2018 Book Memories Challenge

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019


 

I don’t think this challenge is still technically a thing, but I enjoy it, so here we go! Caution: thar may be spoilers ahead.

P.S. Wasn’t Mags something? I sure am gonna miss photographing you with appropriately-named books, old gal. BFFs 5EVER.

 

  1. Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) by Blake Crouch (2013)

    “I think he’s trying to preserve our way of life.”
    “For who? Us or him?”

    A millennium without air or light pollution made for pitch-black skies. The stars didn’t just appear anymore. They exploded. Diamonds on black velvet. You couldn’t tear your eyes away.

  2. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (2012)

  3. The Last Town (Wayward Pines #3) by Blake Crouch (2014)

    “It’s strange,” Ethan said. “The world belongs to them now, but we still possess something they don’t have.”
    “What?”
    “Kindness. Decency. That’s what it is to be human. At our best at least.”
    Ben looked confused.
    “I think this abby is different,” Ethan said.
    “What do you mean?”
    “She has an intelligence, a gentleness I haven’t seen in any of the others. Maybe she has a family she wants to see again.”
    “We should shoot her and burn her with all the rest.”
    “And what would that accomplish? Feed our anger for a few minutes? What if we did the opposite? What if we sent her out into her world with a message about the species that once lived in this valley? I know it’s crazy, but I’m holding tight to the idea that a small act of kindness can have real resonance.”

    “The funny thing is, as bad as I am, I don’t have it in me to murder her husband. Is there a fate worse than being halfway evil?”

  4. Kim Reaper, Volume 1: Grim Beginnings (Kim Reaper #1-4) by Sarah Graley (2018)

  5. The New Hunger (Warm Bodies #1.5) by Isaac Marion (2015)

    Hours pass. Then his eyes remember how to focus, and the world sharpens. He thinks that he liked the world better before he could see it.

    It’s a strange feeling, being judged by a child. He’s seven years old; where the hell did he get a moral compass? Certainly not from his parents. Not even from her. She supposes there must be people in the world who stick to their principles, who always do the right thing, but they are few and far between, especially now. Where does a child get an idea as unnatural as goodness?

    Everyone living in these times knows the most important rule of conservation: if you have to kill someone, make sure they stay dead. It may be a losing battle, the math may be against the Living, but diligence in this one area will at least slow down the spread of the plague. Responsible murder is the new recycling.

    He finds a riot helmet and crams it down over his springy hair. “Halt!” he orders in cop-voice, and Nora smiles through a sudden rush of bittersweet sadness that takes her a moment to understand. She feels ashamed when she realizes it’s nostalgia. She has already begun missing him.

    Thirty-four miles north of the police station, a young girl who recently killed a young boy is watching beige houses flicker through the headlights of her family’s SUV. Her father’s eyes are tight on the road, her mother’s on everything around the road, pistol at the ready should anything incongruous emerge from this idyllic suburban scene. They are traveling later than they usually do, later than is safe, and the girl is glad. She hates sleeping. Not just because of the nightmares, but because everything is urgent. Because life is short. Because she feels a thousand fractures running through her, and she knows they run through the world. She is racing to find the glue.
    Thirty-four miles south of this girl, a man who recently learned he is a monster is following two other monsters up a steep hill in an empty city, because he can smell life in the distance and his purpose now is to take it. A brutish thing inside him is giggling and slavering and clutching its many hands in anticipation, overjoyed to finally be obeyed, but the man himself feels none of this. Only a coldness deep in his chest, in the organ that once pumped blood and feeling and now pumps nothing. A dull ache like a severed stump numbed in ice – what was there is gone, but it hurts. It still hurts.
    And three hundred feet north of these monsters are a girl and boy who are looking for new parents. Or perhaps becoming them. Both are strong, both are super smart and super cool, and both are tiny and alone in a vast, merciless, endlessly hungry world.
    All six are moving toward each other, some by accident, some by intent, and though their goals differ considerably, on this particular summer night, under this particular set of cold stars, all of them are sharing the same thought:
    Find people.

    (More below the fold…)

2017 Book Memories Challenge

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018


 

  1. The Furies by Natalie Haynes (2014)

    ‘It doesn’t matter that I spent my whole life doing it. What matters is that I spent his whole life doing it. I would take it all back, Robert. Every moment I spent trying to be a fucking director, trying to make people happy, trying to be good at something. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do any of it. I’d just stand next to Luke every fucking second and when anything bad looked like it might happen to him, I’d get in the fucking way and I would keep him safe. And when people asked me what I did for a living, I’d say I loved him. That’s what I wanted to do. I thought it was the background, and it was everything. Everything.’

    […] I was so consumed with carrying the weight of Luke. My lungs felt tight with it sometimes. The world was heavier without him in it, and slower, and darker, and it took energy, actual physical energy to move through it. And I didn’t want to let go of it, either. What other way did I have to keep him real? Carrying his dead weight was better than forgetting him. Grieving was better than waking up to realise I couldn’t remember which of his eyes had the brown fleck in it.

    Besides, I had lost patience with therapy after Luke died. I was referred to a grief counsellor who was every kind of idiot. Her capacity for trying to look on the bright side made my mother look like Sartre. I tried not to hate her and everything she stood for, but it was one struggle too many. I didn’t want to be cured of my grief, I wanted to wrap myself up in it like a comfortable old coat which I’d first put on when my father died.
    I wanted to wear it every minute of the day, to sleep in it and wake in it, and never to be rid of it because it was the only thing keeping me warm. I gave up talking to my friends, to Luke’s friends, because everyone wanted to try to make me feel better, to talk about the healing qualities of time and what Luke would have wanted. But what Luke wanted didn’t matter any more. That’s what happens when you die. And I didn’t want time to heal my wounds. I wanted to pick at them until fat bubbles of dark blood formed on my skin, and then I wanted to watch them scab over and pick at them again.

    (More below the fold…)

2016 Book Memories Challenge

Monday, January 2nd, 2017


 

So I started doing the Book Memories Challenge last year, and enjoyed it so much that I continued in 2016 – even though Grown Up Fangirl doesn’t look to be hosting it anymore. (Enter: my own shiny header!)

Anyway, the basic premise is this: for every book you read, jot down your favorite quotes on a slip of paper. Stow ’em all in a jar and, at the end of the year, look back and see which ones made you laugh, cry, or shake your fist in anger. (Preferably number one.) Of course, my penmanship is a shitshow, so I opted to record them in a blog post instead. This also allowed me to go a little overboard, but I’ll leave it to you to decide if this is a net positive or negative.

This year’s WP file got so bloated that I’m typing this intro in its own window, on account of there’s such a delay on the original. Maybe next year I’ll post the first batch of quotes at the end of June? Or maybe at the end of each quarter? Thoughts?

Either way, I shall leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes, one that’s been hanging heavy on my mind thanks to one of my final reads of the year. (The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg.) TELL THEM STORIES. I think good storytelling might be the one superpower we need most in the coming year.

 
(More below the fold…)

2015 Book Memories Challenge

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016


 

So technically I think I’m supposed to jot down my favorite quotes on slips of paper and store ’em in a jar for this challenge, but. My penmanship is a horrorshow, and copying and pasting from my Notes is so much easier (ebooks yay!), so I decided to go the high-tech route instead. I think I may have gotten a little heavy-handed with the quotes (so hard to choose just one!), but I don’t mind if you don’t.

I actually had a great time with this one: after finishing a book, I’d flip through my notes in search of choice quotes for the challenge; this also gave me a chance to go over the material and gather my thoughts, which is super-helpful when writing a review. It’s a win-win!

(More below the fold…)