14 Quotes from Books About War

14 Quotes from Books About War

I have been collecting these for a while, while reading my favorite war novels. Some, like Slaughterhouse-Five, I love and read over and over. Some, like All Quiet on the Western Front, were far too devastating and while I adore them for what they are, I don’t know that I’ll be reading them again.

Today seems as apt as any to share these quotes from books about war:


“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five


“It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five


“I’ve always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.”

David Benioff, City of Thieves 


“Anything worth dying for … is certainly worth living for.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22


“’Why are they going to disappear him?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t even good grammar.’”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22


“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.”
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind


“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony–Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?”

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front


“While it is better to be loved than hated, it is also far better to be hated than ignored.”

Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer


Quote from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise


“They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity.”
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried


“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms


“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief


“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief


Quote from The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

“But this too is true: stories can save us.”
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried


Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

13 Creepy and Amazing Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

Edgar Allan Poe was a crazy. We all know this. His poetry does, in my opinion, show an immense capacity for love. (Read Annabel Lee or For Annie.) But most of his short stories are just immensely, delightfully creepy.

He was pretty amazing, too, and it’s worth talking about. He ventured into poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, which is fairly rare.

Certain stanzas of Poe’s poems or lines from his stories can really hit you; make you sit back and think about your life.

Here are 13 quotes in which Poe was the wonderful weirdo we all know and love:

(Don’t worry, none of these are the basics. I tried to go a little lesser known. You won’t see any of the “dream within a dream” stuff.)


“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” 

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket



Edgar Allan Poe Quote

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.” 


 “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” 


“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.” 


“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” 


“Invisible things are the only realities.” 
Loss of Breath


“I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind”


“I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty.”
The Poetic Principle


“Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.”


Edgar Allan Poe quote The Telltale Heart

I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.”

The Telltale Heart


“There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.”
The Masque of the Red Death


“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.”
Poems and Essays


“In the Heavens above, the angels, whispering to one another, can find, among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of ‘Mother.” 


What about you?

What’s your favorite Poe quote or poem?

4 Middle Grade Series to read with your kids

4 Middle Grade Series to Read with Your Kids

Reading with your kids is an amazing experience that will enrich both of your lives. It should be super fun. A lot can go wrong, though. It’s hard to find kid’s books that are both exciting enough to keep a kid’s attention, and not make you want to gouge your own eyes out.

Here are four series (and two stand alone books) that both you and your kids will love!

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I know, I know, everyone is talking about these. I promise the rest of the list will be a little more obscure.

The series surrounds the Baudelaire children, who have recently lost their parents. They now bounce from guardian to guardian, while seemingly every aspect of their life goes awry.

These books are hilarious for adults and children alike. The kids are adventurous, intelligent kids (I think we can all agree we’d like our kids to see more protagonists like this). The antagonist, Count Olaf, is also just genuinely great.

The books are super short, and it’s a plus that the show just came out on Netflix. Finish the books, then watch it together! Compare and contrast the differences with your kids.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl II is a 12 year old criminal mastermind. The first book in the series entails his capturing a fairy and holding her ransom to exploit the Fairy People.

These are smart reads, I recommend them for kids in the 10-12 range. They are so fun, and you will love them too.

The covers are also gorgeous, if that matters to you. (No judgement; I appreciate a beautiful cover.)

The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch

The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch

I died the first time I stumbled upon these. No seriously. Pseudonymous Bosch. That kills me. (For everyone who is not a super art history nerd, Hieronymus Bosch was an old school, super weird painter.)

The Secret Series involves three kids in a secret society. Each book is centers around one of the senses. For instance, This Book Is Not Good For You is all about chocolate, which is obviously taste.

The 39 Clues by Rick Riordan (and others)

39 Clues by Rick Riordan

Everyone knows Riordan for the Percy Jackson series, which is also fantastic. This, I think, is aimed at kids a little younger.

The Cahill children, a brother and sister, have been invited to participate in a treasure hunt that their deceased grandmother explained in her will. The children race around the world, looking for the 39 clues.

These books are witty, which is fun for adults. The adventure, travelling, and treasure-hunting is fun for the kids.


