New Year, Same Quotes

Every year I buy a new journal in my attempt to keep a resolution to write at least three times a week. On the first page I list the year and my resolutions, and after that I write quotes from authors (from their works or from interviews) I find inspirational to not only start the new year, but to return to throughout the passing months.

These are most of the quotes that make their way to my pages:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Eliot

“Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture. Everything is blooming. Everything is flying. Everything is screaming, choking on its screams. Laughter. Running. Let-down hair. That is all there is to life.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“Whatever our destiny is or may be, we have made it ourselves, and we do not complain of it.” – Leo Tolstoy

“No, I must keep to my style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.” – Jane Austen

“We all have different desires and needs, but if we don’t discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled.” – Bill Watterson

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

“I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

“It doesn’t matter if one man fights or ten thousand; if the one man sees he has no option but to fight, then he will fight, whether he has others on his side or not.” – Hans Fallada

And this is one of my favorites – this photo was taken in Berlin at the East Side Gallery in September 2010:


Do you have any quotes that get you through a year, or just a hard work day? A quote that makes you happy no matter how many times you read it? Share below!


Literary Resolutions

It’s the end of 2013 and as I’m finalizing my resolutions for 2014 I couldn’t help but think about this time last year when I decided to add reading resolutions for the first time.

In December 2012 I had just finished my first semester of grad school and was embarrassed that I was a library student who hadn’t read a novel since school had started almost four months prior! Don’t get me wrong, I was reading, but it was mandatory library and information science-related readings. It had felt like ages since I could get lost in a book’s story… in a way that wouldn’t affect my grades. I decided to take action.

For 2013 I made a resolution to read at least two non-school books a month. The good news? I succeeded! The bad news? I kind of cheated. Out of the 28 books I ended up reading this year, I had already read 14 of them. Every year I try to make a point to read Pride and Prejudice and I read Jane Eyre every winter. I started to reread Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia because I love both of the series and hadn’t read them in a few years, and the rest of the books I reread were just because I’m the kind of person who doesn’t have a limit on that sort of thing when it comes to books I enjoy – especially if I see them everyday on my shelf.

Although I’m happy I technically fulfilled a resolution, I don’t feel much accomplishment from it because of all the repeats. This year I’ve decided to challenge myself harder, particularly because I won’t be balancing grad school at the same time. I present to you:

2014 Literary Resolutions:

1. I will read at least 30 books I have never read before.

2. I will make a book club with friends. 

3. I will read all of the works of Hans Fallada currently available in english print.

4. I will write at least “a line a day” following a writing prompt from the book “A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves. (This will be separate from my yearly resolution to journal at least three times a week.)

Here’s hoping for a successful 2014!

Hans Fallada

This year I discovered my new favorite author Hans Fallada, thanks to following the publishing company Melville House on Twitter and going on their site daily. Over the summer I took a class called Teaching and Learning that required students to make video presentations on any topic of our choosing, and I chose Fallada as my topic in the hopes that my classmates would be inspired to read his book Every Man Dies Alone.

This is currently the only novel of Fallada’s I have read because his works went out of print in english for many years and weren’t widely available until Melville House began publishing it again. Even so, Every Man Dies Alone is typically the only novel you will find of his in a bookstore or library, meaning I’ll be purchasing the rest of them directly from MH’s site in order to a.) support the publisher and b.) own the physical copy so I can freely write in them and underline my favorite quotes.

Here is one of my favorite sections from Every Man Dies Alone that just stopped me in my tracks when I read it, particularly the last line:

“‘And there will be more of us, Anna. We will make more. We will inspire other people to write their own postcards. In the end, scores of people, hundreds, will be sitting down and writing cards like us. We will inundate Berlin with postcards, we will slow the machines, we will depose the Führer, end the war…’ He stops, alarmed by his own words, these dreams that so late in life have come to haunt his heart.”

This is my class presentation video, and I hope it inspires you to read the novel. (I had to reload on to Youtube because of a malfunction):