Lines I love
2018 is officially here, along with a blast of bitter cold here in New England. One thing I usually reflect on each time January first rolls around is what I’ve read in the past year.
Fiction is typically my go-to, but I was also drawn outside of my normal genre to nonfiction and poetry in 2017. Certain sentences have stuck with me long after I first took them in. Some described a simple truth. Others beautifully captured a fleeting feeling. And a few may have resonated more deeply given the current state of our world.
As much as I love the feeling of an old paperback or a new hardcover in my hands, I balance the traditional book experience with e-reading now for the sake of convenience. One minor obsession I've developed? The Kindle highlight feature. I can underline sections as I'm reading, then export them as notes straight to my inbox when I'm finished the book. It’s become easier to build up a digital collection of writing tidbits (which would have otherwise been pencilled in on the margins of pages, then buried on a bookshelf).
Here are couple of my favorite lines I read in 2017:
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.
from Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
How impossible it is to forget the stories we tell ourselves, even when the truth should supersede them.
At that moment Moody had a sudden clear understanding of what had already happened that morning: his life had been divided into a before and an after, and he would always be comparing the two.
from Little Fires Everywhere
I didn’t normally notice my surroundings, I realized. It was like my walk to Maria Temple’s office this morning: when you took a moment to see what was around you, noticed all the little things, it made you feel . . . lighter.
from Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel
We are constantly faced by this uncomfortable balance between brilliance and bad behavior.…It’s hard not to feel humorless, as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you’re not imagining things.
from Bad Feminist: Essays
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible
—W. S. Merwin
from the poem To the New Year