Quotes from Books I Read in 2005

  • My Search for Warren Harding - Robert Plunket:
    Not surprisingly, Rebekah found her talents were much less appreciated east of the Hudson. She settled in a cheap but respectable rooming house in Washington Heights and trudged from audition to audition, seeking roles. Nothing turned up, save a one-day stint modeling gloves at Saks Fifth Avenue. She blamed her lack of success on prejudice against midwesterners, though others attributed it to a slight speech defect (she clipped her consonants; this was later corrected), plus the fact that she was woefully untalented.
  • Dead and Gone - Mary Kitteredge:
    I did not tell Bernie this, however, because if I did he would want me to start writing bodice-rippers for quick bucks, on the side. And before I did that I would go out and get my own bodice ripped, down to the ankle through the ribcage, if necessary.
    Bernie knew, though. He let me sputter and swear a while longer, then mentioned a figure lower than the one I might have earned picking lettuce but higher than the one I'd been expecting to hear.
    'Taming the Wild Endocrine System,' he said happily. 'Charlotte you're going to love it.'
  • The Body Farm - Patricia Cornwell:
    New markers of polished granite shone coldly, and very old ones tilted different ways like bloodless tongues speaking from the mouths of graves. The dead talked here, too. They spoke every time we remembered them. Frost crunched softly beneath my shoes as I walked to the corner where she was. Her grave was a raw, red clay scar from having been reopened and reclosed, and tears came to my eyes as I looked again at the monument with its sweet angel and sad epitaph.
    There is no other in the World--
    Mine was the only one.
  • McNally's Folly - Vincent Lardo:
    I took a deep breath and counted to ten backwards. 'You've been talking to Binky Watrous, Mrs. Sharif.'
    'In fact, I have.'
    'Well, be assured that you will never hear from him again.'
    'Why not, Archy?'
    'Because I am going to kill him before the sun sets on this accursed day. Did he also inquire after the health of Joe Anderson?'
    'It's the only reason he calls, Archy. But be kind. Binky is a good boy.'
    I wondered if Binky shouldn't rent himself out as a pet to rich, middle-aged women and give up waiting for Joe Anderson to throw in the towel. 'If I were Joe Anderson,' I said, 'I wouldn't let Binky within gun range of my person.'
    Mrs Sharif shook her head in dismay.'Binky wouldn't hurt a fly, Archy.'
    'I agree, Mrs. Sharif, but I'm still going to throttle him.'
  • Murder at the Cat Show - Marian Babson:
    'Shall we draw straws to see who gets to faint first?'
  • The Bone Doll's Twin - Lynn Flewelling:
    'You saw your mother then, didn't you?'
    Tobin knelt beside him and began plucking at the knotted string that held the sack closed. He was shivering. 'Yes. She reached out for me, like she was going to throw me out the window again.'
  • Consider the Crows - Charlene Weir:
    The motor wheezed, coughed, and she fed it more gas. It caught, faltered and, after she held her breath, decided to run. All right. Good reliable Swedes. Well, except for her ex-husband. She let the motor warm up before she backed out and set off for home.
  • Faint Praise - Ellen Hart:
    Jane began sauteing the chicken breasts in butter. Into the first pan she dumped a handful of sweet red pepper as well as the chopped eggplant. 'It's something new I've been working on.'
    'It's starting to smell awfully good.'
    After the chicken was nicely browned, Jane removed it to a waiting platter. She deglazed the pan with a splash of brandy, and then added several chopped scallions and a small bowl of dried currants she'd plumped in white wine. She turned up the heat and began reducing the liquid. To the vegetables in the first pan she added a hefty teaspoon of curry powder, some salt and fresh ground pepper, a pinch of sugar, and a fresh tomato she'd seeded and chopped. Once the wine mixture in the second pan had reduced by half, she added heavy cream, several teaspoons of coriander seed, and then returned the chicken to the sauce, simmering until it was reduced to the proper consistency.
  • The Sugar House - Laura Lippman:
    It wasn't that she disliked the irascible older man. He was a good rowing coach and a decent lawyer, who threw her work and represented all her clients for a small fee, so she could claim privilege if the police ever hassled her. But Tyner in love was unbearable. He beamed. He smiled. He gazed adoringly. Some mornings, it was all Tess could do not to toss her waffles on the Beacon-Light's local section, which happened to be the only part of the paper that Tyner didn't commandeer.
  • The Dead Don't Care - Jonathan Latimer:
    The moonlight was cream-colored on the beach; chromium bright on the crests of breaking waves. The surf made a gentle whoosh at intervals, like a big animal exhaling.
  • The Chocolate Puppy Puzzle - Joanna Carl:
    I was lost in the woods with no flashlight and no jacket. And it was getting dark fast.
