Monthly Archives: May 2014

10 Great Quotations from Writers about Books

Perfect, perfect quotes- especially the one by Franz Kafta!
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Interesting Literature

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame. – Oscar Wilde

Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other? – David Baldacci

Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King

Books are the mirrors of the soul. – Virginia Woolf

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. – Erasmus

Books old

A person who publishes a book wilfully appears before the populace with his pants down. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

A book must be an ice axe to break the frozen sea within us. – Franz Kafka

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. – Ray Bradbury

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the…

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1914 and all that

JD Taylor

I travelled with a friend around northern France a couple of weeks back, cycling around Boulogne, Amiens and Lille. The Ch’tis were very friendly and accommodating with my Franglais. We met a lot of very good people and had a few adventures.

We also visited Albert, headquarters of the British during the Somme offensive. ‘Somme’ is actually the name of the whole region, with the battle itself being ‘fought’ in the fields and villages between Albert and Péronne. A little before the trip I started writing something on the looming legacy disputes. I share the finished doggerel here, ‘1914 and all that’.

It’s no succour to blind or limbless men
When historians crown the victor of a luckless war.
Trade machine gun rattle for imperial prattle.

Cabinet rooms become playing fields,
Bomb factory man smarts ‘never again’,
Great men too proud to call off the hounds.

War misery now makes…

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14 Struggles Only Homebodies Understand

14 Struggles Only Homebodies Understand

This is pretty much me at University with added tumblr and fanfiction/writing problems thrown into the mix as well- thank you Thought Catalog!
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Thought Catalog


1. The awkwardness that is cancelling your way out of any and all plans you make/are forced into. Crafting that many excuses isn’t easy and is an artform that deserves proper recognition.

2. Justifying this: “What are you doing?” “Nothing… I’m just sitting at home… but like, because I want to.”

3. You’re not anti-social, you are just selectively-social. You don’t waste your time with people who don’t matter, you don’t keep up fake friendships. Sometimes this looks as though you’re distant, but you actually have a psychological leg up on the people who are still trying to work out relationships that just aren’t meant for them.

4. Dealing with the stigma that someone who spends time at home is boring and needs to “get a life.” Wherever you live your life the happiest is the place you should do it. The only people who think otherwise are the people who can’t be alone with themselves…

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Teaser Tuesday: A Song of Ice and Fire- A Game of Thrones

Teaser Tuesday: A Song of Ice and Fire (1)- A Game of Thrones (Thank you to Claudia (Living on Borrowed Days) for introducing me to this by pure accident! 🙂 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  •  Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  •  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers! 🙂

*Disclaimer: As I’m from the UK, all spelling is Standard, not American English which I know goes against George R R Martin- but I can’t be fussed to try and change it all back into American English- sorry about that!*


‘Ned had heard enough. “You send hired knives to kill a fourteen-year-old girl and still quibble about honour?” He pushed back his chair and stood. “Do it yourself Robert. The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. Look her in the eyes before you kill her. See her tears, hear her last words. You owe her that much at least.”

Book: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1)

Author: George R. R. Martin

Edition: Paperback

Number of pages: 780

Source: Gift/donation

Genre: Fantasy, History, Y/A (possibly), Action, Adventure

A Song Of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones Published: Harper Voyager Date published: 1996 (paperback published 2011)

A Song Of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones
Published: Harper Voyager
Date published: 1996 (paperback published 2011)

Phoenixflames12 xxxx 🙂


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5 Things Les Miserables Taught Me About Writing

I read Les Miserables last Easter and can safely say that all your points are true! I love the way you compare the reading of our beloved ‘brick’ to the building of a Gothic Cathedral and the last gif is so, so true- good find and brilliant post!
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one word at a time

les mis Les Miserables as a gothic cathedral, according to my imagination.

Reading Les Miserables is a serious commitment. Even if you’re a fast reader, it’s going to take a long time. At the same time, when you finish it, you’ll feel like it could have gone on forever. Like it should have gone on forever.

When I read Les Miserables, it helped me realize a few things about writing that I didn’t understand before. Here’s what I learned:

1. It’s okay to get all descriptive. 

Hugo is the king of descriptions. He spends entire chapter simply describing character appearances and habits and nothing else. For me, this was such a liberating thing to read, because it made me bolder about writing my own descriptions.

Because, like most kids, I was raised to fear passive verbs, I’ve always found descriptions tricky to write. For instance, if you can’t say, “her hair was…

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Dumbledore Was A Manipulative Bastard (And You Should Be One, Too)

A very insightful post on plot twists and thank you for distracting me from my revision! I love that you’ve used the Dumbledore/Snape + Lily/Harry example- it really makes me want to go back and watch the scene from the film/read the book again which I will hopefully have time to do over the summer!
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SPOILERS FOR THE HARRY POTTER SERIES AND PSYCHO FOLLOW (in case you’re the one person on earth who is unfamiliar with them):

HBO has been running the movie Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 a lot lately.  Since it’s my favorite of the Harry Potter movies, I’ve watched it several times.

Love it.  A perfect ending to a great series.

One thing struck me on multiple viewings that hadn’t during all the years of reading the books and watching the movies:

Headmaster Albus Dumbledore was a manipulative bastard.

I cried like everyone else when he was killed by Snape in Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince.  You better believe I did.  For the longest time I didn’t want to believe he was dead.

But watching the last movie–wow.  It struck me that Dumbledore was a puppet-master like few others.  As Snape put it, he raised Harry “up for…

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Are You Dizzy Yet?

