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Shampoo Planet

Book: Shampoo Planet
Author: Douglas Coupland
Amazon Link: here

Quote 1
Meeting Anna-Louise was like finding a stranger's shopping list on the mall floor and realizing there are other, more interesting diets than your own. It was the first time I ever felt incomplete."
Chp. 7

Quote 2
Out east I see power lines down in the middle of a harvested barley field. Oddly, the cables on either side of a transmission tower have been severed and drape from the triangulated outstretched aluminum arms like a mother weeping for her kidnapped child, holding forth samples of her missing child's pajamas to the CNN cameras."
Chp. 33

Quote 3
It's just that all of your history in Europe is so seductive. All of your costumes and buildings and old music and perfect little tins of cookies. History tricks you into not valuing what you have now. History's dead, but right now is alive."
Chp. 53

Quote 4
Cars roll down the city's roads, plants grow from its soil, wealth is generated in it's rooms, hope is created and lost and recreated in the minds and souls of its in habitants, and the city continues it's dream and searches for those ideas that will make it strong."
Chp. 56

Book: This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
Author: Aidan Chambers
Amazon Link: www.amazon.com/This-All-Pillow-Book-Cordelia/dp/0810995506/ref=pd_bbs_1

Quote: 'What's wrong with your plan, Mister Dictator Blacklin, is that you are going to Cambridge pronto, no gaps allowed, I insist my dear sweet lovely gorgeous I'd-like-to-jump-you-right-now let's go to bed instead of having this stupid conversation which I am sorry I started on, because, as I said half an hour ago, your heart is set on studying with Mr. Professor Doctor the Greatest Tree Ecology Expert in the Entire Universe Rackham, it is your Big Ambition, and I am not going to be the one to get in the way of you achieving it at the earliest possible opportunity, because, also, I'm afraid that if you take a gap year only so that we can be together you'll fret and resent me for causing you to wait instead of getting on with your work, which you very well know is as important to you as living with me--'
Chp. /  Pg. #: pg. 727

Book: Atonement
Author: Ian McEwan
Amazon Link: link
Chp. / Pg. #: --

"There did not have to be a moral. She need only show separate minds, as alive as her own, struggling with the idea that other minds were equally alive. It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding, above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you. And only in a story could you enter these different minds and show how they had an equal value. That was the only moral a story need have."

Four passages from The Zahir

These passages touched me a great deal.

Book: The Zahir
Author: Paulo Coelho
Amazon Link: link
Chp. / Pg. #: Don't remember each.

Quote One:
"No one should ever ask themselves that: why am I unhappy? The question carries within it the virus that will destroy everything. If we ask that question, it means we want to find out what makes us happy. If what makes us happy is different from what we have now, then we must either change once and for all or stay as we are, feeling even more unhappy."

Quote Two:
"Our true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives."

Quote Three:
"Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused."

Quote Four:
"Ester asked why people are sad.
"That’s simple," says the old man. "They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”"
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

"Was it from a police charge or, once again, from history that I ran away? Does it make any difference? Did I go to the march because of a moral choice or to subject myself to yet another test of Opportunity? Granted, I was either too early or too late for all the great Opportunities, but that was the fault of my birth date. I would have liked to be in that field of bullets, shooting, even at the price of hitting Granny.  But I was absent because of age, not because of cowardice. All right. And what about the march? Again I ran away for a generational reason: it was not my conflict. But I could of taken the risk even so, without enthusiasm, to prove that if I had been in the field of bullets, I would have known how to choose. Does it make sense to choose the wrong Opportunity just to convince yourself that you would have chosen the right one -- had you had the Opportunity? I wonder how many of those who opt for fighting today do it for that reason. But a contrived Opportunity is not the right Opportunity.

Can you call yourself a coward simply because the courage of others seems to you out of proportion to the triviality of the occasion? Thus wisdom creates cowards. And thus you miss Opportunity while spending your life on the lookout for it. You have to seize Opportunity instinctively, without knowing at the time that it is  the Opportunity. Is it possible that I really did seize it once, without knowing? How can you feel like a coward because you were born in the wrong decade? The answer: You feel like a coward because once you were a coward.

But suppose you passed up the Opportunity because you felt it was inadequate?"

Chapter 16, p. 108-109

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“You’re asking me or you’re telling me?”

“Sorry. Telling you.” Adrian stopped. “I have a feeling it’s kind of urgent.”

Caston leaned back in his chair. “You feel that?”

“Yes, sir.”

Caston studied the young man, like an entomologist scrutinizing a gall wasp. “And you’re…sharing your feelings. Interesting. Now, am I a member of your family, a parent or sibling? Are we pals? Am I a spouse or girlfriend of yours?”

“I guess —”

“No? Just checking. In that case – and here’s a deal I’m proposing – please don’t tell me what you feel. I only care about what you think. What you have reason to believe, even with only partial certainty. What you know, by observation or inference. As far as these nebulous things called feelings are concerned, keep them to yourself.” He paused. “I’m sorry. Did I hurt your feelings?”

“Sir, I —”

“That was a trick question, Adrian. Don’t answer it.” (p 26-27)
- The Ambler Warning, Robert Ludlum
"Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that laid under the sun that felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep."

-- Willa Cather, My Ántonia
"Peter Howell could con a tribe of cannibals into turning vegetarian," CIA officer Randi Russell, a mutual friend of theirs, had once told him [Jon Smith]. "And probably persuade them to pay him for the privilege." (p187)
- The Lazarus Vendetta, Robert Ludlum

Jul. 31st, 2008

"You're not just coming out of the closet. You're standing on the porch waving a flag," I told her."

"My whole life, I wanted to be dead, but I didn't actually do anything about it. I guess I didn't want to be dead; I wanted relief. I wanted to be happy and peaceful."
"That's it," she said. "It's not about dying; it's about stopping the pain."

"Knowing there was no cavalry is much better than hoping for a cavalry that never comes. I am strong because I have to be. I am the cavalry."

- All from "Driving With Dead People" Monica Holloway.

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