"One must seek nourishment in that emptiness, which, thought of another way, is a vastness. As one moves more deeply inside it, be kind to those left behind."

You Must Change Your Life by Rachel Corbett

"Don Otavio keeps house all day. He appears on the terrace of the villa and claps his hands. 'Niños, the papayas must be picked. Niño, there are roses again in the water tank. Has the boat gone for the butter? Has Jesus made up with his wife? Has Carmelita been able to do something about the spell on the tomatoes? Would she like the priest? The white turkey is not well: niña, the brandy flask, and a teaspoon. Is the cook herself again today?'"

A Visit to Don Otavio by Sybille Bedford

"'Everything about the basic furnishing of human oppression and misery has remained unchanged in the past 150 years -- except that the machinery has been speeded up, and various ameliorations painted in on top.'"

What Is Contemporary Art? by Terry Smith

"Thoughts, positive or negative, grow stronger when fertilized with constant repetition. At first, the victim of excusitis knows his alibi is more or less a lie. But the more frequently he repeats it, the more convinced he becomes that it is completely true, that the alibi is the real reason for his not being the success he should be."

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

"None of the careful self-presentation in the OKCupid profiles ever revealed what I would discover within several minutes of meeting a person: that I never seemed to want to have sex with anybody I met online."

Future Sex by Emily Witt

"'Nobody can stay in the garden of Eden,' Jacques said. And then: 'I wonder why.'...I have thought about Jacques' question since. The question is banal but one of the real troubles with living is that living is so banal."

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

"...stunned by how much he wants her now, so much of her, a quantity of woman nearly equal, if it were possible, to his need to possess it, physically, in every way imaginable. Though in fact at this moment that need seems infinite."

All That Man Is by David Szalay

"I felt suddenly older, even as the puma also, in her effect on me, made me more like a very young human in one particular way, which was that all the banal (or not) objects and experiences around me were reenchanted."

Little Labors by Rivka Galchen



"This is not what we want; there is nothing more tedious, puerile and inhumane than this; yet it is also beautiful and necessary."

To the Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf

"Human history, Glover contends, can be thought of as a contest between cruelty and compassion."

Born to be Good by Dacher Keltner