version impulse

06 September 2019 - 6:34 p.m.

Could You Repeat That? CLXXVI
Favorite Lines of Recent Reads

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan
She loved me with a viciousness that kept me from ever feeling complacent, with the reminder that nothing was permanent, that we would one day be lost to each other.

The Overstory, Richard Powers
"The best arguments in the world won't change a person's mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story."

A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness
"I don't like taking drugs, Matthew."
"Next time you go into shock, I'll let you suffer needlessly."

Island of the Mad, Laurie R King
It is a precious thing, to be in agreement with one's husband, particularly when it comes to misbehaviour.

The Mortal Word, Genevieve Cogman
"What would you have done if it hadn't worked?" Kai asked.
"Kai, that sort of question never helps," Irene said firmly.

The Astonishing Color of After, Emily XR Pan
I stand there with my feet rooted into the carpet of that memory, watching until my ribs crunch together and pulverize my heart and send the heat of my missing everywhere. The grief spills out of me sepia dark.

Shadow of Night, Deborah Harkness
I had been in 1590 for less than twenty-four hours, but I was already heartily sick of Christopher Marlowe.

The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan, x2
"There is one rule, above all others, for being a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet."

Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi
I don't know this boy, afraid, making excuses for everything he claimed to hate. Or maybe I know him too well.
Maybe this is the truth: the broken little prince.

Mr. & Mrs. X (graphic novel), Kelly Thompson
GAMBIT: Wade! Cut her off over there!
DEADPOOL: I'm trying! She's very fast! Possibly because she's not wearing any clothes!
SHADOWCAT: ...Who is that? And why are people naked on that ship every time I talk to you? Are there no pants in space?

Shadow Magic, Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett
People were such complicated animals, far harder to please than dogs and far harder to care for than horses.

Huntress, Malinda Lo
"I am no assassin."
The Queen gave her a measuring look. "I am not seeking an assassin. I am seeking a hunter."

Dressed for Death, Donna Leon
There ensued a muddle that was almost cinematic in its idiocy.

Ninth Step Station, Curtis C Chen, et al
"So we're looking for a creepy taxicab driver," Liu said.
"He literally just said they were self-driving cars," Emma said.

The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
Cora, you cannot always keep yourself away from things that hurt you. We all wish that we could, but we cannot: to live at all is to be bruised.

The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton
"Newspapers are pointless."
"Not all of them."
"Most of them spread lies."
"Some lies are delicious," I say.

Death and Judgment, Donna Leon
Brunetti had more than once reflected upon the strangeness of the fact that a woman with Signorina Elettra's natural inclination toward the duplicitous should have chosen to work for the police.

Summerland, Hannu Rajaniemi
'Now it is just the two of us, Yakov Mikhailovich,' she said. 'No notes, no recordings, no ghosts. Just a living man and a woman, bleeding and drinking.'

The True Queen, Zen Cho
"I shall lay the path for you. There is no reason you should run into any trouble, provided you are sensible."
"It sounds perfectly straightforward," said Sakti, who had never been sensible in her life.

The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal
"I'm the one who should apologize. That joke was in poor taste."
"No, it's my fault."
"Really--no. You have nothing to apologize for."
"I was being thoughtless."
"I--" I stopped and narrowed my gaze. "I should remind you that I'm Southern, and you'll never win a politeness battle with me."

The Glitch, Elisabeth Cohen
"Don't you think it's still fun?" I said.
There was a pause. He did not rush to fill it. I gave him increasingly severe looks.

Latchkey, Nicole Kornher-Stace
The ghost gave Sairy a look that reminded Isabel of nothing so much as the screen of leaves over a beartrap: mild enough until you test it, then the long drop and the spikes.

Alice Isn't Dead, Joseph Fink
"Don't you wish sometimes that you could forget? That you could have your memory wiped, and then you wouldn't be a person wandering but a person who was almost somewhere, a person about to arrive, and when you arrived you could just stay?"

Casa Marcela, Marcela Valladolid
The only thing I love more than this home is my family living in it.

A Great Deliverance, Elizabeth George
"You got drive-in movies here?"
"I think that's a phenomenon endemic to your country," St. James replied.

Agents of Atlas: The Complete Collection, Volume 1 (graphic novel), Jeff Parker
KHANATA: Let me see if I'm clear on this...I slipped up and let a double agent infiltrate our Mojave base...and I'm being promoted.
DUGAN: Welcome to America.

The Luminous Dead, Caitlin Starling
"I'm not a complete monster," Em said once more, her voice quiet. "Just most of one."

A Noble Radiance, Donna Leon
He walked over and opened the door to the lab, and they left, returning to their jobs and to the world where crime was something to be stopped, not the subject of philosophical speculation.

Feast: Food of the Islamic World, Anissa Helou
As we drove back to the hotel, I sulked, wondering if I would get another chance to taste [camel] hump.

Fables: Book Seven (graphic novel), Bill Willingham
CHARMING: Mirror, mirror, sitting there. Will I win my bid for mayor?
MIRROR: The signs aren't certain, and do take note: You haven't done zip to earn my vote.

The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo
If Medusa was Dominican
and had a daughter, I think I'd be her.
I look and feel like a myth.
A story distorted, waiting for others to stop
and stare.

Raven Strategem, Yoon Ha Lee
Khiruev's first thought was that of all the things she had expected of this conversation, a critique of her assassination attempt had not been one of them.

