“This is a book for the servantless cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, timetables, children’s meals, or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat.” Simone Beck, Louisette Berthoile, Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

“Floating upward through a confusion of dreams and memory, curving like a trout through the rings of previous risings, I surface.” Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety.

“In the beginning, nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence.” Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

“We went there for everything we needed.” J.R. Moehringer, The Tender Bar: A Memoir.

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

“Straddling the top of the world, one foot in China and the other in Nepal, I cleared the ice from my oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind, and stared absently down at the vastness of Tibet.” Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air.

“With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorcerer undertakes to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past.” George Eliot, Adam Bede.

“No matter how hard you try you will never be able to grasp just how tiny, how spatially unassuming, is a proton.” Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

“On the burnt-out end of a July day in Southwest Texas, in a crossroads community whose only economic importance had depended on its relationship to a roach paste factory the EPA had shut down twenty years before, a young man driving a car without window glass stopped by an abandoned blue-and-white filling station that had once sold Pure gas during the Depression and was now home to bats and clusters of tumbleweed.” James Lee Burke, Rain Gods: A Novel.

“History has not been kind to Jefferson Davis.” James M.  McPherson, Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief.

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