Bookish Words of Wisdom #3 – The sweet, clean world of dreams

How secret and clean and sweet is the-3I’ve been blogging a bit about writing and money lately so I had to share this gorgeous quote. I’m reading New York Diaries, edited by Teresa Carpenter, after hearing about it on my favourite website, Brain Pickings. New York Diaries pulls together quotes from the diaries of hundreds of people, famous and not, who’ve written about the city as they recorded their daily lives.

The book presents these quotes in date order by month, so the first section of the book begins on January 1 and ends on January 31, with the next section of the book starting in February. I love this idea, that rather than ordering the entries alphabetically by surname, or chronologically from the very first diary entry through to the last, we get different impressions of the city according to the months and season. So in a month or a day I can read from both Simone de Beauvoir’s diary and from the diary of Naomi R. King, whom most people have probably never heard of, but who wrote, as a 12 year old girl, beautiful descriptions of the city when she visited in 1899: “It was just dusk and it looked as if the buildings were a great dark mountain and the lights looked like gems among them.”

So, enjoy this other gem of a quote that I found between the pages, written by Winifred Willis, who wrote pieces for The New Yorker and Ladies Home Journal, but whose true love, that of novel and play writing, eluded her in terms of publication, but whose diary stands as a testament to her joy in doing it, regardless.


  1. Louise Allan

    A great little post, Natasha. Love the sound of this book — what a great way to structure it! And I love the Brain Pickings website, too. The other gem of a website that I love is ‘Letters of Note’ — letters written by famous people. The most recent letter I read was from Professor Marie Curie recommending an up-and-coming physicist for a job — Albert Einstein.

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