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auntieannie

auntieannie

Currently reading

Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
Thomas Gallagher
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Jenny K. Blake
When in French: Love in a Second Language
Lauren Collins
Beyond the Job Description: How Managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job
Jesse Sostrin
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing
David Hubel, Margaret S. Livingstone
Achieving Your Potential As A Photographer: A Creative Companion and Workbook
Harold Davis
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Sherry Turkle
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
Roberto Valenzuela
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Jacob Silverman

State of Wonder

State of Wonder - Ann Patchett How does Ann Patchett get us to buy in these wildly improbably stories -- and not have them seem wildly improbable at all? Here's a passage that I thinks speak to my question:"She had a good imagination as a child, thought it had been systemically chipped apart by years of studying inorganic chemistry and charting lipids. These days Marina put her faith in data, the world she trusted was one that she could measure. But even with a truly magnificent imagination she could not have put herself in the jungle. She felt something slip across her rib cage -- an insect? a bead of sweat? She kept still, looking out through the top of the hammock at the bright split of daylight in front of her. The midday heat tacked her into place. She thought about medical school, the fluorescent halls of that first hospital, the stacks of textbooks that made her back ache as she lugged them home from the library. Had she known that Dr. Swenson caught the last flight to Manaus after Thursday's lecture on endometrial tissue, would she have wished that she could come along? Could she have seen herself in the Amazon at the side of her teacher on a expedition that forged ahead in science's name?" p.175"At dusk the insects came down in a storm, the hard-shelled and soft-sided, the biting and the stinging, the chirping and buzzing and droning, every last one unfolded its paper wings and flew with unimaginable velocity in the eyes and mouths and noses of the only 3 humans they could fine. Easter slipped back inside his shirt while Dr. Swenson and Marina wrapped their heads like Bedouins in a storm. When it was fully dark only the misguided insects pelted themselves into the people on board while the rest chose to end their lives against the 2 bright, hot lights on either side of the boat. The night was filled with restless ping of their bodies hitting the glass." p. 183"They were going to meet the tribe. That had always been the point of the expedition, so why hadn't Marina thought of it before now? What had made the jungle so uncomfortable all this time was its absence of people. All the jungle had offered thus far were plants and insects, clinging vines and unseen animals, and that was bad enough, but now Marina realized that people were truly the worst-case scenario. It was like being alone on a dark city street and suddenly turning a corner to find a group of young men staring menacingly from a doorway. "Lakaski?" Marina asked, hoping they were at very least a known factor. "Yes," Dr. Swenson said.Marina waited for a moment, hoping for more than a one word affirmation. She was on an unnamed river in the middel of night feeling very much the same way she always felt with Dr. Swenson, like Oliver Twist holding up his empty bowl. Would it have been too much to ask for the simple acknowledgment that these were no doubt unfamiliar circumstances?" p.185