"I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature."

Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"When I discover a different way to express something, I feel a kind of ecstasy. Unknown words present a dizzying yet fertile abyss. An abyss containing everything that escapes me, everything possible."

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri


"Periodization refers to the way athletes train in cycles...[they] marshal the highest energy for key competitive events."

The Way We're Working Isn't Working by Tony Schwartz

"A mistake made once is an oversight. The same mistake made twice? An aberration. A blunder. But a third time?...A precedent has been established. You will get what you want. And there's no need to seek out these mistakes. For now it is they who seek you."

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

"The Japanese have a word what gets you out of bed in the morning: they call it your ikigai. Your ikigai is that sense you have when you wake up that this day matters, that there are new experiences to be had, that you have work to do, a contribution to make."

How to be Here by Rob Bell

"We were way too old and worn out for this shit, but there it was, right in front of us."

Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs

"How extraordinary that with the press of a key, allowing no time for regret, my screen should be filled with his moving image, dear to me again after the long absence. He was peering at his own screen, his face, at first knit with attention, suddenly relaxing and coming alive, as he smiled with what seemed a genuine smile at seeing me after all this time."

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

"As increasing numbers of contemporary women enjoy lives untied from the kitchens and nurseries that once confined their forerunners, they are accidentally fulfilling these older activist fantasies, in which cooking and leisure space are shared, and independent adults are engaging in communal experiences in domestic life, no spouse required."

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

"As to the rest, a glacial reticence had taken over his body. He could simply no longer love."

The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq

(quoting de Beauvoir) "'Marriage is the destiny traditionally offered to women by society,' she writes. 'Far from freeing the matron, the occupation makes her dependent on her husband and children; she is justified through them; but in their lives she is only an inessential intermediary.'"

The Meaning of Wife by Anne Kingston