alt


"Buying books would be a good thing
if one could also buy the time to read them in:
but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken
for the appropriation of their contents."

—Arthur Schopenhauer

 

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"No man can be called friendless
who has God and the companionship of good books."

—Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

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"We need the books that effect us like a disaster,
that grieve us deeply,
like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves,
like being banished into forests far from everyone. . . .
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us."

—Franz Kafka

Buffon 1707 1788


"It will be the best-written books
which are passed on to posterity. . . .
Writing well also means thinking well,
feeling well, and behaving well."

—Comte George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

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"A truly great book should be read in youth,
again in maturity and once more in old age,
as a fine binding should be seen by morning light,
at noon and by moonlight."

—Robertson Davies

 

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"There is more treasure in books
than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island,
and best of all, you can enjoy these riches
every day of your life."

—Walt Disney

 

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"Books—the best antidote against the marsh-gas of boredom and vacuity."

—George Steiner

 

 

montaigne


          "There is more ado to interpret interpretations than to interpret the things,
          and more bo
oks upon books than upon all other subjects;
          we do nothing but comment upon one another."

          —Montaigne

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"The failure to read good books both enfeebles
the vision and stengthens our most fatal tendency—
the belief that the here and now is all there is."

—Allan Bloom

 

 

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"In the best books, great men talk to us,
give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.
God be thanked for books.
They are the voices of the distant and the dead,
and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.
Books are true levelers. They give to all, who will faithfully use them,
the society, the spiritual presence of the best and greatest."

—William Ellery Channing

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"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it.
I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. . . .
What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."

—Henry David Thoreau

 
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"The multitude of books is making us ignorant."

—Voltaire

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"Life being very short, and the quiet hours few,
we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books."

—John Ruskin

 

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"The best of a book is not the thought which it contains,
but the thought which it suggests;
just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones
but in the echoes of our hearts."

—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

 

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"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience:
this is the ideal life."

—Mark Twain

 

StJohn


"And there are also many other things which Jesus did,
the which, if they should be written every one,
I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the books that should be written."

—St. John the Apostle

 
 
turgenev
 
 
       "A picture shows me at a glance
       what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound."
 
       —Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
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"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors,
and the most patient of teachers."

—Charles W. Eliot

 

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"Books are the flowers or fruit stuck here or there on a tree
which has its roots deep down in the earth of our earliest life,
of our first experiences. But . . . to tell the reader anything
that his own imagination and insight have not already discovered
would need not a page or two of preface but a volume or two of autobiography."

—Virginia Woolf

 
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"A book, too, can be a star,
a living fire to lighten the darkness,
leading out into the expanding universe."

—Madeleine L'Engle

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"The love of learning,
the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books."

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

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"If you can get the right book at the right time
you taste joys—not only bodily, physical,
but spiritual also, which pass one
out above and beyond one's miserable self,
as it were through a huge air,
following the light of another man's thought.
And you can never be quite the old self again."

—T. E. Lawrence

 

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"You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks
like ladders to sniff books like perfumes
and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.
May you be in love every day for the next . . .
20,000 days. And out of that love,

remake a world."

—Ray Bradbury

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"All good books have one thing in common—
they are truer than if they had really happened."

—Ernest Hemingway

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"The profit of books
is according to the sensibility of the reader;
the profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine,
until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart."

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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"Every creature is full of God,
and is a book about God."

—Meister Eckehart

 

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"A book reads the better which is our own,
and has been so long known to us,
that we know the topography of its blots,
and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it
to having read it at tea with buttered muffins."

—Charles Lamb

 

 Adler


"In the case of good books,
the point is not to see how many of them you can get through,
but rather how many can get through to you."

—Mortimer J. Adler

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          "I had already found that it was not good to be alone,
          and so made companionship with what there was around me—
          sometimes with the universe and sometimes with my own insignificant self;
          but my books were always my friends, let fail all else."

          —Joshua Slocum
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"There is something about the book
which fits the eye, the hand, and the mind:
it has achieved a perfect form,
which cannot be transcended."

—Jacques Barzun

 

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"Where My Books Go"

All the words that I gather,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
Storm darkened or starry bright.

—W. B. Yeats

 

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"In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time,
the articulate audible voice of the Past,
when the body and the material substance of it
has altogether vanished like a dream."

—Thomas Carlyle

 

Kathleen Jessie Raine
 

   "I've read all the books,
   but one only remains sacred:
   this volume of wonders,
   open always before my eyes."

   —Kathleen Raine
alt


"As good almost kill a man as kill a good book:
who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image;
but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself."

—John Milton

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel,
read only a page."

—St. Augustine

 

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"Books are the carriers of civilization.
Without books, history is silent,
literature dumb, science crippled,
thought and speculation at a standstill."

—Barbara Tuchman

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"How deluded we sometimes are by the clear
notions we get out of books. They make us think
that we really understand things of which we
have no practical knowledge at all."

—Thomas Merton

 

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"Each friendship and love is the ultimate journey
where the soul is born and grows. The journey
is the drama of the heart's voyage into the tide
of possibilities which open before it. Indeed,
a book is a path of words which takes the heart
in new directions."

—John O'Donohue

 

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"We all know that books burn—yet we have
the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire.
People die, but books never die.
No man and no force can abolish memory. . . .
In this war, we know, books are weapons."

—Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

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"In that abyss, I beheld how love held bound
Into one volume all the leaves whose flight
Is scattered through the universe around . . .
For everything the will has ever sought
Is gathered there, and there is every quest
Made perfect, which apart from it falls short."

—Dante

 

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"When you re-read a classic,
you do not see more in the book than you did before,
you see more in you than there was before."

—Clifton Fadiman

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"For books are more than books, they are the life,
the very heart and core of ages past.
The reason why men lived, and worked, and died,
the essence and quintessence of their lives."

—Amy Lowell

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"Youth is a time when we find
the books we give up but do not get over."

—Lionel Trilling

 

Critical Praise for Dancing by the River . . .

"Marlin Barton’s stories wind through a lush layering of intersecting characters, their truths pushing currents from one generation into another, and into the reader’s heart.”—Suzanne Hudson, author of In a Temple of Trees

“I suppose a case could be made that every story ever written is about loss in one way or another—lost love or innocence or some bygone way of life—and that’s certainly true of the stories of Marlin Barton’s new collection Dancing by the River. What’s different here is Barton’s voice—direct, lyrical, when it needs to be, tinged with a Southern accent. What’s different is how convincingly he draws his characters, men and women, young and old. This is his third book, maybe his best. I hope it finds the readership he deserves.”—Michael Knight, author of Goodnight, Nobody

Dancing by the River is a graceful ballet beside an ocean of fabulous stories. The range of characters and plots in these stories truly amazed me. From wagons to pickup trucks to airplanes, Marlin Barton explores complex relationships with humor, compassion, and grace. He’s an extraordinary writer, and I believe that, with this collection of short fiction, Marlin Barton has established himself as one of the best writers living in the South today.”—Bev Marshall, author of Walking Through Shadows

“Marlin Barton knows people, our histories, our voices, our sad broken hearts, so he knows what we need and is compassionate enough to give it to us in this stunningly graceful collection of connected short stories, Dancing by the River, which is a river itself, a river fed by rivers, a river peopled by rivers; it’s simply a rich, overwhelming force of a book that often comes at you gently, but before you can perceive the depth, the magic, you are carried away, laughing and then nodding along for the truth of it all. Barton has proven yet again he is a master storyteller, one of our very best.”—Jennifer Paddock, author of A Secret Word

“In these finely choreographed stories, Marlin Barton lays claim to something larger than Alabama—the flowing of the human heart. Dancing by the River is at once a window rattling stomp and a stately minuet. Throw your hats in the air over this performance.”—Dale Ray Phillips, author of My People’s Waltz

"Dancing by the River
is striking confirmation that Southern short fiction is alive and well. Marlin Barton has the talent, empathy, and wisdom to reveal the depths of his characters’ hearts. While doing so, he also helps us to better understand our own. It is my hope that this collection brings Barton the wider readership his fiction so richly deserves.”—Ron Rash, author of One Foot in Eden