My Favorite Books of 2014
In no particular order...
“Research consistently shows that the risks to health outweigh the benefits of drinking alcohol. My argument is that the benefits to my mental health justify the risks.”
"I learned a lot about Rosie's life. It was important background for the difficult but essential task of developing a high level of empathy for one person in the world."
“Grandmothers in Botswana tell their children that if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, you must go together.”
“Without pain, how could we know joy?' This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”
“It’s a funny thing, hope. It’s not like love, or fear, or hate. It’s a feeling you don’t really know you had until it’s gone.”
"Time constricts and flattens.... It's not evenly weighted. Certain moments linger in the mind and others disappear.”
“So I am learning to pretend, to smile and nod, to display empathy I do not feel. I am learning to pass, to look like everyone else, even though I feel broken inside.”
“That life - whatever else it is - is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”
“Every new event—everything I did for the rest of my life—would only separate us more and more: days she was no longer a part of, an ever-growing distance between us. Every single day for the rest of my life, she would only be further away.”
“She's the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother is so important to science, why can't we get health insurance?”