Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Five Excerpts in Celebration of International Literacy Day 2015

Frederick Douglass, circa 1860s

In honor of International Literacy Day today, here are five passages from valuable books that I have read over the past summer. You can follow our "Books Worth Reading" board on our pinterest page.

"Plenty of people had watched and recorded the disaster of eliminating a predator from a system. They were watching it here in her own beloved mountains, where North America's richest biological home was losing its richness to one extinction after another, of plants and birds, fish, mammals, moths and stonefliers, and especially the river creatures whose names she collected like beads: sugar-spoon, forkshell, acornshell, leafshell." Barbara Kingslover, Prodigal Summer.

"Like countless others, he'd simply grown more cautious-- afraid to say the wrong thing, afraid to listen to forbidden radio stations that would tell you what was happening in the world. It was always possible that you might be picked up: at your place of work, in the streetcar, in a restaurant, in your own house. He had though it was enough not to participate in the Partei, to stay away from marches and speeches. Now he wondered how much damage he'd done with his silence. Maybe if he'd officially protested when the boys had stoned little Fienchen Blomberg outside the Weiler's grocer store seven years before... Or if he'd fought the treatment that the Abramowitzs and his other Jewish patients had suffered..." Ursula Hegi, Stones from the River

"When northerners go to the south to reside, they prove very apt scholars. They soon imbibe the sentiments and dispositions of their neighbors, and generally go beyond their teachers. Of the two, they are proverbially the hardest masters" Linda Brant, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

"Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others." Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

"There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness." Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Would you like to share a memorable passage from a book you've read? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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