Bookish selfie…

A snapshot of my reading week in quotes…

….The fox stopped. Without turning, he said in a husky whisper:
….“I am renouncing the world, dear Sister. I have forsworn the consumption of chicken. From now on my diet will consist of nothing but plants and herbs.”
….The hen was astounded. She said:
….“Are you calling me Sister? Why, you are my worst enemy!”
….“We are all brothers and sisters. We are one family,” said the fox. “What I wish for now is to live in peace and quiet. I am going on the pilgrimage, on the Hajj, Sister. But don’t tell anyone.”
….The hen said:
….“Going on the Hajj? I beg you, take me with you. I won’t tell a soul.”
….He said:
….“I’ll take you with me on one condition: that you keep your distance. Don’t walk too close to me. I don’t want anyone who sees us to think I am planning to eat you up.”

From: Abu Ali the Fox (you just know it’s not going to end well for the hen, don’t you?)

* * * * * * * * *

….Clarke unfolded the two-page letter, which was dated March 31, and saw that it was indeed from Kubrick. Fairly brief, quite to the point, it seemingly had two clear agendas. One was picking his brain about a possible telescope purchase (the director mentioned a Questar telescope in the first and last sentences). The other was his desire to discuss “the possibility of doing the proverbial ‘really good’ science fiction movie.” This line – the second after the Questar bit – would become well known, and certainly served as the initial aim of the nascent project Kubrick was proposing.
….“My main interest lies along these broad areas, naturally assuming great plot and character,” Kubrick wrote. “1. The reasons for believing in the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. 2. The impact (and perhaps even lack of impact in some quarters) such discovery would have on Earth in the near future. 3. A space probe with a landing and exploration of the Moon and Mars.”

* * * * * * * * *

.He held a white cloth – it was a serviette he had brought with him – over the lower part of his face, so that his mouth and jaws were completely hidden, and that was the reason for his muffled voice. But it was not that which startled Mrs. Hall, It was the fact that all his forehead above his blue glasses was covered by a white bandage, and that another covered his ears, leaving not a scrap of his face exposed excepting only his pink, peaked nose. It was bright, pink, and shiny just as it had been at first. He wore a dark-brown velvet jacket with a high, black, linen-lined collar turned up about his neck. The thick black hair, escaping as it could below and between the cross bandages, projected in curious tails and horns, giving him the strangest appearance conceivable. This muffled and bandaged head was so unlike what she had anticipated, that for a moment she was rigid.

* * * * * * * * *

….There was a noise.
….She couldn’t identify quite what or where it was, but it sounded like somebody trying not to make a sound.
….Somebody in the house.
….Catherine’s neck prickled with ancient warning.
….She was thirty-one and had lived alone all her adult life until she’d moved in with Adam nearly two years before. When you lived alone, and you heard a noise in the night, you didn’t cower under the bedclothes and wait for your fate to saunter up the stairs and down the hallway. When you lived alone, you got up and grabbed the torch, the bat, the hairspray, and you sneaked downstairs to confront…
….The dishwasher.
….Which was the only thing that had ever made a noise loud enough to wake her.
….But she hadn’t set the dishwasher…

* * * * * * * * *

….Yesterday, walking around the places in central Bogotá where some of the events that I’m going to explore in this report happened, trying to make sure once more that nothing has escaped me in its painstaking reconstruction, I found myself wondering aloud how I’ve come to know these things I might be better off not knowing: how had I come to spend so much time thinking about these dead people, living with them, talking to them, listening to their regrets and regretting, in turn, not being able to do anything to alleviate their suffering. And I was astonished that it had all started with a few casual words, casually spoken by Dr Benavides inviting me to his house. At that moment, I thought I was accepting in order not to deny someone my time who had been generous with his own at a difficult moment, so the visit would simply be one more commitment out of the many insignificant things that use up our lives. I couldn’t know how mistaken I’d been, for what happened that night put in motion a frightful mechanism that would only end with this book: this book written in atonement for crimes that, although I did not commit them, I have ended up inheriting. 

* * * * * * * * *

So…are you tempted?

40 thoughts on “Bookish selfie…

  1. I like the sound of the fox! But I suspect he will gobble up the chicken anyway.
    The Invisible Man is one of those classics U have never got around to reading, so I’m glad you are stepping in, here. I look forward to the review! Snap sounds nicely creepy and I am really quite taken with The Shape Of The Ruins. I shall be very interested to read your musings on this one 🙂

    • Oh, forgot to say that when my daughter was living in a big city alone after she graduated from college, she slept with her softball bat. She had a wicked swing and could hit a ball way out in the outfield. Anyway, that was her companion and it made her Dad happier to think of it. LOL

  2. Oh, that hen had better be careful, FictionFan! Never trust a fox! I do like your choices this week. I’m especially interested in the Bauer. I’ve heard good things about it, and less-than-stellar things, so I’ll be keen to know what you think.

    • I’m giving no spoilers, Margot, but… poor, poor little hen… 😪 I’m kinda on the fence about the Bauer… I’m letting it settle for a few days before I decide what I thought overall…

  3. Looks like another great week for reading, FF! I’m particularly interested in the fate of poor Mrs. Hen, as well as the odd noise in the house in Snap. Personally, I think an ax might be a better weapon than a bat, but either, if swung with determination and accuracy, would suffice.

  4. I was tempted by the hen until I read all these comments. Now I don’t think I could bear it, I love my chickens – curry indeed!

  5. I have to admit that the passage you quoted from the Vasquez did not quite captivate me, although I like the book in principle (or the sound of it, or my image of it or whatever). Hmmm…. May have to wait until you give your verdict.

    • I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it up till last night when it began to feel as if he was repeating himself. But I still have high hopes overall, and 300 pages to go… could go either way, really…

  6. Haha poor old hen – any story that has a fox and a hen in it is bad news for the hen! I love that excerpt from Snap too where women no longer faint but go and fight their corner (even if that corner doesn’t need fighting) although I know what happens to poor Catherine…

    • I know – when will hens ever learn? We need to start up some kind of awareness campaign for them! I was a bit worried about the Snap quote since my theory of self-defence has always been to hide under the blankets…

  7. I’m tempted by The Invisible Man and Snap just on the basis of the selections you shared. Catching up on posts this week, I’ve been MIA from the blog lately… hoping to write up a post this weekend and get back on track.

    • Welcome back! The blogosphere is pretty quiet all round at the moment – I think everyone’s trying to take advantage of the better weather! 😀 The Invisible Man was great. Snap – hmm – kinda mixed for me, I’m afraid…

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