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Demon Copperhead

“To me that says I had a fighting chance.  Long odds, yes I know.  If a mother is lying in her own piss and pill bottles while they’re slapping the kid she’s shunted out, telling him to look alive: likely the bastard is doomed.  Kid born to the junkie is a junkie.  He’ll grow up to be everything you don’t want to know, the rotten teeth and dead-zone eyes, the nuisance of locking up your tools in the garage so they don’t walk off, the rent-by-the-week motel squatting well back from the scenic highway.  This kid, if he wanted a shot at the finer things, should have got himself delivered to some rich or smart or Christian, nonusing type of mother.  Anybody will tell you the born of this world are marked from the get-out, win of lose.”

Oil and Marble

“That was a misconception, Leonardo knew.  Artists were not definitive or constant.  Being an artist was more like being a moment in time.  As soon as art was upon you, it had moved on and changed.”

Age of Vice

“The evictions in the city kept up pace,”

“The newspapers heralded the transformation of the urban space. The poor were no longer victims of an incompetent and corrupt state. They were encroachers and thieves. Their misery was not the misery of lives. As human beings they were being erased.”

Fellowship Point

“We were, we are, relentlessly, prideful, stoical.  We admire fortitude.  We were raised to think a person has a right to be upset, in the event of loss or disappointment, but there are ways to acknowledge it without plodding through the embarrassment of a scene.  Stop crying.  Pull yourself together.  Be brave.”

Babel

” ‘That’s just what translation is, I think.  That’s all speaking is.  Listening to the other and trying to see past your own biases to glimpse what they’re trying to say.  Showing yourself to the world, and hoping someone else understands.’ “

We Are The Light

“I, too, haven’t been able to return to work since the tragedy.  I tried a few times, but never made it out of my car.  I just sat there in the faculty parking lot watching the students streaming into the building.  Some would look at me with concerned expressions and I couldn’t tell whether I wanted them to help me or if I wanted to be invisible. It was the strangest sensation.  Do you ever feel that way?  I’d grip the steering wheel so hard my knuckles would turn white.”

The Return of Faraz Ali

“Was this what aging was?  Not the lines, not the muscles turning flaccid or the skin drying out.  It was the way in which the defeats of your life showed themselves; the evidence of your surrender in the listlessness of your eyes.  She realized she didn’t care as much as she thought she would, and this, too, was a surprise.  Really when she looked at her life, what had her beauty ever brought her?”

Favorites of 2022

It is always so hard to choose… but I finally settled on these 13 books as my favorites of 2022.  

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

“ ‘What is a game?’ Mark said. ‘It’s tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption. The idea that if you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever.’ “