Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
Why? Because of this:—one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul. For the human species, selfishness is extinction.
Is this the doom written within our nature?
If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe that leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real.
Maus - Art Spiegelman
Great House - Nicole Krauss
YOUR HONOR, for as long as I can remember I set myself apart. Or rather I believed that I had been set apart from others, chosen out. I won’t waste your time with the injuries of my childhood, with my loneliness, or the fear and sadness of the years I spent inside the bitter capsule of my parents’ marriage, under the reign of my father’s rage, after all, who isn’t a survivor from the wreck of childhood? I have no desire to describe mine; I only want to say that in order to survive that dark and often terrifying passage of my life I came to believe certain things about myself. I didn’t grant myself magical powers or believe myself to be under the watch of some beneficent force—it was nothing so tangible as that—nor did I ever lose sight of the immutable reality of my situation. I simply came to believe that one, the factual circumstances of my life were almost accidental and didn’t grow out of my own soul, and two, I possessed something unique, a special strength and a depth of feeling that would allow me to withstand the hurt and injustice without being broken by it.
Here I Am - Jonathan Safran Foer
I was wrong about almost everything. But I was right about the speed of the losing. Some of the moments were interminably long—the first cruel night of sleep training; cruelly (it felt) peeling him off a leg on the first day of school; pinning him down while the doctor who wasn’t stitching his hand back together told me, “This is not a time to be his friend”—but the years passed so quickly I had to search videos and photo albums for proof of our shared life. It happened. It must have. We did all that living. And yet it required evidence, or belief.
S. - Doug Dorst & JJ Abrams