Losing your innocence has very little to do with virginity, you know. Loss of innocence comes when you have to deal with the real world by yourself, when you learn that the first rule of life is kill or be killed


Shirley Conran

I, the being in question, having spent nearly three hundred years lost as a pomegranate pip in a lake of aspic, amnesiac, bodiless and comatose, a nugget of spirit but nothing else, found myself quickening, gaining form and weight and, finally, consciousness

Jacob's Folly

Rebecca Miller

Islands are potent places, and for five hundred years this exemplary sea of islands in the imagination has proved irresistible to adventurers and poets and protestors and hedonists alike

Island People

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

I hit play and heard a piece by Bach that I’d not heard before. And it took me to a place of such magnificence, such surrender, hope, beauty, infinite space, it was like touching God’s face


James Rhodes

This planet requires us to take actions to make our projects fly

Insanely Gifted

Jamie Catto

In the same way that the cosmos is larger than we ever imagined, we ourselves are something greater than we had intuited by introspection


David Eagleman

I really can’t believe what a state the pyramids are in. I thought they had flat rendered sides, but when you get up close, you see how they’re like a massive game of Jenga that’s got out of hand

An Idiot Abroad

Karl Pilkington

Ghosts, werewolves and witches are just nonsense to frighten mugs like you. It’s men you should be afraid of, not monsters

I'm Not Scared

Niccolò Ammaniti

I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye


Knut Hamsun

I know that some of you reading this are convinced humans are a myth, but I am here to state that they do actually exist

The Humans

Matt Haig

Don’t be satisfied until you’re too smart for your own good!

How to be a Grrrl

Charles M. Schulz

It can often seem that those in power don’t want us to enjoy making things for ourselves – they’d prefer to establish a cultural hierarchy that devalues our amateur efforts and encourages consumption rather than creation

How Music Works

David Byrne

Helpful Acronym: FURRY. Feel Uplifted Really Really Yes

How Are You Feeling?

David Shrigley

The girl with the gun crouched waiting. The dark shape hung over the belt of poplars, then banked, swooping out across the salt marsh

The Honours

Tim Clare

Murder often doesn’t unsettle a man. In Baltimore, it usually doesn’t even ruin his day


David Simon

Are you becoming what you’ve always hated?


Charles Bukowski

When you are constantly prevailing upon the kindness of strangers – as a hitchhiker must – it keeps you in a positive frame of mind. Call it Zen and the Art of Hitchhiking. The Way of the Lift

Hokkaido Highway Blues

Will Ferguson

That’s the nature of grief: It’s a creature with many arms but few legs, and it staggers about, searching for support

The High Mountains of Portugal

Yann Martel

We’d go tae the baths every Saturday morning, Agnes and me. Ah’d watch fae the windae, alang the grey, gluthery street, till ah caught the first glimpse of her red raincoat and blue pixie hat turnin the corner…

Hieroglyphics And Other Stories

Anne Donovan

She loved herself, and her body’s resistance to all those poisons was the exact measure of how indestructibly young and beautiful she felt she was

The Heart Broke In

James Meek

The play was underway, swords were out, tension bristled the air

Hamlet: Globe to Globe

Dominic Dromgoole

Words weren’t dull, words were things that could make your mind hum. If you read them and let yourself feel the magic, you could live without pain, with hope, no matter what happened to you

Ham On Rye

Charles Bukowski

‘You know that I know that you know that I have done nothing,’ I said. ‘You’re holding me because your country is strong enough to be unjust.’

Guantánamo Diary

Mohamedou Ould Slahi

I am grinning at her now. I am excited about seeing justice done and also about getting to hold a dead body. A real dead human

Grow Up

Ben Brooks