Mockingjay PDF

Mockingjay PDF

Mockingjay Plot Summary

After Katniss is rescued from the arena by the rebels she agrees to be the symbol of the rebellion. When the rebels rescue Peeta and the others from the Capitol it is quickly learned that Peeta has been brainwashed into hating Katniss when he tries to kill her upon seeing her.

After the rebels take back the districts they start attacking the Capitol itself. Katniss and her team make their way through the booby trapped city. Losing several of their team as they go. After awhile Katniss is pushing toward Snow’s manison, which has many human child sheilds. Afterwards, supply packages rain down from a hovercraft onto these children and a rebel medical team, which includes Katniss’s sister Prim, but instead of supplies there are bombs and all the children die and so does the entire medical team.

After Snow’s capture he is tried and found guilty. During a conversation with Snow before his exicution is supposed to take place, Snow tells him that the final bombing that killed her sister was not ordered by the Capitol, but by Coin, the leader of the rebellion. At the exicution of Snow Katniss kills Coin instead of Snow because she knows that he was telling the truth. That it was Coin that ordered the final bombing. After the riot that insued, Snow was found dead, having either choked on his on blood or being tramped by the crowd.

Katniss is tried for the murder of President Coin, but is found not guilty beccause of her “obvious” insanity. She returns to District 12 with Peeta, who has recovered a lot sincehis brainwashing, and they become a family and have kids.

Mockingjay Chapter 1

I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather. This is where the bed I shared with my sister, Prim, stood. Over there was the kitchen table. The bricks of the chimney, which collapsed in a charred heap, provide a point of reference for the rest of the house. How else could I orient myself in this sea of gray?

Almost nothing remains of District 12. A month ago, the Capitol’s firebombs obliterated the poor coal miners’ houses in the Seam, the shops in the town, even the Justice Building. The only area that escaped incineration was the Victor’s Village. I don’t know why exactly. Perhaps so anyone forced to come here on Capitol business would have somewhere decent to stay. The odd reporter. A committee assessing the condition of the coal mines. A squad of Peacekeepers checking for returning refugees.

But no one is returning except me. And that’s only for a brief visit. The authorities in District 13 were against my coming back. They viewed it as a costly and pointless venture, given that at least a dozen invisible hovercraft are circling overhead for my protection and there’s no intelligence to be gained. I had to see it, though. So much so that I made it a condition of my cooperating with any of their plans.

Finally, Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker who had organized the rebels in the Capitol, threw up his hands. “Let her go. Better to waste a day than another month. Maybe a little tour of Twelve is just what she needs to convince her we’re on the same side.”

The same side. A pain stabs my left temple and I press my hand against it. Right on the spot where Johanna Mason hit me with the coil of wire. The memories swirl as I try to sort out what is true and what is false. What series of events led me to be standing in the ruins of my city? This is hard because the effects of the concussion she gave me haven’t completely subsided and my thoughts still have a tendency to jumble together. Also, the drugs they use to control my pain and mood sometimes make me see things. I guess. I’m still not entirely convinced that I was hallucinating the night the floor of my hospital room transformed into a carpet of writhing snakes.

I use a technique one of the doctors suggested. I start with the simplest things I know to be true and work toward the more complicated. The list begins to roll in my head….

My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Peeta was taken prisoner. He is thought to be dead. Most likely he is dead. It is probably best if he is dead….

“Katniss. Should I come down?” My best friend Gale’s voice reaches me through the headset the rebels insisted I wear. He’s up in a hovercraft, watching me carefully, ready to swoop in if anything goes amiss. I realize I’m crouched down now, elbows on my thighs, my head braced between my hands. I must look on the verge of some kind of breakdown. This won’t do. Not when they’re finally weaning me off the medication.

I straighten up and wave his offer away. “No. I’m fine.” To reinforce this, I begin to move away from my old house and in toward the town. Gale asked to be dropped off in 12 with me, but he didn’t force the issue when I refused his company. He understands I don’t want anyone with me today. Not even him. Some walks you have to take alone.

The summer’s been scorching hot and dry as a bone. There’s been next to no rain to disturb the piles of ash left by the attack. They shift here and there, in reaction to my footsteps. No breeze to scatter them. I keep my eyes on what I remember as the road, because when I first landed in the Meadow, I wasn’t careful and I walked right into a rock. Only it wasn’t a rock—it was someone’s skull. It rolled over and over and landed faceup, and for a long time I couldn’t stop looking at the teeth, wondering whose they were, thinking of how mine would probably look the same way under similar circumstances.

