I am one of 19 cousins. (Free tidbit from beck's life.)
I finished Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott (fascinating reading about her life and especially her influences!) last night. I honestly can't remember if I've read it before or not. It was nice. I've often wondered what it would be like to live as one of the "little women" (or, more preferably, at Jo and Father Bhaer's house in Little Men) and one of my favorite names for myself when playing pretend games with other kids was Jo. That or Sam.
Here are some of the excerpts I underlined in my Kindle:
"Aunt Myra is a ahem! an excellent woman, but it is her hobby to believe that everyone is tottering on the brink of the grave; and, upon my life, I believe she is offended if people don't fall into it!" Uncle Alec to Rose.
"A happy soul in a healthy body makes the best sort of beauty for man or woman." Uncle Alec
"Yet that is considered an excellent school, I find, and I dare say it would be if the benighted lady did not think it necessary to cram her pupils like Thanks-giving turkeys, instead of feeding them in a natural and wholesome way. It is the fault with most American schools, and the poor little heads will go on aching till we learn better." - Dr./Uncle Alec
"It is apt to be so, and it is hard to bear; for, though we do not want trumpets blown, we do like to have our little virtues appreciated, and cannot help feeling disappointed if they are not."
"Steve tore his hair, metaphorically speaking, for he clutched his cherished top-knot, and wildly disheveled it, as if that was the heaviest penance he could inflict upon himself at such short notice. Charlie laid himself out flat, melodramatically begging someone to take him away and hang him; but Archie, who felt worst of all, said nothing except to vow within himself that he would read to Mac till his own eyes were as red as a dozen emery bags combined."
"Tomboys make strong women usually, and I had far rather find Rose playing football with Mac than puttering over bead-work like that affected midget, Ariadne Blish." - Dr. Alec
"This love of money is the curse of America, and for the sake of it men will sell honor and honesty, till we don't know whom to trust, and it is only a genius like Agassiz who dares to say, 'I cannot waste my time in getting rich,'" said Mrs. Jessie sadly.
"Fathers and mothers are too absorbed in business and housekeeping to study their children, and cherish that sweet and natural confidence which is a child's surest safeguard, and a parent's subtlest power."
"Phebe...who stood all alone in the wide world, yet was not sad nor afraid, but took her bits of happiness gratefully, and sung over her work without a thought of discontent."