TTT – Thought-Provoking or Inspirational Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a little unusual – it’s my Top Ten Thought-Provoking Book Quotes. I’ll have to go through the linkup on her page to find other people’s favorite quotes!

This is actually pretty good timing for this topic, because I’m trying to find some good literary art for my reading nook! I’ll share some quotes I’ve been looking at, and then go through what other people have posted before I make a decision on what to put on my wall.

Already in my reading nook is a throw pillow from Redbubble that reads “A well-read woman is a dangerous creature” which is a great quote because it combines feminism with being a bookworm.

I’ve always loved Stephen King’s quote “Books are a uniquely portable magic” but I’m not sure it belongs in a distinctly not-portable Book Nook!

The world was hers for the reading” from Betty Smith (author of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn) would go well, though. Maybe in script just above my chair?

Louis L’Amour’s “Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you” is rather comforting, which is the vibe I’m going for in my nook.

Malcolm X once said “My alma mater was books, a good library . . . . I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity” which is true of me, as well. I have far too much to learn about, and too little time to do it!

John Steinbeck said “I guess there are never enough books” which would be amusing to put over my shelf.

Also “Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book” from Bill Watterson, the Calvin & Hobbes cartoonist. Since I plan to spend many such rainy days in that chair with tea and a book, watching the storm through the window, that’s quite fitting.

Since my reading nook is in my bedroom, I’ve also been looking at love quotes from literature to go in the room. Something like “You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how” from Gone With The Wind.

Or maybe some Shakespeare, like “Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love” from Hamlet?

Or from my favorite play, Much Ado About Nothing, comes “I do love nothing in the world so well as you – is not that strange?” which, given how much we use “weird” as an term of endearment, would be kind of hilariously appropriate.

Or we could be really geeky and post “Do I love you? My god, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches” from The Princess Bride.

Well, that’s eleven possibilities. I’ll have to play around with art now, and make something I like to put up on the wall! I’m still waiting to find the right shelf for the space. I really want to post pictures, but it’s not done yet!

 

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Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

when dimple met rishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
Young Adult/Romance
380 pages
Published 2017

I’ve seen this book get raved about online, but it just didn’t sound that exceptional – yet another young adult romance. Contemporary, at that. But I finally read it for the Year of the Asian Challenge, and I am SO. GLAD. I DID.

Rishi Patel stole my heart. Which, as a demisexual, is completely unexpected. But he’s just the exact right combination of sweet, romantic, totally geeky, and confident. He is absolutely my favorite character in this book. I like Dimple. But I adore Rishi.

I loved that both Dimple and Rishi tried to help each other achieve their dreams. I wish they’d both been a little more communicative about how they did so, but it was still cute to see them so invested in each other’s life goals, as a couple should be!

This is a super cute romance, and it deserves all the rave reviews it got. I definitely need to read the sequel (about Rishi’s younger brother) now.

From the cover of When Dimple Met Rishi:

DIMPLE SHAH has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family – and from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers . . . right?

RISHI PATEL is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that he and his future wife will be attending the same summer program – wherein he’ll have to woo her – he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitating toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Sunday Stuff

Are there any readathons or major themes for May? April was Autism Pride Month, and Ace-Spec April, so I was reading books for that (even if I’m not actually fitting my review of White Stag in this month, look for that early May). June, obviously, is Pride Month, and it’s going to be a VERY queer month of reviews here! But is there a theme for May?

If there isn’t, I might just wind up fitting in all the random stuff that’s been catching my eye otherwise. And maybe some more gardening books! I’d also like to find a couple of books on climate change that aren’t too terribly dry. Climate change for the layperson. Hm. Might have to do some research there, unless someone has recommendations!

Book Review: All Out

all outAll Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages
Edited by Saundra Mitchell
Short Story Anthology/Young Adult/Historical Fiction
353 pages
Published 2018

I have no explanation for why young adult story anthologies are SO. GOOD. But they are. This particular one revolves around queer teens in historical times. That’s about the only commonality; the genres vary from normal fiction to fantasy to magical realism. There are gay, lesbian, transgender, and asexual teens represented. I am a little annoyed that there don’t seem to be any bisexual teens in the anthology; it could be argued that at least one if not more are bi simply because they had opposite-sex relationships before the same-sex romance in the story, but that’s also common before realizing your sexuality/coming out. No one is explicitly bisexual in this book. There were also two transmen but no transwomen.

