48328. “We read the pagan sacred books with profit and delight. With myth and fable we are ever charmed, and find a pleasure in the endless repetition of the beautiful, poetic, and absurd. We find, in all these records of the past, philosophies and dreams, and efforts stained with tears, of great and tender souls who tried to pierce the mystery of life and death, to answer the eternal questions of the Whence and Whither, and vainly sought to make, with bits of shattered glass, a mirror that would, in very truth, reflect the face and form of Nature’s perfect self. These myths were born of hopes, and fears, and tears, and smiles, and they were touched and colored by all there is of joy and grief between the rosy dawn of birth, and death’s sad night. They clothed even the stars with passion, and gave to gods the faults and frailties of the sons of men. In them, the winds and waves were music, and all the lakes, and streams, and springs,—the mountains, woods and perfumed dells were haunted by a thousand fairy forms. They thrilled the veins of Spring with tremulous desire; made tawny Summer’s billowed breast the throne and home of love; filled Autumns arms with sun-kissed grapes, and gathered sheaves; and pictured Winter as a weak old king who felt, like Lear upon his withered face, Cordelia’s tears. These myths, though false, are beautiful, and have for many ages and in countless ways, enriched the heart and kindled thought. But if the world were taught that all these things are true and all inspired of God, and that eternal punishment will be the lot of him who dares deny or doubt, the sweetest myth of all the Fable World would lose its beauty, and become a scorned and hateful thing to every brave and thoughtful man.” ― Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses
48326. “The sidewalks were haunted by dust ghosts all night as the furnace wind summoned them up, swung them about, and gentled them down in a warm spice on the lawns. Trees, shaken by the footsteps of late-night strol- lers, sifted avalanches of dust. From midnight on, it seemed a volcano beyond the town was showering red-hot ashes every- where, crusting slumberless night watchmen and irritable dogs. Each house was a yellow attic smoldering with spon- taneous combustion at three in the morning. Dawn, then, was a time where things changed element for element. Air ran like hot spring waters nowhere, with no sound. The lake was a quantity of steam very still and deep over valleys of fish and sand held baking under its serene vapors. Tar was poured licorice in the streets, red bricks were brass and gold, roof tops were paved with bronze. The high- tension wires were lightning held forever, blazing, a threat above the unslept houses. The cicadas sang louder and yet louder. The sun did not rise, it overflowed.” ― Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
48321. “Summer has weeks left, but once the calendar displays the word “September,” you’d think it was Latin for “evacuate.” I pity them for missing the best weather and the most energized time of year…It’s an extremely impressive display of life at the apogee of summer, the year’s productivity mounded and piled past the angle of repose. It is a world lush with the living, a world that-despite the problems- still has what it takes to really produce.” ― Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World
48315. “It was a heavenly summer, the summer in which France fell and the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated from Dunkirk. Leaves were never such an intense and iridescent green; sunlight glinted on flower-studded meadows as the Germans encircled the Maginot Line and overran not only France but Belgium and Holland. Birdsong filled the air in the lull between bursts of gunfire and accompanied the fleeing refugees who blocked the roads. It was as though the weather was preparing a glorious requiem for the death of Europe.” ― Eva Ibbotson, A Song for Summer
48306. “On Saturday afternoons I used to go for a walk with my mother. From the dusk of the hallway, we stepped at once into the brightness of the day. The passerby, bathed in melting gold, had their eyes half-closed against the glare, as if they were drenched with honey, upper lips were drawn back, exposing the teeth. Everyone in this golden day wore that grimace of heat–as if the sun had forced his worshippers to wear identical masks of gold. The old and the young, women and children, greeted each other with these masks, painted on their faces with thick gold paint; they smiled at each other’s pagan faces–the barbaric smiles of Bacchus.” ― Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles
48304. “Battery Park resonates with lust as the sun approaches its zenith. A primal impulse takes hold of the young couples strolling the gravel walkways, the newlyweds who have paused to admire DeModica’s bronze bull, the truant teens laid out on the cool grass. Maybe because all flesh tantalizes in the early summer, in the right light, or because, at this time of year, there is more flesh exposed, midriffs, cleavage, inner thighs, the park is suddenly transformed into a dynamo of panting and groping. This desire is not the tender affection of evening, the wistful intimacy of the twilight’s last gleam. It is raw, concupiscent hunger.” ― Jacob M. Appel, The Biology of Luck
48292. “Early Summer, loveliest season, The world is being colored in. While daylight lasts on the horizon, Sudden, throaty blackbirds sing. The dusty-colored cuckoo cuckoos. “Welcome, summer” is what he says. Winter’s unimaginable. The wood’s a wickerwork of boughs. Summer means the river’s shallow, Thirsty horses nose the pools. Long heather spreads out on bog pillows. White bog cotton droops in bloom. Swallows swerve and flicker up. Music starts behind the mountain. There’s moss and a lush growth underfoot. Spongy marshland glugs and stutters. Bog banks shine like ravens’ wings. The cuckoo keeps on calling welcome. The speckled fish jumps; and the strong Swift warrior is up and running. A little, jumpy, chirpy fellow Hits the highest note there is; The lark sings out his clear tidings. Summer, shimmer, perfect days.” ― Marie Heaney, The Names Upon the Harp: Irish Myth and Legend
