Sunday, November 28, 2010

Have Words Made You Gasp Today?

Since I write with a partner, I'm always on the lookout for books written by co-authors. Over the last few months, I've come to love and anticipate books with the author listed as "Rachel Cohn and David Levithan."

Please. Whatever you do about reading over the holidays...GO GET THIS BOOK! Now. Drop what you are doing and go buy Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.

You still here? Why aren't you muffled in a scarf and digging out your keys? I'll still be here when you get back, I promise. Go on!

OK...Fine. Keep reading here if you must. But I just have to pass along one passage from this book that took my breath away. I just love it when I read something that is so artful (in a good way, not in a black-beret-wearing-snark-at-the-paintings-at-the-gallery way) that it makes me shiver and wish I could ever (EVER) put words together like this.

Check it out:

"She led me into a room that could only be called a parlor. The drapery was so thick and the furniture so cloaked that I half expected to find Sherlock Holmes thumb-wrestling with Jane Austen in the corner. It wasn't as dustry or smoky as one expects a parlor to be, but all the wood had the weight of card catalogs and the fabric seemed soaked in wine."

Sigh. I mean, really. The weight of card catalogs...fabric soaked in wine...

Be still my beating heart.

I dog-eared the page just so I could read it again on a whim. Whenever I need to.

What are some of your gasp-worthy reads lately? Quotes that you love or language that covers you with goose bumps? Words that move you to tears of make you snort iced tea out of your nose with laughter? Please...share!

(PS -- Thanks, Partner, for recommending this book. I owe you one!)


  1. OO that passage of Sherlock Holmes thumb wrestling with Jane Austen is my favorite too! So funny - it's one of the most brilliant sections of the book - as is the following conversation between Dash and Mrs. Basil E.

  2. From Out of Africa:

    The opening poem is from "A Shropshire Lad" "XIX. To an Athlete Dying Young" written by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

    The time you won your town the race
    We chaired you through the market-place;
    Man and boy stood cheering by,
    And home we brought you shoulder-high.

    To-day, the road all runners come,
    Shoulder-high we bring you home,
    And set you at your threshold down,
    Townsman of a stiller town.

    Smart lad, to slip betimes away
    From fields were glory does not stay
    And early though the laurel grows
    It withers quicker than the rose.

    Eyes the shady night has shut
    Cannot see the record cut,
    And silence sounds no worse than cheers
    After earth has stopped the ears:

    Now you will not swell the rout
    Of lads that wore their honours out,
    Runners whom renown outran
    And the name died before the man.

    So set, before its echoes fade,
    The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
    And hold to the low lintel up
    The still-defended challenge-cup.

    And round that early-laurelled head
    Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
    And find unwithered on its curls
    The garland briefer than a girl's.

    "Now take back the soul of Denys George Finch Hatton, whom You have shared with us. He brought us joy...we loved him well.

    He was not ours.

    He was not mine."

  3. I loved this blog post. When I had a real (as opposed to a virtual) classroom, every week my students would have to collect their favorite sentence of the week. Your blog reminded me of that --- the power of the word!

    Today I blogged about the power of the word from a different perspective: choosing the right words when giving constructive criticism.

    I hope you visit and leave your own ideas/comments/experiences - I greatly value them.

    It has been a while since I connected with you (or anyone - been very busy) and hope all is well. I look forward to visiting again soon.

    All the best,