will become a dedicated jogger before anyone jogs who isn’t being chased. He’ll write books about exercise and mental health that will make him a household name, and will receive thousands of letters from people whose lives he has transformed, even saved.

—p.140 by Jennifer Egan 10 months, 2 weeks ago