    I crawled out from under the evergreen and stood up. That was one of the worst moments in my life. Five generations of North Texas ancestors hovered over me, murmuring, 'Trees, trees, trees, trees, trees! Trees in every direction. You can't see where you're going! You can't see the horizon! Nobody's even going to start looking for you until you don't show up for your date with Joe at nine o'clock! You'll be dead by then! They won't find your body until the spring thaw! Animals will gnaw your bones!'
    It was all I could do to keep from running off in all directions.
  • Baltimore Blues - Laura Lippman:
    Many of those attending [the funeral] had never been at a Jewish service before, but Whitney, shiksa incarnate, was the one who drew the most skeptical glances.
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    's relatives seemed to regard her presence as a kind of sacrilege. Perhaps they, privy to details the newspaper had not printed, thought she was the mystery woman of the morning. Dignified and stern looking, Whitney paid no attention. At one point she handed Tess a handkerchief smelling of Shalimar. Taken with the fact she knew someone who carried a perfume-scented handkerchief, Tess stopped crying immediately.
  • The Death of the Necromancer - Martha Wells:
    The stairs curved up and around, reaching a heavy wooden door. The key was in the lock. Long ago, Nicholas had taken the key from the drawer where it was kept and left if up here, explaining that if the house was ever searched, a key that fit no obvious lock was sure to be remarked, while if anyone managed to get past the concealed entrance to the stair, an ordinary door was not likely to stop them, locked or not. Madeline thought the Vienne Prefecture unlikely to be quite so astute, bust she had long since given up arguing those points with Nicholas; as far as she was concerned, she was in charge of costume and makeup, he was in charge of paranoia.
  • The First Book of Weather - Rose Wyler (1956):
    Giant computers, able to do thousands of additions, subtractions, multiplications, and divisions per second, have been used in weather work for some time. Computers are given temperature and pressure readings collected from hundreds of balloons and rockets. With this information their electronic brains can predict air-pressure patterns for the next few days. With readings from satellites the period of forecasts will be extended so that in the future we can expect dependable monthly and even seasonal forecasts.
    The teaming of computer and satellite will benefit everyone.
  • The Dark Secret of Weatherend - John Bellairs:
    Meanwhile, out in Rolling Stone, Miss Eells was in a rotten mood. She was on the lawn behind the little library building, swinging a golf club. It was a nine iron, and she swung it viciously and wildly. As she flailed away, clods of grassy earth flew into the air. The lawn was full of holes where Miss Eells had dug divots, and it was hard to tell whether she was trying to hit the celluloid practice ball or just trying to destroy the lawn.
  • Thud! - Terry Pratchett:
    This wasn't the smoky red of the dwarf fire; this was something only a dragon's stomach could cook up. The flames were practically invisible. At least one of them must have hit the dwarf's weapon, because there was an explosion and something went through the roof. The dragon pens were built like a fireworks factory: the walls were very thick, and the roof was as thin as possible, to provide a faster exit to heaven.
    When the noise had died down to an excited hiccuping, Vimes risked looking up.
  • The Westing Game - Ellen Rankin:
    'Hi there, Alice,' T. R. Wexler said. 'Ready for a game of chess?'
  • Suture Self - Mary Daheim:
    "'I understand', Judith said. 'But it's a funny thing about illness. You get certain cravings. One time after I'd had the flu, I couldn't eat anything for two days except scrambled-egg-sandwiches.'
    Heather nodded. 'That's because your system is depleted. You've lose certain vitamins and minerals.'
    'One of my husband's nieces ate all the paint off her bed after she had bronchitis,' Renie said, still looking annoyed.
  • Skinny Dip - Carl Hiaasen:
    At the stroke of eleven on a cool April night, a woman named Joey Perrone went overboard from a luxury deck of the cruise liner M V Sun Duchess. Plunging toward the dark Atlantic, Joey was too dumbfounded to panic.
    I married an asshole, she thought, knifing headfirst into the waves.
  • The Black Gloves - Constance and Gwenyth Little:
    At dinner Mother and Father had plenty to say about the tennis club--but I"ve always been more than a match for them. I told them that a new era was dawning, when all men were brothers.
    Mother said to let her know when it had actually dawned and she'd swallow a little poison and leave them to it.
  • Plague of Ice - TH Lain:
    A millenium later, The city's basalt towers still stood, perfect and undamaged through centuries of neglect, a silent testament to the skill of those wizards who raised them from the earth. The city's builders formed a cabal of mages who turned their back on the world to pursue their research in secret, and it was a great experiment. The emblems of Uncaring Boccob and Wee Jas, deities of magic, were etched into the sides of each tower, in hope that those gods might bless the endeavor and watch over the city. In fact, no such thing happened.