I stick to the road out of habit, but it’s a bad choice, because it’s full of the remains of those who tried to flee. Some were incinerated entirely. But others, probably overcome with smoke, escaped the worst of the flames and now lie reeking in various states of decomposition, carrion for scavengers, blanketed by flies. I killed you, I think as I pass a pile. And you. And you.

Because I did. It was my arrow, aimed at the chink in the force field surrounding the arena, that brought on this firestorm of retribution. That sent the whole country of Panem into chaos.

In my head I hear President Snow’s words, spoken the morning I was to begin the Victory Tour. “Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire, you have provided a spark that, left unattended, may grow to an inferno that destroys Panem.” It turns out he wasn’t exaggerating or simply trying to scare me. He was, perhaps, genuinely attempting to enlist my help. But I had already set something in motion that I had no ability to control.

Burning. Still burning, I think numbly. The fires at the coal mines belch black smoke in the distance. There’s no one left to care, though. More than ninety percent of the district’s population is dead. The remaining eight hundred or so are refugees in District 13—which, as far as I’m concerned, is the same thing as being homeless forever.

I know I shouldn’t think that; I know I should be grateful for the way we have been welcomed. Sick, wounded, starving, and empty-handed. Still, I can never get around the fact that District 13 was instrumental in 12’s destruction. This doesn’t absolve me of blame—there’s plenty of blame to go around. But without them, I would not have been part of a larger plot to overthrow the Capitol or had the wherewithal to do it.

The citizens of District 12 had no organized resistance movement of their own. No say in any of this. They only had the misfortune to have me. Some survivors think it’s good luck, though, to be free of District 12 at last. To have escaped the endless hunger and oppression, the perilous mines, the lash of our final Head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread. To have a new home at all is seen as a wonder since, up until a short time ago, we hadn’t even known that District 13 still existed.

The credit for the survivors’ escape has landed squarely on Gale’s shoulders, although he’s loath to accept it. As soon as the Quarter Quell was over—as soon as I had been lifted from the arena—the electricity in District 12 was cut, the televisions went black, and the Seam became so silent, people could hear one another’s heartbeats. No one did anything to protest or celebrate what had happened in the arena. Yet within fifteen minutes, the sky was filled with hoverplanes and the bombs were raining down.

It was Gale who thought of the Meadow, one of the few places not filled with old wooden homes embedded with coal dust. He herded those he could in its direction, including my mother and Prim. He formed the team that pulled down the fence—now just a harmless chain-link barrier, with the electricity off—and led the people into the woods. He took them to the only place he could think of, the lake my father had shown me as a child. And it was from there they watched the distant flames eat up everything they knew in the world.

By dawn the bombers were long gone, the fires dying, the final stragglers rounded up. My mother and Prim had set up a medical area for the injured and were attempting to treat them with whatever they could glean from the woods. Gale had two sets of bows and arrows, one hunting knife, one fishing net, and over eight hundred terrified people to feed. With the help of those who were able-bodied, they managed for three days. And that’s when the hovercraft unexpectedly arrived to evacuate them to District 13, where there were more than enough clean, white living compartments, plenty of clothing, and three meals a day. The compartments had the disadvantage of being underground, the clothing was identical, and the food was relatively tasteless, but for the refugees of 12, these were minor considerations. They were safe. They were being cared for. They were alive and eagerly welcomed.

This enthusiasm was interpreted as kindness. But a man named Dalton, a District 10 refugee who’d made it to 13 on foot a few years ago, leaked the real motive to me. “They need you. Me. They need us all. Awhile back, there was some sort of pox epidemic that killed a bunch of them and left a lot more infertile. New breeding stock. That’s how they see us.” Back in 10, he’d worked on one of the beef ranches, maintaining the genetic diversity of the herd with the implantation of long-frozen cow embryos. He’s very likely right about 13, because there don’t seem to be nearly enough kids around. But so what? We’re not being kept in pens, we’re being trained for work, the children are being educated. Those over fourteen have been given entry-level ranks in the military and are addressed respectfully as “Soldier.” Every single refugee was granted automatic citizenship by the authorities of 13.

Still, I hate them. But, of course, I hate almost everybody now. Myself more than anyone.

