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Helen Cooper, Charlotte Brontë
Parade's End (Vintage Classics)
Ford Madox Ford
Dog Years - Mark Doty Update: I was right. It's my favorite book so far this year.Yes, yes, yes! "The man pauses and says “I don’t know…when people talk about what they want to do for animals I always wonder why that compassion isn’t offered to other people.” My anger flared, a hot, fierce flush. I said, “You asked me what I wanted to do, not what I thought I should do.” He nodded. “Fair enough.” But the damage was done, the judgment cast. If I’d been more thoughtful and less offended, I might have said that compassion isn’t a limited quality, something we can only possess so much of and which thus must be carefully conserved. I might have said, if I was truly being honest, that I’ve never known anyone holding this opinion to demonstrate much in the way of empathy with other people anyway; it seems that compassion for animals is an excellent predictor of one’s ability to care for one’s fellow human beings. But the plain truth is no one should have to defend what he or she loves. If I decide to become one of those dotty old people who live alone with six beagles, who on earth is harmed by the extremity of my affections? There is little enough devotion in the world that we should be glad for it in whatever form it appears, and never mock it, or underestimate it. Love, I think, is a gateway to the world, not an escape from it." -- Mark Doty, Dog Years: A Memoir