  • Fabulous Fondues - Dorothy H Becker and Nancy S Wallace:
    Today, from these simple beginnings, this ancient dish has evolved to a party in a pot, enjoyed by all, from teen-agers to senior citizens. Fondue is indeed a fairy tale princess in today's food world!
  • An Introduction to Marine Science, 2nd ed - PS Meadows and JI Campbell:
    In general, the bathypelagic zone (1000-4000m) is cold (0-5 degrees C) and totally dark except for bioluminescence. Biomass is about 10% of the mesopelagic zone, and there is a characteristic community of invertebrates and vertebrates. Some are important sources of food for other species. Vinciguerria attenuata (5.6cm)(Figure 4.10) is a bathypelagic gonostomatid fish related to Cyclothone. It is very common in the Pacific at depths greater than 1000m and is a recognised food source of tuna and albacores. Opisthoproctus soleatus has the unusual distinction of possessing a light organ inside its anus which shines the light along a channel onto a dorsal reflector that reflects the light downwards between its ventral scales (Figure 4.10).
  • The Thieves' Guild - Jeff Crook:
    An elf hobbled out of the alchemist's shop at the corner of Trade and Truth Streets, pausing to watch as the owner, a small round man with a small round face baked brown and leathery from years bending over his cauldrons, locked the door and propped a sign in the window that read, 'Closed for the Spring Dawning Festival.' The elf turned, and, smiling, he patted the coin-fat purse dangling at his belt.
  • Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie:
    'And how would you dispose of your enemies, Miranda?' asked Poirot.
    'I should be very kind,' said Miranda in a gently contemplative tone. 'It would be more difficult, but I'd rather have it that way because I don't like hurting things. I'd use a sort of drug that gives people euthanasia. They would go to sleep and have beautiful dreams and they just wouldn't wake up.' She lifted some tea cups and the bread and butter plate. 'I'll wash up, Mummy,' she said, 'if you like to take Monsieur Poirot to look at the garden. There are still some Queen Elizabeth roses at the back of the border.'
  • Hold the Enlightenment - Tim Cahill:
    One week later, to the day, Tommy and I were in Istanbul, along with photographer Rob Howard, nicknamed--for reasons impervious to investigative reporting--the Duck. We were sitting at a cafe overlooking the Bosporus and talking with Dr Guven Eken, who had been quoted in the Sunday Express. He was an Art Garfunkel-looking guy who confessed that he had never actually been to the southeastern part of Turkey, didn't know anything at all about tigers, and didn't really actually have the names of the hunters who'd seen one. He'd only hear rumors. The guy had only heard rumors.
    So now we were tracking rumors of a ghost tiger.
    ("The Search for the Caspian Tiger")
  • The Dead Farmer's Almanac - Jim Larranaga:
    Eddy knew there was something very intriguing about the weather, it was the one thing that everyone in the world had to deal with. All people are impacted by the weather and everyone has an opinion about the subject. If you asked people, nine times out of ten, they'd boast they could forecast better than the meteorologists in the media.
  • Confessions of a Teenage Sleuth - Chelsea Cain:
    Ned Junior wailed beside me as I sped to my father's downtown River Heights office, leaving a cloud of dust and gravel in my wake. When my father, the handsome, world-famous attorney Carson Drew, had phoned and asked me to come by as soon as possible, I had, in my haste, nearly driven off with Ned Junior on the hood.
  • A Diet to Die For - Joan Hess:
    The little bell above the door of the Book Depot jangled with such fury I expected to see it sail across the room.
  • Jack Fish - J Milligan:
    Jack stared in horny fascination. She was a compact, smooth, curvy, very dangerous killer at work on her killing routines, and together they were holed up in a hot-sheet motel on the outskirts of Asbury Park in the long hours before dawn on the day of their terribly important and very dangerous mission. Surely she was in the mood for desperate-we-might-not-live-through-this-but-damn-it-we're-going-to-try sex with him?
    'I'm not having sex with you,' she told him, recognizing the look in his eyes.
  • Hex and the City - Simon R Green:
    You can find anything in the Nightside, from the sacred to the profane and back again, but I don't recommend attending the auctions there unless you've got a strong stomach and nerves of steel ... However, when you work as a private investigator in the Nightside, that hidden magical heart of London, where gods and monsters walk side by side, and sometimes attend the same self-help groups, some cases almost inevitably lead you to the most unpleasant places.
  • Final Girl - Daphne Gottlieb:
    the frightening truth about desire

    it's on but
    i don't know
    whether i want
    to be
    her, fuck her
    or borrow
    her clothes.
  • Mystery of the Nile: The Epic Story of the First Descent of the World's Deadliest River - Richard Bangs and Pasquale Scaturro:
    Now the rope in his left hand was banjo-string tight, slicing through nerve endings. It thrummed against the roar of the rapids. The raft handle was beginning to tear. The canyon was filling with shadows. The current's spray was stinging his face like BBs; his ring finger had gone numb. Like on some medieval torture rack, his muscles screamed for relief. He was out of time. He had to choose. Let go of the raft and insure his own safety. Let go of the rope, and hang onto a turtle-turned runaway raft--hopefully finding Alemu alive, and somehow getting him in the raft and to shore before the next falls.

    Pasquale let go of the rope.
  • The Urewera Notebook - Katherine Mansfield:
    In the train -- December 17th --Has there ever been a hotter day -- the land is parched -- golden with the heat -- The sheep are sheltering in the shadow of the rocks -- in the distance the hills are shimmering in the heat -- M. and I sitting opposite each other -- I look perfectly charming.
  • War and Peas - Jill Churchill:
    Auguste Snellen was responsible for the county's Pea Festival, which had taken place every August (no coincidence, that) since 1927--except in 1945, when everybody was too busy celebrating the end of the war; and in 1964, when a tornado ripped through the fairgrounds the afternoon before the opening of the festival and scattered jellies, afghans, flower exhibits, farm implements and a few startled piglets far and wide.
  • Fear of Frying - Jill Churchill:
    'Horse blinders,' Jane Jeffry said. 'That's what I need when you're driving. Horse blinders. With a flap that comes down in front, too. So all I can see is my lap.'
  • Larger Than Death - Lynne Murray:
    I tried not to think about [the case] because it was hard to drive safely and pound on the steering wheel and scream at the same time.
    Which of course is *nothing* on the teaser to the sequel, Large Target:
    'Did the property come with an extra house?'
    She raised her eyebrows up under her bangs again. 'Yes, we can have our in-laws come and visit forever if we want to. Except that wouldn't be wise because we do have weapons in the house. Come on, let's put a drink in your hand so you'll fit in.'
    Thus are series manias born.

  • The Nantucket Diet Murders - Virginia Rich:
    They drove to the Haulover, that narrow sandy spit of land separating harbor from ocean above Wauwinet, and there they ate the apples and cheese Gussie had brought for an early lunch, with a vacuum bottle of hot spiced cranberry punch. Mrs. Potter surreptitiously swallowed one of Arnold's pills.
  • Under the Midnight Sun - Marilyn Cunningham:
    She was sitting in the lobby of the hotel when Brian swung through the doors, lean and vital and exciting. It was ridiculous how her heart leaped in her chest and her throat tightened just at the sight of him. His gaze swept the lobby, ignoring the stuffed caribou heads with the sightless eyes, the baleen fastened to the wall, and came to rest on her. He halted in midstride, as though unable to take his eyes from her. An elemental force seemed to arc between them, holding them both very still. Then he broke the spell and strode across the bear hides covering the floor to her side.
  • The 100 Book Race (Hog Wild in the Reading Room) - Patricia Reilly Giff:

    There were alligators in the basement?
    What was I even doing down there? I could read.
    I wished I could go home.
    Instead I raced past the alligator sign and into the Reading Room.
  • Death on a Silver Platter - Ellen Hart:
    Elaine was hurt and angry and she wasn't about to let her brother off the hook. When she was a kid, she always thought that having a brother was a lot like having a gerbil. They were fun, but they were also kind of useless. She wasn't sure her opinion had changed.
  • Beat Up a Cookie - Denise Dietz:
    Was there another nut out there watching 'Star Trek' repeats, planning to kill Mr Spock look-alikes? That would be more difficult. How many men had pointy ears? Ellie began to laugh at the thought.
  • A Taste for Murder - Claudia Bishop:
    Elmer Henry, mayor of Hemlock Falls, swallowed the last spoonful of zabaglione, disposed of the crystallized mint leaf with a loud crunch, and burped in satisfaction. He whacked the Hemlock Falls Chamber of Commerce official gavel and rose to his feet. This familiar signal jerked Sarah Quilliam out of a daydream involving rum punch, Caribbean beaches, and a lifeguard. She grabbed her notebook, scrawled 'HFCOC Minutes' and tried to look attentive.
  • Firestorm - Nevada Barr:
    On principle, Anna cursed everyone under thirty.
  • Eight of Swords - David Skibbins:
    My manic voice always pleads with me when I decide to start the medication. It always hurts to shut myself down. I felt this aching grief at what I had to do. Mania is so expansive, thrilling, and intense. It beats any drug, any sex, any pleasure you can imagine. Just seeing so far, knowing so much, and riding towering waves of energy was ecstatic beyond measure. Why did I always have to crash on the jagged shoreline of practicality?
  • Elmer McCurdy: The Misadventures in Life and Afterlife of an American Outlaw - Mark Svenvold:
    Once, I heard a story about a girl who drowned in the Chattooga River in Georgia, where the movie Deliverance was filmed. The girl's body had for two months been pinned down in what searchers called a "keeper hydraulic", a jaw of rock eight feet beneath the surface of a tumbling stretch of rapids called Raven's Chute. Three attempts by divers to retrieve the body had failed. Joseph Trois, the girl's father, had arranged to have a construction company build a temporary dam to lower the downstream water enough to reach the body, but the dam collapsed, nearly killing rescue workers. Undeterred, Mr. Trois enlisted the help of a senator to build a bigger dam, but the proposal was stopped by the U.S. Forest Service. 'It's pretty simple,' Mr. Trois told a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 'I want that daughter of mine. I want her out of the river.'
  • Flashback - Nevada Barr:
    Coral-enraged patches of skin cried out against fabric and leather gear, and Anna's vestigial fshion sense was outraged by the combination of shorts and duty belt. On a woman barely five feet four inches tall, knobby knes below and bristling armament above made her look more like a walking antipersonnel mine than a woman of sense. She wasn't unduly affected. Some days it paid a girl to look like she might go off at any minute and blow a hole in anybody standing too close.
  • The Black Iris - Constance and Gwyneth Little:
    Mrs Balron placed a sizzling steak on the dining-room table, and admired it for a while before calling to her son.
    'Richard! Dinner!'
    There was a rustle of newspaper as Richard Balron got up from his chair in the adjoining living room. He came through the archway and stretched a hand to switch on the light. 'Spring is about on us, I guess.'
    Mrs. Balron yawned. 'How clever of you to notice. But then, it so often comes after the winter.'
  • Funerals are Fatal - Agatha Christie:
    After the delicious chicken soup, and plenty of cold viands accompanied by an excellent chablis, the funeral atmosphere lightened. Nobody had really felt any deep grief for Richard Abernethie's death since none of them had had any close ties with him. Their behaviour had been suitably decorous and subdued (with the exception of the uninhibited Cora who was clearly enjoying herself) but it was now felt that the decencies had been observed and that normal conversation could be resumed. Mr Entwhistle encouraged this attitude. He was experienced in funerals and knew exactly how to set correct funeral timing.
  • Death Dines In - edited by Claudia Bishop and Dean James:
    'But Meg,' Dad said. 'Your Aunt Milicent hasn't poisoned anyone in years.'
    'That's because she hasn't been out of the slammer for years,' I said. 'I'm not going to her birthday dinner.'

