|Two-year-old Shiloh has a unique way of holding this book.|
10 ~ Loved it!! Couldn't put it down!!
9 ~ Excellent!
8 ~ Very Good
7 ~ Good
6 ~ Above Average
5 ~ Average
..... "Nah" once again becomes .....4 - Struggled to finish, but not worth it
3 ~ Annoying ~ a waste of time
2 ~ Poor ~ one I abandoned
1 ~ Pitiful!
0 ~ Awful!! Don't bother
* DNF ~ Did Not Finish
|January favorite (#6)|
1. For One More Day ~ by Mitch Albom, 2006, fiction, 8/10
My mother moved closer. Her voice softened. "Have you ever dreamt of someone who's gone, Charley, but in the dream you have a new conversation? The world you enter then is not so far from the world I'm in now" (p. 145).2. The Saturday Evening Girls Club ~ by Jane Healey, 2017, fiction (Massachusetts), 8/10
"You count the hours you could have spent with your mother. It's a lifetime in itself" (p. 150).
"I would like to make things right again with those I love" (p. 194).
"Because there was a ghost involved, you may call this a ghost story. But what family isn't a ghost story?" (p. 197).
"I had to hand over my entire pay for the week while Frankie gave them half of his. Because I was a daughter and not a son, I was a servant to my family. No money of my own. No chance for any sort of independence" (p. 31).3. The Good Liar ~ by Catherine McKenzie, 2018, fiction (Illinois and Canada), 8/10
"I want to have a shop and a family ― why should I have to choose one or the other?" (p. 110).
"I felt as if the woman I used to be was stolen from me, taken by his camera, and I could never get her back" (p. 86).4. Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body ~ by Martin Pistorius, 2013, memoir, 8/10
"Pseudocide. That's what faking your own death was called. It wasn't illegal, but according to an article she'd read, it generally required so many other frauds to pull it off that you were bound to make it illegal" (p. 316).
"My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren't mine to control, and my voice was mute. I couldn't make a sign or a sound to let anyone know I'd become aware again I was invisible ― a ghost boy" (p. 11).5. Elsewhere ~ by Gabrielle Zevin, 2005, fiction (Elsewhere), 8/10
"No one seems to consider that even people who are thought to be intellectually impaired can change as they grow older" (p. 53).
"Virna is the only one who sees me. More importantly, she believes in me. She understands my language ― the smiles, gazes, and nods that are all I have at my disposal" (p. 64).
"I can't spit out syllables in anger or shriek them happily; my words will never quaver with emotion, rise expectantly for a laugh just before a punch line, or drop dangerously in anger. Instead I deadpan each and every one electronically" (p. 142).
"I think you'll find ... that dying is just another part of living, Elizabeth. In time, you may even come to see your death as a birth. Just think of it as Elizabth Hall: The Sequel" (pp. 78-79).6. A Curve in the Road ~ by Julianne MacLean, 2018, fiction (Canada), 9/10
"How could you possibly see all the way back to Earth?"
"Maybe that's the thing. Maybe Earth's not far at all. ... I think of it like a tree, because every tree is really two trees. There's the tree with the branches that everyone sees, and then there's the upside-down root tree, growing the opposite way. So Earth is the branches, growing up to the sky, and Elsewhere is the roots, growing down in opposing but perfect symmetry. The branches don't think much about the roots, and maybr the roots don't think much about the branches, but all the time, they're connected by the trunk, you know? Even though it seems far from the roots to the branches, it isn't. You're always connected..." (p. 109).
"A life isn't measured in hours and minutes. It's the quality, not the length" (p. 266).
"Intuition is a funny thing. Sometimes it's a gut feeling, and you look around and just know something bad is about to happen. Other times, it's elusive, and later you find yourself looking back on certain events and wondering how in the world you missed all the signals" (p. 1).7. Nell and Lady ~ by Ashley Farley, 2018, fiction (South Carolina), 9/10
"And what was he doing on the road to Lunenburg in the first place, when he knew I was on my way back to Halifax?" (p. 21).
"Adelaide Bellemore was known to family and friends as Lady, although no one considered her a lady, least of all her mother" (p. vi).8. The Daughter ~ by Lucy Dawson, 2017, fiction, 6/10
"The roots of her alcoholism traced back to those first tequila shots on her sixteenth birthday" (p. 114).
"Hello, Jess," says Simon, holding out a huge bunch of flowers. "Long time no see" (p. 122).9. Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero ~ by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory, 2011, memoir, 9/10
"Mike, the tower is gone."10. Santa Sold Shrooms: The Origin Story of the World's Most Famous Person ~ by Tero Isokauppila, 2018, fiction, 5/10
We stand there for a moment, David and I. We clasp hands. Tower 2 has died, but we are alive. Two men and a dog. (p. 136).
"Are all the facts in this book 100% true? Probably not. But there are plenty of legitimate sources verifying Santa's shamanistic roots" (p. 44).11. Zen Judaism ~ by David M. Bader, 2002, humor, 8/10
"The Torah says, 'Love thy neighbor as thy self.' The Buddha says there is no 'self.' So maybe you are off the hook. If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?" (p. 45).12. The Diary ~ by Eileen Goudge, 2009, fiction (Nebraska), 8/10
"Life is suffering. Following the Eightfold Way brings about the cessation of suffering. But where is it written that you are supposed to be happy?" (p. 52).
