My Commonplace Book: June 2017

A selection of words and pictures to represent June’s reading

My Commonplace Book

commonplace book
a notebook in which quotations, poems, remarks, etc, that catch the owner’s attention are entered

Collins English Dictionary


“Wintrow,” he chided softly. “Refuse the anxiety. When you borrow trouble against what might be, you neglect the moment you have now to enjoy. The man who worries about what will next be happening to him loses this moment in dread of the next, and poisons the next with pre-judgement.”

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb (1998)


Anne Boleyn

“But that’s dreadful!” Anne cried. “If she is not mad, then she should be restored to her throne. Surely her own father would not treat her so terribly.”

“When kingdoms are at stake, Mistress Anne, human feelings count for nothing,” Sir John observed.

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir (2017)


How could the child bear not just the hunger, but the boredom? The rest of humankind used meals to divide the day, Lib realised – as reward, as entertainment, the chiming of an inner clock. For Anna, during this watch, each day had to pass like one endless moment.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (2016)


Unconsciously, she had always clung to dignity as her sole possession. She had asked for no pity, made no lamentation, and had endured each moment as it came, waiting patiently for release, because she believed that in all circumstances there must be some right way in which to think and act, which can lift them into a kind of beauty.

Lucy Carmichael by Margaret Kennedy (1951)


Prague Castle

It was the heart of winter, and a crescent moon hung crookedly over the bulk of Hradčany Castle, looming above the narrow laneway where the body lay. Such stars there were! – like a hoard of jewels strewn across a dome of taut black silk. Since a boy I had been fascinated by the mystery of the heavens and sought to know their secret harmonies.

Prague Nights by Benjamin Black (2017)


“Modern society is the greatest criminal of all. Distribution of wealth notoriously unjust. So-called “justice” a mockery. Organised society makes criminals by the hundred, and then revenges itself upon them – if they’re poor. Big thieves get off and get honours. All wrong. Prevention of crime is the great thing – not punishment.”

Miraculous Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards (2017)


History wasn’t made without taking risks, that much he knew. So maybe sometimes you had to take risks to write it, too.

Archangel by Robert Harris (1998)


It was easy to wander into the heart of the ancient streets, laced together by alleys aromatic with the smell of ginger and charcoal. She watched women traders shouting out their wares in shrill voices, their socks, shawls and cotton reels displayed on trolleys covered with straw and tarpaulin, while the men sat crosslegged on low stools, rolling dice on the pavement. Canaries sang in bamboo cages hanging from canopies outside narrow shops and the sun lit up particles of dust, making the air shimmer.

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter by Dinah Jefferies (2016)


Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

Elizabeth could not imagine being dismissed with a shrug and a careless sentence. That was not the lot of princesses. If they were not beautiful men pretended that they were. If they were fortunate enough to possess beauty, charm and wit then poets wrote sonnets to them and artists had no need to flatter them in portraits.

House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick (2015)


“You are right, Mother: long before I was born, you tied my fate to the Palmisanos. I can’t break away from that. Even if I hated them with all my might I couldn’t get away. If I chose not to take sides, I would still be shackled to them. But am I condemned to death by this curse? Aren’t I a free man? Don’t I control my actions? Can’t I rebel and fight against destiny?”

The Last Son’s Secret by Rafel Nadal Farreras (2017)


But tomorrow there will be another theory, and another; one will be discredited and the other praised; they’ll fall from fashion and be resurrected a decade later with added footnotes and a new edition. Everything is changing, Mrs. Seaborne, and much of it for the better: but what use is it to try and stand on quicksand? We will stumble and fall, and in falling become prey to folly and darkness – these rumours of monsters are nothing more than evidence that we have let go of the rope that tethers us to everything that’s good and certain.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (2016)


Favourite books read in June: The Wonder, Ship of Magic and The Essex Serpent

8 thoughts on “My Commonplace Book: June 2017

  1. jessicabookworm says:

    Sounds like another great month of reading 🙂 I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir as I too have a copy of that to read. Also as an anxious person I really love and should listen to that first quote from Ship of Magic. Happy reading in July!

    • Helen says:

      I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of The Essex Serpent, Judy. I’m still trying to put my review together, but I did enjoy it!

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