The surface beneath my feet hardens, and under the carpet of ash, I feel the paving stones of the square. Around the perimeter is a shallow border of refuse where the shops stood. A heap of blackened rubble has replaced the Justice Building. I walk to the approximate site of the bakery Peeta’s family owned. Nothing much left but the melted lump of the oven. Peeta’s parents, his two older brothers—none of them made it to 13. Fewer than a dozen of what passed for District 12’s well-to-do escaped the fire. Peeta would have nothing to come home to, anyway. Except me…

I back away from the bakery and bump into something, lose my balance, and find myself sitting on a hunk of sun-heated metal. I puzzle over what it might have been, then remember Thread’s recent renovations of the square. Stocks, whipping posts, and this, the remains of the gallows. Bad. This is bad. It brings on the flood of images that torments me, awake or asleep. Peeta being tortured—drowned, burned, lacerated, shocked, maimed, beaten—as the Capitol tries to get information about the rebellion that he doesn’t know. I squeeze my eyes shut and try to reach for him across the hundreds and hundreds of miles, to send my thoughts into his mind, to let him know he is not alone. But he is. And I can’t help him.

Running. Away from the square and to the one place the fire did not destroy. I pass the wreckage of the mayor’s house, where my friend Madge lived. No word of her or her family. Were they evacuated to the Capitol because of her father’s position, or left to the flames? Ashes billow up around me, and I pull the hem of my shirt up over my mouth. It’s not wondering what I breathe in, but who, that threatens to choke me.

The grass has been scorched and the gray snow fell here as well, but the twelve fine houses of the Victor’s Village are unscathed. I bolt into the house I lived in for the past year, slam the door closed, and lean back against it. The place seems untouched. Clean. Eerily quiet. Why did I come back to 12? How can this visit help me answer the question I can’t escape?

“What am I going to do?” I whisper to the walls. Because I really don’t know.

People keep talking at me, talking, talking, talking. Plutarch Heavensbee. His calculating assistant, Fulvia Cardew. A mishmash of district leaders. Military officials. But not Alma Coin, the president of 13, who just watches. She’s fifty or so, with gray hair that falls in an unbroken sheet to her shoulders. I’m somewhat fascinated by her hair, since it’s so uniform, so without a flaw, a wisp, even a split end. Her eyes are gray, but not like those of people from the Seam. They’re very pale, as if almost all the color has been sucked out of them. The color of slush that you wish would melt away.

What they want is for me to truly take on the role they designed for me. The symbol of the revolution. The Mockingjay. It isn’t enough, what I’ve done in the past, defying the Capitol in the Games, providing a rallying point. I must now become the actual leader, the face, the voice, the embodiment of the revolution. The person who the districts—most of which are now openly at war with the Capitol—can count on to blaze the path to victory. I won’t have to do it alone. They have a whole team of people to make me over, dress me, write my speeches, orchestrate my appearances—as if that doesn’t sound horribly familiar—and all I have to do is play my part. Sometimes I listen to them and sometimes I just watch the perfect line of Coin’s hair and try to decide if it’s a wig. Eventually, I leave the room because my head starts to ache or it’s time to eat or if I don’t get aboveground I might start screaming. I don’t bother to say anything. I simply get up and walk out.

Yesterday afternoon, as the door was closing behind me, I heard Coin say, “I told you we should have rescued the boy first.” Meaning Peeta. I couldn’t agree more. He would’ve been an excellent mouthpiece.

And who did they fish out of the arena instead? Me, who won’t cooperate. Beetee, an older inventor from 3, who I rarely see because he was pulled into weapons development the minute he could sit upright. Literally, they wheeled his hospital bed into some top secret area and now he only occasionally shows up for meals. He’s very smart and very willing to help the cause, but not really firebrand material. Then there’s Finnick Odair, the sex symbol from the fishing district, who kept Peeta alive in the arena when I couldn’t. They want to transform Finnick into a rebel leader as well, but first they’ll have to get him to stay awake for more than five minutes. Even when he is conscious, you have to say everything to him three times to get through to his brain. The doctors say it’s from the electrical shock he received in the arena, but I know it’s a lot more complicated than that. I know that Finnick can’t focus on anything in 13 because he’s trying so hard to see what’s happening in the Capitol to Annie, the mad girl from his district who’s the only person on earth he loves.

Despite serious reservations, I had to forgive Finnick for his role in the conspiracy that landed me here. He, at least, has some idea of what I’m going through. And it takes too much energy to stay angry with someone who cries so much.

