The Professor and the Madman

“The “English dictionary,” in the sense that we commonly use the phrase today – as an alphabetically arranged list of English words, together with an explanation of their meanings – is a relatively new invention.  Four hundred years ago there was no such convenience available on any English bookshelf.

There was none available, for instance, when William Shakespeare was writing his plays.  Whenever he came to use an unusual word, or to set a word in what seemed an unusual context – and his plays were extraordinarily rich with examples – he had almost no way to check the propriety of what he was about to do.”

The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester pg. 80


My Sister’s Keeper

“When I first became a parent I used to lie in bed at night and imagine the most horrible succession of maladies: the bite of a jellyfish, the taste of a poisonous berry, the smile of a dangerous stranger, the dive into a shallow pool. There are so many ways that a child can be harmed that it seems nearly impossible that one person alone could succeed at keeping him safe. As my children got older, the hazards only changed: inhaling glue, playing with matches, small pink pills sold behind the bleachers of the middle school. You can stay up all night and still not count the ways to lose the people you love.”

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult pg.229

My Sister’s Keeper

“But kids don’t stay where they are supposed to.  You turn around and find her not in the bedroom but hiding in a closet; you turn around and see she’s not three but thirteen.  Parenting is really just a matter of tracking, of hoping your kids do not get so far ahead you can no longer see their next move.”

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult pg. 147

My Sister’s Keeper

“My mother moves so fast I do not even see it coming. But she slaps my face hard enough to make my head snap backward. She leaves a print that stains me long after it has faded. Just so you know: shame is five-fingered.”

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult pg. 54