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Swimming Studies

“The one thing I am formally trained at is swimming.  I’m aware I rely on this training when I’m working, that I know when to push through and when to rest, that I’ve figured out the equivalent of drills, interval training, and performance when I’m on a deadline or trying to realize a project.  But I don’t know where to put the old skill, if I can, or even want to, incorporate it into my adult life.”

– Swimming Studies, Leanne Shapton

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The Yearling

“The sun was sinking into the saw-grass.  The marsh was golden.  The whooping cranes were washed with gold.  The far hammocks were black.  Darkness came to the lily pads, and the water blackened.  The cranes were whiter than any clouds, or any white bloom of oleander or of lily.  Without warning, they took flight.”

– The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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My Brilliant Friend

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“She wrote, in the last pages, of feeling all the evil of the neighborhood all around her.  Rather, she wrote obscurely, good and evil are mixed together and reinforce each other in turn.  Marcello, if you thought about it, was really a good arrangement, but the good tasted of the bad and the bad tasted of the good, it was a mixture that took your breath away… ‘And I feel that I have to find a solution, otherwise, everything, one thing after another, will break, everything, everything.'”

-Lena reads a letter from Lila, My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante, trans. Ann Goldstein

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A Passage to Shambala: the Explorer’s Guild, Volume 1

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“Yes, it is inevitable now that we must ask.  And we may yet learn much.  Though we may find, when we have our answers, that we were better off as we are now, with only our questions.  Our ideas of the world are about to change, Mr. Pensette, and not by a little.  You should not think this will be an agreeable experience.”

– Subadar Priddish, A Passage to Shambala: The Explorer’s Guild Vol. I, by John Baird and Kevin Costner, illustrated by Rick Ross

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Pax

The scent is my boy’s.  Have you seen him?  Pax shared the most important features of his human–the naked round ears; the towering legs, so improbably long that Pax always feared he would topple over when he ran; the black curled hair that grew to different lengths, then became short again.”

Pax, by Sara Pennypacker.  Illustrated by John Klassen. Continue reading “Pax”

A Gathering of Shadows

image“The world is neither fair nor right, but it has a way of balancing itself.  Magic teaches us that much.”

-Tieren, A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab Continue reading “A Gathering of Shadows”

Long Man

“Annie Clyde had seen more than one tree uprooted in all this foul weather.  She had heard the rain every way that it fell, hard like drumming fingers, in sheets like a long sigh, in spates like pebbles tossed at the windows.  When she crossed the road and went up the bank, she could see water glinting between the tree stumps.  The river had already become a lake.”

Long Man, by Amy Greene

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Niels Lyhne

“It was not a disheveled, meaningless rush of emotions and moods; love was like nature, eternally changing and eternally giving birth, and no mood died away, no feelings withered except to give life to the seedling they bore within, to something even more perfect… And the days fell new and glistening from heaven itself now, not dragging by as a matter of course, one after the other like the worn out pictures in a stereoscope: every one of them was a revelation, for on each day he found himself greater and stronger and more distinguished.”

Niels Lyhne, by Jens Peter Jacobsen, translated by Tiina Nunnally

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A Child in the Forest

“Two properly hemmed handkerchiefs, the first I had ever owned, that had sprigs of flowers in the corner… Then I had a comb with all the teeth in; a camisole, edged with lace, in good condition (I had nothing to fill it up with then, but the giver remarked that I would soon grow into it); and a much-battered tin trunk that looked very presentable when Dad had banged out the biggest dents with a hammer…”

A Child in the Forest, by Winifred Foley

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