José Antonio Rey Maria had no intention of making history when he rowed out into the Atlantic from the coast of Andalusia in southwest Spain on April 30, 1943.” Ben Macintyre, Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory.

“The case comes in, or anyway it comes to us, on a frozen dawn in the kind of closed-down January that makes you think the sun’s never going to drag itself back above the horizon.” Tana French, The Trespasser.

“I shall never forget the one-fourth serious and three-fourths comical astonishment, with which on the morning of the third of January, eighteen hundred and forty-two, I opened the door of, and put my head into, a ‘stateroom’ on board the Britannia steampacket, twelve hundred tons burthen per register, bound for Halifax and Boston, and carrying Her Majesty’s mails.” Charles Dickens, American Notes.

“It was a pleasure to burn.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451.

“Through sixty-six separate books, 1,189 chapters, and hundreds of thousands of words, the Bible shares one extraordinary lesson: God loves you.” No listed author, Know Your Bible.

“Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.” Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere.

“I am always getting letters from people who want my job.”  Dave Barry, Dave Barry Talks Back.

“In the hospital of the orphanage—the boys’ division at St. Cloud’s, Maine—two nurses were in charge of naming the new babies and checking that their little penises were healing from the obligatory circumcision.” John Irving, The Cider House Rules.

“It all started when Constantine decided to move.” Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.

“Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife.” Ha Jin, Waiting.

“I struggle awake, and there she is. Russia.” David Greene, Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia.

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