I move through the downstairs on hunter’s feet, reluctant to make any sound. I pick up a few remembrances: a photo of my parents on their wedding day, a blue hair ribbon for Prim, the family book of medicinal and edible plants. The book falls open to a page with yellow flowers and I shut it quickly because it was Peeta’s brush that painted them.

What am I going to do?

Is there any point in doing anything at all? My mother, my sister, and Gale’s family are finally safe. As for the rest of 12, people are either dead, which is irreversible, or protected in 13. That leaves the rebels in the districts. Of course, I hate the Capitol, but I have no confidence that my being the Mockingjay will benefit those who are trying to bring it down. How can I help the districts when every time I make a move, it results in suffering and loss of life? The old man shot in District 11 for whistling. The crackdown in 12 after I intervened in Gale’s whipping. My stylist, Cinna, being dragged, bloody and unconscious, from the Launch Room before the Games. Plutarch’s sources believe he was killed during interrogation. Brilliant, enigmatic, lovely Cinna is dead because of me. I push the thought away because it’s too impossibly painful to dwell on without losing my fragile hold on the situation entirely.

What am I going to do?

To become the Mockingjay…could any good I do possibly outweigh the damage? Who can I trust to answer that question? Certainly not that crew in 13. I swear, now that my family and Gale’s are out of harm’s way, I could run away. Except for one unfinished piece of business. Peeta. If I knew for sure that he was dead, I could just disappear into the woods and never look back. But until I do, I’m stuck.

I spin on my heel at the sound of a hiss. In the kitchen doorway, back arched, ears flattened, stands the ugliest tomcat in the world. “Buttercup,” I say. Thousands of people are dead, but he has survived and even looks well fed. On what? He can get in and out of the house through a window we always left ajar in the pantry. He must have been eating field mice. I refuse to consider the alternative.

I squat down and extend a hand. “Come here, boy.” Not likely. He’s angry at his abandonment. Besides, I’m not offering food, and my ability to provide scraps has always been my main redeeming quality to him. For a while, when we used to meet up at the old house because we both disliked this new one, we seemed to be bonding a little. That’s clearly over. He blinks those unpleasant yellow eyes.

“Want to see Prim?” I ask. Her name catches his attention. Besides his own, it’s the only word that means anything to him. He gives a rusty meow and approaches me. I pick him up, stroking his fur, then go to the closet and dig out my game bag and unceremoniously stuff him in. There’s no other way I’ll be able to carry him on the hovercraft, and he means the world to my sister. Her goat, Lady, an animal of actual value, has unfortunately not made an appearance.

In my headset, I hear Gale’s voice telling me we must go back. But the game bag has reminded me of one more thing that I want. I sling the strap of the bag over the back of a chair and dash up the steps to my bedroom. Inside the closet hangs my father’s hunting jacket. Before the Quell, I brought it here from the old house, thinking its presence might be of comfort to my mother and sister when I was dead. Thank goodness, or it’d be ash now.

The soft leather feels soothing and for a moment I’m calmed by the memories of the hours spent wrapped in it. Then, inexplicably, my palms begin to sweat. A strange sensation creeps up the back of my neck. I whip around to face the room and find it empty. Tidy. Everything in its place. There was no sound to alarm me. What, then?

My nose twitches. It’s the smell. Cloying and artificial. A dab of white peeks out of a vase of dried flowers on my dresser. I approach it with cautious steps. There, all but obscured by its preserved cousins, is a fresh white rose. Perfect. Down to the last thorn and silken petal.

And I know immediately who’s sent it to me.

President Snow.

When I begin to gag at the stench, I back away and clear out. How long has it been here? A day? An hour? The rebels did a security sweep of the Victor’s Village before I was cleared to come here, checking for explosives, bugs, anything unusual. But perhaps the rose didn’t seem noteworthy to them. Only to me.

Downstairs, I snag the game bag off the chair, bouncing it along the floor until I remember it’s occupied. On the lawn, I frantically signal to the hovercraft while Buttercup thrashes. I jab him with my elbow, but this only infuriates him. A hovercraft materializes and a ladder drops down. I step on and the current freezes me until I’m lifted on board.

Gale helps me from the ladder. “You all right?”

“Yeah,” I say, wiping the sweat off my face with my sleeve.