"Do not kvetch. Be a kvetch. Become one with your whining" (p. 54).
"Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkes" (p. 101).
"Follow your heart, child. It may lead you astray at times, but in the end it never steers you wrong" (p. 142).
"You have what I could only dream of growing up. Only someone who doesn't know what it's like to have nothing, to be nothing, would willingly throw that away" (p. 157).
"He made her happy. And didn't she always tell us that being happy was the most important thing in life?" (p. 212).
|February favorite (#13)|
13. The Virtues of Oxygen ~ by Susan Schoenberger, 2014, fiction (New York), 10/10
"Vivian, Holly thought, would have had a lot to say about medical advances that kept people alive when they might not want to be, given a choice" (p. 74).14. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End ~ by Atul Gawande, 2014, social science, 10/10
"The first time I overheard someone refer to me as an 'invalid' I was shocked. But that's what I am. Have you ever thought about the meaning of that word? In-valid. I don't count. I don't even register except as a burden to other people" (p. 127).
"We all just do what we have to do to keep body and soul together" (p. 130).
"No one but Holly thought I would want to talk about the obvious difficulties, but I did. A part of me wanted everyone to know just how hard it was to be me" (p. 175).
"I feel at home here. People are actually nice to each other" (p. 214).
15. Summary and Analysis of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End ~ A Guide to the Book by Atul Gawande ~ by ZipReads, 2018, social science, 10/10
"Research has shown that loss of bone density may be a better predictor of death from atherosclerotic disease than cholesterol levels" (p. 30).
Another Feb. favorite (#14)
"The three primary risk factors for falling are poor balance, taking more than four prescription medications, and muscle weakness" (p. 40).
"Three Plagues of nursing home existence: boredom, loneliness, and helplessness" (p. 116).
"Four crucial questions. At this moment in your life ... :
1. Do you want to be resuscitated if your heart stops?
2. Do you want aggressive treatments such as intubation and mechanical ventilation?
3. Do you want antibiotics?
4. Do you want tube or intravenous feeding if you can't eat on your own?" (p. 179).
"What were her biggest fears and concerns? What goals were most important to her? What trade-offs was she willing to make, and what ones was she not?" (p. 234).
"For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. ... And in stories, endings matter" (pp. 238, 239).
"People want to share memories, pass on wisdoms and keepsakes, settle relationships, establish their legacies, make peace with God, and ensure that those who are left behind will be okay. They want to end their stories on their own terms" (p. 249).
"We've been wrong about what our job is in medicine. We think our job is to ensure health and survival. But really it is larger than that. It is to enable well-being. And well-being is about the reasons one wishes to be alive" (p. 259).
The vital questions: "What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes? What are your fears and what are your hopes? What are the trade-offs you are willing to make and not willing to make? And what is the course of action that best serves this understanding?" (p. 259).
"Key Takeaway: The Western approach to end-of-life care is primarily medical in nature" (p. 4).
"Whereas decline in the past was precipitous and sudden, death has now become gradual and slow" (p. 6)."Key Takeaway: The medical model is flawed" (p. 8).
"Key Takeaway: A life worth living involves not just time, but the ability to make meaningful choices, which always carry risks" (p. 12)
"The medical approach to aging suggests that more time means more happiness, or that it is better to fight for more time than make the most of what remains. But there isn't a direct correlation between time alive and happiness. Happiness comes from pursuing our interests and living out our values with people we love" (p. 13)."Key Takeaway: Palliative care might be the best approach to death" (p. 16).
"There is also value in dying with dignity, reducing suffering, being conscious to best enjoy what time is left with the people and things that made them want to live longer in the first place" (p. 20).
|March favorite (#20)|
16. The Borrower ~ by Rebecca Makkai, 2011, fiction (Missouri), 8/10
"In a library in Missouri that was covered with vines17. Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps ~ by Dave Isay, 2013, social history, 7/10
Lived thousands of books in a hundred straight lines
A boy came in at half past nine
Every Saturday, rain or shine
His book selections were clan-des-tine" (p. 35).
"Speed, bonnie boat,
Like a bird on the wi-hing,
Onward! the sailors cry,
Carry the lad
That's born to be Ki-hing
Over the sea to Skye-hye-hye-hye-hye-hye!" (p. 97).
"I do still believe that books can save you" (p. 320).
Favorite StoryCorps Questions (pp. 201-202)
- What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
- Who was the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
- Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
- What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?
- What are you proudest of in your life?
- Are there any word of wisdom you'd like to pass along to me?
- How has your life been different than what you'd imagined?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- Do you have any regrets?
- What does your future hold?
- Is there anything that you've never told me but want to tell me now?
- Is there something about me that you've always wanted to know but have never asked?
"As soon as I sort my belongings I'm moving to a retirement home," Rebecca's mother said. "I already know which one. It's just that I need to get my belongings sorted first" (p. 55).19. The Man Who Died ~ by Antti Tuomainen, 2016 (translation 2017), fiction (Finland), 3/10 (in other words, "nah")
"I've been meaning to ask you, NoNo. Do you still go to that book club of yours?"
"Mm-hmm," NoNo said. "Why?"
