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Once Upon a Line

Author: Rosie Fernandez

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A line or two … that changed everything. Ever read something so profound that it stays with you even to this day? This podcast is where readers share the passages they most treasure and why.
7 Episodes
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Slow Man

Slow Man

2020-12-0312:27

 "Live like a hero.  That is what the classics teach us.  Be a main character.  Otherwise, what is life for?"  - J.M. Coetzee  Jenn Weinheimer says these lines "remind me that we can't just passively check the boxes in life and consider that a life.  Elizabeth imploring Paul to "live [his] life so that someone might want to put [him] in a book" is a reminder not of WHICH choices we need to make but that we need to live with intention.  My experience teaching this novel has shown me that these lines have a similar effect on my students.  When they might think that they are just waiting for "real life" (life after high school or after college) to start, it can be tempting to think that one is merely following a script, but Elizabeth Costello reminds Paul (and by extension the readers of the novel) that it's all real--and it's short--and we have to do something so that our lives aren't just resumes--they are stories. "Jenn Weinheimer spent 20 years in independent secondary-school education as an English teacher, Dean, Department Chair and now Head of Upper School at Cincinnati Country Day School.  While  not a rebellious sort, she hopes "I'm living my life like a main character and creating some good plot twists along the way." 
"Please follow your heart, win or lose."- J.D. SalingerWhen Robert Graham was in his early 20s, he read J.D. Salinger's novella “Seymour: An Introduction” and felt compelled to copy down a few lines on a notepad. He then folded up that piece of paper and stuck it in his wallet, where it’s been for the past 30 years.As a classically trained musician, Graham had some reservations when it came to composing his own music, but he would recall Salinger’s lines as a call to action, reminding him of what was truly important. Here are a few other lines from the novel that Robert tries to live by.“Do you know what you will be asked when you die? …. I'm so sure you'll get asked only two questions.  Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out?”
The Little Prince

The Little Prince

2020-11-1209:31

"You become responsible forever for what you've tamed."  - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry"This line jumped out at me when I read The Little Prince for the first time in French and again, when I read the English translation. The beauty of the line and the lessonfrom the fox has continued to resonate with me throughout my life. - Mei Ling Mei is a lifelong reader who enjoys books that teach her something new, books that amuse or entertain her, and most of all, books that tell a good story. Storytelling also plays a role in her professional life in corporate communications and media relations. 
"No one can love you the way a mother can.  No one can hurt you the way a mother can."- T Kira Madden"Has this book changed the way I look at motherhood? I would say, absolutely, 100%, and that's probably one of the reasons I like it so much." - Michelle LeungAs a librarian with a talent for reading an entire book in a few hours,  Michelle says T Kira Madden's memoir is one of the best books she's ever read in the genre. 
Dreams Underfoot

Dreams Underfoot

2020-10-2914:20

"But that's the way it works in fairy tales, too, isn't it? Something always goes wrong, or there wouldn't be a story. You have to be strong, you have to earn your happily ever after."-From Dreams Underfoot  by Charles de Lint“Of course the whole story is beautiful, but I believe that fairy tales are supposed to have a lesson at the end ...  and in this one (it’s) the idea that we  try as best as we can. And we absolutely should! Not letting people off the hook. We do have to do our best. But we do have to be prepared for unintended consequences that come both in life and in fairy tales.” - Simone RodrigueWhen Simone first read Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint as a teenager in 1994, she was captivated by all the magic that occurs in the story.  She still finds herself going back to re-read this quote regularly and finds its meaning grows deeper as time passes. 
Bluets

Bluets

2020-10-1514:00

“For to wish to forget how much you loved someone - and then, to actually forget - can feel, at times, like the slaughter of a beautiful bird who chose, by nothing short of grace, to make a habitat of your heart.”From Bluets by Maggie Nelson.“I was so affected by this book, that I held it against my chest and I hugged it.” - Honey LapcharoenAs a former manager for Barnes and Noble, Honey Lapcharoen has seen and read many books, but nothing prepared her for the experience of reading Maggie Nelson’s Bluets - a meditation on the colour blue that pulls from poetry, science and Nelson’s own life.Writer and artist Honey Lapcharoen holds advanced degrees in Arts and Humanities Education from NYU, and worked in the book industry for almost a decade. She's currently working on her first novel.
"If there were no thunder, men would have little fear of lightning."From Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. “This was one of the first adult novels I ever read - and loved - after reading an MG (middle grade) version of it. I kind of attribute it to starting my love of adventure stories.” -Rob ShapiroRob Shapiro is a writer who has worked in television, film, theatre and copywriting. He recently wrote for Nelvana’s D. N. Ace and co-created two television series that are in development. His debut novel The Book of Sam was published in August 2020 by Dundurn Press. 
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