Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two Books; Two Quotes

I came across a neat meme at Bookful of Thoughts yesterday entitled Friday's Finest. The rules are:

~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

It's certainly not Friday anymore, and it being actually Saturday, I'm not sure anyone will read this, but here we go. I'm doing TWO.

"People would ask for many years: 'Where were you when you heard? What were you doing? Who brought you the word?'"

That quote is from the last chapter of Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt, and I finished reading it with the children on Thursday. The quote refers to the news of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and for some reason, I could barely maintain my composure while reading this section. Things got even drippier when we started discussing how for that generation, the news of Lincoln's tragic death had that same national impact, the same indelible etching into people's memories, as did President Kennedy's assassination in my parents' generation, or September 11 in our own. (Turns out, my kids didn't really know much about September 11, so I got to reminisce about how I heard the news while walking with my neighbor and our toddlers (Ian was one) up to our neighborhood clubhouse for music class. Her husband delivered the news from work, and we simply didn't comprehend it at first.

What about you? Where were you when you heard? Who brought you the word?

(I also remember where I was when I heard the news of the deaths of Princess Diana and JFK Jr. ... but those do sort of pale in comparison to 9/11.)

OK, now my second quote. I've just started reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, which won a Newbery Honor Award last Monday, and y'all, I can hardly put it down. It's told in the first person by a twelve-year-old girl who is an absolute humdinger of a heroine. I'm in love with her (but not in that way). Also, it takes place less than 50 miles from my house, at the turn of the 20th century. Also, the writing is lovely.

But then I glanced at the dustjacket and beheld the following quote from the author bio:

"Jacqueline Kelly was born in New Zealand and raised in western Canada. She now makes her home with her husband and various cats and dogs in Austin and Fentress, Texas. She is a practicing physician and lawyer. This is her first novel." [Emphasis mine.]

So I've suspected in times past that some people have more than twenty four hours in their day. But now? It's totally confirmed.

(And she lives in Austin. Do they sell those extra hours bottled somewhere locally? I want some.)


Michelle said...

A physician and a lawyer?!? Cripes - here I am complaining about what I have to accomplish! LOL!

Where was I on 9/11? That's easy because my husband was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base learning how to diffuse bombs and other explosive devices. Right after the news hit, all fighter planes were grounded and the base was on lockdown. You can't imagine how eerie that is because the fighter planes would be training from sun-up to sun-down and well beyond. There were ALWAYS fighter planes in the air, so the total silence that occurred after the reports started filtering out of NYC was more terrifying than the reports themselves.

I remember distinctly fearing for my husband, that he would be called up for some form of duty that would put him in harm's way, even though he had been in the Army for five years by this time. It was the first time the realization that there were bad guys out there who my husband may have to fight and who would think nothing of shooting my husband ever truly hit me. I also had a minor panic attack because I was working off-base but my son was at a daycare provider who lived on-base. I was not certain how I would be able to pick him up, if he was safe, and so forth. From that day forward, military installation security was never the same. It is a moment that I will never, ever forget because of the two-fold terror it instilled.

Toddler Knows Best said...

I'm also reading Calpurnia Tate AND Dr. Kelly is visiting my library!!! (I call her "Dr. Kelly", cuz we're tight like that)

Hannah said...

Sarah, you lucky dawg!!! I want to hear a full debriefing in the waiting area at tae kwon do!

Margaret Ann Abrahams said...

I was in Vancouver, British Columbia on 9/11. It felt so remote from what was happening and also a little safer.
Really like the meme concept - great idea for a blog post.
And - thanks for commenting on my blog.

Nancy Meredith said...

I wasn't around for Abe Lincoln's assassination, but I remember the death of JFK very well. I was going door to door doing a survey for a speech class I was taking at UT. I did not believe the man who told me the news until I went into his house and watched the horror unfold on his TV screen.

On 9/11, I was teaching middle school in Seguin. There was an announcement on the PA and we were all dismissed early, but I don't think any of us fully realized the horror of it until we got home.

Raji P. said...

I remember 9/11 very clearly. My MIL called very early that morning to say a small plane had crashed into a building in NYC. We turned on the news and watched from 8Am onwards. We soon found out it was not a "small plane" - and we watched the towers fall, one after the other, live, in shocking disbelief.

Remember the Alamode said...

Is this the place to leave a favorite quote? I'm not even going to wait for your answer, because here it is. "It's not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both" Charlotte's Web by E.B.White

Charlotte said...

well, at least she doesn't have kids...

Kristi said...

A practicing physician AND lawyer? I love it - does that mean it'd be practically impossible to sue her for malpractice and win?

Naomi said...

I checked out Calpurnia Tate after I read this post. Haven't gotten to read too much yet (I have my hands full these days), but what I've read so far, I've loved!! :-D Thanks, Hannah!

Justine said...

Thanks for joining in on the meme! I'd have to get Mr. Linky so people could link their Friday's Finest too. :)

The first one's a great quote. It does remind me of 9/11. And I remember hearing about it and waking up by the sound of the TV, displaying and replaying what happened. It was terrible. But then again, I was young and I didn't know what the twin towers were...

Toddler Knows Best said...

FYI....Jacqueline Kelly will be at Book People on Feb. 6th for the Darwin Celebration.

Bear Creek Mama said...

She only works one day a week in her physician office and handles 1-2 pro-bono cases per year :) Not really, but kids - for sure that offers extra hours.

Thanks for the inspiration to read though. This will be fun for H and I to read together. We are 2/3 of the way through Across Five Aprils - never finding enough time to read together. Bedtime is just not cutting it - I always have a sleepy one on my hands....hmmmm, what to do?