"I was thinking how wonderful that must be, having people to talk with seriously. I wish I belonged to something like that. It seems I never get involved in any intellectual conversations anymore" (p. 125).
"Sometimes I hear you talk about the old days, about the way we lived our lives then and the subjects that used to interest us, and I think, Oh, yes, that was back when we were grownups" (p. 188).
"I am convinced my wife has murdered me" (loc. 1565).20. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time ~ by Marcus J. Borg, 1994, theology, 9/10
"As contradictory as it seems, it hasn't for one moment occurred to me that I might be ill. I'm merely dying, that's all. There's a difference" (loc. 1797).
"I've used up every last vestige of energy. I've been at the police station, in the sauna, in a grave" (loc. 2487).
"Jesus knew God as the compassionate one, not as the God of requirements and boundaries" (p. 87).
"Importantly, for Paul 'life under the law' is not simply to be equated with 'life under the Torah.' That is, the problem was not with the Torah as such, but with a way of being that sought to be 'okay' before God through the fulfillment of requirements, be they many or few. Christians sometimes misunderstand this, thinking that the problem was that the Torah had the wrong requirements, and then substituting Christian requirements instead. When this happens, 'life under the law' remains" (p. 105).
"The multiplicity of images for speaking of Jesus' relationship to God (as logos, Sophia, Son ― to name but a few) should make it clear that none of them is to be taken literally. They are metaphorical.)" (p. 109).
|April favorite (#24)|
21. In the Light of the Garden ~ by Heather Burch, 2017, fiction (Florida), 7/10
"He'd mourned. For over a year he'd mourned. But now he was getting the chance to grieve. The two were different. One was a sorrow for all that was lost. The other was an understanding that life had to go on" (p. 100).22. Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons ~ by Amy-Hill Levine and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, illustrated by Margaux Meganch, 2017, children's, 9/10
"I wanted a family, but...I wanted it perfect."
She sniffed. "But family comes with problems."
Charity reached over and tucked some strands of blonde hair behind Daisy's ear. "Yes, it does."
"I guess you have to make a choice. Run away or stick it out. But it's never going to be perfect" (p. 280).
The father thought, "I have two sons — one, two. I paid attention to my younger son, but I discounted my older son. I didn't realize that he felt lost" (next to last un-numbered page).23. Cats ~ by Anna Pollard, 1979, photos, 5/10
"Cats need one good meal a day, given in the evening" (p. 40).24. The Value of Honesty: The Story of Confucius ~ by Spencer Johnson, 1979, children's biography, 10/10
"It is often difficult to let go of a thing. But if you see that by holding on to a thing you are keeping yourself from getting what you want, you must stop doing it" (p. 26).25. Dawn Rider ~ by Jan Hudson, 1990, YA fiction, 6/10
"As he grew older, Confucius learned more and more and more. He learned from reading, from watching, and from listening. He even learned from his mistakes" (p. 56).
K'ung was the true name of the great philosopher. Confucius is the way it was translated into Latin, and then English. It means K'ung fu-tzu — "the philosopher K'ung" (p. 63).
"The people would honor the buffalo; the buffalo would forgive them; for the people needed the buffalo, even as the buffalo needed the grass of the prairie. The sacred powers had given so much food that even the people's old, their ill and their babies might survive the famines of winter. The people were thankful" (p. 60).26. The Winged Cat: A Tale of Ancient Egypt ~ by Deborah Nourse Lattimore, 1992, fiction, 5/10
She raised her eyebrows and said in a choked voice, "I do not think she [elderly woman] wants to walk. She says this is the last march she will ever make. She says next time she wants to stay behind" (p. 109).
Summary: In ancient Egypt, a young servant girl and a High Priest must each find the correct magic spells from the Book of the Dead that open the twelve gates of the Netherworld to determine who is telling the truth about the death of the girl's sacred cat.
|May favorite (#29)|
27. Retirement Is a Full-Time Job: And You're the Boss ~ by Bonnie Louise Kuckler, 2009, humor, 7/10
"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been." ~ Madeleine L'Engle28. Was It Worth It?: A Collection of International Cartoons about Columbus and His Trip to America ~ edited by Michael Ricci and Joseph George Szabo, 1992, humor, 8/10
Girl in classroom says to teacher: "My mother says that all men are despicable chauvinist pigs. Who CARES which one of them discovered America?" (p. 69, by Vance Rodewalt, Canada).29. Sonoma Rose ~ by Jennifer Chiaverini, 2012, fiction (California), 9/10
"Your children have celiac disease … They cannot digest sugars, starches, or fats. The resulting chronic, debilitating diarrhea causes malnutrition, and as you know, it can be fatal . . . Dr. Haas discovered that ripe bananas have some essential property that enable them to break up starches and convert cane sugar into fruit sugars, which are more easily tolerated by the patient's digestive system. Once the problem of sugar and starch digestion is resolved, the proper digestion of fats follows. Consequently, patients are then able to take nourishment from the food they eat, and gradually attain good health" (p. 126).30. The Willie Lynch Letter and the Making of a Slave ~ by Willie Lynch, 1712, history, 8/10
"Gentlemen, I greet you here on the banks of the James River in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves."31. Shout: A Poetry Memoir ~ by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2019, memoir, 9/10
I unscrewed the top of my head32. The Last Year of the War ~ by Susan Meissner, 2019, fiction (USA, Germany), 9/10
and rinsed out my brainpan
with salt water from the North Sea
and so began my next life (p. 99)
she'll start weaving her truth
by unbuttoning her mouth (p. 199)
you feel entitled to score, to dominate
the other team —
Don't. Sex is not a game
where one person wins by destroying the other.
