Thursday Quotables: West With the Night

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

West With the Night by Beryl Markham
(published 1942)

I’ve listened to the first few chapters of this audiobook so far, but because my listening time has been very choppy this week, I may switch over to the print edition. West With the Night, the memoir by famed aviator Beryl Markham, is a book I’ve meant to read for years. The writing is just gorgeous. From the very chapter, here’s a lovely passage:

Three hundred and fifty miles can be no distance in a plane, or it can be from where you are to the end of the earth. It depends on so many things. If it is night, it depends on the depth of the darkness and the height of the clouds, the speed of the wind, the stars, the fullness of the moon. It depends on you, if you fly alone — not only on your ability to steer your course or to keep your altitude, but upon the things that live in your mind while you swing suspended between the earth and the silent sky. Some of those things take root and are with you long after the flight itself is a memory, but, if your course was over any part of Africa, even the memory will remain strong.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
(published 1971)

I’ve been meaning to read more Elizabeth Taylor novels ever since I read her earliest book, At Mrs. Lippincote’s, several years ago.

No, not that Elizabeth Taylor — Elizabeth Taylor, the English novelist who was born in 1912 and died in 1975. And just to make sure we’re all really on the same page, I’m including a picture.

In Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, an elderly woman moves to a residential hotel to live out the rest of her life. Here’s a description of Mrs Palfrey:

She was a tall woman with big bones and a noble face, dark eyebrows and a neatly folded jowl. She would have made a distinguished-looking man and, sometimes, wearing evening dress, looked like some famous general in drag.

As Mrs Palfrey surveys her new room at the hotel:

When the porter had put down her suitcases and gone, she thought that prisoners must feel as she did now, the first time they are left in their cell, first turning to the window, then facing about to stare at the closed door: after that, counting the paces from wall to wall. She envisaged this briskly.

I’ve only read the first chapter, but so far, I’m very much enjoying the writing and get the sense that this will be a very fun read.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Sparrow Hill Road

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
(published 2014)

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?

I died on a hot summer night in my junior year of high school, driven off the road by a man who should never have been there. My body was battered almost past recognition by the accident. My spirit fared a little better, sweet sixteen for the rest of time, missing the warm coat of life’s embrace.

I was alive, and then I wasn’t. Someday, they’ll say the same thing about everyone. Someday, they’ll say the same thing about you.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: The Smell of Other People’s Houses

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!
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The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
(published 2016)

This lovely novel, consisting of interlocking stories, follows several young people in Alaska whose lives intersect in all sorts of intricate ways. I’m about halfway through, and can’t wait to share my thoughts when I’m done. Here’s one example of the lovely, unusual writing in this book:

It’s too hard trying to keep track of brothers who are full of their own ideas. They’re like helium balloons. At some point you just have to let go of the string and say, “Go on, then — good-bye, safe travels,” which has got to be easier than wondering whether you’re going to hold on too tight and pop the damn thing.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Dreamers of the Day

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!
Dreamers of the Day

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell
(published 2008)

I was feeling a little uninspired regarding this week’s Thursday Quotables post, not because I’m not reading good books, but just because no particular quotes or passages have really jumped out at me in the last few days.

So pardon my break from the usual, but for this week, I thought I’d revisit an old favorite. Mary Doria Russell writes incredibly beautiful and thought-provoking books, whether the subject matter is Jesuits in space (I kid you not) or the larger-than-life historical figures of the Old West. Dreamers of the Day was published in 2008, but I didn’t read it until 2013. It’s a wonderful book set in Egypt after World War I, featuring a lonely midwestern spinster who ends up rubbing shoulders with the political luminaries of the time, including T. E. Lawrence and Winston Churchill.

The book is full of amazing insights, but for some reason, as I was skimming through my newsfeed this week, this book came particularly to mind. There are so many wonderful snippets, but I think I’ll just share this simple closing sentiment, so relevant today (and always):

When it comes down to it, I don’t have much in the way of advice to offer you, but here it is:

Read to children.

Vote.

And never buy anything from a man who’s selling fear.

I really can’t say enough wonderful things about this book. Check out my review from 2013 here, if you want to know more. (And really, read the book!)

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Devil’s Cub

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!
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Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer
(published 1932)

I’ve jumped on the Georgette Heyer bandwagon! I finally read one of her books (thank you, awesome book club of mine!), and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can check out my mini-review here, but meanwhile, here’s one of the many amusing little dialogues from the book:

Miss Challoner rose from her chair, and curtsied. “You are extremely obliging, my lord, but I must humbly decline the honour of becoming your wife.”

