All stories begin before they start and never, ever finish

The Crane Wife

Patrick Ness

At some point, everyone will be deceived. Everyone will fall victim to a confidence artist of one stripe or another. Everyone will fall for it. The real question is why

The Confidence Game

Maria Konnikova

This was the terrifying mystery, why creatures he loved should kill one another. He had been told that all over the world in the war now being fought men, women and children were being slaughtered in thousands; cities were being burnt down

The Cone-Gatherers

Robin Jenkins

Girls and dogs… undoubtedly two of mankind’s greatest mysteries

The Complete Peanuts 1999-2000

Charles M. Schulz

Darkness had completely descended onto the landscape and I stood up and stretched my arms above my head and I wondered what it would be like if it were a perfect world. Only god knows. And he is dead

Close to the Knives

David Wojnarowicz

Jazz was about making your own sound, finding a way to be different from everybody else, never playing the same thing two nights running

But Beautiful

Geoff Dyer

A couple may claim to be bonded by love, but we boatmen may see instead resentment, anger, even hatred. Or a great barrenness. Sometimes a fear of loneliness and nothing more

The Buried Giant

Kazuo Ishiguro

Dear Santa Claus, You can’t bluff me. I know that you are wishy washy. I know that you will bring me presents whether I’m good or whether I’m bad

The Bumper Book of Peanuts

Charles M. Schulz

Bright Young Things wanted for big project

Bright Young Things

Scarlett Thomas

We’re at an unprecedented moment in history, one in which brain science and technology are co-evolving. What happens at this intersection is poised to change who we are

The Brain

David Eagleman

The world changes too fast. You take your eyes off something that's always been there, and the next minute it's just a memory

The Book of Strange New Things

Michel Faber

The idea of Bulger as informant seemed preposterous. But the notion nagged, an irresistible itch that stayed close to the surface. What if it were really true?

Black Mass

Dick Lehr & Gerard O'Neill

This is more important than Hitler, this is about my book. It won't shake the world, it won't kill a soul, it won't fire a gun, ah, but you'll remember the book. The story of Vera Rivken, a slice out of life

Ask The Dust

John Fante

I went searching for the white light I’d found on the mountain in Norway, and spent five years chasing it, like Alice chasing the White Rabbit

The Art of Losing Control

Jules Evans

True security lies in the unrestrained embrace of insecurity - in the recognition that we never really stand on solid ground, and never can

The Antidote

Oliver Burkeman

These things you treasure, how often they're somebody else's trash


Emma Jane Unsworth

I was learning that I could have what I wanted if it was in words, pictures or songs, which are the only dependable forms of magic.

A Life In Pictures

Alasdair Gray

A river passing through a landscape catches the world and gives it back redoubled: a shifting, glinting world more mysterious than the one we customarily inhabit. Rivers run through our civilisations like strings through beads

To the River

Olivia Laing

When music is silent you hear the laughter of the tyrant

Taduno's Song

Odafe Atogun

What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin. Words are a gift to the dead and a warning to the living.


J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst

One’s prime is elusive. You little girls, when you grow up, must be on the alert to recognise your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must then live it to the full

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Muriel Spark

I need plenty of rest in case tomorrow is a great day. It probably won’t be, but if it is, I’ll be ready!

The Philosophy of Snoopy

Charles M. Schulz

Behave like water, I told myself. Don’t try to oppose them. When they try to grasp you, slip through their fingers. Flow around them

The Penelopiad

Margaret Atwood