Friday, October 06, 2006

spot of bother - mark haddon

George had always felt uncomfortable around small children. He knew they were not very clever. That was the point. That was why they went to school. Bu they could smell fear. They looked you in the eye and asked you to be a bus conductor and it was hard to shake the suspicion that you were being aksed to pass some fiendish test. p. 21

Jean had alsways found her sister hard work. Even before she was born-again. To be honest is was slightly better akfter she was born-again. because then there was a reason for Eileen being hard work. You knew you'd never get on because she was going to heaven and you weren;t, so you could give up trying. p. 185

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

extremely loud and incredibly close


"sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all of the lives I'm not living." p. 113

50 degrees below

"They used to call people like her workaholics before everyone got up to speed and the concept had gone away." p.18

I didn't like this one as much as the first. Too much "science", too little fiction. Far more preachy than even Chrichton's State of Fear.

Friday, May 05, 2006

the light fantastic - pratchett

Inside every sane person there's a madman struggling to get out. (p.193)

The important thing about having lots of things to remember is that you've got to go somewhere afterward where you can remember them, you see? You've got to stop. You haven't really been anywhere until you've got back home. (p. 238)

Monday, May 01, 2006

forever odd

I do not own a suit. Or a tie. Or shoes that need to be shied.
For cool weather, I own two crew-neck sweaters.
Once a bought a sweater vest. Temporary insanity. Realizing that I had introduced an unthinkable level of complexity to my wardrobe, I returned it to the store the next day. (p.3)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

emperor of ocean park

I have always thought that the far left and the far right needed each other, desperately, for if either one were to vanish the other would lose its reason to exist, a conviction that has freshened in me from year to year, as each grows ever more vehement in its search for somebody to hate. (p. 36)

...and at last arriving, a decade or two later, cynical and bitter, at their cherished career goals, partnerships, professorships, judgeships, whatever kind of ships they dream of sailing, and then looking around at the angry, empty waters and realizing that they have arrived with nothing, absolutely nothing, and wondering what to do with the reast of their wretched lives. (p 109)

Scholars. Every one of us is charged with precisely the same responsibility: to immerse himself in a chosen discipline, and then to teach his students what he happens to discover. (p. 142)

I remember something that Addison, proprietor of several sites, likes to say about the Web: One-third retail, one-third porn, and one-third lies, all of our baser nature in one quick step.

Moral knowledge that remains secret eventually ceases to be knowledge. (p228)

where Bentley is sitting at a computer, playing with a math game in which he collects little pictures of candy if he can zap the numbers that correctly answer the questions dancing around the screen. So we can teach him the virtues of gluttony, greed and violence all at once, while also improving his score on the math SAT he will have to take in about twelve years. (p. 452)

That truth, even moral truth, exists I have no doubt, for I am no relativist; but we weak, fallen humans will never perceive it except imperfectly, a faintly glowing presence toward which we creep through the mists of reason, tradition and faith. (p. 653)

Altogether a good book. About 150 pages too long, a lot of the law school intrigue and some of the family stuff could have been left behind, but good nonetheless. Check out some of Carter's non-fiction work.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

next by michael lewis

couple of quotes

A child has time to save himself. To a child, being on the wrong end of the trend is not a sign that it's time to dig in and defend the old position; it's a signal to cut and run. Progress depends on these small acts of treason. p.22

Cedar Grove, New Jersey, was one of those Essex county suburubs defined by the fact that it was not Newark. The real estate prices appeared to rise with the hills. The houses at the bottom of each hill were barely middle class; the houses at the top might fairly be described as opulent; but in some strange way they were all the same house. Even million-dollar homes built on streets with names like Tiffany Court were less upp-class mansions than some middle-class person's idea of upper-class mansions. Indistinguishable from the homes on either side of them - same manicured lawn, same grandiose entryway, same more-crystal-than-crystal chandeliers - they were, in essence, giant tract houses. In Cedar Grove rich just means having more of exactly what you had when you weren't rich. p. 30

Sunday, February 19, 2006

from things we knew when the house caught fire

short by drury

They were the bad neighbors. That was the thinking. But let me back up.

here is a list of things:
  • BMW (him)
  • Sport utility vehicle (her)
  • Franchise coffee (whole bean, bought by the pound, kept in the freezer)
  • A Martha Stewart garden you pay someone to garden
  • A clean house, brightly lit
  • A divorce
  • A family who downhill skis (with helmets on) and participates in organized community sports
  • A sixty-hour work week
  • A daycare where you pay overtime
  • A babysitter who sleeps over
  • A dog with a new leash who eats biscotti
The perfect suburb is a delicate thing. It takes a careful balance of ingredients - all the perks of being near to the big city without all the ugly side effects that would turn it into a strip mall or ghetto: crime, traffic, malt liquor billboards, diapers, and dog food cans blowing around in the street like urban tumbleweeds.
Best Amerian Non-required Reading 2003 p. 117

forty signs of rain quotes

Charlie got out, grinning, and carried Joe to the Blue / Orange level. He marveled at the infectiousness of moods in a group. Strangers who would never meet again, unified suddenly by a youth and a toddler playing a game. By laughter. Maybe the real oddity was how much one's fellow citizens were usually like furniture in one's life.
p. 138

He was disoriented. e saw that moving from one paradigm to the next was not like moving from one skyscraper to another, as in the diagrams he had once seen in a philosophy of science book. It was more like being in side a kaleidoscope, where he had gotten used to the pattern, and now the tube was twisting and he was falling and every aspect of what he saw was clicking to something different, click after click; colors, patterns, everything awash. Like dying and being reborn.
p. 249