This year was the first in which I’ve regularly read for pleasure, and I’ve come across so many amazing new books and writers, from Susan Orlean to Danez Smith.
To live in preparation of adversity and finding ways to preserve your core values—this is what it means to learn ‘how to live.’
—Qiu Miaojin, Last Words from Montmartre
The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.
―Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
While I’ve been lucky enough to read many excellent memoirs this year, seven easily stand out as my top favorites from 2018.
In memory, freedom is obvious. In the present moment it’s harder to appreciate, or recognize as a form of responsibility.
—Zadie Smith, Feel Free: Essays
Literature is dialogue; responsiveness . . . A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
–Susan Sontag, from speech after being awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2003
Write as well as you can, with as much heart as you can, whenever you can.
—Roxane Gay, from a column in the New York Times