The appointment – Herta Muller —–> (excerpt) How often have I had to lie or keep my mouth shut to protect the people I love most — at the very times I could stand them least — to keep them from plunging headlong into some disaster. Whenever I wanted my hatred to last forever, a feeling of disgust would soften it up. With a hint of love on the one hand, and a heap of self-reproach on the other, I was already surrendering to the next hatred. I’ve always had just enough sense to spare others, but never enough to save myself from misfortune. (Translated by Michael Hulse and Philip Boehm)
Perfume – Patrick Suskind —–> (excerpt) He could do all that, [rule the world] if only he wanted to. He possessed the power. He held it in his hand. A power stronger than the power of money or the power of terror or the power of death: the invincible power to command the love of mankind. There was only one thing that power could not do: it could not make him able to smell himself. And though his perfume might allow him to appear before the world as a god – if he could not smell himself and thus never know who he was, to hell with it, with the world, with himself, with his perfume.
What the dog saw – Malcolm Gladwell —-> (summary) Are smart people overrated? What can pit bulls teach us about crime? Why are problems like homelessness easier to solve than to manage? How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job? Gladwell explores the minor geniuses, the underdogs and the overlooked, and reveals how everyone and everything contains an intriguing story. What the Dog Saw is Gladwell at his very best – asking questions and seeking answers in his inimitable style.
House rules – Jodi Picoult —–> (excerpt) I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome long before it became the mental-health-disorder-du-jour, overused by parents to describe their bratty kids so that people think they’re supergeniuses instead of simply antisocial. To be honest, most kids in my school know what Asperger’s is now, thanks to some candidate on America’s Top Model. So many people have mentioned her to me that they must think we’re related. As for myself, I try not to say the word out loud. Asperger’s. I mean, doesn’t it sound like a Grade-Z cut of meat? Donkey on the barbecue?