    --Donna Andrews, "The Birthday Dinner"
  • The Shutterbug Follies - Jason Little:
    O, photoprocessing machine, I command you to reveal to me that which is hidden!
  • The Sinister Pig - Tony Hillerman:
    Bureau of Land Management Enforcement Officer Cowboy Dashee's schedule of duties for the next few days included investigating a controversy about overgrazing on the fringe of the Carson National Forest, reports of an unauthorized fence on another grazing lease, and illegal diversion of snowmelt runoff from a stream into a stock pond. All of these involved leased federal land along the New Mexico-Colorado border. As Cowboy was telling Jim Chee, that's a hell of a long way from the Tuttle Ranch.
  • Jennifer Government - Max Barry:
    Author's note: There are a lot of real company names and trademarks in this book, most in situations you are unlikely to see on the covers of any annual reports. That's because this is a novel, and the things that happen in it aren't true. This may seem obvious enough to you, but some people (whom we shall call 'lawyers') get very uptight when you describe large corporations masterminding murders. So let's be clear: this is a work of fiction. The actions depicted are not real nor based on real events. Any resemblance to actual people is coincidental. And the use of real company and product names is for literary effect only and definitely without permission.
  • Death of the Party - Carolyn Hart:
    As they moved beneath the shadow of the interlocking branches, Max felt the damp January chill. A reader of Gothic thrillers might have attributed his sudden shiver to drama yet to unfold, like a storm heralded by faraway thunder and a darkening sky. Max was not a reader of Gothic novels. He walked faster and wished he had his jacket.
  • Ill Wind - Nevada Barr:
    Impromptu waterfalls delighted the tourists as much as they did Anna. From her hiding place she could hear the occasional squeak of pleasure. Leaning back on her hands Anna let the sounds wash over her. She couldn't identify with Jamie's need to invent supernatural phenomena. As far as Anna was concerned these were the spirit veils. Common miracles that never lost their power to stir the human soul.
  • Brook Trout and Black Flies - Kevin Callan:
    Three games of cribbage later, the cocoa kicked in and we both had to go out for a pee. When we unzipped the front tent flap, however, we came face to kneecap with a gigantic bull moose standing directly beside our flimsy nylon tent, browsing on the alder thicket on which our wet clothes hung to dry. For the sake of our bladders, we quietly slipped out the back flap. On our return, the only evidence of our visitor was a steaming moose patty blocking the entrance to the tent and a pair of socks missing from the alder bush.
  • Zodiac - Neal Stephenson:
    Once again, my roommate was using nitrous oxide around an open flame; no wonder he didn't have any eyebrows. When I came in, he raised the bag invitingly. Normally I never do nitrous before breakfast, but I couldn't refuse Bart a thing in the world, so I took the bag and inhaled as deep as I could.
  • McNally's Luck - Lawrence Sanders:
    The cat's name was Peaches, and it was a fat Persian with a vile disposition. I knew that because the miserable animal once upchucked on my shoes. I was certain Peaches wasn't suffering from indigestion; it was an act of hostility. For some ridiculous reason the ill-tempered feline objected to my footwear, which happened to be a natty pair of lavender suede loafers. Ruined, of course.
  • Post-Mortem - Patricia Cornwell:
    It was raining in Richmond on Friday, June 6.
    The relentless downpour, which began at dawn, beat the lilies to naked stalks, and blacktop and sidewalks were littered with leaves. There were small rivers in the streets, and newborn ponds on playing fields and lawns. I went to sleep to the sound of water drumming the slate roof, and was dreaming a terrible dream as night dissolved into the foggy first hours of Saturday morning.
  • Daughter of the Drow - Elaine Cunningham:
    The sky! The glimpse her scrying bowl had given her did nothing to prepare her for this vast and endless canopy, as brilliant as the nearly black sapphires that drow loved above all gems. As she gazed up and up, something deep within her seemed to break free and take flight.
    And then there were the lights! The largest and brightest must be the thing Kharza had called a moon. It was round and brilliant white, just barely peeking out from behind the distant hills. Dotting the sapphire sky were thousands of lesser lights that to her sensitive eyes showed not only white but pale yellow and gold and clear light blue. If this were night, Liriel marveled, how bright could it possibly be with the coming of dawn!
  • Alone but Not Lonely: One Woman's Hike on Vermont's Long Trail - Annie Gibavic:
    I knew that I didn't want to be on Mansfield's unprotected summit during a storm, but I was few hours away from the peak, and Taft Lodge was en route. So as the skies began to open, I began my ascent. So goes hiking. Here was the thunder and lightning, not to mention torrents of rain, that I had worried about. I was soon drenched, but it was a warm rain, and I didn't bother trying to retrieve my raincoat from the bottom of my pack. Once you are soaked, you don't get any wetter.
  • The Cold Front - Sean Hanlon:
    As a mode of transportation, the Alaska Railroad gives eloquent testimony to the greater abilities of trucks and planes. It chugs between Seward and Anchorage, Anchorage and Fairbanks at a leisurely twenty-five miles an hour, stopping only for the occasional passenger and the unyielding moose. During the winter months, its progress is impeded by frost heaves, a local phenomenon which occurs when the ground freezes and expands, causing the tracks to buckle. Avalanches and moose are the other typical hazards. The moose, it seems, mistake the chugging of the train for the heavy breathing of a pack of wolves, their natural enemy. The huge beasts, not known for their intelligence, flee along the clearest path of retreat, which is, of course, the tracks themselves.
  • Six Snowy Sheep - Judith Ross Enderle et al:
    ...Shmoosh! Into a snowbank.
  • Treasure - Clive Cussler:
    She was certain Graham and Hoskins would return any moment, but the moments soon grew into painful minutes, and they did not show. She felt very tired and was about to gratefully slip away into sleep when she heard a strange thumping sound approaching from overhead. Then a dazzling light cut the dark sky and blinded her eyes. Loose snow was kicked up by a sudden windstorm and swept around her. The thumping sound died in intensity and a vague figure, encircled by the light, came toward her.
    The figure became a man in a heavy fur parka who immediately summed up the situation, took a strong grip on the snowmobile and heaved it off her legs to an upright position.
