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When you read a book, do you mentally highlight the good parts? Maybe it’s too many years of school, but I do! I feel compelled to note passages that inspire me or make me sad, parts that shock me or that I want to discuss with friends.

Here are a few of the passages I’ve highlighted recently:


The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls

“Mom, Uncle Stanley is behaving inappropriately,” I said.

“Oh, you’re probably imagining it,” she said.

“He groped me! And he’s wanking off!”

Mom cocked her head and looked concerned. “Poor Stanley,” she said. “He’s so lonely.”

“But it was gross!”

Mom asked me if I was okay. I shrugged and nodded. “Well, there you go,” she said. She said that sexual assault was a crime of perception. “If you don’t think you’re hurt, then you aren’t,” she said. “So many women make such a big deal out of these things. But you’re stronger than that.”

A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

“When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“The leaves on the trees had thinned almost undetectably; the tall stalks of wildflowers bent down onto themselves, plumped with rot.”


Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

“I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.”

“I believe women not just in the United States but throughout the world deserve equality and freedom but know I am in no position to tell women of other cultures what that equality and freedom should look like.”


The Favored Daughter: One Woman’s Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future by Fawzia Koofi & Nadine Ghouri

“My mother showed little concern for her own safety, but the virginity and sanctity of her daughter was paramount. In Afghan culture rape is despised, but it is an all-too-common crime in times of war and peace. While the rapist can be put to death, the woman must endure a much longer punishment, where she becomes a social pariah, even in her own family. The victims of rape are often cast out like a kind of broken harlot, as if they did something to provoke the attack or inflame the loins of the man, who was driven made by lust and unable to control himself. No Afghan man would marry a woman who had been raped. Any suitor would want to be certain his bride was pure, no matter how violent or unjust the circumstances of her deflowering.”

The favored daughter

So, read any good books lately?

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