The overpowering of resistance
belongs only on the field
where the center of attention is a football
not YourdamndickTM (p. 205).
is rage (p.227)
"I've come to believe the blurring of memories is how the brain protects itself from an event that does not need to be fully remembered" (p. 216).33. Internment ~ by Samira Ahmed, 2019, YA fiction, 9.5/10
"We should be living in community with each other, not competition" (p. 271).
"A moment later we walked away from the broken earth to hired cars — shiny, slick, and black — because the rest of our lives were waiting for us" (p. 380).
"One detail that's impossible to miss? Just like in the train station, every person with a gun is white, and not white like maybe they're Bosnian — the kind of white that thinks internment camps are going to make America great again" (pp. 63-64).
"Corporal Reynolds is alone. He hasn't turned me in for yelling at him. And for saying I hate the president, which used to be free speech but qualifies as treason now" (p. 133).
"Ayesha winks at me. 'It takes a village to raze a camp.' She gets a grin from Soheil" (p. 235).
"We are Americans. We make America great. This is our country. And we're taking it back" (p. 355).
|June favorite (#37)|
34. The Man in the Ceiling ~ by Jules Feiffer, 1993, fiction, 5/10
"Jimmy had a good memory, but not for that sort of stuff. ... the answers he had to memorize for school had nothing to do with the questions he was interested in. They had to do with what Mrs. Minnafy and Ms. Hazeltene were interested in" (p. 102).35. The Island of Sea Women ~ by Lisa See, 2019, fiction (Korea), 4/10
"When we go to the sea, we share the work and the danger," Mother added. "We harvest together, sort together, and sell together, because the sea itself is communal" (p. 18).36. 11,000 Years Lost ~ by Peni R. Griffin, 2007, fiction (Texas), 9/10
"I also remembered how my grandmother had said, 'Parents exist in children.' Jun-bu existed in our unborn baby, in all our children. I now had to follow my mother-in-law's advice and draw strength from the things I'd learned, if only to protect this tiny bit of my husband I carried in my belly. I would live because I could not die" (p. 239).
"We had yet another struggle between Shamanism, which was primarily for women, and Confucianism, which favored men. Confucius didn't care much for women: When a girl, obey your father; when a wife, obey your husband, when a widow, obey your son. But when I was a girl, I obeyed my mother; when I was a wife, I had equal say to my husband; and now that I was a widow, my only son had to obey me. This was not the case in many households. I was glad I wasn't a daughter or wife now, and that my son knew better than to test me" (p. 321).
"They did this to me. They did that to me. A woman who thinks that way will never overcome here anger. You are not being punished for your anger. You're being punished by your anger" (p. 350).
"Everyone laughed, everyone sang, everyone's mouth and hands were covered in grease and juice, and Esther thought: This is how it's supposed to be" (p. 190).37. Maisie Dobbs (Book 1) ~ by Jacqueline Winspear, 2003, mystery (England), 8/10
"Maybe I won't marry," said Emni. "Maybe I'll do like star-women and become a doc-tor, and keep the group alive forever."
"Forever is too long," said Kitotul. "Let us die when our grandchildren have grandchildren" (pp.196-197).
"Why does mammoth give himself to us? Why did you give away your shirt? If everybody gives, the world works. If everybody takes, it doesn't work" (p. 254).
"May the fires of my anger blow away like smoke" (p. 262).
"The library was silent and pitch black as Maisie entered. Quickly closing the door behind her, she lit the lamps and made her way to the section that held philosophy books. This was where she would start. She wasn't quite sure which text to start with, but felt that if she just started somewhere, a plan would develop as she went along" (p. 87).38. American Indian Genesis: The Story of Creation ~ by Percy Bullchild, 1998, anthropology, 9/10
"And what will you study, Maisie?"
"I'm not sure. I am interested in the moral sciences, sir. When you told me about the different subjects — psychology, ethics, philosophy, logic — that's what I most wanted to study. I've already done lots of assignments in those subjects, and I like the work. It's not so — well — definite, is it? Sometimes it's like a maze, with no answers, only more questions" (p. 124).
"From the mud Creator Sun molded a form in his own shape, his own image. ... This mud figure came to life as Creator Sun blew into its nostrils" (p. 33).39. Juror #3 ~ by James Patterson and Nancy Allen, 2018, fiction (Mississippi), 7/10
"Kneeling down beside him, Creator Sun took out the Mudman's lowest, smaller left rib. ... The Ribwoman too was very weak after she was created from the Mudman's rib" (p. 35).
"Be honest to life and to all life." This one commandment covered everything: Be honest. We have all lost that one commandment by our Creator Sun that covered all of our wrongs. Our Indian life had one of the truest form of religion before the coming of the Europeans" (p. 40).