    He walked around her until the light illuminated his face. Lily's eyes weren't focusing as they should but they stared into a pair of sparkling green eyes that took her breath away. They seemed to reflect hardness, gentleness and sincere concern in one glinting montage. They narrowed a fraction when he saw that she was a woman. She wondered dizzily where he came from.
    Lily couldn't think of anything to say except, 'Oh, am I ever glad to see you.'
    'Name's Dirk Pitt,' answered a warm voice. 'If you're not busy, why don't you have dinner with me tomorrow night?'
  • Extreme Odds - Rick Hanson:
    Max said, 'She's not a bad looker, your sister. Maybe a little skinny.'
    'It's hard to gain weight when your entire diet is the still-beating hearts of bachelors. Listen Max, I warned Buddy, and I'll warn you. Stay clear of Margot.'
  • Larceny and Old Lace - Tamar Myers:
    Eulonia Wiggins was found strangled to death by an antique bellpull. It was a fine example of nineteenth-century needlework.
  • The Chocolate Cat Caper - JoAnna Carl:
    The enrober is the reason that very good truffles can be made at home, but making good bonbons in a typical kitchen is a lot harder. Truffles are little balls of filling that are rolled by hand in melted chocolate, but bonbons are made by filling little cups molded from chocolate. The whole bonbon is then put through a sort of shower-bath of chocolate in this special machine, the enrober. Aunt Nettie explains the difference by saying truffles are made from the inside out and bonbons from the outside in.
  • A Superior Death - Nevada Barr:
    She stared up at the sky, felt the stone warm beneath her spine. Playing in her mind, she began replacing her body, molecule by molecule, with bits of the earth.
    There would be peace in shedding one's humanity, rest in moving to the slower geological rhythms, charm in feeling the skittering of animal feet over one's chest, the brush of autumn leaves settling in the wrinkles of one's skin, blankets of snow cooling the body into a long sleep.
    Mosquitos woke Anna. It was dusk and she was laid out like a smorgasbord.
  • Yukon Solo - Karel Dohnal:
    In heavy wind I passed Lange Island, where I had the feeling I was floating under the walls of an ancient city. Above were cliffs 300 feet high and 6 miles long with buttresses projected against the sky. Narrow canyons looked like gates and secret entrances. Staying at a respectful distance, I slowly paddled under the steep cliffs. The highest layers of soil were still frozen, making huge overhangs hundreds of feet above. Collapsing platforms and blocks of ice occasionally rolled down the slopes, producing whirlpools large enough to suck in [my boat] Bozenka forever.
  • Between a Wok and a Hard Place - Tamar Myers:
    After all, I had been married only a month, and what Mama had only hinted at paled in comparison with the real thing. I was born and raised on a farm and had seen animals--cows and horses--but never a naked man. How was I to know they looked like that? Thanksgiving is forever ruined for me. I can't even look at a turkey neck now without feeling embarassed.
  • Just Plain Pickled to Death - Tamar Myers:
    He nodded dejectedly, and I almost felt sorry for him. Only one woman in the world has more control over her children than my mother (God rest her soul, and Susannah excepted) and that's Elvina Stoltzfus. Poor Melvin [Stolztfus] was born with a steel umbilical cord, and nothing he will ever do, including die, will sever it.
  • Catering to Nobody - Diane Mott Davidson:
    Monday morning arrived gray and chilly. From my bedroom window a nimbus of fog was just visible shrouding the far mountains. Gray fingers of cloud drifted down to caress the yellowed treetops of the Wildlife Preserve. The wooden window stuck in its track when I pulled; eventually it shuddered open and let in a flood of air as cold and sweet as the cherry cider Colorado farmers sell off the backs of their trucks this time of year.
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Crime - Tamar Myers:
    Hernia, Pennsylvania, is a nice place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit there. Unless you have family, or get your kicks out of being comatose, there isn't much to do.
  • This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland - Gretel Erlich:
    In my frigid room I read about dark nebulae--immense clouds composed of the detritus of dying stars. The nebulae are made of molecular hydrogen, high concentrations of gas and dust whose effect in the universe is to produce 'visual extinction'. Yet the nebulae are detectable because of the obscuration they cause. I looked up at the sky: the dark clouds through which light from distant stars cannot pass. They are known variously as the Snake, the Horsehead, the Coalsack. Darkness is not a blank, a negation, but a rich and dense obstruction, a kind of cosmic chocolate, a forest of stellar events whose presences are only known by their invisibility.
  • On What Grounds - Cleo Coyle:
    'Cupcake, you just can't beat the purity of communication in a simple punch to the nose.'
  • The Cuckoo Tree - Joan Aiken:
    'Home if you please, Rachel,' he said. The elephant started, at a deceptively smooth stroll which carried them rapidly across an open grassy park to a handsome gray stone mansion. On the way Dido observed a couple of giraffes, a small group of zebra, and a lynx rolling about on its back and playing with some dead leaves, watched in a vaguely puzzled manner by a flock of sheep.
    'Doesn't some of 'em chase the others?' asked Dido.
    'I teach them not to, of course,' Lord Sope replied.
  • Snow Place to Die - Mary Daheim:
    'He'd be very cunning,' Renie said, again quite serious. 'Devious, too. Under that supposedly squeamish , vague exterior lurks genius. He's the R&D man, remember? I never put anything past people who sit around and just think.'
  • Murder with Puffins - Donna Andrews:
    As I reached for the first rock in my climb, I saw a piece of paper fluttering on the ground at my feet. I stooped to pick it up. Force of habit--growing up with Dad, you tended to think the eleventh and twelfth commandments were 'Thou shalt not litter' and 'I don't care if you didn't put it there; pick it up anyway; it won't kill you to bend over.'
  • The Golden Orb - Douglas Niles:
    The enclosed waters were sunlit now, as the great doors of the anchorage stood open, and the sun, low in the north, spilled directly across the gently rippled surface.
    Very little of that illumination reached high into the cavernous city. Instead, the placid waters sparkled like a dazzling mirror, outlining the wharves and the two great galleys in sparkling light. The Royal Quarter, and other midlevels of the palace, had massive windows of translucent ice, magically protected ageinst melt, exposed to the sky.