He left me a rose\! I want to scream, but it’s not information I’m sure I should share with someone like Plutarch looking on. First of all, because it will make me sound crazy. Like I either imagined it, which is quite possible, or I’m overreacting, which will buy me a trip back to the drug-induced dreamland I’m trying so hard to escape. No one will fully understand—how it’s not just a flower, not even just President Snow’s flower, but a promise of revenge—because no one else sat in the study with him when he threatened me before the Victory Tour.

Positioned on my dresser, that white-as-snow rose is a personal message to me. It speaks of unfinished business. It whispers, I can find you. I can reach you. Perhaps I am watching you now.

End of Mockingjay Chapter 1

Watch Suzanne Collins read and excerpt from Mockingjay

Also check out book 2 in The Hunger Games Trilogy Catching Fire PDF

Catching Fire PDF

Catching Fire PDF

Synopsis

After winning the 74th Hunger Games in the previous novel, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12, the poorest sector in the country of Panem. On the day that Katniss and Peeta are to start a “Victory Tour” of the country, she is visited by President Snow, who explains that he is angry with her for breaking the rules at the end of the last Hunger Games, which permitted both Peeta and Katniss to win. Snow tells Katniss that when she defied the Capitol, she inspired rebellion in the districts.

The first stop on the Victory Tour is District 11, the home of Katniss’s deceased friend and ally in the Hunger Games, Rue. During the ceremony, Katniss delivers a brief speech to the people of District 11, thanking them for their participants in the Games. When she is done, an old man whistles the tune that Katniss used in the arena to tell Rue that she was safe. The song acts as a signal and everyone salutes Katniss, using the same gesture that she used to say farewell to Rue. The old man and two other people are then shot, to Katniss’ horror. Leaving District 11, Katniss and Peeta proceed to travel to all of the twelve districts and the Capitol. During an interview, Peeta proposes to Katniss publicly, hoping to settle the dispute between Katniss and President Snow and placate the growing rebellion. Despite this, Katniss learns that their attempts of subduing revolt in the districts have failed.
Shortly after returning to District 12, Katniss encounters two runaways from District 8. They explain their theory that District 13 was not wiped out by the Capitol, contrary to what the other districts have been led to believe, and that many of its residents survive in underground shelters. Later, it is announced that, for the 75th Hunger Games, 24 victors from previous years will be forced to compete once again. This is the third occurrence of the “Quarter Quell”: an event that occurs every 25th year of the Games and allows the Capitol to introduce a twist. Knowing that she and Peeta will both be competing in the Games a second time, Katniss decides that she will devote herself to ensuring that Peeta becomes the Quarter Quell’s victor. However, Peeta is devoted to protecting her.
During the Games, set in a jungle with a saltwater lake, Katniss and Peeta join up with two other previous victors: Finnick Odair, a 24-year-old man who survived the Games at the age of 14, and Mags, Finnick’s 80-year-old mentor, both from District 4. After Mags’s death, Katniss, Peeta and Finnick join forces with Johanna Mason, a sarcastic and often cruel victor from District 7, and Beetee and Wiress, an older couple from District 3 who are said to be “exceptionally smart”. Wiress soon proves her genius by revealing to Katniss that the arena is arranged like a clock, with all of the arena’s disasters occurring on a timed chart. After Wiress is killed, Katniss learns of Beetee’s plan to harness lightning in order to electrocute Brutus and Enobaria, the two remaining Careers Tributes from District 2. In the final chapters, Katniss instead directs the lightning at the force field that contains the arena, thereby destroying the arena and resulting in her temporary paralysis.
When Katniss wakes up, she is being transported to District 13, joined by Finnick, Beetee, and her mentor, Haymitch Abernathy. She learns that Peeta, Enobaria, a District 2 tribute, and Johanna have been captured by the Capitol, and is informed that there had been a plan among half of the contestants to break out of the arena— Beetee had been attempting to destroy the force field in the same way that she did. The book ends when Katniss’s best friend, Gale, comes to visit her and informs her that, though he got her family out in time, District 12 has been bombed and destroyed.

CATCHING FIRE

The second book in The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins
Copyright © 2009 by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire Chapter 1

I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air. My muscles are clenched tight against the cold. If a pack of wild dogs were to appear at this moment, the odds of scaling a tree before they attacked are not in my favor. I should get up, move around, and work the stiffness from my limbs. But instead I sit, as motionless as the rock beneath me, while the dawn begins to lighten the woods. I can’t fight the sun. I can only watch helplessly as it drags me into a day that I’ve been dreading for months.

