Sunday, April 18, 2021

Literary Bits: 10 Authors on Reading

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.—Henry David Thoreau, Walden


The duty of literature is to note what counts and to light up what is suited to the light. If it ceases to choose and to love, it becomes like a woman who gives herself without preference.—Anatole France


There is no scent so pleasant to my nostrils as that faint, subtle reek which comes from an ancient book.—Arthur Conan Doyle


Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.—G. K. Chesterton


What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.—E. M. Forster


Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.—Ezra Pound


That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.—F. Scott Fitzgerald


Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.—C. S. Lewis


"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”—J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.—John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Literary Bits for March 22


Here's what authors born on this date write about the craft of writing and books:

Louis L'Amour, born March 22, 1908:

People are forever asking me where I get my ideas, but one has only to listen, to look, and to live with awareness... All men look, but so few can see. It is all there, waiting for the passerby.

Start writing, no matter about what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. You can sit and look at a page for a long time and nothing will happen. Start writing and it will.

If you wait for inspiration, you're not a writer, but a waiter.

Books are the building blocks of civilization, for without the written word, a man knows nothing beyond what occurs during his own brief years and, perhaps, in a few tales his parents tell him.

A book is less important for what it says than for what it makes you think.

Books are the perfect Time Machine. By the simple act of opening a book you can, in an instant, be travelling up a jungle river without once being bitten by mosquitoes, or you can almost die of thirst in the desert while holding a cold drink in your hand, or dine in the finest restaurants and never have to worry about paying the bill, or ride the wild country of our western frontier and never worry about losing your scalp to a raiding party.

I have read my books by many lights, hoarding their beauty, their wit or wisdom against the dark days when I would have no book, nor a place to read. I have known hunger of the belly kind many times over, but I have known a worse hunger: the need to know and to learn.

For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.


James Patterson, born March 22, 1947:

I'm big on having a blistering pace. That's one of the hallmarks of what I do, and that's not easy. I never blow up cars and things like that, so it's something else that keeps the suspense flowing. I try not to write a chapter that isn't going to turn on the movie projector in your head.

A lot of writers fall in love with their sentences or their construction of sentences, and sometimes that's great, but not everybody is Gabriel Garcia Marquez or James Joyce. A lot of people like to pretend that they are, and they wind up not giving people a good read or enlightening them.

You see, one of the best things about reading is that you'll always have something to think about when you're not reading.

If you're not reading - with your heart as well as your brain - you will be one stupid grown up. Even worst, you'll be missing out on one of the best experiences you can possibly have. Nowhere will you meet more interesting people than in books.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Literary BIts: March 1

March 1 is the first day of Spring, meteorologically speaking, and it can’t get here soon enough! Here are a few of my favorite quotes about Spring:

What a strange thing!

to be alive

beneath cherry blossoms.—Kobayashi Issa


Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.—Rainer Maria Rilke

Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.—Ellis Peters

That is one good thing about this world...there are always sure to be more springs.—L.M. Montgomery

With the coming of spring, I am calm again.—Gustav Mahler

I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.—Virginia Woolf

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.—Charles Dickens

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...

"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”—Frances Hodgson Burnett

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!—Mark Twain

In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.—Mark Twain

Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.—John Muir

It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.—John Galsworthy

Spring adds new life and new beauty to all that is.—Jessica Harrelson


sweet spring is your

time is my time is our

time for springtime is lovetime

and viva sweet love—e. e. cummings


The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.—S. Brown

I love the smell of rain and growing things.—Serina Hernandez

Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.—Gustav Mahler


A little madness in the Spring

Is wholesome even for the King...—Emily Dickinson


Dead my old fine hopes

And dry my dreaming but still...

Iris, blue each spring.—Ome Shushiki


When the groundhog casts his shadow

And the small birds sing

And the pussywillows happen

And the sun shines warm

And when the peepers peep

Then it is Spring.—Margaret Wise Brown

Monday, February 15, 2021

LITERARY BITS: February 15


Happy Birthday to writers born on this date!