"What the search revealed nearly knocked me off my stool. Because juror number 3 appeared on the Facebook page for the Council of Aryan Citizens of Mississippi" (p. 104).
"Don't fool yourself — people remember. You're that Bozarth girl. Your mama was a cleaning lady — just like a Negro. You were trash then, and you're still trash" (p. 105).
"I'd call you Goldilocks, except your hair is such a pretty chestnut brown" (p. 172). [But the cover shows a blonde woman.]
40. What the Wind Knows ~ by Amy Harmon, 2019, fiction (Ireland), 8/10
"I pulled you from the water41. Night of Miracles ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2018, fiction (Missouri), 9/10
And kept you in my bed,
A lost, forsaken daughter
Of a past that isn't dead
Don't go near the water, love,
Stay away from strand or sea,
You cannot walk on water, love,
The lough [loch] will take you far from me" (p. 47).
"Eoin was here, in this place. In my world, he was gone. Here, we were together again, just like he'd promised we would be" (p. 80).
"Anne came back. That's what Maeve had said. She hadn't forgotten. I'd been a part of her history. Me. Not my great-grandmother. Anne Finnegan Gallagher hadn't come back. I had" (p. 88).
"She hopes Arthur is with Nola, the wife he loved so dearly. Lucille does believe people see one another again, and she believes that pets will be reunited with their owners, too, though this is mostly acquiescence to those who cannot for one minute stop yammering on about their little fur babies, as they call them. Even if it turns out not to be true, what's the harm in believing it? It can bring some comfort" (p. 178).42. Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others ~ by Barbara Brown Taylor, 2019, religion, 10/10
She could "understand, in a way she never had before, that death was a natural part of life, just like the seasons in nature. And everybody's job was to love life while you had it and never to take anything for granted" (p. 239).
"Whether students intend to become teachers, nurses, police officers, or businesspeople, I tell them, religious illiteracy is a luxury they can no longer afford" (p. 22).43. Nowhere Boy ~ by Katherine Marsh, 2018, YA fiction (Belgium) 9/10
"Religions are treasure chests of stories, songs, rituals, and ways of life that have been handed down for millennia — not covered in dust but evolving all the way — so that each new generation has something to choose from when it is time to ask the big questions about life. Where did we come from? Why do bad things happen to good people? Who is my neighbor? Where do we go from here? No one should have to start from scratch with questions like those" (p. 25)
The Franciscan father Richard Rohr said, "We are all of us pointing toward the same moon, and yet we persist in arguing about who has the best finger" (p. 78).
"Once you have given up knowing who is right, it is easy to see neighbors everywhere you look" (p. 173).
"I gained similar insights from learning about the differences between Theravada Buddhists (who emphasize liberating the self) and Mahayana Buddhists (who emphasize liberating others), which helped me think differently about Christians who emphasize individual salvation and those who emphasize social justice" (p. 189).
"I told him it wasn't fair, that she was taking more than her share. 'Allah judges what is fair,' he said. 'You must judge what is kind.' I still remember how ashamed that made me feel" (p. 53).44. Addie's Dakota Winter ~ by Laurie Lawlor, 1989, YA fiction (Dakota), 9/10
"When there is no way, Allah will make a way" (p. 55).
"Max laughed softly to himself — how many secrets were there in this house? How many kids wandering around at night? He almost felt sorry for his parents, unaware of the crazy hidden universe around them" (p. 98).
"How could he think even for a second that Ahmed was involved in anything like this? True, he was Muslim, but he'd talked about charity, not violence. He had been nothing but gentle" (p. 102).
"He was tempted to shout that being smart wasn't everything, that being kind counted for just as much, if not more' (p. 250).
"Perhaps death was just another border, a line his body couldn't cross but that his heart kept slipping over" (p. 299).
"Ahmed smiled softly to himself. Max had been right not to give up. There were always people who cared" (p. 314).
"If Tilla lived here, she was poor, not rich. Were most of her stories plain fantasy, just as Addie had suspected all along? Why did Tilla tell such lies? Was it because her real life was so hard?" (p. 116).
|August favorite (#47)|
45. Three Things About Elsie ~ by Joanna Cannon, 2018, fiction (UK), 4/10
"Miss Bissell said it was perhaps unwise to encourage the residents to reflect too rigorously on anything at their time of life" (p. 34).46. Chester's Way ~ by Kevin Henkes, 1988, children's picture book, 8/10
"No matter how long or how short a time you are here, the world is ever so slightly different because you existed" (p. 315).
Chester (brown fur), Wilson (gray fur), and Lilly (white fur).47. One Tiny Turtle ~ by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jane Chapman, 2001, children's, 9/10
See also World of Kevin Henkes for more ideas.
"The turtle swims around, flapping her long front flippers like wings. She is flying underwater" (p.10).48. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life ~ by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman, 2015, psychology, 8/10
"In the dark, claws and beaks and grabbing paws miss only one young turtle. One day, she'll remember this beach and come back" (p. 28).
"Curiosity is what creates empathy. To care about someone, you have to wonder about them" (p. 157).49. Little French Bistro ~ by Nina George, 2017, fiction (France), 4/10 (not my thing)
"Unlived moments. Marianne's life consisted entirely of unlived moments" (p. 22).50. Alternate Side ~ by Anna Quindlen, 2018, fiction (New York), 8/10
"I'm not old ... I've just lived a little longer than some people" (p. 78).