She first meets him in an off campus cafe during the last days of finals. Eponine/Combeferre- Les Miserables 2012 film/mild Victor Hugo novel based/Modern Alternate Universe 

She first notices him during the last days of finals week. The campus is buzzing with noise; stressed students with heads nodding to a meaningless beat throbbing through their headphones struggling to find a place to dump their books and papers, plug in their laptops, drop heavy heads and exhausted eyes into equally spent palms as they try to focus; try to get over this last milestone before the soft, sweet freedom of summer can at last be sampled.

But here, down in the last café before the gentle rush of the river and the south entrance to the park, the noise is dissipated. It rolls and bounces through the high, bright windows; cartwheeling off the pale blue sofas and wooden barstools; it whistles through with each opening of the café door and blast of noise, but somehow its’ muffled. It’s quiet.


She can think here.

He makes his way into the café at 9:45 that morning. His hair is a birds’ nest of chocolate crumples, his striped shirt un-tucked from his chinos, flashes of brightly coloured, mismatched socks just visible from where the cut falls away onto his ankles. There is a sense of almost bone crushing weariness to his step; a heaviness in his eyes as they flick up to her behind the wire framed spectacles and then cuts the gaze; letting it rove over the café at large; trying to find a place to dump his bulging satchel, throwing her a small, rueful, almost apologetic smile when he finds one.

‘I’m sorry. I just… I um…’ He gestures wordlessly to his satchel with a light shrug; a good -natured grimace tugging at the corners of his lips, the exhaustion pushing against his spectacles loosening for just a moment as they continue to hold each others’ gaze. ‘Finals,’ the look seems to say and she understands; nodding with a what she hopes to be a sympathetic expression and gives him a small smile back.

She can’t look away though after that though. There is something in his eyes; some spark leaping up through the exhaustion that came from too many late nights and early dashes to the library across the silent city in the flickering, hazy pre-dawn light; too many traffic dodges as he crossed into the park that led up to campus and too many episodes with disgruntled ducks from the community pond that she cannot take her eyes off.

She knows that she shouldn’t stare. She knows this and yet still she does it even though she has to mentally kick herself each time she catches herself watching him. She tells herself that it’s different this time. It’s different from the others.

It’s different because she can’t take her eyes off him. It’s different than it was with Marius and Montparnasse; because with both of them, she had either been painfully young and inexperienced as she had been with the shy, tongue tied, freckle faced law student or forced onto the tall, dark, suave orphan with the dark, plum velvet jacket which felt like molten blood to touch and the fathomless eyes which sparkled with silent malice whenever he set eyes on her or anyone else for that matter who wasn’t part of La Patron Minette.

A light tapping on the shoulder makes her start; pulling her up and out of her reverie like a quick, painful twist to the wrist as she glances up and into Muschietta’s knowing smile; her dark, fire flashed eyes alight with tender amusement as they flick towards his table. ‘What?’ She feels suddenly defensive and doesn’t like it as Muschietta shrugs, eyes fixing themselves on the dark haired student with the crumpled crown of mahogany curls now digging out an enormous, leather bound book from the depths of his satchel.

‘Don’t tell me’, Muschietta murmurs gently; leaning her head into her palms and cocking her head at Eponine. Her tone is lightly teasing; her gaze full of understanding and there’s something in her expression which makes Eponine vigorously shake her head in silent disbelief. Muschietta, however, is not fooled.

‘His name’s Combeferre. Henri Combeferre- Joly and Bossuet know him apparently. Third year medicine and philosophy student’, she whispers so that only Eponine can hear, her breath feeling hot and vibrant against the younger girls’ cheek; a small smile that could be a smirk sparking against every word.

Eponine simply glares at her. She knows that Muschietta is winding her up; she’s got to be, she can’t be serious; not now, not now when she knows that Eponine doesn’t have time for romance now and yet… ‘Go on’, Muschietta urges wickedly, giving her a small, painful dig in the ribs; her eyes roving over the younger girls’ face, the smile widening as she takes in Eponine’s silent, darkening glare but the command is redundant as at that moment there is a scraping of one of the café’s squeaky chrome chairs against the bare wooden floor.

The sound of a throat softly clearing itself brings her attention spiralling away from Muschietta who is drying up a coffee cup she’s had in her hands for about five minutes now and so surely must be dry and back onto the café. Lifting her gaze to the customer, she suddenly finds herself falling. Falling, spiralling into the never -ending abyss of his exhausted eyes that are crinkled through with a silent sense of mirth at their antics.

He’s leaning on the countertop and she can see a spiel of wool unravelling in the chest area of his navy woollen jumper, the light splatter of freckles dancing across the bridge of his nose and falling away onto his high, fine cheekbones.

‘Yes?’ He grins back at her; the smile full of warm, utterly genuine affection and she can just make out a strip of wire binding his top teeth, the faded relic of what looks like a chicken pox scar just below his left eyelid.

‘Two hot chocolates with extra sprinkles’, he murmurs, his eyes still on their entwined hands; reaching over to squeeze her palm lightly; thin, calloused, dexterous digits roving lightly over the tight, veined skin, silently asking her to meet his gaze. She does so slowly; feeling her breath catching in her throat and yet hating herself as she feels a light, utterly infuriating blush begin to slowly make its’ way up her cheeks. Furious with herself she tries to draw her hand away but he holds on; pressing something that feels like paper into her palm.

‘Henri’, he says quietly, watching her slowly open her palm onto what is indeed a scrap of blue lined notebook paper meticulously folded into an origami dragon.

‘Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards- Soren Kierkegaard. 07654223121 if you need me x’

‘Eponine’, she replies when she finally trusts herself to speak; finally trusts herself to meet his gaze fully, tucking the paper back into the palm of her hand.

The smile that she gets in reply is soft, soft and warm and deeply, utterly genuine as he gives her hand a final squeeze and weaves his way back to the cluttered table now bathed in the soft, dappled glow of the mid morning sunlight and for what feels like the first time in a long time, she feels complete.



Originally posted here:


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