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

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17

[...] Buddy’s mother, during one of Zane’s visits, had said something about how wonderful it was that Zane was helping preserve the balance of nature, and Zane had made a face and said the balance of nature was a dead dodo.

“Nothing is really balanced. Try to think of it as an ongoing poker game, say five-card draw, but everything constantly changes—the money, the card suits, the players, even the table, and every ante is affected by the weather, and you’re playing in a room where the house around you is being demolished.”

Buddy and his father, in sympathy for once, exchanged glances.

“Truth is,” said Zane, “most of the time we don’t know what we’re doing. Just tinkering, is one view, another view—”

“Quit while you’re ahead,” said Buddy’s father and silence fell on the table.

enjoyed this

—p.17 The Wamsutter Wolf (17) by Annie Proulx 6 months ago

[...] Buddy’s mother, during one of Zane’s visits, had said something about how wonderful it was that Zane was helping preserve the balance of nature, and Zane had made a face and said the balance of nature was a dead dodo.

“Nothing is really balanced. Try to think of it as an ongoing poker game, say five-card draw, but everything constantly changes—the money, the card suits, the players, even the table, and every ante is affected by the weather, and you’re playing in a room where the house around you is being demolished.”

Buddy and his father, in sympathy for once, exchanged glances.

“Truth is,” said Zane, “most of the time we don’t know what we’re doing. Just tinkering, is one view, another view—”

“Quit while you’re ahead,” said Buddy’s father and silence fell on the table.

enjoyed this

—p.17 The Wamsutter Wolf (17) by Annie Proulx 6 months ago
33

Cheri pointed at Rase. “It’s important a me. This is just the worse place I ever lived.” She glared at him and he fired up.

“Worse place? How about that dump you was brought up in? And I’d like to see how you save up enough money for a house in town by passin out hot dogs at a school cafeteria one day a week. You think you got it bad, but this is the best I can do. I been workin since I was seventeen, supportin this family. You’re dissatisfied with everthing, but you ever think a that, ever think I might a want a go into a different line a work than what I do? I wanted a be a high-school coach, but you got a go to college for that and I been hustlin miserable jobs for years so I could afford a buy this goddamn trailer you piss on, support you and all these goddamn kids. You don’t get it that the bad comes with the good. You don’t take notice that there’s a lot a guys would a walked, you bein so fuckin fat and always knocked up.”

“You don’t like your kids you shouldn’t a made so many a them. Use a rubber once in a while and you’d have the money— and no family.”

“Whyn’t you get on the pill? You take the fuckin housekeepin money and buy them goddamn dumb magazines you always get. You could get birth-control pills instead and not jump on me about kids.”

man

—p.33 The Wamsutter Wolf (17) by Annie Proulx 6 months ago

Cheri pointed at Rase. “It’s important a me. This is just the worse place I ever lived.” She glared at him and he fired up.

“Worse place? How about that dump you was brought up in? And I’d like to see how you save up enough money for a house in town by passin out hot dogs at a school cafeteria one day a week. You think you got it bad, but this is the best I can do. I been workin since I was seventeen, supportin this family. You’re dissatisfied with everthing, but you ever think a that, ever think I might a want a go into a different line a work than what I do? I wanted a be a high-school coach, but you got a go to college for that and I been hustlin miserable jobs for years so I could afford a buy this goddamn trailer you piss on, support you and all these goddamn kids. You don’t get it that the bad comes with the good. You don’t take notice that there’s a lot a guys would a walked, you bein so fuckin fat and always knocked up.”

“You don’t like your kids you shouldn’t a made so many a them. Use a rubber once in a while and you’d have the money— and no family.”

“Whyn’t you get on the pill? You take the fuckin housekeepin money and buy them goddamn dumb magazines you always get. You could get birth-control pills instead and not jump on me about kids.”

man

—p.33 The Wamsutter Wolf (17) by Annie Proulx 6 months ago
110

I don’t want to believe this story. It seems designed to make me pity her. Yet there’s an embarrassment in her face that suddenly makes her look very young, like a child who has admitted to a misdeed. “Are you going to try again?” I ask.

“Maybe sometime,” she says. “Maybe after my career.”

“That might be a long time,” I say.