1810 American poet, writer, and editor Mary S. B. Shindler (The Southern Harp, The Northern Harp, The Voice of Truth) (d. 1883)

1829 American physician and novelist Silas Weir Mitchell (The Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria, Hugh Wynne, The Adventures of François) (d. 1914)

1834 Moldavian author V. A. Urechia (Albumul macedo-român, Istoria românilor, Voci latine, Istoria şcoalelor, Beţia de cuvinte) (d. 1901)

1880 American novelist Joseph Hergesheimer (Three Black Pennys, Java Head, Linda Condon, Balisand) (d. 1954)

1883 English-American novelist Sax Rohmer (Fu Manchu series) (d. 1959)

1906 Soviet Tatar poet and resistance fighter Musa Cälil (Moabit Däftäre, Xat taşuçı) (d. 1944)

1912 Hungarian-born British journalist, humorist, and writer George Mikes (How to be an Alien) (d. 1987)

1928 Estonian children's writer Eno Raud (Tuli pimendatud linnas, Lugu lendavate taldrikutega, Naksitrallid) (d. 1996) and American author-illustrator Norman Bridwell (Clifford the Big Red Dog series) (d. 2014)

1935 American journalist and author Susan Brownmiller (Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape)

1937 American novelist Gregory McDonald (Fletch series, Flynn series) (d. 2008)

1941 British journalist and author Jonathan Steele (The Guardian, Socialism with a German Face, Ghosts of Afghanistan)

1945 American science fiction writer and editor Jack Dann (The Man Who Melted, The Memory Cathedral)

1954 American animator Matt Groening (Life in Hell, The Simpsons, Futurama)

1958 Canadian novelist Chrystine Brouillet (Les aventures de la courte échelle, Chère Voisine, Le collectionneur)

1980 British best-selling food and lifestyle expert Jasmine Hemsley (The Art of Eating Well: Hemsley and Hemsley)

1985 Brazilian blogger Mariah Bernardes (Blog da Maria)

1988 American best-selling novelist Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X, With the Fire on High, Clap When You Land)

1989 Austrian blogger Vicky Heiler (Bikinis and Passports)

Sunday, February 7, 2021


Here are some words of wisdom from German-Israeli Jewish existentialist philosopher Martin Buber (Ich und Du), born on this day in 1878:

Every person born in this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique.

Everything depends on inner change; when this has taken place, then, and only then does the world change.

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

The true meaning of love one's neighbor is not that it is a command from God which we are to fulfill, but that through it and in it we meet God.

God made so many different kinds of people; why would God allow only one way to worship?

All real living is meeting.

Play is the exultation of the possible.

To be old can be glorious if one has not unlearned how to begin.

The law is not thrust upon man; it rests deep within him, to waken when the call comes.

Through the Thou a person becomes I.

February 8 Holidays

February 8 is Propose Day in India, when lovers give roses to their significant others and ask, "Would you like to spend the rest of our lives together?"

In the U.S. it’s Boy Scout Anniversary Day, commemorating the day in 1910 William Boyce founded Boy Scouts of America in Washington, D.C.

It is Prešeren Day in Slovenia, a public holiday marking the anniversary of the death of Slovene national poet France Prešeren, a nineteenth century Romantic poet. His works include A Wreath of Sonnets, "The Baptism on the Savica," and the collection The Poetry of Dr. France Prešeren.

As the second Monday in February, it's Oatmeal Monday and Clean Out Your Computer Day.

February 8 is also International Epilepsy Day, Laugh and Get Rich Day, Molasses Bar Day, Opera Day, and National Kite Flying Day.

This week is also Love Makes the World Go Round But Laughter Keeps Us from Getting Dizzy Week, National Marriage Week, Random Acts of Kindness Week—and Valentine's Week!

Sounds like a time to keep warm with your baby! 😊

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Celebrate National Freedom Day!

February 1 is National Freedom Day in the U.S., a time to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in America. On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed the resolution proposing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to outlaw slavery, and the states ratified it by the end of the year.

Here are some of Lincoln's thoughts on freedom:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable—a most sacred right—a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought.

And then, the negro being doomed, and damned, and forgotten, to everlasting bondage, is the white man quite certain that the tyrant demon will not turn upon him too?

In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free— honorable alike in that we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.

This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.