I hope you agree that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :-)

Yeah, I really wish I'd started doing this at the beginning of 2005 - I feel like I've already passed by the best quotes I'll read this year.

I'm really glad someone else besides me is doing this. I love reading other people's lists of quotes as well as what they're reading. Two great tastes that taste great together! Or something. :)

Ha! Six Snowy Sheep. We have that. Other good sheep books (by different authors): Sheep on a Ship, Sheep in a Shop, Sheep in a Jeep, etc.

After spending 7 hours out of the past 16 studying aphasia, the sheep were easily the best part of my day.

Sheep on a Ship? I definitely have to check that one out.

The death of Shelby Foote brought to mind my favourite paragraph written about the Battle of Gettysburg.

Just then [Brigadier General Paul J.] Semmes fell mortally wounded, which resulted in some confusion among his troops; but the loss was overbalanced at this critical point by one on the other side. Sickles was riding his line, erect on horseback, ignoring the whistle of bullets and the scream of shells, until one of the latter came along that could not be ignored because it struck his right leg, just above the knee, and left it hanging in shreds. He fell heavily to the ground, but kept cool enough to save his life by ordering a tourniquet improvised from a saddle strap. As he lay there, pale from the sudden loss of blood, his thigh bone protruding stark white against the red of mangled flesh, a staff officer rode up and asked solicitously, if superfluously: "General, are you hurt?" Normally, Sickles would have laughed at the simplicity of the question, but not now. "Tell General Birney he must take command," he replied. Lifted onto a stretcher, he heard through waves of pain and shock that a rumor was being spread that he was dead; so he called the bearers to a halt while one of them lit a cigar for him, then rode the rest of the way to the aid station with it clenched at a jaunty angle between his teeth, puffing industriously at it by way of disproving the rumor that he had stopped breathing. Thus did Old Dan Sickles leave the war, to proceed in time to other fields of endeavor, including a well-publicized liason with the deposed nymphomaniac Queen of Spain.
--Shelby Foote, The Civil War - A Narrative: Fredricksburg to Meridian .

Damn, how did I miss that Shelby Foote died? How sad.