Book 1 - Beartown



if the book is this beautifully written when translated from a different language, one can only imagine what it's like in it's native language.

"Never trust people who don't have something in their lives that they love beyond reason"

If you are honest, people may deceive you. Be honest anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfishness. Be kind anyway.

No one raises their voice in this house and no one ever lowers it either -- all communication has its emotions amputated.

Good workers aren't enough on their own, someone needs to have big ideas as well. Collectives only work if they're built around stars.

"so averse to conflict that he couldn't even kill time"

"The only thing the sport gives us are moments. But what the hell is life, Peter, apart from moments?"

There's one positive side of being both romantic and very competitive: you never give up.

Hockey is like faith. [[religion]] is something between you and other people; it's full of interpretations and theories and opinions. But faith... that's just between you and God.

Anything that grows closely enough to what it loves will eventually share the same roots.

Bitterness can be corrosive; it can rewrite your memories as if it were scrubbing a crime scene clean, until in the end you only remember what suits you of its causes.

How close adrenaline is to panic: what rouses the body to battle and achievement are the same instincts that instill mortal dread in the brain.

Humanity has many shortcomings, but none is stronger than pride.

Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes much easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. [[the self and the other]]

The easiest way to untie a group isn't through love, because love is hard. It makes demands.

Hate is simple.

And when enough people are quiet for long enough, a handful of voices can give the impression that everyone is screaming.

It's easier to talk about a cause than a problem.

There are damn few things in life that are harder than admitting to yourself that you're a hypocrite.

What is a community The sum total of our choices.

Sometimes life doesn't let you choose your battles. Just the company you keep.

Lot of people would say that many of the best things people do for each other occur precisely because of loyalty. The only problem is that many of the very worst things we do to each other occur because of the same thing.

As if you could forbid pride.

"This town doesn't always know the difference between right and wrong, I'll admit that. But we know the difference between good and evil."

You have friends when you're fifteen years old. Sometimes you get them back.

Book 2 - Us Against You

The truth always has to stick to what actually happened, whereas the lie just has to be easy to believe.

The best thing about nature is that it isn't nostalgic; rocks and trees don't give a damn about their previous owners.

[[Morality]] is a luxury

The politician collects information from the people who have lost their jobs rather than from the people firing them

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star" -- [[Friedrich Nietzsche]]

It's hard to care about people. Exhausting, in fact, because [[empathy]] is a complicated thing. It requires us to accept that everyone else's lives are also going on the whole time. We have no pause button for when everything gets too much for us to deal with, but then neither does anyone else.

And that's the problem: love isn't like leadership. Asking for it doesn't help.

She's never felt more alone, and loneliness drives everyone to make bad decisions.

It's always the aggressors' feelings we have to defend, as if they're the ones who need our understanding.

Exclusion is a form of exhaustion that eats its way into your skeleton.

[[death]] does that to us, it's like a phone call, you always remember exactly what you should have said the moment you hang up.

[[physical intelligence]]

and how some martial arts practitioners seem to have an equivalent of a musician's perfect pitch: when they see something, their body instinctively knows how to do the same thing.

Book 3 - The Winners

Being married is easy, she usually think. You just pick an argument you're really good at, and then repeat it at least once a week for all eternity.

People say that age brings wisdom but for most of us that really isn't true. When we get old we've just accumulated more experiences, good and bad. The result is more likely to be cynicism than wisdom. When we're young we know nothing about all the very worst that can hit us, which is just as well, because otherwise we'd never leave the house. And we would definitely never let go of those we love.

In a crisis we instinctively seek out the only thing that matters, even in our sleep; the breath of others, a pulse for our own to keep time with.

We fool ourselves that we can protect the people we love, because if we accepted the truth we'd never let them out of our sight.

Falling in love with a place and falling in love with a person are related adventures.

The hardest thing a out being a good parent is that you never feel like one. If you're absent, you're committing one big mistake, but if you're present the whole time you commit a million tiny ones, and teenagers keep a count.

That's the lot of being a parent: at first all activities are done for their sake, and in the end for ours. Eventually we realize that everything is about is wanting to be wherever they are, as much as possible, for as long as they let us.

Our children never warn us that they're thinking of growing up, one day they're just too big to want to hold our hand. It's just as well we never know when the last time is going to be or we'd never let go.

They drive you mad when they're little, yelling every time you leave the room, because you don't realize at the time that whenever someone yells "Daddy!" that means you're important. It's hard to get used to not being important.

When you're young and in love you think the difficult part of being in a relationship is admitting when you need help, but when you've been married for half your life you know that the hardest thing is admitting that you really don't; you don't need anyone's help to feel inadequate and a failure and worthless.

When we are little we grieve for the person we have lost, but when we're older we grieve even more for ourselves. He wept for her loneliness but also for his own.

Anxiety and alcohol have piled on the pounds since summer, but his feet have been longing for this.

But at least he's here, he's running again. All the way back to the person he used to be.

He seems to have developed an immunity to adrenaline.

All of this looks so spontaneous: like a popular [[movement]]. [[Grassroots]]. All those words that make it sound as if change just grows naturally.

She's forest folk too, it turns out. You don't always know that until you have a forest to be folk in.