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Every time there's a revolution, it comes from somebody reading a book about revolution. David Walker wrote a book and Nat Turner did his thing.
There's a moment in every book when the book turns and it surprises me.
My only writing ritual is to shave my head bald between writing the first and second drafts of a book. If I can throw away all my hair, then I have the freedom to trash any part of the book on the next rewrite.
I thought if I had a Twitter feed and say I had a following of a 100,000, that means 100,000 of them would be interested in my book. It was logical, but it didn't turn out to be true. It turned out if I had a Twitter feed of a 100,000, four of them were interested in my book.
I don't claim to be knowledgeable about theology. Most of my knowledge comes out of my experience and the lessons in the Bible. Every Sunday I'm home I teach 45 minutes and we boiled them down to one page for the new book, 'Through the Year with Jimmy Carter.'
Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.
A good writer is not, per se, a good book critic. No more so than a good drunk is automatically a good bartender.
I remember once I read a book on mental illness and there was a nurse that had gotten sick. Do you know what she died from? From worrying about the mental patients not being able to get their food. She became a mental patient.
Anybody who likes writing a book is an idiot. Because it's impossible; it's like having a homework assignment every stinking day until it's done. And by the time you get it in, it's done and you're sitting there reading it, and you realize the 12,000 things you didn't do. I mean, writing isn't fun. It's never been fun.
The truth doesn't change. It was the same when Moses got the Ten Commandments as it is today. That's the thing about the truth. That's the thing about real. It doesn't change and it doesn't have to change. Now you can put it in a different book, but it's still real. It's still the truth.
If it's all instruction, you get annoyed with it and bored, and you stop reading. If it's all entertainment, you read it quite quickly, your heart going pitty-pat, pitty-pat. But when you finish, that's it. You're not going to think about it much afterward, apart from the odd nightmare. You're not going to read that book again.
I don't think there's much point in bemoaning the state of the world unless there's some way you can think of to improve it. Otherwise, don't bother writing a book; go and find a tropical island and lie in the sun.
Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.
When I see Kate Moss out and about, I think she looks more beautiful than when her hairdresser and make-up artist try and make her look like something else. And I remember when Madonna first asked Versace to book me to shoot a campaign with her, she came to see me wearing hardly any make-up, and she looked incredible.
The Holy Book calls upon Muslims to resist tyranny. Dictatorships in Pakistan, however long, have, therefore, always collapsed in the face of this spirit.
Webster and I are very aloof. The two of us go and sit there by ourselves. I sit by myself in the corner with my book and the newspaper. He kind of runs around a little bit, and then he goes and sits on top of the picnic table. He never plays with other little dogs.
A bad book and good marketing won't work, the same way a good book and bad marketing will also not work. There is no choice in the matter that if you need to write a good book, you also need to have good marketing for it.
How I envy writers who can work on aeroplanes or in hotel rooms. On the run I can produce an article or a book review, or even a film script, but for fiction I must have my own desk, my own wall with my own postcards pinned to it, and my own window not to look out of.
I'm obsessive. That's the word for me. I obsess - perhaps to the point where it's moderately dysfunctional. I tend to put a book through about 100 revisions. If anything, that's an understatement. If there's another author out there who does this sort of revision, I would really like to meet him. Maybe we could form some sort of support group.
It's just a great, legendary comic book hero and it's one that has never been kind of been brought back to life after Lynda Carter. I mean, it's a reinvention. When Tim Burton reinvented Batman after Adam West, and when Donner reinvented Superman after George Reeves, it's time to do that with Wonder Woman.
If I'm extremely bored and I don't have a book with me and I'm being an obnoxious teenager, I'll read 'BuzzFeed' on my phone. But even that just leaves me feeling icky because I think for some reason my comfort zone is to just not really be in the loop about stuff like awards shows or things like that.
A book without potty humor is like a banana split without hot fudge. It can still be good, I suppose, but you kinda get the feeling that something is missing.
I've always thought Harper Lee might have made a great decision. Much as you'd like to have more books by her, there's something about just one that's kind of mysterious and nice. On the other hand, the New York gossip about me was that I'd never write another book. So I thought, 'Well, I will then.'
There was only one elective at my college for acting, but thank God for that elective because we had a great teacher who introduced me to the Meisner technique for acting. Once I read that book, I said, 'Wow, if I could do that and have that honest moment on stage, that would be amazing.'
It's so tedious writing cookbooks or writing the recipes because I've never been much of a measurer. But to write a book, you have to measure everything.
He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the Moment
The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.
James A. Baldwin
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