TTT: Quotes

TTTI am all over this week’s topic. I love quotes. I love it when a short section, thought, moment or phrase from a book just stands out to me. When something makes me stop, makes me smile, makes me go, “Yes!” Or causes me to pause and think, and wonder and alter my thought process. I love it when something, some feeling, some concept, is summed up so neatly in a handful of words.

I am slightly obsessed with quotes, and more of my favourites can be found at my goodreads account or my twitter.

I usually expound upon my choices for Top Ten Tuesdays, but this week I am going to stand by the wise words of my dearest Zellaby, and let the quotes speak for themselves…

“Some quotations,” said Zellaby, “are greatly improved by lack of context.”

― John Wyndham, The Midwich Cuckoos

“Naturally, I never told him I thought he was a terrific whistler. I mean you don’t just go up to somebody and say, ‘You’re a terrific whistler.’”

― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

“Of course, I’m being rude. I’m spoiling the ending, not only of the entire book, but of this particular piece of it. I have given you two events in advance, because I don’t have much interest in building mystery. Mystery bores me. It chores me. I know what happens and so do you. It’s the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest, and astound me. There are many things to think of. There is much story.”

― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“He would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have no tail and no flies.”

― George Orwell, Animal Farm

“A fool tries to look different: a clever man looks the same and is different.”

― John Buchan, The 39 Steps

“Proud and insolent youth,” said Hook, “prepare to meet thy doom.”
“Dark and sinister man,” Peter answered, “have at thee.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan and Wendy

“Fear,” the doctor said, “is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.”

― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

“If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the books currently in print.”

― Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History

“Have you got any soul?” a woman asks the next afternoon. That depends, I feel like saying; some days yes, some days no. A few days ago I was right out; now I’ve got loads, too much, more than I can handle. I wish I could spread it a bit more evenly, I want to tell her, get a better balance, but I can’t seem to get it sorted. I can see she wouldn’t be interested in my internal stock control problems though, so I simply point to where I keep the soul I have, right by the exit, just next to the blues.”

― Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”

― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Advertisements

TTT: Classics

TTT My second Top Ten Tuesday in a row. This is not what i had planned… but, but, but, classics! When i enter a bookshop, “cassic literature” is always the section i head to first. Unless i feel like enjoying the anticipation, in which case i’ll save it till last… Either way, the point is it’s my favourite section. I don’t know why. It’s not that more modern books aren’t good, or that i don’t enjoy them. I do, often. There are just SO MANY new books, i can’t keep up with what’s being released when by who and what else did they write? I just don’t seem to care enough. The classics–the classic classics, not the “modern” classics, never change. They will always be there, no matter if i take my sweet time getting around to reading them.

With my love of classics in mind, here is a random list (and really, it was really hard to make this random and not organise it in some way!) of 10 that i particularly love…

 

class01

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I haven’t read much Oscar Wilde. A few short stories and Dorian Gray. And i adored Dorian Gray. Actually, i adored Lord Henry, but whatever.

 

 

class02

 

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
I bought this on a whim when i saw it in a charity shop and devoured it in a day. I loved the concepts and imagination. Pity i didn’t have the same feeling about War of the Worlds.

 

 

1637352

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
I loved the original 1963 film, so when i found out it was based on a book, of course i had to read it. Both book and film are creepily atmospheric while leaving the ending open enough for the reader to come to her own conclusions.

 

 

class04

Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
I wanted to say this will never be surpassed at the ultimate dystopian, particularly in terms of ‘this could really happen/this is already happening’… but to be fair, i read this over 10 years ago, and i don’t trust my memory enough. I remember enough to know i loved this book, though.

 

 

class05

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
This book isn’t perfect, but any negatives are overshadowed by the amazingness of the entire rest of the book. It was so refreshing to read a lot of what was discussed in this book. I would make this compulsory reading for every human alive, if i could.

 

 

class06The Seeds of Time by John Wyndham
Absolutely any John Wyndham book could have been included in this list. There isn’t a word the man has written that i haven’t loved (not that i’ve actually read them all yet–i’m pacing myself!). Picking this one felt like a cheat, because it’s a book of short stories; it felt like i was adding more Wyndham than choosing a novel would have done.