48291. “…TV was entertainment of the last resort. There was nothing on during the day in the summer other than game shows and soap operas. Besides, a TV-watching child was considered available for chores: take out the trash, clean your room, pick up that mess, fold those towels, mow the lawn… the list was endless. We all became adept at chore-avoidance. Staying out of sight was a reliable strategy. Drawing or painting was another: to my mother, making art trumped making beds. A third choir-avoidance technique was to read. A kid with his or her nose in a book is a kid who is not fighting, yelling, throwing, breaking things, bleeding, whining, or otherwise creating a Mom-size headache. Reading a book was almost like being invisible – a good thing for all concerned.” ― Pete Hautman, Libraries of Minnesota
4827. “I love you, Tess McGee. I don’t do big funny or heartfelt speeches in front of people at birthday parties, but I’m excellent in private alcoves in beer gardens.” He paused. “Okay, that sounded really bad, what I mean is …” I kissed him into silence. I pressed my forehead against his with a sigh. “I love you, too, Toby. In fact, that’s what I was going to tell you before we walked into the beer garden. Right before the really bad singing started.” Toby chuckled. He let out a sigh of relief. “Ready to reminisce?” I whispered my final word before he closed the distance. “Always.” ― C.J. Duggan, The Boys of Summer
48282. “That’s the thing. I’ve never met anyone like you, Tess. You think you’re a no one? You’re so wrong. So wrong. You stand in a room with all the Angelas, even the Ellies. None of them can compare to you. I remember when you started working at the Onslow, I couldn’t keep my eyes off you. You were so terrified. You weren’t full of yourself like other girls. Every time you walked into the bar, you were like a breath of fresh air. Even when Angela was a bitch to you, you rose above it. You made me see the difference in people. You’re not a nobody, Tess, you’re a somebody.” ― C.J. Duggan, The Boys of Summer
48279. “He slid over to me and grabbed me closer to him. My smile fell from my face with the unexpectedness of it. His hands cupped my face, his lips hovering above mine. “You seriously want to know, Tess?” He closed the space and claimed my mouth with an urgent, hot, delving kiss. He smiled. “You are sexy, in your own goofball way, you’re sweet and beautiful and smart and funny and, although you kiss to the point where I feel like I want to go back for seconds, you’re my best friend, and that’s why I don’t want to tap that.” ― C.J. Duggan, The Boys of Summer
48278. “Can we get out of here?” “Your chariot awaits.” “In the form of a blue Ford ute?” I curved my brow. “But of course,” he said in an over-the-top French accent. “Sacre blur, bad accent alert!” “Wow,” he said, “Le rude?” “Le sorry?” “Le hurt.” Toby clutched his heart. “What can I do to soothe your shattered ego?” Toby drummed his chin thoughtfully, pacing around me. He stopped just near enough to whisper in my ear. “Le kiss?” ― C.J. Duggan, The Boys of Summer
48270. “One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets. And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town. A flooding sea of hot air; it seemed as if someone had left a bakery door open. The heat pulsed among the cottages and bushes and children. The icicles dropped, shattering, to melt. The doors flew open. The windows flew up. The children worked off their wool clothes. The housewives shed their bear disguises. The snow dissolved and showed last summer’s ancient green lawns. Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground. Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky. The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhausts. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land….” ― Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
48265. “After all, we were young. We were fourteen and fifteen, scornful of childhood, remote from the world of stern and ludicrous adults. We were bored, we were restless, we longed to be seized by any whim or passion and follow it to the farthest reaches of our natures. We wanted to live – to die – to burst into flame – to be transformed into angels or explosions. Only the mundane offended us, as if we secretly feared it was our destiny . By late afternoon our muscles ached, our eyelids grew heavy with obscure desires. And so we dreamed and did nothing, for what was there to do, played ping-pong and went to the beach, loafed in backyards, slept late into the morning – and always we craved adventures so extreme we could never imagine them. In the long dusks of summer we walked the suburban streets through scents of maple and cut grass, waiting for something to happen.” ― Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter
48262. “The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.” ― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
48253. “Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There’s no hurry, for there’s nowhere to go and nothing to buy…and no money to buy it with.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
48249. “I was surrounded by friends, my work was immense, and pleasures were abundant. Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil. Overall, I was happiest to be alone; for it was then I was most aware of what I possessed. Free to look out over the rooftops of the city. Happy to be alone in the company of friends, the company of lovers and strangers. Everything, I decided, in this life, was pure pleasure.” ― Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy
48237. “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.” ― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting