I love words.

Below, some words by others that have made an impression on me in one way or another. They are not just quotes from some website but from books I’ve known and loved. By listing them here I’m saying … go on, find yourself a copy!

[other pages I love: (list your books, share your recs) & (pass along the used edition)]

Feel free to browse my bookshelves at

“Places all have their own characters, and returning to a city where you have lived before is like coming home to an old friend.”
Chocolat, Joanne Harris –

“Like fanning through a deck of cards, my mind flashes on the thousand chances, trivial to profound, that converged to re-create this place. Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different.”
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

“Your first foreign country speaks to you as no subsequent one can.”
Expat: Women’s True Tales of Life Abroad

“There’s no reason to feel sad on such a beautiful day when you have your whole life ahead of you. That’s what grown-ups say. She pictures her life rolled out ahead of her like a highway. How do you know when you’re actually traveling along your life that was ahead of you but is now beneath your feet? How many more miles?”
– The Way the Crow Flies by Anne Marie MacDonald

“A scowling gray universe relieved by pastry. This was my first impression of Paris, and of them all, it was not the farthest from the truth.”
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik

“The traveler soon learns that the only way to come to know a city, to form a mental map of it, however provisional, and begin to find his or her own way around it, is to visit it alone, preferably on foot, and then become as lost as one possibly can.”
– Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon

One of the best analogies for overcoming culture shock I’ve read to date:
“Not that it was effortless, but it was like running, the way you sometimes wear yourself out by pushing too hard. Your muscles burn from lactic acid, your body feels leaden, your lungs ache. And then when you think you can’t go ten more yards, suddenly you hit your stride and the miles unwind beneath your feet and you could run all day.”

Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks
This is too spot on not to be true, despite the fact it’s a fiction book! Noted at a dinner table with her host family in France two weeks into her stay.

One thought on “books

  1. If you are interested at all in the Appalachian Trail, this is an excellent book: Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis (2010). I’m interested in backpacking but you don’t have to be a trail traveler to enjoy this book. Jennifer is a accomplished thru-hiker and a very good writer. @JennPharrDavis
    -John. Ps, I’m enjoying your blog. I’ll leave you alone now. Best wishes.


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