“Probably not,” she says, her eyes set on something in the distance. “I’ll have a few good years, and I’d better make enough money to retire on. I don’t know what other job I could do.”

I consider this. “So what will you do with yourself afterward?”

“I don’t know. Go to Morocco with my father. Have kids. Whatever people do.”

I think of those pictures of my uncle in couture evening gowns, his skin milky, his waist slender as a girl’s. His graceful fingers hold roses or railings or billets-doux. His hair hangs long and thick, a shiny mass down his back. He now wears turtlenecks and horn-rimmed glasses; there are veins on the backs of his hands, and his beautiful hair is gone. I wonder how this can happen to Aida. She seems eternal, the exception to a rule. Can she really be mortal? Even when she fell off the bridge and chanted fever-songs, I knew she would survive to see international fame. In the glossy pages of Signora Cellini’s magazines and those of women all over the world, she will never, never change.

i quite liked this story (a girl whose cousin is a model, trying to find her mother)

—p.110 When She Is Old and I Am Famous (92) by Julie Orringer 6 months ago

I don’t want to believe this story. It seems designed to make me pity her. Yet there’s an embarrassment in her face that suddenly makes her look very young, like a child who has admitted to a misdeed. “Are you going to try again?” I ask.

“Maybe sometime,” she says. “Maybe after my career.”

“That might be a long time,” I say.

“Probably not,” she says, her eyes set on something in the distance. “I’ll have a few good years, and I’d better make enough money to retire on. I don’t know what other job I could do.”

I consider this. “So what will you do with yourself afterward?”

“I don’t know. Go to Morocco with my father. Have kids. Whatever people do.”

I think of those pictures of my uncle in couture evening gowns, his skin milky, his waist slender as a girl’s. His graceful fingers hold roses or railings or billets-doux. His hair hangs long and thick, a shiny mass down his back. He now wears turtlenecks and horn-rimmed glasses; there are veins on the backs of his hands, and his beautiful hair is gone. I wonder how this can happen to Aida. She seems eternal, the exception to a rule. Can she really be mortal? Even when she fell off the bridge and chanted fever-songs, I knew she would survive to see international fame. In the glossy pages of Signora Cellini’s magazines and those of women all over the world, she will never, never change.

i quite liked this story (a girl whose cousin is a model, trying to find her mother)

—p.110 When She Is Old and I Am Famous (92) by Julie Orringer 6 months ago
126

If the snipe survived, they would be among the first to see it. Perhaps they believed that the pack of dogs, and Gray Owl’s and Ann’s advancing torches, had only been one of winter’s dreams. Even with the proof—the scribings—of grace’s passage before them—the vent-holes still steaming— perhaps they believed it was only one of winter’s dreams.

It would be curious to tally how many times any or all of us reject, or fail to observe, moments of grace. Another way in which I think Susan and I differ from most of the anarchists and militia members up here is that we believe there is still green fire in the hearts of our citizens, beneath this long snowy winter—beneath the chitin of the insipid. That there is still something beneath the surface: that our souls and spirits are still of more worth, more value, than the glassine, latticed ice-structures visible only now at the surface of things. We still believe there’s something down there beneath us, as a country. Not that we’re better than other countries, by any means—but that we’re luckier. That ribbons of grace are still passing through and around us—even now, and for whatever reasons, certainly unbeknownst to us, and certainly undeserved, unearned.

the perspective shift is quite startling in a way that i really liked

—p.126 The Hermit's Story (113) by Rick Bass 6 months ago

If the snipe survived, they would be among the first to see it. Perhaps they believed that the pack of dogs, and Gray Owl’s and Ann’s advancing torches, had only been one of winter’s dreams. Even with the proof—the scribings—of grace’s passage before them—the vent-holes still steaming— perhaps they believed it was only one of winter’s dreams.