"Whenever they did catch each other's gaze, they simultaneously broke into a smile. It was the most wonderful silence Marianne had ever heard" (p. 157).
"I was on a quest for death ... Then life intervened" (p. 165).
"Don't be cynical," Charlie said.
"I'm a New Yorker," said Nora. "Cynicism is my religion" (p. 209).
"So how are you, really?" Rachel said. "And that's not a rhetorical question."
"I take a lot of pleasure in having children who know what a rhetorical question is," Nora said, carrying coffee mugs to the dining table as her daughter followed (p. 267).
"People go through life thinking they're making decisions, when they're really just making plans, which is not the same thing at all" (p. 280).
"When we were kids, storage was the basement and attic, a broken chair, an army trunk. Today we rent facilities for the stuff we're not currently using, probably will never use again" (p. 8).52. Turning Pages: My Life Story ~ by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Lulu Delacre, 2018, children's picture book, 9/10
"My doctor says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, she doesn't believe our memories flag because of a drop in estrogen but because of how crowded it is in the drawers of our minds" (p. 13).
"I feel as though being alone is hanging out with someone I like" (p. 79).
"I'd always rather run my mouth than run" (p. 96).
As the actress Lillian Gish once said, "You know, when I first went into the movies, Lionel Barrymore played my grandfather. Later he played my father, and finally he played my husband. If he had lived, I'm sure I would have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older" (p. 109).
"You're never too old to have the best day of your life" (p. 110).
The next generation of young women ... don't understand how bad things were. They don't understand that you used to have to keep your mouth shut if your boss made a grab at you, or that no matter how smart you were or where you'd gone to college the first question anyone asked at a job interview was, "Can you type?" (p. 132).
"If their aged parents need help, the women of the family are still expected to provide it. My grandmother used to recite a little ditty: A son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter's a daughter the rest of her life" (p. 134).
"Our grandparents were devout, our parents observant. And we are haphazard" (p. 146).
"During our lifetime, women's lives have been about redefinition, over and over and over again, while men's lives are still often about maintaining the status quo. But aging is not a status quo situation" (p. 155).
"Books were my loyal friends ... my harbor ... a time machine ...my launchpad ...lenses, bringing into focus truths about the world around me ... teachers ... my life preserver ... mirrors of my very own universe ... maps to guide us to justice ... keys that unlock the wisdom of yesterday and open the door to tomorrow."53. A Sloth's Guide to Taking it Easy: Be More Sloth with These Fail-Safe Tips for Serious Chilling ~ by Sarah Jackson, 2018, advice/humor, 9/10
My best advice yet. And that would be? "Just chill out, yeah?" (p. 57).54. Wish Me Home ~ by Kay Bratt, 2017, fiction (Georgia, Florida), 8/10
"I can't think of you as just Dog ... So I formally dub you Hemingway. I'll call you Hemi for short" (pp. 7, 8).55. "Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother" ~ by Lois Wyse, 1989, anecdotes, 7/10
"The judge has decided that what you two need is an advocate ... your own Court Appointed Special Advocate. That's what we call a CASA for short. Her name is Melinda Barnwell, but you can call her Ms. Melinda" (p. 37).
[Melinda had asked Cara and Hana] if there were one wish she could grant, what would it be. Hana had answered immediately, speaking for them both. "Wish me home," she'd said (p. 38).
"Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation" (p. 39).56. Have You Seen Luis Velez? ~ by Catherine Ryan Hyde, 2019, fiction, 9/10
"Being a grandma just means having a good time" (p. 103).
"We fall into despair when the terrible gangs up on us and we forget the world can also be wonderful. We just see terrible everywhere we look. So what you do for your friend is you bring up the wonderful, so both are side by side. The world is terrible and wonderful at the same time. One doesn't negate the other, but the wonderful keeps us in the game. It keeps us moving forward" (p. 267).57. Never Let Go ~ by Elizabeth Goddard, 2019, fiction (Wyoming), 6/10
"Law enforcement already looked at everyone close to Katelyn, including her late brother, Shane, and Cliff's brother-in-law, John Houser" (p. 119).
"JT always said there was no greater travesty than when a family history died with a family member who never bothered to share stories of the past. Or when others didn't bother to listen. The result — families forgot where they came from" (p. 200).
|October favorite (#61)|
58. White Privilege: Let's Talk ~ by Traci Blackmon, John Dorhauer, Da Vita D. McCallister, John Paddock, and Stephen G. Ray, Jr., social studies, 9/10
"In the same way that a tinted lens will color everything seen through it, seeing the world through the lens of race changed the way I see everything" (loc. 119).59. Summary and Analysis of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism: A Guide to the Book by Robin DiAngelo ~ by ZIPReads, 2018, study guide, 9/10
"Join efforts to repeal the 13th Amendment's exception clause. Ostensibly, the 13th Amendment, passed in 1865, banned slavery. But the exception clause still allows it. The amendment reads: 'Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction" (loc. 2030).
"Rule 1: Being a white ally is understanding the ubiquity of anti-Black animus held by a majority of white people, and therefore being inclined to believe Black people about the presence of racism in everyday life" (loc. 2233).
