“James Reyburn, a fifty-year-old Wall Street lawyer and cotton broker who was widely admired for his good works and infectious good humor, had a premonition that he would die of cholera.” Benjamin Miller, Fat of the Land: Garbage of New York: The Last Two Hundred Years.

“The scalloped hem of Caterina Lazzari’s blue velvet coat grazed the fresh-fallen snow, leaving a pale pink path on the bricks as she walked across the empty piazza.” Adriana Trigiani, The Shoemaker’s Wife.

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto.

“District Attorney Varga was conducting the prosecution in the Reis trial, which had been going for almost a month and would have dragged on for at least two more, when, one mild May night, after ten and not later than twelve, according to various testimony and the autopsy, they killed him.” Leonardo Sciascia, Equal Danger.

“One of the things that happens when you get older is that you discover lots of new ways to hurt yourself.” Bill Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain. (Library)

“There was going to be a funeral.” Alan Conway, Magpie Murders: An Atticus Pünd Mystery.

“Four hundred million years ago, dragonflies the size of crows drifted above a giant inland sea.” Eliza Griswold, Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America.

“Alfred Russel Wallace stood on the quarterdeck of a burning ship, seven hundred miles off the coast of Bermuda, the planks heating beneath his feet, yellow smoke curling up through the cracks.” Kirk Wallace Johnson, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century.

“It was the smell that Mrs. Powell noticed first.” Minette Walters, The Echo.

“I wasn’t prepared to meet a condemned man.” Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

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