By noon they will all be at my new house in the Victor’s Village. The reporters, the camera crews, even Effie Trinket, my old escort, will have made their way to District 12 from the Capitol. I wonder if Effie will still be wearing that silly pink wig, or if she’ll be sporting some other unnatural color especially for the Victory Tour. There will be others waiting, too. A staff to cater to my every need on the long train trip. A prep team to beautify me for public appearances. My stylist and friend, Cinna, who designed the gorgeous outfits that first made the audience take notice of me in the Hunger Games.

If it were up to me, I would try to forget the Hunger Games entirely. Never speak of them. Pretend they were nothing but a bad dream. But the Victory Tour makes that impossible. Strategically placed almost midway between the annual Games, it is the Capitol’s way of keeping the horror fresh and immediate. Not only are we in the districts forced to remember the iron grip of the Capitol’s power each year, we are forced to celebrate it. And this year, I am one of the stars of the show. I will have to travel from district to district, to stand before the cheering crowds who secretly loathe me, to look down into the faces of the families whose children I have killed…

The sun persists in rising, so I make myself stand. All my joints complain and my left leg has been asleep for so long that it takes several minutes of pacing to bring the feeling back into it. I’ve been in the woods three hours, but as I’ve made no real attempt at hunting, I have nothing to show for it. It doesn’t matter for my mother and little sister, Prim, anymore. They can afford to buy butcher meat in town, although none of us likes it any better than fresh game. But my best friend, Gale Hawthorne, and his family will be depending on today’s haul and I can’t let them down. I start the hour-and-a-half trek it will take to cover our snare line. Back when we were in school, we had time in the afternoons to check the line and hunt and gather and still get back to trade in town. But now that Gale has gone to work in the coal mines — and I have nothing to do all day — I’ve taken over the job.

By this time Gale will have clocked in at the mines, taken the stomach-churning elevator ride into the depths of the earth, and be pounding away at a coal seam. I know what it’s like down there. Every year in school, as part of our training, my class had to tour the mines. When I was little, it was just unpleasant. The claustrophobic tunnels, foul air, suffocating darkness on all sides. But after my father and several other miners were killed in an explosion, I could barely force myself onto the elevator. The annual trip became an enormous source of anxiety. Twice I made myself so sick in anticipation of it that my mother kept me home because she thought I had contracted the flu.

I think of Gale, who is only really alive in the woods, with its fresh air and sunlight and clean, flowing water. I don’t know how he stands it. Well…yes, I do. He stands it because it’s the way to feed his mother and two younger brothers and sister. And here I am with buckets of money, far more than enough to feed both our families now, and he won’t take a single coin. It’s even hard for him to let me bring in meat, although he’d surely have kept my mother and Prim supplied if I’d been killed in the Games. I tell him he’s doing me a favor, that it drives me nuts to sit around all day. Even so, I never drop off the game while he’s at home. Which is easy since he works twelve hours a day.

The only time I really get to see Gale now is on Sundays, when we meet up in the woods to hunt together. It’s still the best day of the week, but it’s not like it used to be before, when we could tell each other anything. The Games have spoiled even that. I keep hoping that as time passes we’ll regain the ease between us, but part of me knows it’s futile. There’s no going back.

I get a good haul from the traps — eight rabbits, two squirrels, and a beaver that swam into a wire contraption Gale designed himself. He’s something of a whiz with snares, rigging them to bent saplings so they pull the kill out of the reach of predators, balancing logs on delicate stick triggers, weaving inescapable baskets to capture fish. As I go along, carefully resetting each snare, I know I can never quite replicate his eye for balance, his instinct for where the prey will cross the path. It’s more than experience. It’s a natural gift. Like the way I can shoot at an animal in almost complete darkness and still take it down with one arrow.

By the time I make it back to the fence that surrounds District 12, the sun is well up. As always, I listen a moment, but there’s no telltale hum of electrical current running through the chain link. There hardly ever is, even though the thing is supposed to be charged full-time. I wriggle through the opening at the bottom of the fence and come up in the Meadow, just a stone’s throw from my home. My old home. We still get to keep it since officially it’s the designated dwelling of my mother and sister. If I should drop dead right now, they would have to return to it. But at present, they’re both happily installed in the new house in the Victor’s Village, and I’m the only one who uses the squat little place where I was raised. To me, it’s my real home.