"Rule 2: Being a white ally is not denying the power and privilege that your whiteness brings you, but rather asking how you can use it in the struggles to ameliorate the effects of white supremacy on Black persons and communities" (loc. 2262).
"Robin DiAnegelo explores the idea that white Americans are socialized to keep silent on race issues" (p. 6).60. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism ~ by Robin DiAngelo, 2018, sociology, 8/10
"White men would decide which groups were white or not" (loc. 133).
"In the US, white people control all the instruments of power, and therefore, only they can exercise racial privilege over other races" (loc. 143).
"But after the Civil Rights Movement, northern whites began to view racism as an immoral, southern problem. Therefore, white people created a dichotomy where as long as you were good/moral, then you couldn't be racist" (loc. 176).
"DiAngelo claims that to challenge racism, white people must also view themselves as a group that is socialized to be anti-black" (loc. 196).
"It has been said that racism is so American that when we protest racism, some assume we are protesting America" (p. xi).61. The Women of the Copper Country ~ by Mary Doria Russell, 2019, fiction (Michigan), 9/10
"The money men say that the Copper Country will never organize. Why not? Because we all speak different languages. Because we don't talk to each other. Well, maybe that's true of our men, but we women talk. To each other, and to our husbands and sons and brothers! We speak different languages, but we always find a way to talk, don't we? ... From now on," Mrs. [Annie] Clements says firmly, "the Women's Auxiliary will have a committee of ladies to translate union flyers into every one of Calumet's thirty-three languages!" (pp. 55-56).62. The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret ~ by Eve Haas, 2009, 2013, memoir, 9/10
"To the operators, the lives and limbs of miners are just . . ." She shrugs their indifference. "Just the cost of doing business. The names of the dead, the names of the crippled — those aren't even a line in their account books. But to us, each name is somebody. A husband. A father. A son. A brother" (p. 57).
"The king wouldn't allow it, but August went against his wishes and married Emilie anyway" (loc. 120).63. The World's Strongest Librarian: A Book Lover's Adventures ~ by Josh Hanagarne, 2013, memoir, DNF
"This is Emille Gottschalk. She was your great-great-grandmother, the one to whom Prince August wrote the dedication in the notebook that your mother has" (loc. 482).
"In front of me I read: 'The Prince August of Prussia and his years with Emilie von Ostrowska.' But she's not called Gottschalk ... She's not the tailor's daughter. She's a von Ostrowska. She's a titled lady" (loc. 1470).
My Sunday school teachers said, "Just talk to him like you would to a friend. Saying your prayers is just checking in and telling someone about your day" (p.44).64. The Bluest Eye ~ by Toni Morrison, 1970, fiction (Ohio), 5/10
"If you classified religion as pure fiction, you'd annoy the devout. And the fiction department that already groans under the weight of so many James Patterson novels would be stressed to its limits" (p. 91).
"I can't go to school no more. And I thought maybe you could help me."65. P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever ~ by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, illustrated by Maria Tina Beddia, 2018, picture book, 9/10
"Help you how? Tell me. Don't be frightened."
"What about your eyes?"
"I want them blue" (174).
E is for Ewe.
I is not for Eye.
N is not for Knot.
R is not for Are.
S is for Seas.
U is not for You.
V is for Five. How Roman-tic!
Y is not for Why.
|November favorite (#70)|
66. The Noel Diary ~ by Richard Paul Evans, 2017, fiction (Utah), 9/10
"She's rereading one of your books. There's not many authors she likes, so if there's nothing new, she just rereads yours. The funny thing is, she forgets how they end, so she enjoys it just as much as the first time. I swear the woman could plan her own surprise party" (loc. 393).67. Just Ask! : Be Different, Be Brave, Be You ~ by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael Lopez, 2019, children's picture book, 9/10
"I'll keep my shellfish to myself." I looked at her and added, "Shellfishly" (loc. 1064).
"I've always believed that we don't choose the life we want. We choose the life we think we deserve. We self-sabotage as a way to punish ourselves" (loc. 1481).
"Gardens are magical places. Thousands of plants bloom together, but every flower, every berry, and every leaf is different."68. A Fire Sparkling ~ by Julianne MacLean, 2019, fiction (England, US, Germany, and France), 8/10
"I believe we must act decisively if Hitler continues on his current path. I don't believe he can be trusted. He has no respect for treaties or promises. He just does what he wants" (p. 38).69. Postcards From a Stranger ~ by Imogen Clark, 2018, fiction (England), 8/10
"We were twins, but we weren't the same. She used to call me fearless, but also reckless, and she hated that about me sometimes. It drove her mad" (p. 336).
"We could all drive ourselves mad thinking about what could have been. But life happens the way it happens, and there's no point wishing the past was any different. It will always be what it was, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it" (p. 407).
"Don't worry, Annie. It'll heal. It always does. The important thing is just to stay out of his way" (p. 18).70. The Berenstain Bears and the Truth ~ by Stan and Jan Berenstain, 1983, children's, 9/10
"Dad has driven away my friends with his tongue and belittled my work to the point that it took every inch of determination that I had to keep going" (p. 32).
"No wife of mine is going out to work" (p.162).