And two stand-alone novels worth mentioning:

The Egypt Game by by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

The Egypt Game by by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

The Egypt Game is about two girls who realize they’re both obsessed with Ancient Egypt. The girls set up a meeting place, and hold the Egypt game.

I’m all for any book that can help a kid’s interest in a subject that could be considered educational. My kid did sooo much research on Ancient Egypt after having read this!

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tolbooth by Norton Juster

Milo travels to the Kingdom of Wisdom, and goes on a quest to help two princesses, Rhyme and Reason.

I mean! SO fun. This book is so punny and delightful for everyone involved.


What About You?

What books do you like reading with your kids?


edit photos with picmonkey

How To Edit Blog Photos with PicMonkey

This is a follow-up to my post, How to Take Great Blog Photos (Without Expensive Equipment).

After I’ve taken photos I like, I edit them using Picmonkey. There are both free and premium options, but I’ve only ever needed the free version!

There are a tonnn of options. I really only use two sections.

Blog Photo Styling

This is one of my starting photos. The natural light is decent and I have it styled the way I want. So I open PicMonkey.

The first thing I do is crop it down to something more manageable. This is basically what you’re looking at at that point.

How to edit blog photos

The section you’re going to want to mess with is Exposure.

How to edit blog photos


When exposure is open, you then have four slide bars to mess with.

I always start with contrast, because this is the one that does most of the heavy lifting in my opinion.

How to edit blog photos

See how much more vibrant that is?? All that’s left is to make it brighter, really.

How to edit blog photos

And there you have it! Play around this way until you have a picture you’re happy with!

Archetype Novel by M.D. Waters

All that’s left to do at this point is get them ready for your different social media platforms!

take great blog photos

How to Take Great Blog Photos (Without Expensive Equipment)

Archetype Novel by M.D. Waters

If you’re new to blogging and not a photographer, eye-catching photos may be one of the things you’re most worried about.

I definitely stressed about it, because I didn’t want to be yet another book blogger who just used the Amazon photo of a book cover. I wanted original, beautiful pictures. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a fancy camera (or even a super fancy phone) and I was pretty sure good photos weren’t going to happen for me.

BUT. I did a tonnnnn of research in the form of looking at, at minimum, nine million photos. And I have since tested my theory. And here’s what I came up with. You need three things for your blog photos:

  1. Great Lighting
  2. Great Styling
  3. Great Editing

These things will get you beautiful photos, even if you don’t have great equipment.

I’m going to take you through my process with a few sets of photos for recent posts.

Step 1 – Great Lighting

This is possibly the most important part. I live in a dungeon. I mean, not really. But seriously. There is zero adequate lighting in my home. Which means I grab all my stuff and head out to my driveway at 5:30 in the morning, when the sun is rising.

If you’re lucky enough to not live in a dungeon, your hours are considerably less limited. I do it so early because the sun is rising, but hasn’t risen. This cuts down dramatically on shadows. For a good portion of the day, the sun is directly overhead and makes intense shadows everywhere, and it’s just more work for your editing process.

So this is basically what my initial set up looks like:

Blog Photo Set up

Yeah, seriously. (Pay no mind to my filthy driveway.) I got my background pieces at Office Max, FOR FREE because they were no longer using them for a display and they were about to be thrown out. Because they’re so lightly colored, they work really well for almost anything I set up against them.

So I take a variety of photos, to make sure I have options when I choose which ones I want. I take some horizontally, and some vertically, because different social media sites like different things.

How to: Blog Photo Styling  How to: Blog Photo Styling How to: Blog Photo Styling


I also change up the styling. Which brings me to

Step 2 – Great Styling

I’m sure you can see that I have a ton of props. I try to use props that work with the subject matter of the book. Sometimes it’s things you’d only get if you read the book.

For instance, for the Archetype Shoot, I used the book, some paintbrushes/tubes, and a sign that says “Bring me to the beach.” I used these things because they were relevant to the plot of the book.

I also move things around a ton, trying to decide where I like things best.

Blog Photo Styling Blog Photo Styling Blog Photo Styling

Step 3 – Great Editing

This is where the magic happens

Archetype Novel by M.D. Waters Various chick lit The Novel Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler The Novel Fates by Lanie Bross

Here are the final products! If you’d like to see my editing process, here’s a post on how I use PicMonkey to edit photos.