“By August 1, all of New York was talking about the disaster.” Edward P. Kohn, Hot Time in the Old Town: The Great Heat Wave of 1896 and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt.

“The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog.” Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing.

 “Under a sliver of moon, on an island off the coast of China, a twenty-six-year-old army captain slipped away from his post and headed for the water’s edge.” Evan Osnos, The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China.

“Twenty miles from here, twenty miles north, the funeral mass was starting.” Rebecca Makkai, The Great Believers.

“He would cross and re-cross the East River thousands of times, including the day before his last on earth.” Stacy Horn, Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad & Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

“The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died.” Anna Burns, Milkman.

“Sally Horner walked into the Woolworth’s on Broadway and Federal in Camden, New Jersey, to steal a five-cent notebook.” Sarah Weinman, The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World.

“I might have been ten, eleven years old—I cannot say for certain—when my first master died.” Esi Edugyan, Washington Black.

“Jean McConville was thirty-eight when she disappeared, and she had spent nearly half her life either pregnant or recovering from childbirth.” Patrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland.

“When a high-powered rifle hits living flesh it makes a distinctive—pow-WHOP sound that is unmistakable even at a tremendous distance.” C.J. Box, Open Season.

“Deep in Honduras, in a region called La Mosquitia, lie some of the last unexplored places on earth.” Douglas Preston, Lost City of the Monkey God.

“The first time Caesar approached Cora about running north, she said no.” Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad.

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