(quoting de Beauvoir) "'Marriage is the destiny traditionally offered to women by society,' she writes. 'Far from freeing the matron, the occupation makes her dependent on her husband and children; she is justified through them; but in their lives she is only an inessential intermediary.'"

The Meaning of Wife by Anne Kingston

"For a long time--always, in fact--I have known that life here on earth is not what I needed and that I wasn't able to deal with it; for this reason and for this reason alone, I have acquired a touch of spiritual pride, so that my existence seems to me the degradation and the erosion of a psalm."

The Trouble with Being Born by E.M. Cioran

"I remained in touch with many of the women I had dated. I'm not sure why, except that it required virtually no effort. I'm certain it was the same with them."

Fake Missed Connections: Divorce, Online Dating, and Other Failures by Brett Fletcher Lauer

"There's so much humanity in a love of trees, so much nostalgia for our first sense of wonder, so much power in just our own insignificance when we are surrounded by nature..."

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

"Personal policies are an excellent way to conserve your fucks swiftly, efficiently, and with an extremely low risk of hurt feelings...As in, 'I have a personal policy against donating to Kickstarter campaigns, because if I donate to one, I have to donate to them all. I just can't afford it, and if I had to chose, I wouldn't want anyone I love to think I value them more or less than anyone else.'"

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

"There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, though you can put your hand out to where things were and feel that tense, shining dullness of the space where memories are."

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

"...the narcissism that makes one think that an utterly ordinary experience shared by countless others is somehow unique, or uniquely interesting."

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

"Reality was a kind of insomnia, always there, just there, annoyingly there, in my bed, at the park, inside every raccoon, behind movie stars in movie trailers, there, being, occurring, fluctuating, not telling me what it wanted from me, giving me the silent treatment, a kind of torture. 'What?' I wanted to scream at it."

New Tab by Guillaume Morissette

"I would have loved to write, but as I've said, creativity requires a state of grace. So many things are required for it to succeed--stimulus and composure, inner peace and a kind of bittersweet excitement--and these elements were missing."

The Door by Magda Szabo and translated by Len Rix


"If you start life as part of someone else's body, your independence is a dismemberment. Being a couple reminds us, persuades us again, that we are also someone else; of a piece with them."

Monogamy by Adam Phillips