Books I Read in 2019

The List, in chronological order:

Groping through the dark is, in large part, what writing consists of anyway. Working through and feeling around the shadows of an idea. Getting pricked. Cursing purity. Threshing out. Scuffing up and peeling away. Feral rearranging.

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes it so important.

Numerous studies show that once we become attached to someone, the two of us form one physiological unit. our partner regulates our blood pressure, our heart rate, our breathing, and the levels of hormones in our blood. We are no longer separate entities.

I think about men all the time. About how they, individually (Donald Trump) and as a group, are oppressing me. And about how they, individually (Timothée Chalamet) and as a group, are very hot. And also: how spending so much time thinking about how they, as a group, are hot…is probably oppressing me. Unsure what else to do about it, I’ve written this book.

There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.

I swim for every chance to get wasted — after every meet, every weekend, every travel trip. This is what I look forward to and what I tell no one: the burn of it down my throat, to my soul curled up in my lungs, the sharpest pain all over it — it seizes and stretches, becoming alive again, and is the only thing that makes sense.

The grand illusion of committed love is that we think our partners are ours. In truth, their separateness is unassailable, and their mystery is forever ungraspable.

“Sometimes grace works like water wings when you feel you are sinking.”

I thought about all the things I had never told Nick about myself, and I started to feel better then, as if my privacy extended all around me like a barrier protecting my body. I was a very autonomous and independent person with an inner life that nobody else had every touched or perceived.

The closest thing to going surfing without leaving the couch.

No matter what work you do, at a high level you are simply setting goals and building machines to help you achieve them. I built the machine that is Bridgewater by constantly comparing its actual outcomes to my mental map of the outcomes to my mental map of the outcomes that it should be producing, and finding ways to improve it.

Healthy wolves and healthy women share certain psychic characteristics: keen sensing, playful spirit, and a heightened capacity for devotion. Wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed of great endurance and strength. They are deeply intuitive, intensely concerned with their young, their mates, and their pack. They are experienced in adapting to constantly changing circumstances; they are fiercely stalwart and very brave.

This was such a page-turner.

“If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall. For any writer, but for the beginning writer in particular, it’s wise to eliminate every possible distraction…when you write, you want to get rid of the world, do you not? Of course you do. When you’re writing, you’re creating your own worlds.”

Joker, the only screenplay I read this year, was well worth it.

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