Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Year, New 30 Day Book Challenge, Day 17

Day 17: Favorite quote from your favorite book.

Gianna's favorite book

Well, today's unrealistic goal is to pick our favorite quote from our favorite book. What a joke!

I thought I would pull some quotes from my favorite book The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor. I simply opened the book to a few different pages and jotted these down. What I hope you’ll get out of this is how absolutely hilarious she was.

This is a must have
“Harcourt sent my book to Evelyn Waugh and his comment was: 'If this is really the unaided work of a young lady, it is a remarkable product.' My mother was vastly insulted. She put the emphasis on if and lady. Does he suppose you’re not a lady?”

After the publication of A Good Man is Hard to Find, O’Connor began receiving mail from interested men. “The latest came from a Mr. Semple of Cincinnati who has not read anything of mine but doesn’t really see how I can say a good man is hard to find. He is an industrial engineer, likes to play bridge, is the active type, 31 years old, single etc. etc. I wrote Mr. Semple that I didn’t think I’d like him a bit but he would be crazy about me as I had seven gold teeth and weighed 250 pounds."

[Wait, is this Mr. Semple still available?]

“Your criticism sounds to me as if you have read too many critical books and are too smart in an artificial, destructive, and very limited way.”

“My book has received considerable attention, most all of it simple-minded.”

"I have been in the hospital in Atlanta for the scientists to find out what is responsible for my feet swelling. He found out everything that was not responsible for their swelling so I figure we have accomplished something anyway."
Is there anyone cuter? No.

“Well thanks for the of yr. apartment but I ain’t coming to New York unless somebody pays me to and nobody is liable to pay me to. I do not attend autograph parties etc. Once only was I roped into any such as that and now I would rather be drawn and quartered. Been working on that book for seven years with time off occasionally to write a story. The relief of finishing it was extreme but I haven’t spit up or anything.” 

Some sweet soul gave this to me as a gift
“…I have only one complaint to make about you, I see only one blot on your character. This is the way you wrap up packages. By the time I got into these books, my fingers were bleeding and my disposition was shot for the day. I wished all your sticky paper in hell. Please get yourself a ball of string, a simple ball of string, and the next time you have occasion to post me a book, tie it up, just tie it up.”


“What wouldn't I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.”

I'm not a quote person typically. Every now and then, a line from a book jumps out at me, but usually I tend to remember themes and emotional connections to characters more than specific phrases. My favorite book, though, stuck with me. I never remember character names, but I remember the characters of this book. With the hype around the movie this year, many, many more readers have discovered the stories, characters, themes, and, yes, quotes pulled from David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. It is my favorite book.

A few memorable lines:

“Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible.”

“A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.”

“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”

“The healthy can't understand the emptied, the broken.”

“Books don't offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.”

“You say you're 'depressed' - all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective - it just means you're human.”

“The better organized the state, the duller its humanity.”

“Anticipating the end of the world is humanity's oldest pastime.”

I love this book. It reminds me that books can surprise, warm, comfort, challenge, and change lives.

David Mitchell. I like to pretend he writes just for me.

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