The next Bushwick event, 3 for 3: Music Inspired by Books; Books Inspired by Water, is just around the corner. It’s a special show because it will feature nine songwriters performing a song inspired by one of three authors and is supported by four local Seattle organizations. Let’s take a closer look at each of the featured books by exploring four quotes from each title.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
All the work featured in The Boys in the Boat, rowing, takes place on the water. Many of the passages are about the hardship and pain that the rower faces along with the perseverance it takes to become a successful rowing crew. Teamwork also plays a major roll in the book.
“It’s not a question of whether you will hurt, or of how much you will hurt; it’s a question of what you will do, and how well you will do it, while pain has her wanton way with you.” – Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
“The ability to yield, to bend, to give way, to accommodate, he said, was sometimes a source of strength in men as well as in wood, so long as it was helmed by inner resolve and by principle.” – Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
“It takes energy to get angry. It eats you up inside. I can’t waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead.” – Joe Rantz in Daniel James Brown’s, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
“Perhaps the seeds of redemption lay not just in perseverance, hard work, and rugged individualism. Perhaps they lay in something more fundamental—the simple notion of everyone pitching in and pulling together.” – Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Before the Wind by Jim Lynch
In addition to water, themes of wind and family permeate and aging Before the Wind. My favorite character was Grumps and his quotes, especially those on getting old stuck out to me and made me laugh.
“Sailboats attract the loons and geniuses among us. The romantics whose boats represent some outlaw image of themselves. We fall for these things. But what we’re slow to grasp is that it’s not the boats, but rather those inexplicable moments on the water when time slows. The entire industry is built on a feeling, an emotion. It’s rarely the thing. Or is it? Regardless, boaters are suckers.” – Jim Lynch, Before the Wind
“We want and need wind. Sure, it’s a complicated relationship starting with the first lullaby we hear. ‘When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall.’ How comforting. Yet for some reason we treat even the most villainous windstorms like endearing alcoholic relatives. Why else would we christen violent hurricanes with names like Andrew and Katrina? Earthquakes and tornadoes generate similar mayhem yet we don’t name those brutes.” – Jim Lynch, Before the Wind
“If I ever get to that embarrassing point where I can’t speak or wipe myself when everybody says just to pull the goddamn plug. Remember that I’m not everybody. Don’t think you’re doing me any favors by tossing into Lake Union with a 40 pound Danforth around my neck. Okay doke? I want every last day I can get my aching hands on.” – Grumps in Jim Lynch’s Before the Wind
“Nothing tells you exactly how old you are like mornings.” – Grumps in Jim Lynch’s Before the Wind
Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge
Unsurprisingly due to its title, Love Water Memory includes themes of love and how memories of your relationship affect your life.
“So many memories. They clustered and darted in Helen’s mind like schools of fish, coming, going, too slippery to hold on to long enough to show the girl how it had been between them, how they’d been a real family, how they’d loved each other.” – Jennie Shortridge, Love Water Memory
“Her nose and cheeks burned a dark pink. She tried to relax her brow, but the hurt didn’t leave. It settled into the back of her throat, the place that made it hard to speak to him. They’d regressed, and Lucie didn’t know how to shift forward again. She wanted what wasn’t hers: the love he held precious for the old Lucie.” – Jennie Shortridge, Love Water Memory
“Life gaped wide in front of her, with both possibility and a blank space she wasn’t sure how to fill.” – Jennie Shortridge, Love Water Memory
“What is love, she wondered, and what is memory? Where did the two intersect, and when would it no longer matter which came first?” – Jennie Shortridge, Love Water Memory
As you’ve worked your way through the three books this month, what passages stuck out to you? Leave a comment and let us know.