This has been the year I say to myself – Turn off the TV and read. Find the books you never finished and read. Build a list of every book you’ve ever dreamed of reading….and read. I anticipate grad school will make reaching 53 (a book a week and one for good measure) a bit difficult, but I’m going to try. So in no particular order, these are the books I have read since my last reading update in April.
“When you leave you must remember to come back for the others. A circle, understand? You will always be Esperanza. You will always be mango Street. You can’t erase what you know. You can’t forget who you are.”
“Joy is not produced because others praise you. Joy emanates unbidden and unforced. Joy comes as a gift when you least expect it. At those fleeting moments you know why you were put here and what truth you serve. You may not feel giddy at those moments, you may not hear the orchestra’s delirious swell or see flashes of crimson and gold, but you will feel a satisfaction, a silence, a peace—a hush. Those moments are the blessings and the signs of a beautiful life.”
“You can never know your cat. In fact, you can never know anyone as completely as you want. But that’s okay, love is better.”
“We all have our la-la-la song. The thing we do when the world isn’t singing a nice tune to us. We sing our own nice tune to drown out ugly.”
“In this first century of a new millennium, women can attain the critical mass needed to take their equal place among society’s decision makers. As they do, they will prove that it is possible after all to create a better range of options for women, men, and children – a world where expressions of community and caring, once considered the womanly values, move decisively from the circle of the family to stand at the center of society as the most respected human values.”
“I have to be better about living in the not knowing.”
“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
“There are so many things to be scared of in this world: blooms of jellies. A sixth extinction. A middle school dance. But maybe we can stop feeling so afraid. Maybe instead of feeling like a mote of dust, we can remember that all the creatures on this Earth are made from stardust. And we are the only ones who get to know it.”
“We should never forget that the central kernel of our work is not writing but real kids – their voices, passions, imagination, their original slant on the world.”
“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”
“No one is born a monster. But I wish some people were. It would make it easier to hate them, to kill them, to forget their dead faces.”
The House on Mango Street had poetry in every sentence. The Road to Character and When Breath Becomes Air made me want to be a better person. Books are magical things and I cannot wait for the rollout of the brand new Match Next library this year. More to come!