The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, Maggie O'Farrell "Esme stares at the spiked rocks. She stares and stares until they begin to lose their third dimension, until they begin to look unfamiliar, insubstantial. Like the way words said over and over become just a slurry of a sound. She says the word 'word' over and over in her head until she hears only 'dwur-dwur-dwur'. She is aware of those numbers, the two and the eight, trying to find a place to slip back in. They have been lurking at the edges where she pushed them and they are mounting an assault, a break-in. She won't have it. She will not."
The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne "But as for the old structure of our story, its white-oak frame, and its boards, shingles, and crumbling plaster, and even the huge, clustered chimney in the midst, seemed to constitute only the least and meanest part of its reality. So much of mankind's varied experience had passed there, -so much had been suffered, and something, too, enjoyed,- that the very timbers were oozy, as with the moisture of a heart."
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway "She was sitting up now. My arm was around her and she was leaning back against me, and we were quite calm. She was looking into my eyes with that way she had of looking that made you wonder whether she really saw out of her own eyes. They would look on and on after every one else's eyes in the world would have stopped looking. She looked as though there were nothing on earth she would not look at like that, and really she was afraid of so many things"
The Life You Can Save: Acting now to end world poverty, Peter Singer "In the United States, 97 percent of those classified by the Census Bureau as poor own a color TV. Three quarters of them own a car. Three quarters of them have air conditioning. All have access to health care. I am not quoting these figures to deny that the poor in the United States face genuine difficulties. Nevertheless, for most, these difficulties are of a different order than those of the world's poorest people."
Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My search for love and art, Gene Wilder
Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert "I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glimpse of myself in a security mirror's reflection. In that moment my brain did an odd thing-it fired off this split second message: 'Hey! You know her! That's a friend of yours!' And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar......Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend"
The Kindness of Strangers, Katrina Kittle
The Alchemist, Paolo Coelho, translated by Alan Clarke "'Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,' his heart said. 'We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, towards its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them- the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place. So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won't be heard: we don't want people to suffer because they don't follow their hearts.'"
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf "For this is the truth about our soul, he thought, our self, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves;"
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath "The room hovered around me with great gentleness, as if the chairs and the tables and the walls were witholding their weight out of sympathy for my sudden frailty"