My Beloved Brontosaurus, Brian Switek
More than once, my friends have indulged my curiosity, jokingly suggesting that male dinosaurs had a prehensile phallus that could safely inseminate females from a distance--an idea that shocks my mind into waking anime nightmares.

The Divided Earth (graphic novel), Faith Erin Hicks
RAT: You came from the world beyond the city's walls. But you came here with an open heart. You came to learn, you came to listen. Although you were born a stranger to us, the city sees your heart. We welcome you.

Good Omens, Neil Gaiman, x5
And she held her sword, and she smiled like a knife.

The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson
"If a man and his story are in conflict, it is the man who must change."

The Bird King, G Willow Wilson
"Are we really going to sleep in the harem? Will Catalina and I be the first Catholics ever to see it?"
"Hardly, said Lady Aisha in a blithe voice, turning away and clapping her hands to startle the other women to attention. "We've taken plenty of Catholic ladies hostage over the years."


"It's convenient for girls to be angry about nothing. Girls who are angry about something are dangerous. If you want to live, you must learn to use your anger for your own benefit, not the benefit of those who would turn it against you."

Dark Matter, Blake Crouch
"And we're not lost."
We are so fucking lost. Literally adrift in the nothing space between universes.
"We're not lost."

The Cruel Prince, Holly Black
"I am tired of caring," I say. "Why should I?"
"Because they could kill you!"
"They better," I say to her. "Because anything less than that isn't going to work."

Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, Christopher Kimball, et al
Lool at cooking elsewhere in the world and you'll find that flavor is built with ingredients, not time. For anyone living outside Europe, this isn't much of a revelation.

Fatal Remedies, Donna Leon
And now, here he was, three days later, turning on the embankment of San Lorenzo and approaching the Questura, where Paola sat, arrested for a crime she'd told him she was going to commit.

Bowlaway, Elizabeth McCracken
She could not get over him. Any day now, he might return! Then she would kill him. At night, in the same way she'd been staggered to discover, once married, the force of her desire, now she was staggered by her bloodthirst.

The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black
The only way to end grief is to go through it.

Friends in High Places, Donna Leon
Fortunately, Paola was a fast reader, and she had returned to the twentieth century after finishing the last one, apparently none the worse for the shipwreck, battle, and scurvy that had menaced her during those weeks.

Lonely Planet Bangkok, Lonely Planet
Look in both directions before crossing any street (or footpath) and yield to anything more metal than you.

After the Fire, Will Hill
"Most seventeen-year-olds don't use phrases like 'technically speaking' to qualify the things they say," says Agent Carlyle.
"Maybe the seventeen-year-olds you know aren't very smart," I say.

A Sea of Troubles, Donna Leon
'No more blackberries.'
'But more tourists, I suppose,' Brunetti said, referring to the deity currently worshipped by those who ran the city.
'I'd rather have blackberries.'

Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Book Eight (graphic novel), Bill Willingham
AMBROSE: Judas was required for all of those events to turn out the way the needed to. Our two villains have their parts to play.

Uprooted, Naomi Novik
His armor was washed with blood and smoke, his face smeared with one bright red streak, but he looked for a moment like a child, or maybe a saint, pure with want. And the queen looked at him, and put her hand on his chest, and killed him.

That Ain't Witchcraft, Seanan McGuire
Blood trickled between his fingers, thick and red. He was practically panting from pain. He'd probably never been stabbed before. Amateur.

Lost Voices, Sarah Porter
How could you consider someone you love bad, no matter what anybody else might think?

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker
Next morning, when I walked through the dunes to see Hecamede, there were forty-seven dead rats. I counted every one.

Willful Behavior, Donna Leon
'I've always been afraid of people in possession of what they believe is the truth. They'll do anything to see that the facts are changed and whipped into shape to agree with it.'

Shadowhouse Fall, Daniel Jose Older
It occurred to Sierra that she was about to take one of the most epic mug shots ever.

The Lost Sisters, Holly Black
Let's start with a love story. Or maybe it's another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly where the ending is.

Uniform Justice, Donna Leon
Paola turned to face him and put her hands on her hips, looking like an actress trying out for the role of Angry Woman.

Doctored Evidence, Donna Leon
'There's a chapter here,' she said, pointing at the page she had been reading, 'on the Seven Deadly Sins.'
Brunetti had often thought that it was convenient that there should be one for each day of the week, but he kept this thought to himself for the moment.

Blood From a Stone, Donna Leon
'The Americans said Islamic fundamentalists.'
'The Americans say that if someone double parks,' Brunetti answered angrily.

Lost at Sea, Jon Ronson
I pause and add: "I realize what I just said is quite stupid, but will you respond to it anyway?"

The Best We Could Do (graphic novel), Thi Bui
This--not any particular piece of Vietnamese culture--is my inheritance: the inexplicable need and extraordinary ability to RUN when the shit hits the fan. My Refugee Reflex.

How Long 'til Black Future Month, NK Jemisin
Everyone thinks she's angry all the time, whether she is or not. (The fact that she often is notwithstanding.)

In Defense of a Liberal Education, Fareed Zakaria
Being forced to write clearly means, first, you have to think clearly.

The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness
"Fernando hasn't rescued a woman in distress for some time, but I'm sure he remembers how," Matthew assured me.

Through a Glass, Darkly, Donna Leon
Spring advanced, and Brunetti continued to measure it florally.

Middlegame, Seanan McGuire
Few things are more dangerous than a scientist with something to learn.

The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, Amin Maalouf
Hasan's favourite technique for sowing terror among his enemies was murder.

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