Books n stuff

Took Oldest and Middlest to the library the other day, and we got our rewards for reaching certain stages in the reading program.

One of my prizes was picking out a book. There were two in the box that looked interesting: one was by Preston & Child, I don’t remember which. I know I’ve got three of theirs in a series, I know it wasn’t one I had, but I couldn’t say if it was in the same series or not.

The other one was The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell. It is the eighth book in the Saxon Stories series, and i know I’ve got most of the others – I’ve got at least as far as The Burning Land, which means I’m missing two after that, if my list is up-to-date.

Felt the need to track down a Solzhenitsyn quote this evening. I was introduced to him by this podcast, and I’ve read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

The quote I was looking for was “The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being”, though I didn’t remember that it was from Solzhenitsyn.

A quote like that, sometimes we really see it in ourselves more than at other times, don’t we?

I wasn’t just looking for who it was by, I was trying to find out where it was from. A quick search brought me this Goodreads link, which has a couple of different variants on that first page, both listed from “The Gulag Archipelago”.

I happen to have that book, haven’t got round to it yet. But there were a few good quotes from it on just that first page.

“It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.”

“Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.”

“Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”

Ouch, I ain’t very good at that last one.

Maybe I should bring that book to the front of my “books to get to next” pile (the pile being, sadly, rather theoretical: lots of shelves and lots of boxes, and the books I want to get to next are not all organized in one place).

Anyway, worth reading the rest of the quotes on that page.

Which quote resounds with you most right now? Which books are in your “books to get to next” pile? Let me know in the comments.

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