There was a decent amount of cultural diversity while remaining mostly centered in the US; Chinatown in 1950s San Francisco, 1870s Mexico, Colonial New England, 1930s Hispanic New Mexico, Robin Hood-era Britain.

The stories were really good, I just wish they’d included a bisexual story and a transwoman. They did have an asexual girl, which is a sexuality often overlooked, so that was nice. (I posted an excerpt from her story on Friday.)

It’s a great collection of stories, just limited in scope. They could have cut a few F/F stories and added in bisexual, nonbinary, and transwomen, and lived up to the open umbrella of the “queer” label a bit more. I really enjoyed it, I think I’m just a little disappointed because I was expecting more of the spectrum.

From the cover of All Out:

Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love, and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.

From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.

Friday 56 – All Out

all outThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from All Out – The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages. It is an anthology of short stories, and page 56 lands in the story And They Don’t Kiss At The End by Nilah Magruder.

She liked that there was no kissing.

She had never seen the appeal of kissing, not after Mary-Ann had kissed her first boyfriend at the end of sixth grade and told half the block about it, not when Dee had had her first kiss freshman year, at one of Nadia Boone’s weekend basement parties full of beer and disco.

That had been a whole year before Vince moved to town. Kevin Campbell was sweet, but the kiss had been messy and wet and Dee had been very miserably aware of every second of it. It had gone on forever, and not in a good way.

Book Review: The Bird King

the bird kingThe Bird King
by G. Willow Wilson
Historical Fantasy
402 pages
Published March 2019

I have not yet read G. Willow Wilson’s first novel, Alif the Unseen, but I really want to now, because this one was beautiful. I really enjoyed this story, watching Fatima mature through her travels and change from the sheltered Sultan’s concubine/possession to become – well – what she becomes.

The Bird King is the story of Fatima, concubine, and Hassan, mapmaker, on the run from the Inquisition. They were both members of the house of the last Sultan in Iberia. When the Spanish (and the Inquisition) came to negotiate his surrender, one of their conditions was they wanted Hassan, because of the magic he used in his maps. Hassan has been Fatima’s only real friend; he’s the only man that wanted nothing from her, because he’s gay and unmoved by her beauty. His sexuality has been largely ignored by the court; his maps were too important to the war effort, so it was tolerated and just not spoken of. When Fatima discovers the Sultan intends to turn Hassan over, she runs away with him. She has some unexpected help in her journey, which, along with Hassan’s mapmaking, makes this a kind of magical realist historical fantasy novel. It’s not really alternate history, because nobody’s actions change how history plays out on a large scale.

I really enjoyed Wilson’s writing style, and while I’d already been interested in the description of Alif the Unseen, given how much I like her writing here, I really need to read that as well. I’m pretty sure it’s on my Kindle!

From the cover of The Bird King:

G. Willow Wilson delivers her long-awaited second novel set in 1491 during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula.

The Bird King tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of the sultan of Granada, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret – he can make maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality with his pen and paper. His gift has proven useful to the sultan’s armies in wartime, as well as entertained a bored Fatima, who has never step foot outside the palace walls. When a party representing the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrives to negotiate the terms of the sultan’s surrender, Fatima is tasked with welcoming their women. She befriends one of the women, little realizing that she represents the Inquisition and will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery, and therefore a threat to Christian rule.

In order to escape the Inquisition, Fatima and Hassan embark on an epic voyage across Spain in search of refuge on a mysterious, possible mythic island. With everything on the line, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is, and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate. A triumphant tour de force with shadings of Pullman, Gaiman, L’Engle, and C. S. Lewis, G. Willow Wilson’s The Bird King is a jubilant story of love versus power, religion versus faith, and freedom versus safety.