I’d often wondered, when my father prowled around banging the kitchen cabinets and complaining that he wanted a drink, what “wanting a drink” felt like—what it felt like to want alcohol and nothing but, not water or Pepsi or anything else. Now, I thought bleakly, I know.

  • The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
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…so cool and blonde and monotone that sometimes she seemed partially drained of blood. She was a masterpiece of composure; nothing ever ruffled her or made her upset, and though she was not beautiful her calmness had the magnetic pull of beauty—a stillness so powerful that the molecules realigned themselves around her when she came into a room. Like a fashion drawing come to life, she turned heads wherever she went, gliding along obliviously without appearing to notice the turbulence she created in her wake; her eyes were spaced far apart, her ears were small, high-set, and very close to her head, and her body was long-waisted and thin, like an elegant weasel’s.

  • The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt