Top Ten Tuesday – Book Quotes

photo (15)I’m slightly modifying today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish. The official prompt is to share quotes from books I’ve read in the past year or so. I do keep track of what I’ve read (connect with me on Goodreads!) but I sometimes barely remember the titles of what I’ve read, much less quotes. And while I could dig out the books and find moving passages, I mainly get books from the library, so they’re all back on their shelves (or hopefully in someone else’s hands).

Instead I’m sharing some of my favorite quotes about reading & books. This combines both my professional life as a writer and my librarian gig. I’m embarking on several projects to help create a culture of leisure reading on campus. And what better to foster a culture of reading than inspirational quotes?!? Look for them coming to a bookmark near you soon. (Provided you live near me, of course.)

Lack of time is one of the biggest barriers students face when it comes to leisure reading. Because of this, I’m especially drawn to quotes that discuss why we read – what’s the point? Why make the effort? These quotes capture some of the magic and necessity of reading.

  1. “‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,'” said Jojen. ‘The man who never reads lives only one.'” – George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
  2. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice 
  3. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King, On Writing
  4. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin
  5. “Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind
  6. “I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk
  7. “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” – Joyce Carol Oates
  8. “My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” – Malcolm X
  9. “We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” – Ursula K.  Le Guin
  10. “When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” – Maya Angelou

(A quick note on sources – I found most of these on the Goodreads Quotes About Reading page and tried to verify them as best as possible via additional Google searches. Any errors are mine.)

What are some of your favorite quotes about reading?


Top Ten Tuesday – Book to Movie Adaptations

IMG_1047I was at a writing conference last week (more on this later) and someone mentioned The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday meme.  Which I’d done a couple of times a few years ago and then dropped, due to the fact that I forget stuff unless it’s written down. So now I have a post it note on my desk to remind me. (Like what you see of my desk? It is awesome. Worthy of its own post someday.)

Today’s topic: Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I Can’t Wait to See. Whether or not I’ll actually get to see them in the theater is another matter – if it’s not Hotel Transylvania 2, I probably can’t talk my kids into going.

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – These always come out around my birthday and my husband and I take the day off work and have a kid-free movies day to watch the latest Hunger Games movie. Not sure what we’ll do next year….

2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – because J. K. Rowling.

3. The Fifth Wave – I saw the preview when I took my kids to see Goosebumps (see, I get out…sometimes). The preview looked amazing, I loved the book, although I was not a fan of seeing the airplane fall out of the sky during the preview. I went into overdrive mode: “Okay, boys, it’s just pretend! It’s just a movie! Haha!”

4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – While I wasn’t a huge fan of the book (I wanted it to be scarier), the visual nature of the book should translate well to the big screen.

5. The Selection – So I didn’t read the book & many of the book reviewers I follow and trust on Goodreads gave it one star. I probably won’t actually see the movie, but I LOVE the cover of the book, so I’m hoping the movie poster will be similarly awesome.

6. In the Heart of the Sea – The trailer looked amazing. I like adventure stories. Plus, Thor.

7. Everest – So I know this one is out already but I have yet to see it. I know that when I do I will cry. I will briefly consider mountain climbing as a hobby, then I will remind myself that it would be hard to stream Netflix on the side of a mountain. The movie will get even sadder and I’ll cry some more.

8. The Martian – Again, I know it’s already out, but did I mention how I almost never get to movies? This one’s tricky for me. I’ve heard great things, but I’m on the fence because I’m mad at Matt Damon & his remarks about diversity.

9. Captain Underpants – I’m not so much looking forward to it as already resigning myself that it will be one of our family movie outing selections.

10. Pride & Prejudice – Yep, the Keira Knightley version is 10 (!!) years old, but I love it & am looking forward to watching it again. (And go ahead and add Sense & Sensibility and Bridget Jones’ Diary to the list, while we’re at it.)