 

 

class07The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
This one i didn’t love instantly; I hated it the first time i tried to read it. But the second time was so completely different. I loved Salinger’s understated writing style. He doesn’t give everything away, and makes the reader work a little. And Holden Caulfield is so simplistically philosophical, it was hard not to like him.

 

 

class08
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
This was my first Christie and my first Poirot. I picked this one because i already knew and loved the who, how and why. Turns out i love smart and egotistic detectives, and Poirot has become a firm favourite.

 

 

clas09Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I had wanted to read and study this at school, but my class did An Inspector Calls, instead. I eventually read this of my own accord many years later and loved it. So many concepts being explored under the premise of a group of children fending for themselves on a deserted island. I found it fascinating!

 

 

PP&WPeter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
This was a classic i had been long overdue in reading by the time i got around to it. All my life i knew i was the namesake of Peter Pan’s friend, but never did i bother picking up the book that made my name popular. I’m glad i eventually did. And i think i got more out of this book about the essence of childhood as an adult than i ever would have in my youth.

Peter Pan and Wendy

PP&WTitle: Peter Pan and Wendy.

Author: J.M. Barrie.

Summary: When Peter Pan flies in through the Darling children’s nursery window in search of his shadow, the scene is set for a classic tale that has captured the imagination of children and adults for one hundred years.
Wendy and her two brothers join Peter on a series of exciting adventures with the inhabitants of the magical island of Neverland: the Lost Boys, to whom Wendy becomes ‘mother’, the mischievous fairy Tinker Bell, the Redskins, the Pirates on the Jolly Roger – and their notorious leader, Captain Hook, whose destiny lies in the hands of a crowing boy and a ticking crocodile.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5

Review: Given that J.M. Barrie popularised the use of my own name with this book, it may be surprising to know i had never read it before. I haven’t seen the Disney film, either. Knowing i had never read Peter Pan, a friend of mine gave me this centenary edition as a gift a few years ago.

Overall, i loved it. But i want to start with what i didn’t like about it; the reasons i couldn’t give it a fifth star. Basically, the representation of gender and assigned gender roles in this book are bloody horrific. I can only not get more hung up on this because the book was written in 1911 and the notion of feminism was still in its infancy. But still, it irked me. Wendy going to Neverland to be the boys’ ‘mother’. All the girls having a crush on Peter and hating each other. It made me cringe with anger.

At first, the book made me frown and smile at the same time. It’s rather unique and took a while to get my head around. The narrative style reminded me a lot of The Hobbit—it was distinctly third person omniscient, and i loved the playful way that was written. What made me frown, initially, was how ordinary the book made such obviously extraordinary things. The fantasy aspects of the book were not made to seem fantastical—they simply were.

Mothers can reach into their children’s minds at night and sweep away any bad thoughts, leaving only good ones behind. Everyone dreams about Neverland when they’re a child. A dog as a nanny is nothing overly peculiar. Fairies are born when a baby first laughs. The stars have been punished, for something they don’t remember, to forever look down upon us. And it’s all thrown in and mentioned as if it’s perfectly normal, which is quite delightful.

I liked that the narrator is fair and unbiased. He acknowledges the good and the bad in everyone. Peter is a joyful soul always looking for his next adventure, but he is also a cocky little git who cares nothing for other people’s feelings. Hook is an angry pirate who takes joy in theft and murder, but he also has a heart, real fears and his own set of morals.

When the book reaches Neverland i was completely caught up the story and was barely worrying about the narrative; i was too busy enjoying the brief tales of the creatures, people and adventures on the island.

This edition also includes illustrations by Robert Ingpen which are, in a word, beautiful. They aren’t just there to fill pages, they really help bring the story to life and i spent just as long on the illustrated pages as i did on a page of text.

To be honest, i didn’t expect to like this book as much as i did, but i’m very pleased i liked it so much. The end made me sad, and happy.