"The cubs began to tell him the story of the big bird that flew in the window and broke the lamp. It was harder to tell the second time. For one thing, they couldn't quite remember how they had told it the first time."71. The Small Rain ~ by Madeleine L'Engle, 1945, reprinted in 1984, fiction (New York, Switzerland), 7/10
"Or was it a white bird with black spots ... like that soccer ball behind my easy chair?"
"But they never, ever again told a whopper ... because trust is one thing you can't put back together once it's broken."
"But ... I saw her when she was dead! I saw Mother, and it just wasn't Mother. It's like looking at a photograph; it looks like the person, but the person isn't there. Mother wasn't there! Not what's really her! And if she wasn't there, she's got to be somewhere!"
|December favorite (#77)|
72. God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America ~ by Lyz Lenz, 2019, memoir, 6/10
"I define the Midwest the same way our government does: Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, and Missouri" (p. 4).73. Michigan vs. the Boys ~ by Carrie S. Allen, 2019, YA fiction, 8/10
"I still believed in God, but I didn't believe in church" (p. 10).
"We didn't want a new heaven and a new earth, we wanted to return to the old, a return to Eden. ... And maybe there never was an Eden. Maybe there never was a great America. The only option then is to move forward. To change" (pp. 42, 43).
"'There is no room at this table' is a constant message from churches resistant to change" (p. 71).
"Matt is able to call himself religious but without a church. ..'It's not so much a part of being in an organized religion ... as it is emulating that faithfulness in your daily life" (p. 73).
"...sports is hurting American churches — not through competition for attention but through the pernicious marketing of a narrative that has nothing to do with Jesus" (p. 85).
"Americans love to fetishize the melting pot, as if in the crucible of our country we all somehow meld as one. But what we really mean by melting pot is that everyone becomes like us — white and Christian" (p. 92).
"...when white people frame ourselves as the victim in a narrative of oppression that we created, we fail to see the true humanity of others" (p. 126).
"I've been taught that to be a better practitioner of my faith I must read the Bible and a myriad of [sic] other books. I must sit and pray, listening for disembodied signs and signals that come from outside of me. ... Henderson Espinoza is instead saying that connection to spirituality comes from within" (p. 132).
"If churches are dying in America, let them die. If faith is dying in America, let it. After all, we believe in resurrection. There can't be new life without death" (p. 134). ALSO: "If something needs to die, then let it" (p. 43).
"I don't care who's wearing away jerseys tonight. I have a new opponent. My own team" (p. 104).74. The Great Passage ~ by Shion Miura, 2011, fiction (Japan), 8/10
"Ibuprofen's wearing off. But it's nice to stand outside by myself when I'm not afraid of getting jumped. In fact, it's nice to be at the rink without being afraid of being jumped, period. ... For a girl on a scoring streak, I'm sure stuck in a no-win situation" (p. 149).
"If hell's freezing over, at least I've got skates on my feet" (p. 179).
"If someone asked you to define the word migi, 'right,' what would you say?"75. Women Make the Best Friends: A Celebration ~ by Lois Wyse, 1995, stories and poems, 8/10
"'Right' as in the direction, or 'right' as in politics?" (p. 14).
"A dictionary is a ship that crosses the sea of words" (p.20).
"Dictionaries do tend to be written from the male perspective ... They're mostly put together by men, so they often lack words having to do with fashion and housework, for example" (p. 34).
"...being able to stay focused was one of his strengths" (p. 65).
"No dictionary could ever achieve true completion" (p. 79).
"Until now I have lived immersed in the world of books. My closest friends, therefore, are to be found not in the real world but in the pages of books" (p. 202).
"We ... need different friends and different circles at different times. ... all that really matters is that we are not alone so long as we can call one person friend" (pp. 20, 21).76. Low: An Honest Advent Devotional ~ by John Pavlovitz, 2019, theology, 8/10
"It didn't matter that some of those friends who were there for us were friends we had not seen often. What mattered is that when we needed them, the tie was there. And they came to help in any way they could" (p. 151).
"No woman is ever too busy to make time for a friend in trouble. You guys still don't understand how the friendship bond between women works. My friends are never too busy for me.
"Today, dwell on the people who've crossed your circuitous path and changed your story. ... Sit with gratitude for them and for the difference they've made in your journey" (p. 7).77. Becoming ~ by Michelle Obama, 2018, memoir, 9.5/10
"A bluebird finds worms ... because that's what it looks for. ... much of what we discover in this life is about the questions we ask, the things we give attention to, and the way we invest our time" (p. 17).
"I started typing the word 'sorrow,' and before I could finish, my computer changed it to 'sorry.' ... Today, sit with the full breadth of your story ― and don't be sorry for your sorrow" (p. 21).
"The word compassion ... when we see others experiencing the low points of this life (grief, pain, injustice, loss), we too allow ourselves to become low and sit with them" (p. 38).
"The friend said to her ... 'I just don't understand why God made other races. ... If He hadn't, everyone would get along.' ... She considers herself the default pigmentation, and anyone of another color is an augmentation. ... she approaches that division incorrectly, feeling elevated above other people" (pp. 52-53).
"As Jesus' life and ministry unfolded, those who had commandeered the table would be resistant when he tried to make room for the previously excluded" (p. 57).
"Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there's more growing to be done" (p. 419).
"There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become" (p. 421).