Those are mine – what are yours?

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Driven Novels

We are back with another Top Ten Tuesday prompt, an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  Today’s prompt: Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels.

I mentioned in my previous Top Ten Tuesday post that I am a somewhat impatient reader.  I am much less patient with slow moving narratives than I used to be.  I like plot. I like when things move along. I want to be swept away by a story.  I want escape.  I have kids who might interrupt me at any time – I want my books to move fast.  I’m offering this explanation because when I hear “character driven novels” I immediately think of books that are light on plot and heavy on navel-gazing.

There are plenty of character driven novels that also move along at a good clip, however.  For me, as a reader and a writer, all of the action in a story should be driven by characters acting authentically.  Sometimes they act fast, and sometimes slow.  At this point in my life, I’m drawn to the ones who like action.  Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Jackson Brodie from Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series. Can we talk about how sublime author Kate Atkinson is?  Her novels are gorgeous, intricate literary works that also (especially in the case of Jackson Brodie), move along with the pacing of a detective novel (which these are – kind of).  Literary crush alert: I have a huge one on Jackson Brodie.

2. Davie Jones from 32 Candles by Ernessa Carter. LOVED this book! It’s chick lit with serious literary flair.  Davie is broken and resilient, makes a mess out of things, and takes responsibility to fix her mistakes in an breathtaking, inventive manner.

3.  Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Because duh.  (Okay, I can expand – her thoughtfulness, her discontent, her sharp-eyed and subtle critique of a world that affords her very few opportunities. And yeah, of course, because Darcy.)

4. Armand Gamache from Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series.  I shouldn’t like these mystery novels.  They’re almost too close to cozies and I like a little more grit in my crime novels. And sometimes I hate how the characters have deep, spiritual conversations just by looking each other in the eye across a crowded room.  But I do loves me the Armand Gamache and have been moved to tears once or twice (per book) by some of those intimate, spiritual glances.

5. Boy from Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi.  I just started reading this last night and devoured page after page on the treadmill this morning (because working out isn’t really working out unless you can read while doing so).  I am captivated by Boy’s voice and the slight disorientation as she – and we – find our way in the first pages.

6. Ari and Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.  This is a gorgeous, gorgeous book about love, friendship, growing up.  The writing is pure and perfect.  The characters are indelible.  (And I cried a bunch.) Go read it right now.

7. Everyone in Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince and Dragon Star series.  Ari and Dante reminded me about other characters that have made me weep.  I’m not talking elegant misty eyes, either – I’m talking about full on, whole body sobs.  Like Melanie Rawn’s books, which I devoured several times over when I was a teenager.  Have these books stood the test of time?  Would late 30s Julie swoon over Rohan and his friends like 17-year-old Julie did?  Give me a nice, long winter break and let’s find out.

8. Citoyen “City” Coldson in Long Division by Kiese Laymon.  This is a cool book.  It’s actually two intertwined stories, held together by the dazzling voice of City Coldson.  There’s time travel, social media, race and racism, Hurricane Katrina and the Freedom Summer.  It’s the kind of book that sticks with you long after you finish it.

9. Early Auden in Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool. I discovered this book while browsing ebooks on Overdrive from my library. The story focuses on Jack Baker, who’s been sent to a New England boarding school following some family tragedies, and his friendship with the slightly odd Early Auden.  There’s boating, wilderness, mysteries and pirates. (Pirates!)

10. Ruth and Nao in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being. Of all the books on this list, this one comes closer to my limited “character-driven novels = slow reads” formula.  The character of Ruth spends a lot of time thinking and reading, but she’s reading Nao’s diary, which traveled across an ocean to wash up on Ruth’s beach.  Ruth wonders what happened to Nao, especially after suspecting that the diary washed into the ocean following the Japanese tsunami.  It’s beautifully done.

Those are some of my favorite character-driven novels.  What are yours?  Join the discussion in the comments or on my Facebook page.