2014 In Books And Words

1 Jan


I have a Tumblr exclusively for beautiful words.

I started it when I first read Nick Hornby.  I was laughing and crying and quoting and texting everyone I knew every other line and at some point I realized that was impractical.  That if I couldn’t buy the book at that very moment, I needed to find a better way to compile all of my quotes.

And so my Tumblr began.

I keep the Tumblr app on my phone so when I read something I love I can quickly type it in.  My page is misspelled and uncapitalized and messy, but it contains all of my favorite words from my favorite writers and I go back to it often.

I thought I would go back to it today, for you.

For us.

For the love of everything.

2014 in words, coming at you.



Nothing can help the mood that still descends a few days before my period begins, like a black cloud rolling in. I am uncharacteristically dark and nihilistic. Everyone is out to get me, to hurt me, to uninvite me from their tea parties, to judge my body and destroy my family. I am like a character on Dallas, obsessed with subterfuge and revenge, convinced I have discovered unlikely yet real-seeming plots against me. Once, while in the throes of PMS, I became convinced a man in a black overcoat was following my down La Cienega Boulevard. ‘The police will never believe me,’ I sighed, and began hatching a plan for losing him on my own.

Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham


From the article All Alike

I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then–how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier




Speaking for all my lady friends, we all want some geeky, nerdy, polite and ridiculous mate whom we can sit at home with, slagging off all the tossers, and waiting for our baked potatoes to be ready. Who, obviously, is additionally so hot for us he regularly crawls across the front room in his hands and knees croaking, “I must have sex with you now, or go literally insane.” Compared to that, Prince Charming looks like a total donk.

How To Be A Woman, Caitlin Moran



Ah me! Where is the faultless human creature who can persevere in a good resolution, without sometimes failing and falling back? Where is the woman who has ever really torn from her heart the image that has been once fixed in it by a true love? Books tell us that such unearthly creatures have existed— but what does out own experience say in answer to books?

The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins




You will say good-bye for all the right reasons. You’re tired of living in wait for his apocalypse. You have your own fight on your hands, and though it’s no bigger or more noble than his, it will require all of your energy.

It’s you who has to hold on to earth. You have to tighten your grip — which means letting go of him.

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Melissa Bank


Blue Watercolor Background


Did we find love because we grew up, got real and worked through our issues? No. We just found the right guys. We found men who love us even though we’re still cranky and neurotic, haven’t got our careers together, and sometimes talk too loudly, drink too much and swear at the television news. We have gray hairs and unfashionable clothes and bad attitudes. They love us, anyway.

Sara Eckel,  “Sometimes It’s Not You, or the Math” New York Times Modern Love



We can’t choose what we want and don’t want and that’s the hard lonely truth.  Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it’s going to kill us.  We can’t escape who we are.

And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, because ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.

And I would argue as well, all love.  Or perhaps, more accurately, this middle zone illustrates the fundamental discrepancy of love.

Just as music is the space between notes, just as the stars are beautiful because of the space between them, just as the sun strikes raindrops at a certain angle and throws a prism of color across the sky—-so the space where I exist, and want to keep existing, and to be quite frank I hope I die in, is exactly this middle distance: where despair struck pure otherness and created something sublime.

The Goldfinch, Donna Tart



Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides



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3 Responses to “2014 In Books And Words”

  1. Becky Kozak January 1, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    So many beautiful words, I think what we take from books is so much more important than what books we read. There’s more than a few that I haven’t read here, but they’re qued up on my kobo! Happy new year!

    xx B

  2. Camila January 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Some amazing quotes in there! You’re making me want to create a tumlbr as well just for beautiful words! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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