My commonplace book: April 2016

commonplace book
Definition:
noun
a notebook in which quotations, poems, remarks, etc, that catch the owner’s attention are entered

Collins English Dictionary

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A summary of this month’s reading, in words and pictures.

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“I want something to happen,” she said vaguely. “I want things happening all the time…”

“Then make them happen. Why not?”

“You don’t know my Uncle Arn,” said Cluny sombrely. “The minute anything happens, he stops it. I dare say it’s on account of being a plumber. The way he goes on, I might be a burst pipe.”

Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp (1944)

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Bust of Cicero

“Yes!” she cried with passion. “Yes! Absolutely! Haven’t you suffered enough for your opposition to Caesar? Is there another man in the world who has endured more? Why not let others take up the fight? Surely you’ve earned the right to some peace at last?” Then quietly she added, “I am sure that I have”.

Dictator by Robert Harris (2015)

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And yet he was fond of quoting, and at times his language was almost biblical. Beyond, however, certain expressions that he loved, and a number of short sentences that he found means to make his own, he remembered nothing of the pages which had been read to him so often, and he always listened to them again with the same emotion as at first. It was a veritable pleasure to watch the effect of beautiful poetry on this powerful intellect.

Mauprat by George Sand (1837)

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When I looked down I saw a pair of lady’s flintlock pistols nestled in an open velvet case – polished steel with mother-of-pearl handles. My breath caught in my throat. So these must be what my mistress used in her night-time raids. They were finely chiselled and engraved, quite beautiful. And probably deadly, I thought.

Shadow on the Highway by Deborah Swift (2014)

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Eyam Church

He turned his tired eyes to the side cupboard on which stood a large hour-glass and watched, as if fascinated, the sands running through. And his faith wavered and almost sank as he thought of the death scattered abroad, and how any minute there might be a knock at the door and he be summoned to yet another who was stricken.

God and the Wedding Dress by Marjorie Bowen (1938)

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The children went away and the painter sat listening with his eyes shut until the chiming of their voices had become an indistinguishable part of the music of the wood. The drawing of the one music into the other had been beautiful, as lovely as the fading of prismatic colours into the light, or of the morning star into the blue of day. It is when loveliness withdraws itself that one’s heart goes after it.

The White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge (1958)

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Jane Eyre insists, Human beings never enjoy complete happiness in this world, and I agree with her — but as Mrs Grizzlehurst slowly swelled with child, I thought what a lucky chance it was that humans do not often suffer complete unhappiness either.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (2016)

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She looked very happy. Yet it struck Mary that it was strange to hear that the first thought of a newly-betrothed maiden was how to brace herself in endurance. She wondered, however, whether it was not a more truly happy and safe frame than that of most girls, looking forward to a life of unclouded happiness, such as could never be realized. At least, so it struck Mary, though she owned to herself that her experience of lovers was limited.

The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge (1853) – Review to follow

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Rupert of the Rhine

Above all, it is the range of his experiences that is most startling. It is hard to believe that one man packed so much into a single lifetime.

Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier by Charles Spencer (2007) – Review to follow

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Favourite books this month: Dictator and The White Witch

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8 thoughts on “My commonplace book: April 2016

  1. jessicabookworm says:

    Looks like you’ve read another good mixture of books – I’d happily read any of them however I do particularly like the sound of Robert Harris’ books. I hope you have a happy May 🙂

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