It would be curious to tally how many times any or all of us reject, or fail to observe, moments of grace. Another way in which I think Susan and I differ from most of the anarchists and militia members up here is that we believe there is still green fire in the hearts of our citizens, beneath this long snowy winter—beneath the chitin of the insipid. That there is still something beneath the surface: that our souls and spirits are still of more worth, more value, than the glassine, latticed ice-structures visible only now at the surface of things. We still believe there’s something down there beneath us, as a country. Not that we’re better than other countries, by any means—but that we’re luckier. That ribbons of grace are still passing through and around us—even now, and for whatever reasons, certainly unbeknownst to us, and certainly undeserved, unearned.

the perspective shift is quite startling in a way that i really liked

—p.126 The Hermit's Story (113) by Rick Bass 6 months ago
132

I found myself very suddenly wide awake long before the dawn of Christmas Day. I left opening my stocking until my great-uncle and aunt would have woken, and I could open it on their bed, the quilt wrapped about my shoulders, while they received my tribute of delight in return for their generosity. Through my bedroom window the dark blue sky with its sprinkling of stars coaxed pale shades of silver from the snow-covered garden and surrounding houses. The snow on the garden was pristine, except for a dotted line that ran across the center from our house to the one opposite, like the perforations between two stamps seen from their white, shiny backs.

—p.132 Snow (128) by James Lasdun 6 months ago

I found myself very suddenly wide awake long before the dawn of Christmas Day. I left opening my stocking until my great-uncle and aunt would have woken, and I could open it on their bed, the quilt wrapped about my shoulders, while they received my tribute of delight in return for their generosity. Through my bedroom window the dark blue sky with its sprinkling of stars coaxed pale shades of silver from the snow-covered garden and surrounding houses. The snow on the garden was pristine, except for a dotted line that ran across the center from our house to the one opposite, like the perforations between two stamps seen from their white, shiny backs.

—p.132 Snow (128) by James Lasdun 6 months ago
167

“Here’s what he says. They had a sure way to drive out the whites. It was a new plan and was sure to succeed. It would succeed because they, meaning the blacks, could bring it about with only a handful of men. He said that the Boers had won for all time if the revolution meant waiting for small groups to grow into bands and then into units, batallions and so on, into armies that would fight the Boers. The Boers were too intelligent and had too much power. They had corrupted too many of the blacks. The blacks were divided. There were too many spies for the Boers among them. The plan he would tell me would take less than a hundred men.

“Then he asked me, if he could tell me such a plan would it be worth the ten pula. Would I agree that it would? I said yes.”

“This is extraordinary!” she said. Duhamel!, she thought, triumphant. The name had come back to her: Georges Duhamel. She could almost see the print. She was so grateful.

“Exciting!” she said, gratitude in her voice.

He was sweating. “Well, this is what he says. He leans over, whispers. The plan is simple. The plan is to assemble a shock force, he called it. Black people who are willing to give their lives. And this is all they do: they kill doctors. That’s it! They start off with a large first wave, before the government can do anything to protect doctors. They simply kill doctors, as many as they can. They kill them at home, in their offices, in hospitals, in the street. “You can get the name of every doctor in South Africa through the phone book. Whites need doctors, without doctors they think they are already dying, he says. Blacks in South Africa have no doctors to speak of anyway, especially in the homelands where they are all being herded to die in droves. Blacks are dying of the system every day regardless, he says. But whites would scream. They would rush like cattle to the airports, screaming. They would stream out of the country. The planes from Smuts would be jammed full. After the first strike, you would continue, taking them by ones and twos. The doctors would leave, the ones who were there and still alive. No new ones would come, not even Indians. He said it was like taking away water from people in a desert. The government would capitulate. That was the plan.

  1. the plan is terrifyingly brilliant
  2. the way she totally doesn't give a shit (thinking about other stuff, hoping to seduce him, etc) is wonderfully done, though painful to read
—p.167 The Fifth Wall (134) by Malinda McCollum 6 months ago

“Here’s what he says. They had a sure way to drive out the whites. It was a new plan and was sure to succeed. It would succeed because they, meaning the blacks, could bring it about with only a handful of men. He said that the Boers had won for all time if the revolution meant waiting for small groups to grow into bands and then into units, batallions and so on, into armies that would fight the Boers. The Boers were too intelligent and had too much power. They had corrupted too many of the blacks. The blacks were divided. There were too many spies for the Boers among them. The plan he would tell me would take less than a hundred men.

“Then he asked me, if he could tell me such a plan would it be worth the ten pula. Would I agree that it would? I said yes.”

