Books I finish reading with quotations ripped out of context.
1. Ignorance by Milan Kundera
They stayed in their country because they liked themselves and because they liked themselves together with their lives, which were inseparable from the place where the lives had been lived.
2. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
If your boy is a poet, horse manure can only mean flowers to him; which is, of course, what horse manure has always been about.
3. America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan
I knew, then, that he had loved my mother although he had had no chance to show it to her. Yes, to him, and to me afterward, to know my mother’s name was to know the password into secrets of the past, into childhood and pleasant memories; but it was also a guiding star, a talisman, a charm that lights us to manhood and decency.
4. The Awakening and Selected Stories by Kate Chopin
How strange and awful it seemed to stand naked under the sky! how delicious! She felt like some newborn creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world it had never known.
5. Lucky Child by Loung Ung
I feel like a worm in a cocoon wrapped in all these layers of thread to keep me safe and hidden. I can’t wait to bite my way out of all the trapings and find out whether I’m going to fly or fall flat on my face.
6. We Should Never Meet by Aimee Phan
The sun melted into the freeway.
7. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
She smiled at me. I smiled back. Sometimes these things are not accidents. I’m almost sure of it.
8. Rosebud and Other Stories by Wakako Yamauchi
9. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
10. American Cooking: Creole and Acadian by Peter S Feibleman & the Editors of Time-Life Books (Foods of the World)
11. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
12. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (via Hailee)
13. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
14. Mockingjay by Suzanna Collins
15. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (a re-read)
16. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (via Hailee)
17. Dune by Frank Herbert
18. Therese Raquin by Emile Zola
19. The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
20. Bossypants by Tina Fey
I read fewer books toward the end of the year than in the beginning, in part due to 1) spending more time reading my subscription to The Nation, 2) having a new full-time job, and 3) spending a lot of time watching rock climbing videos. The titles also got fluffier toward the end there, heh.
“I guess it can’t be too often that two people can laugh and make love, too, make love because they’re laughing, laugh because they’re making love. The love and the laughter come from the same place: but not many people go there.”—
“Are you going to that gay pride parade?” my mother asked late one morning as I was rushing off to work last June. For a moment, I didn’t know how to respond. I stopped in my tracks, looked back at her and mumbled something about how I’d probably be too busy and didn’t like big crowds anyway. Sensing my discomfort, mom nonchalantly added, “Well, if you decide to go, I could go with you.”—Jamilah King
“It’s Okay to be Neither,” By Melissa Bollow Tempel
Alie arrived at our 1st-grade classroom wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. I asked her to take off her hood, and she refused. I thought she was just being difficult and ignored it. After breakfast we got…
“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair off the head of your vision, a shade of its color, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery, and the sacrifice of wealth and charity which used to be said to be the greatest disasters, a mere flea-bite in comparison.”—Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
“If your experience is that your water comes from the tap and that your food comes from the grocery store, then you are going to defend to the death the system that brings those to you because your life depends on them; if your experience is that your water comes from a river and that your food comes from a land base then you will defend those to the death because your life depends on them. So part of the problem is that we have become so dependent upon this system that is killing and exploiting us, it has become almost impossible for us to imagine living outside of it and it’s very difficult physically for us to live outside of it.”—
A reminder that our current reading period (for Issue 4) will close on December 21st. We are still looking for original poems, translation work, and lots, and lots of art to feature in the issue, so please do consider sending something our way! Our submission guidelines can be found here. (Our submissions form proper can be accessed via the button at the bottom of the guidelines page).