on religion: "The only force I believe in is prayer, and it is a force I apply with more doggedness than attention."
on Freud: "As to Sigmund, I am against him tooth and toenail but I am crafty: never deny, seldom confirm, always distinguish. Within his limitations I am ready to admit certain uses for him."
on reading her work aloud: "I do it whenever I go to Nashville or anytime anybody asks me, which is not often. Usually it works very well; however, the funnier the story, the straighter the face it should be read with and I am the kind who laughs heartily at my own jokes. This weekend I read the first story in the book and disgraced myself in this fashion."
Excerpts from The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor.
Your turn, Susan!
My disappointment in Avi's book may be related to the book that was, I think, a turning point in my reading career - The Secret Garden, which I read at about nine or ten, either the summer before or after the fourth grade. I was an avid reader early, but TSG whetted my appetite for more involved stories. From then on, I was not a hungry reader, but a voracious one. While not all books will capture our imaginations, it is important to have a book like TSG to turn young readers into lifetime readers.