“This is extraordinary!” she said. Duhamel!, she thought, triumphant. The name had come back to her: Georges Duhamel. She could almost see the print. She was so grateful.

“Exciting!” she said, gratitude in her voice.

He was sweating. “Well, this is what he says. He leans over, whispers. The plan is simple. The plan is to assemble a shock force, he called it. Black people who are willing to give their lives. And this is all they do: they kill doctors. That’s it! They start off with a large first wave, before the government can do anything to protect doctors. They simply kill doctors, as many as they can. They kill them at home, in their offices, in hospitals, in the street. “You can get the name of every doctor in South Africa through the phone book. Whites need doctors, without doctors they think they are already dying, he says. Blacks in South Africa have no doctors to speak of anyway, especially in the homelands where they are all being herded to die in droves. Blacks are dying of the system every day regardless, he says. But whites would scream. They would rush like cattle to the airports, screaming. They would stream out of the country. The planes from Smuts would be jammed full. After the first strike, you would continue, taking them by ones and twos. The doctors would leave, the ones who were there and still alive. No new ones would come, not even Indians. He said it was like taking away water from people in a desert. The government would capitulate. That was the plan.

  1. the plan is terrifyingly brilliant
  2. the way she totally doesn't give a shit (thinking about other stuff, hoping to seduce him, etc) is wonderfully done, though painful to read
—p.167 The Fifth Wall (134) by Malinda McCollum 6 months ago
186

The first kiss plummeted him down a hole and popped him out into a world he thought he could get along in - as if he’d been pulling hard the wrong way and was now turned around headed downstream. They spent the whole afternoon among the daisies kissing. He felt glorious and full of more blood than he was supposed to have in him.

When the sun got too hot, they moved under a lone jack pine in the pasture of jeremy grass, he with his back against the bark and she with her cheek on his shoulder. The white daisies dabbed the field so profusely that it seemed to foam. He wanted to ask for her hand now. He was afraid to ask. She must want him to ask, or surely she wouldn’t lie here with him, breathing against his arm, his face against her hair-her hair faintly fragrant of sweat and soap ... "Would you care to be my wife, Gladys?” he astonished himself by saying.

—p.186 Train Dreams (169) by Denis Johnson 6 months ago

The first kiss plummeted him down a hole and popped him out into a world he thought he could get along in - as if he’d been pulling hard the wrong way and was now turned around headed downstream. They spent the whole afternoon among the daisies kissing. He felt glorious and full of more blood than he was supposed to have in him.

When the sun got too hot, they moved under a lone jack pine in the pasture of jeremy grass, he with his back against the bark and she with her cheek on his shoulder. The white daisies dabbed the field so profusely that it seemed to foam. He wanted to ask for her hand now. He was afraid to ask. She must want him to ask, or surely she wouldn’t lie here with him, breathing against his arm, his face against her hair-her hair faintly fragrant of sweat and soap ... "Would you care to be my wife, Gladys?” he astonished himself by saying.

—p.186 Train Dreams (169) by Denis Johnson 6 months ago
188

Ten days later, when the Spokane International was running again, Grainier rode it up into Creston, B.C., and back south again the evening of the same day through the valley that had been his home. The blaze had climbed to the ridges either side of the valley and stalled halfway down the other side of the mountains, according to the reports Grainier had listened to intently. It had gutted the valley along its entire length like a campfire in a ditch. All his life Robert Grainier would remember vividly the burned valley at sundown, the most dreamlike business he’d ever witnessed waking - the brilliant pastels of the last light overhead, some clouds high and white, catching daylight from beyond the valley, others ribbed and gray and pink, the lowest of them rubbing the peaks of Bussard and Queen mountains; and beneath this wondrous sky the black valley, utterly still, the train moving through it making a great noise but unable to wake this dead world.

The news in Creston was terrible. No escapees from the Moyea Valley fire had appeared there.

