Books 1


Have you ever read a sentence so beautifully written that you wanted to keep it for reference, to enjoy it again and again? Here are some sentences that overwhelmed me with their images (or made me smile):

The light of day revealed fall’s early brilliance, chartreuse, gold, and orange leaves eclipsing the dark green of summer. The scarlet of the maple trees appeared in just a few brilliant spots; in a month’s time, the red would spread like a fever, dominating the landscape. ~Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures.

Osteosarcoma sometimes takes a limb to check you out. Then, if it likes you, it takes the rest. ~John Green, The Fault in Our Stars.

The day was sunny, the town lush and green, the ocean churning away like a washing machine on the gentle cycle. ~Sue Grafton in “Betwen the Sheets,” Kinsey and Me.

Autumn comes quietly to wed the countryside. The maples all down the lane blush and silently disrobe. ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

Back east we usually experience the freedom that comes with a good snowstorm. No work, no school, the world shutting its big mouth for a while, the dirty streets covered over in virgin white, like all the missteps you’ve taken have been erased by nature. ~Bruce Springsteen in his autobiography, Born to Run.

He sauntered in, pulled me out of my chair, and planted a kiss on me that melted my pantyhose. Good Lord, could that man kiss. ~Diane Burton, The Case of the Meddling Mama

The only thing you might not think of,
being in another place so far away,
is the one bee who just refused to wait
for all the morning glories to unfurl in the morning sun,
and instead, pushed her way into the white flute
of a blossom, disappearing for a moment
before she flew off in her distinctive gold
and black uniform like a player on a team,
heading over the hedge toward a core of honey. ~Billy Collins, in the poem “Lines Written in a Garden by a Cottage in Herefordshire”

I slam the brakes and an opera of horns finds quick harmony behind us. ~Brad Meltzer in The Inner Circle

I couldn’t believe that such ancient beauty existed in the desolation of my world. Did men build the Angkor Wat temple or did the gods create it themselves? It was hard to imagine that humans were capable of creating something this beautiful, magnificent and of a magnitude beyond comprehension, because all I had seen and experienced so far were death and destruction—men were the destroyers of youth and innocence and killers of future and dreams. ~Jennifer H. Lau in Beautiful Hero: How We Survived the Khmer Rouge


He grinned at me, his face flushed all the way up to his hairline, which had receded almost to the back of his head. There was no comb-over, just a cul-de-sac head of hair. —Kelly Wilson, in Caskets from Costco.

It’s teatime and all the dolls are at the table. Listen.–Anne Lamott on characterization in Bird by Bird

As she crossed the river, a rumor of sunshine stood behind the clouds.–The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, p. 472.



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