“You will marry me,” said his lordship, “if I have to force you to the altar.”

She blinked at him. “Are you mad, sir? You cannot possibly wish to marry me.”

“Of course I don’t wish to marry you!” he said impatiently. “I scarcely know you. But I play my cards in accordance with the rules. I have a number of vices, but abducting innocent damsels and casting them adrift on the world is not one of the them. Pray have a little sense, ma’am! You eloped with me, leaving word of it with your mother; if I let you go you could not reach your home again until tomorrow night at the earliest. By that time — if I know your mother and sister at all — the whole of your acquaintance will be apprised of your conduct. Your reputation will be so smirched not a soul will receive you. And this, ma’am, is to go down to my account! I tell you plainly, I’ve no mind to become an object of infamy.’

I find this character’s definition of infamy rather amusing, as earlier in the book he shot a highwayman, and later got drunk and shot a man in a duel over a card game. So shooting folks is okay, but ruining a girl’s reputation isn’t? I guess you had to be there.

(But really, it’s a very enjoyable book!)

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: First Grave on the Right

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!
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First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
(published 2011)

I’m about a third of the way into this book, and I mostly think it’s weird and silly — but I’ve been assured that the series gets better and better as it goes along. We’ll see. Meanwhile, the main character, Charley Davidson (ha!) is super sarcastic and quippy, which is a big plus.

My stepmother was never big on the whole nurturing thing. I think she used up all the good stuff on my older sister, and by the time she got to me, she was fresh out of nurture. She did, however, give me one pertinent bit of 411. She was the one who informed me that I had the attention span of a gnat; only, she said I had the attention span of a gnat with selective listening. At least I think that’s what she said. I wasn’t listening.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Manners & Mutiny

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!
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Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger
(published 2015)

One more from the Finishing School series! I’m on book #4 — the last one!! — and I’m really loving it. I’m so glad I took the time to listen to the audiobooks. The narrator does a perfect job at conveying the silliness and adventure of it all. The whole book is just so enjoyable. I’ll just share a random paragraph that I came across today, which is odd and quirky and funny… in other words, a great example of what these books are like!

Nothing could be more confusing to the poor man than Sophronia at that moment. He fell back on etiquette. What else was an Englishman to do when confronted with a wicker-chicken-wearing leather-clad tremulous smile? He drew the only ready weapon he had — manners. “Good evening, miss…”  He trailed off.

And from earlier in the book, as main character Sophronia, chaperoned by her older (and newly married) sister, prepares for a dinner party:

“Oh, Sophronia, please behave yourself. I know finishing school saw you turn over a new leaf, and you have been golden this past week, but don’t hurl any food at anyone? Please?”

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!
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Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
(published 2017)

This novella about ghosts and time includes some simply stellar writing:

Patty died far away, in the big city where Jenna begged her not to go, the victim of the sadness that grew in her own body, in her own bones, until she picked up a knife as sharp as the end of the world.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Waistcoats & Weaponry

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

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Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
(published 2014)

I’ve finally returned to Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series, and I’m finding it absolutely delicious. After all, what’s not to love about a floating finishing school that specializes in the arts of spying, seduction, and assassination? All this, and proper deployment of handkerchiefs and eyelashes too.

It was a drizzly January evening, 1853, the sun recently set, and Professor Braithwope was currently twirling back and forth along the thin plank that stretched from the forward-most squeak deck’s railing to the pilot’s bubble. He was leagues up in the air.

Sophronia had watched the professor run that particular plank with deadly grace the very first day she came aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. She’d never anticipated watching him dance along it. Admittedly, he danced with no less grace than he ran, performing some sedate quadrille with an imaginary partner. However, he was doing so while balancing a flowerpot on his head, one that contained Sister Mattie’s prize foxglove. Before his troubles, Professor Braithwope would never leave his room without a top hat occupying that sacred spot on his glossy brown coiffure. But for months his behavior had become increasingly erratic; witness the fact that he also wore an old-fashioned black satin cape with a high collar and scarlet lining. His fangs were extended, causing him to lisp slightly, and he punctuated his quadrille with a maniacal laugh that, if inscribed for posterity, might have been written as “Mua ha ha.”

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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