There’s a certain type of book that attracts the Dreamers. They are dreamlike and magical and worded so exquisitely that they are almost poetry. All the best examples I’ve found of this type of book have been written by women, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to incorporate the 12 Days of Bookmas with #ReadWomen. And because the writing is so beautiful, I thought I would let these books speak for themselves.
1 – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that… there are many kinds of magic, after all.”
2 – Deathless by Cathrynne M. Valente
“If she had looked out the window, she might have seen a great, hoary old black owl alight on the branch of the oak tree. She might have seen the owl lean perilously forward on his green-black branch and, without taking his gaze from her window, fall hard—thump, bash!—onto the streetside. She would have seen the bird bounce up, and when he righted himself, become a handsome young man in a handsome black coat, his dark hair curly and thick, flecked with silver, his mouth half-smiling, as if anticipating a terribly sweet thing.”
“She is so stubborn her heart has an argument with her head every time it wants to beat.”
3 – Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson
“We were all nomads once, and crossed the deserts and the seas on tracks that could not be detected, but were clear to those who knew the way. Since settling down and rooting like trees, but without the ability to make use of the wind to scatter our seed, we have found only infection and discontent.”
“Singing is my pleasure, but not in church, for the parson said the gargoyles must remain on the outside, not seek room in the choir stalls. So I sing inside the mountain of my flesh, and my voice is as slender as a reed and my voice has no lard in it. When I sing the dogs sit quiet and people who pass in the night stop their jabbering and discontent and think of other times, when they were happy. And I sing of other times, when I was happy, though I know that these are figments of my mind and nowhere I have been. But does it matter if the place cannot be mapped as long as I can still describe it?”
4 – Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull
“A nursery rhyme shapes your bones and nerves, and it shapes your mind. They are powerful, nursery rhymes, and immensely old, and not toys, even though they are for children.” “But they make no sense!” Summer protested “Ah, well,” said Ben. “Sometimes sense hides behind walls. You must find a window and stick your head right in before you can see it.”
“The bird music sank into her, like a song you used to know but forgot long ago. You hear a piano play it some day, and for a minute you feel a happy pain, but you don’t know why. Bird felt like that.”
5 – The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
“To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did.
I was just a girl.”
“The first of many autumn rains smelled smoky, like a doused campsite fire, as if the ground itself had been aflame during those hot summer months. It smelled like burnt piles of collected leaves, the cough of a newly revived chimney, roasted chestnuts, the scent of a man’s hands after hours spent in a wood shop.”
6 – The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
“Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there was a dark and stormy girl. The girl was Russian, and although her hair and eyes and fingernails were dark all of the time, she was stormy only when she thought it absolutely necessary. Which was fairly often.”
“People say we can’t do anything about the way the world is; they say it’s set in stone. I say it looks like stone, but it’s mostly paint and cardboard.”
Check out the other Bookmas posts on what to buy:
And all the Bookmas posts (including 2014) here.