—p.188 Train Dreams (169) by Denis Johnson 6 months ago

Ten days later, when the Spokane International was running again, Grainier rode it up into Creston, B.C., and back south again the evening of the same day through the valley that had been his home. The blaze had climbed to the ridges either side of the valley and stalled halfway down the other side of the mountains, according to the reports Grainier had listened to intently. It had gutted the valley along its entire length like a campfire in a ditch. All his life Robert Grainier would remember vividly the burned valley at sundown, the most dreamlike business he’d ever witnessed waking - the brilliant pastels of the last light overhead, some clouds high and white, catching daylight from beyond the valley, others ribbed and gray and pink, the lowest of them rubbing the peaks of Bussard and Queen mountains; and beneath this wondrous sky the black valley, utterly still, the train moving through it making a great noise but unable to wake this dead world.

The news in Creston was terrible. No escapees from the Moyea Valley fire had appeared there.

—p.188 Train Dreams (169) by Denis Johnson 6 months ago
243

“Now how about this?” Earl pointed an index finger toward a wooden construction that stood in the middle of his yard, running from one side to another: a play structure, with monkey bars and a swing set, a high perch like a ship’s crow’s nest, a set of tunnels to crawl through and climb on, and a little rope bridge between two towers. I had never seen anything like it, so much human effort expended on a backyard toy, this huge contraption.

I whistled. “It must have taken you years.”

“Eighteen months,” he said. “And she hasn’t played on it since she was twelve.” He shook his head. “I bought the wood and put it together piece by piece. She was only three years old when I did it, weekends when I wasn’t doing overtime at Ford’s. She was my assistant. She’d bring me nails. I told her to hold the hammer when I wasn’t using it, and she’d stand there, real serious, just holding the hammer. Of course now she’s too old for it. I have the biggest backyard toy in Michigan and a daughter who goes off to the zoo and spends the night there and that’s her idea of a good time.”

:(

—p.243 Westland (240) by Charles Baxter 6 months ago

“Now how about this?” Earl pointed an index finger toward a wooden construction that stood in the middle of his yard, running from one side to another: a play structure, with monkey bars and a swing set, a high perch like a ship’s crow’s nest, a set of tunnels to crawl through and climb on, and a little rope bridge between two towers. I had never seen anything like it, so much human effort expended on a backyard toy, this huge contraption.

I whistled. “It must have taken you years.”

“Eighteen months,” he said. “And she hasn’t played on it since she was twelve.” He shook his head. “I bought the wood and put it together piece by piece. She was only three years old when I did it, weekends when I wasn’t doing overtime at Ford’s. She was my assistant. She’d bring me nails. I told her to hold the hammer when I wasn’t using it, and she’d stand there, real serious, just holding the hammer. Of course now she’s too old for it. I have the biggest backyard toy in Michigan and a daughter who goes off to the zoo and spends the night there and that’s her idea of a good time.”

:(

—p.243 Westland (240) by Charles Baxter 6 months ago
253

“You haven’t heard what I’m about to say,” Earl told me.

“It’s why I’m calling you. It’s what she says.”

“What’s that?” I asked him.

“Not what I expected,” he said. “She pities me.”

“Well,” I said. More shots of the nuclear reactor. I was getting an idea.

“Well is right,” He took another breath. “First she says she loves me. That was shock number one. Then she says she feels sorry for me. That was shock number two. Because I work on the line at Ford’s and I drink beer and I live in Westland, Where does she get off? That’s what I’d like to know. She mentions the play structure. She feels sorry for me! My God, I always hated pity, I could never stand it. It weakens you. I never wanted anybody on earth pitying me, and now here’s my punk daughter doing it.”

“Earl, put that diary away,”

—p.253 Westland (240) by Charles Baxter 6 months ago

“You haven’t heard what I’m about to say,” Earl told me.

“It’s why I’m calling you. It’s what she says.”

“What’s that?” I asked him.

“Not what I expected,” he said. “She pities me.”

“Well,” I said. More shots of the nuclear reactor. I was getting an idea.

“Well is right,” He took another breath. “First she says she loves me. That was shock number one. Then she says she feels sorry for me. That was shock number two. Because I work on the line at Ford’s and I drink beer and I live in Westland, Where does she get off? That’s what I’d like to know. She mentions the play structure. She feels sorry for me! My God, I always hated pity, I could never stand it. It weakens you. I never wanted anybody on earth pitying me, and now here’s my punk daughter doing it.”

“Earl, put that diary away,”

—p.253 Westland (240) by Charles Baxter 6 months ago