By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: recommended reading (Page 1 of 8)

To Build a Fire by Jack London

to-build-a-fire

 

To Build a Fire

 

by Jack London

 

Jack London is referred by some as one of the greatest American authors and by others as an over-rated alcoholic. I find no value pinning Mr. London down as either. To Build a Fire, however, is a short story by Jack London that has always stuck with me.

When I was younger, my parents would choose a book or story that my five siblings and I would have to read. We would then all go out to dinner to discuss the book at some fancy restaurant where kids would pay their weight for their meal and patrons would throw peanut shells onto the floor. Only the fanciest! 

I remember reading Black Like Me, The Westinghouse Game, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to discuss them as a family. One of those books we read was “To Build a Fire.” Something about this story has always stuck with me. I’m not sure if it was the terror of falling through the ice, or the the idea of cutting open a dog and climbing into it for warmth, or the matter-of-fact description of death, but something about this harrowing story by London has stuck with me since I was a young boy.

 

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

 

“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes playing a poor hand well.”

 

“Man always gets less than he demands from life.”

 

“Any man who was a man could travel alone.”

 

“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.”

 

“I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.”

 

“This man did not know cold. Possibly, all the generations of his ancestry had been ignorant of cold, of real cold, of cold 107 degrees below freezing point. But the dog knew; all its ancestry knew, and it had inherited the knowledge.”

 

 

Sticky Books are those that you just can’t get out of your head. They stick with you long after you have put the book down and have moved on to something else. These are some of my Sticky Books. I don’t enjoy reviewing books myself. I find I am either full of far too much praise for the book because I know how difficult it can be to write a book, or I am far too negative about a book because, well, I guess I was just in a bad mood. So instead of reviews, I have pulled some of my favorite quotes from each Sticky Book.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

 

Steve Jobs book Walter Isaacson

 

Steve Jobs

 

by Walter Isaacson

 

I read almost the entirety of this Walter Isaacson biography in almost one night. I found myself riveted flipping through page after page until six in the morning. I had forgotten to fall asleep. Walter Isaacson is a brilliant biographer and writer, but I didn’t do that when I read his biography about Einstein. There is something about Steve Jobs (the book) that I just couldn’t put it down, literally.

 

“If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, ‘Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.’”

 

“Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

 

“He had the uncanny capacity to know exactly what your weak point is, know what will make you feel small, to make you cringe,” Joanna Hoffman said. “It’s a common trait in people who are charismatic and know how to manipulate people. Knowing that he can crush you makes you feel weakened and eager for his approval, so then he can elevate you and put you on a pedestal and own you.”

 

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”

 

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

 

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

 

“You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.”

 

“If you can’t keep him interested, that’s your fault.”

 

“I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.”

 

“If you act like you can do something, then it will work.”

 

 

Sticky Books are those that you just can’t get out of your head. They stick with you long after you have put the book down and have moved on to something else. These are some of my Sticky Books. I don’t enjoy reviewing books myself. I find I am either full of far too much praise for the book because I know how difficult it can be to write a book, or I am far too negative about a book because, well, I guess I was just in a bad mood. So instead of reviews, I have pulled some of my favorite quotes from each Sticky Book.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars john green

 

The Fault in Our Stars

 

by John Green

 

The Fault in Our Stars is one of those books that I first saw in theaters. I know, a mortal sin for a writer. I loved the film, though. A writer buddy of mine encouraged me to read the book as well. So I went right out, bought it, and devoured it in a day. It’s a good book. I hate when people smugly stare down the bridge of their nose and say, “The movie was good, but the book is so much better.” I’m not going to say that. I would recommend them both. I thought both were very well done for their own merits. It’s stuck with me. 

 

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

 

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

 

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

 

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

 

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

 

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”

 

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”

 

“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”

 

 

Sticky Books are those that you just can’t get out of your head. They stick with you long after you have put the book down and have moved on to something else. These are some of my Sticky Books. I don’t enjoy reviewing books myself. I find I am either full of far too much praise for the book because I know how difficult it can be to write a book, or I am far too negative about a book because, well, I guess I was just in a bad mood. So instead of reviews, I have pulled some of my favorite quotes from each Sticky Book.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

They Cage the Animals at Night by Jennings Michael Burch

They Cage the Animals at Night quotes

 

They Cage the Animals at Night

The True Story of an Abandoned Child’s Struggle for Emotional Survival

 

by Jennings Michael Burch

 

 

They Cage the Animals at Night may be the first book that I literally could not put down. I read this in my early-teens. There were books before it that I couldn’t wait to pick up again and thought about every moment until I did, but I could not stop reading this book. I distinctly remember laying under my covers with a flashlight so as to not wake up my brother flipping page after page as the hours ticked by. Each chapter would end and each time I would tell myself, “Just one more chapter.” The next thing I knew, it was 5:30am in the morning and I had an hour before I had to wake up for school.

So, yeah, this is a Sticky Book… Unfortunately I could not find a copy to pull quotes from and there are very few online, so you’ll just have to trust me.  

 

JMB: “Sister, why do you do that?”
S: “Do what?”
JMB: “Cage the animals at night?”
S: “Well…” She looked up and out through the barred window before answering me.”We don’t want to, Jennings, but we have to. You see, the animals that are given to us we have to take care of. If we didn’t cage them up in one place, we might lose them, they might get hurt or damaged. It’s not the best thing, but it’s the only way we have to take care of them.”

JMB: “But if somebody loved one of them,” I asked, “wouldn’t it be a good idea to let them have one? To keep, I mean?”

S: “Yes, it would be. But not everyone would love them and take care of them as you would. I wish I could give them all away tomorrow.” She looked at me. There were tears in her eyes. “But I can’t. My heart would break if I saw just one of those animals lying by the wayside uncared for, unloved. No, Jennings. It’s better if we keep them together.”

 

“The table and chair legs were like bars of the cage around me. This time they weren’t keeping me in, they were keeping her out.”

 

“But sometimes lying’s better. It makes me feel good.” I said. “But only for a little while. When the lie has to stand up from the truth and doesn’t, it hurts twice as much.”

 

“It’s the words,” he said. “So many people think their love won’t be accepted or returned, so they don’t say it. They think by not saying it, they won’t be hurt. They’re wrong.”

 

 

 

Sticky Books are those that you just can’t get out of your head. They stick with you long after you have put the book down and have moved on to something else. These are some of my Sticky Books. I don’t enjoy reviewing books myself. I find I am either full of far too much praise for the book because I know how difficult it can be to write a book, or I am far too negative about a book because, well, I guess I was just in a bad mood. So instead of reviews, I have pulled some of my favorite quotes from each Sticky Book.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

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