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Monday, March 06, 2006

My Commonplace Book

In my reader's journal I try to record the main characters, a brief storyline, my feelings about the book and an occasional qoute or two. Before I started keeping a reader's journal, I had what I call a commonplace book. It was specifically a collection of striking passages that I had read and recorded in one place so I could easily refer to them. I would identify the book the qoutes came from, but nothing else about the book. It's interesting as I reread the passages from my commonplace book. Often the orginal impression I experienced at the time of reading the book reemerges. With time and experience some of the passages take on added layers of meaning. Here are a few passages I recorded.

from Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
Sympathizing over the behavior of men is the baking soda of women's friendships, it seems, the thing that makes them buble and rise.

Anybody could get worked up . . . it's peacefulness that is hard to come by on purpose.

from Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
I say things like that sometimes, and then immediately feel as though some bottom has dropped out, as though I'm driving along and the road suddenly disappears and I am sitting there, suspended in black space, my hands fiercely clenching the steering wheel as though I still had some control. (that was all ONE sentence!)

from Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
You have to be careful of your feelings. It's a mistake to let them go just because they're summoned.

I felt as though my insides, which had been twisted tight, like the elastic attached to the propeller of a balsa glider, had suddenly been released and were spinning free.

from Attitudes of Gratitude by M.J. Ryan
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is the key to living in a spirit of joyful expectation.

from The Bird Artist by Howard Norman (The setting for this book was Newfoundland and, having lived there for 3 years, it intrigued me.)
Ours is usually a house where visitors don't come all the way inside. (I just thought that was funny!)

I prefer to be a widower of Ethel than a husband to anyone else, even in my imagination. (Ohhh, how sweet is that?! I try to convince my husband that's how he should think if I go first. He's probably already imagaining a cuter, more energetic, sweeter spirited wife! Notice I left sexier off the list!)

1 comment:

Shaneen said...

What a great idea. I wished I had kept a journal of books I'd read. Sometimes I get excited to start a new book and, a few pages in, realize I've already read it. That's not such a bad thing and I usually finish it. Very few books are not worth reading twice or more. Right now, by best method is to buy the book. But I've been looking at my book shelves lately and I'm sure there's some books there that I haven't read. . . but I'm not sure.