"It was, and is, above all about the attempt to make space for new pleasure in one's life...as a gesture of faith in the possibility..."

Eaten Back to Life by Jonah Campbell

"She told us to keep our sentences simple, and I didn't quite obey. But why write 'I went to the store with a friend' when, without relying on the dictionary, I can say 'I visited the slaughterhouse with my godfather and a small monkey'?"

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris

"For example: 'I miss you, like the deserts miss the rain.' Why would a desert miss the rain? Why wasn't it okay for a desert to be a desert, why couldn't anything just be the way it was, why did it always have to be missing something?"

The Idiot by Elif Bautman

"'How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?'"

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

"When we were together I always left early so that he would not discover how boring I really was. There was a kind of fever in me, two conflicting emotions, such as on the spring morning when we skived off school and went by moped back to his and listened to records on the lawn. It was fantastic, yet I felt I had to bring it to a close, something told me I wasn't worthy or couldn't fulfil his expectations."

My Struggle 4: Dancing in the Dark by Karl Ove Knausgaard


"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