Bad Seeds (Jade de Jong #5) by Jassy Mackenzie

35658635.jpg– The lobby must have been redecorated in the eighties, and the receptionist Looked like she was about to audition for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. –

– Humans are like rats. You can’t keep them out of anywhere they really want to be. –

– Diet and exercise sounded like foreign words. South Africa might have eleven official languages, but this was a twelfth, and she was reluctant to learn it.

– There won’t be transparency. There never, ever has been with nuclear energy in South Africa. The apartheid mentality is still alive and well in that regard. It’s secretive, it’s corrupt and it’s not going to provide the benefits we need. –

Review for Sunday Times:


Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

35914169.jpg– We are inescapably physical, drawn to the inescapably human. But if we are defined by our own bodies, we are entwined by the bodies of others. –

– Suspecting Gwen was male at birth, these men cornered her at the October 3 party, stripped her naked, strangled her with a rope, and beat her skull with a frying pan. Her last words were, “Please don’t. I have a family.” –

– The student’s mother said, “Saying a lunch box is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. –

– A friend “kindly” suggested the perhaps Nicole was transgender because her parents had given her dolls at such a young age.

“Are you kidding?” Kelly asked. “So what you’re saying is, every man is just one doll away from being a woman?” –

– She didn’t want a genderless society; she just wanted to be recognized for the gender she knew she was, the one that allowed her to have all the same experiences of being female that other teens girls enjoyed. No one could argue that equal rights for all religions would result in a religionless society. It was about the law, and the law should be blind to differences when it comes to handing out rights and privileges. –

– Bodies hold our stories. They connect us to the world because they are the instruments by which we experience the world. Nicole finally needed to make that connection right. –

Washington Post Excerpt

A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall

33606120.jpg– He thinks that there should be a place in every town where people could put rescued or found things. Not just objects, but snippets of forgotten languages, or misused time – an hour that can never be lived again. It would be a place where lost faiths could be collected…extinct animals and old wives’ tales…unfinished songs, discontinued books, deleted texts…All this would be remembered: missed opportunities, mislaid friends, the smile of a wife. It would be a place for lost things. –

– He is slightly embarrassed by how much he enjoys weeding words, or pruning back an ellipsis; a poet trapped inside a gardener’s body. –

– Mozart once said that the music is not in the notes, but the pauses in between. –

– How much does paper bend? –

– Jonah has become a witness to his life from a different perspective, his past rewritten by a different author. –

– When all beliefs have been smashed what is left of a man? –

Shrill by Lindy West

31423180.jpg– “Shrill” is a gendered insult: calling a man “shrill” makes as much sense as calling smell “tall.” To be shrill is to reach about your station; to abandon your duty to soothe and please; in short, to be heard. –

– Desexualization is just another form of sexualization. Telling fat women they’re sexless is still putting women in their sexual place. –

– In a certain light, feminisim is just the long, slow realization that the stuff you love hates you. –

– This is just a wacky idea I had, but maybe it’s not a coincidence that, in a country where half the population’s normal reproductive functions are stigmatized, American uterus-and-vagina-havers are still fighting tooth and nail to have those same reproductive systems fully covered by health insurance that we pay for. –

– There is nothing novel or comedic or righteous about men using the threat of sexual violence to control noncompliant women. This is how society has always functioned. Stay indoors, women. Stay safe. Stay quiet. Stay in the kitchen. Stay pregnant. Stay out of the world. If you want to talk about silencing, censorship, placing limits and consequences on speech, this is what it looks like. –

– They’d attempted to demonstrate that comedy, in general, doesn’t have issues with women by threatening to rape and kill me, telling me I’m just bitter because I’m too fat to get raped, and suggesting the debate would have been better if it were Jim raping me. –

– Thanks to Internet trolls, I’m perpetually reminded that the boundary between the civilized world and our worst selves is just an illusion. –

A to Z of Amazing South African Women by Ambre Nicolson, Jaxon Hsu

35717710– Writing a poem should be like jumping down a waterfall. – Antjie Krog

– I didn’t want to hear that it couldn’t be done. – Buyisiwe Sondezi

–The experience of coming out taught me to understand what being an outsider felt like. It taught me empathy. – Dope Saint Jude

– Enjoy your life and realise how powerful you are within yourself. – Khanyi Dhlomo

– U is for all the women whose stories /
we will never know. –

Interview with the Sunday Times

To Buy


Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

25690958– Sometimes the toilet paper does not win. Sometimes a broke woman needs the red wine more. –

– I dreamed and dreamed. And while I was dreaming, I was living in my sister’s basement. Dreamers often end up living in the basements of relatives, FYI. –

– Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means that I am failing in another area of my life. –

– I’ve read a lot of books written by and about working women and I’m struck by the fact no one ever seems to want to talk about having help at home. Which I think is not so helpful to the women who don’t have help at home. –

– People said things to me like, “Endorphins make you feel good.” So does chocolate cake, fool. –

– I choose death by fat and by karma and because Catholicism don’t quit. –

– The message is: mothers, you are such wonderful and good people because you make yourselves smaller, because you deny your own needs, because you toil tirelessly in the shadows and no one ever thanks or notices you…this all makes you AMAZING.
Yuck. –

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

225343.jpg– It was almost as if Mark had a career as a columnist and I had a career as a food-person and our marriage had a career as a fighter with contractors. –

– “Why are you angry at me?” I said.
“I’m not angry at you,” said Mark.
“Then why are you shouting at me?” I said.
“Because you’re the only one who’s here,” said Mark. –

– She kept telling me she’d never had a failure, probably to encourage me, but the effect was to make me absolutely determined to be her first, which I was. –

– Vera is a wonderful therapist. She is loving, caring, giving and unrelenting. Of course, when I first went to her, I was unhappily married to Charlie, and now nine years had passed and I was unhappily married to Mark, and that might not sound like progress. –

– If pregnancy were a book, they would cut the last two chapters. –

– Show me a woman who cries when the trees lose their leaves in autumn and I’ll show you a real asshole. –

Midwinter by Fiona Melrose

32511982.jpg– I was gone, but I never really left you, heart. I never will. –

– You think you aren’t the man who will let that sort of thing break him, you think it won’t stretch your centre until it is too thin to hold, but in the end you are, and it did. It made me into a man I would not choose to befriend. –

– Ma always said it was good to be a goose. You always knew where you’d come from and where you were going. –

– Walking was the only thing I knew to do when I didn’t know where to be. –

– Pain is not always the same every time you feel it. It has different moods to it depending where it began and where it has come to sit. –

– So perhaps you could just try to acknowledge that a man cannot always be kept from life. Sometimes it just comes for you. And you have to muddle through the best you can. I made mistakes. It didn’t work out. But now you have made mistakes too. And you will sit with that for the rest of your life. –

The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine

28818930.jpg– Each time you bid farewell to a place, voracious flesh-eating fish swim up from your depths, vultures circle your skies, and your city’s dead quiver with fury in their graves and band on their coffins, but then your homeland feels too paltry, a canoe tied to a branch by your mother’s hair. –

–I talk to you, but you’re only in my head, and once I get rid of you, I’ll be back to normal, get thee behind me, Satan.
Walmart sells an oil for that, Satan said, it’s called Satan Be Gone, a little dab will do ya. –

– How can you not know your history? I yelled over and over. You with your righteous apathy, how can you allow the world to forget us, to delete our existence, the grand elision of queer history? –

– I was wrong, I did write, time passed and I forgot, I wrote because I had nothing else to do in the world, I wrote, my voice as out of tune as I was. –

– “No,” Satan said. “I had nothing to do with his mother-in-law.”
“I didn’t think so,” Death said. “That level of evil is way beyond you, she belonged to Jesus all the way.”
“Yes,” Satan said. “Even I was surprised at such maleficence.” –

– A poet is tormented by the horrors of this world, as well as its beauty, but he can be refreshed, reborn even; he can take to the sky once more. Think phoenix, not Icarus.” –

– Listen to me, Satan said, his eyes infused with flames, get thee out of Eden, poetry can never be unstained. –

– Walk of shame, my ass, I was sizzling. –

– I prefer to be called the Cast-Out Angel, Fallen Angel is just wrong, I didn’t fall out of Heaven, it’s not as if I tripped or something, that would have been a big oopsie. –

The Fifth Mrs Brink

35080452.jpg– Fiction is the most dangerous place in the world; that’s where truth lives. –

– There is no peace in fear for a loved one. No place to hide in the face of death. I read and wrote through the nights, stared into darkness. –

– Water tells my story. –

– Languages come to me. There is no other way of describing it. After an initial intimidating few months of frustration, they seep into me. It is a process I can think of only as osmosis. The moment I find myself surrounded by a language, it enters through my mind’s pores into my consciousness. I think, dream and live it. –

– Memoir is as close to a recollected truth as I dare to come, and there is no one to protect me. It is selective, structured, but no less sensitive. –

– It moves in with you. A creature you did not invite, cannot control or tame. Grief is wild and unpredictable, at first completely inscrutable. It speaks an unknown language and renders yours inadequate. But in the beginning there is silence. –

– May the skies be generous with light. –