I go there now to switch my clothes. Exchange my father’s old leather jacket for a fine wool coat that always seems too tight in the shoulders. Leave my soft, worn hunting boots for a pair of expensive machine-made shoes that my mother thinks are more appropriate for someone of my status. I’ve already stowed my bow and arrows in a hollow log in the woods. Although time is ticking away, I allow myself a few minutes to sit in the kitchen. It has an abandoned quality with no fire on the hearth, no cloth on the table. I mourn my old life here. We barely scraped by, but I knew where I fit in, I knew what my place was in the tightly interwoven fabric that was our life. I wish I could go back to it because, in retrospect, it seems so secure compared with now, when I am so rich and so famous and so hated by the authorities in the Capitol.

A wailing at the back door demands my attention. I open it to find Buttercup, Prim’s scruffy old tomcat. He dislikes the new house almost as much as I do and always leaves it when my sister’s at school. We’ve never been particularly fond of each other, but now we have this new bond. I let him in, feed him a chunk of beaver fat, and even rub him between the ears for a bit. “You’re hideous, you know that, right?” I ask him. Buttercup nudges my hand for more petting, but we have to go. “Come on, you.” I scoop him up with one hand, grab my game bag with the other, and haul them both out onto the street. The cat springs free and disappears under a bush.

The shoes pinch my toes as I crunch along the cinder street. Cutting down alleys and through backyards gets me to Gale’s house in minutes. His mother, Hazelle, sees me through the window, where she’s bent over the kitchen sink. She dries her hands on her apron and disappears to meet me at the door.

I like Hazelle. Respect her. The explosion that killed my father took out her husband as well, leaving her with three boys and a baby due any day. Less than a week after she gave birth, she was out hunting the streets for work. The mines weren’t an option, what with a baby to look after, but she managed to get laundry from some of the merchants in town. At fourteen, Gale, the eldest of the kids, became the main supporter of the family. He was already signed up for tesserae, which entitled them to a meager supply of grain and oil in exchange for his entering his name extra times in the drawing to become a tribute. On top of that, even back then, he was a skilled trapper. But it wasn’t enough to keep a family of five without Hazelle working her fingers to the bone on that washboard. In winter her hands got so red and cracked, they bled at the slightest provocation. Still would if it wasn’t for a salve my mother concocted. But they are determined, Hazelle and Gale, that the other boys, twelve-year-old Rory and ten-year-old Vick, and the baby, four-year-old Posy, will never have to sign up for tesserae.

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Hazelle smiles when she sees the game. She takes the beaver by the tail, feeling its weight. “He’s going to make a nice stew.” Unlike Gale, she has no problem with our hunting arrangement.

“Good pelt, too,” I answer. It’s comforting here with Hazelle. Weighing the merits of the game, just as we always have. She pours me a mug of herb tea, which I wrap my chilled fingers around gratefully. “You know, when I get back from the tour, I was thinking I might take Rory out with me sometimes. After school. Teach him to shoot.”

Hazelle nods. “That’d be good. Gale means to, but he’s only got his Sundays, and I think he likes saving those for you.”

I can’t stop the redness that floods my cheeks. It’s stupid, of course. Hardly anybody knows me better than Hazelle. Knows the bond I share with Gale. I’m sure plenty of people assumed that we’d eventually get married even if I never gave it any thought. But that was before the Games. Before my fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, announced he was madly in love with me. Our romance became a key strategy for our survival in the arena. Only it wasn’t just a strategy for Peeta. I’m not sure what it was for me. But I know now it was nothing but painful for Gale. My chest tightens as I think about how, on the Victory Tour, Peeta and I will have to present ourselves as lovers again.

I gulp my tea even though it’s too hot and push back from the table. “I better get going. Make myself presentable for the cameras.”

Hazelle hugs me. “Enjoy the food.”

“Absolutely,” I say.

My next stop is the Hob, where I’ve traditionally done the bulk of my trading. Years ago it was a warehouse to store coal, but when it fell into disuse, it became a meeting place for illegal trades and then blossomed into a full-time black market. If it attracts a somewhat criminal element, then I belong here, I guess. Hunting in the woods surrounding District 12 violates at least a dozen laws and is punishable by death.

Although they never mention it, I owe the people who frequent the Hob. Gale told me that Greasy Sae, the old woman who serves up soup, started a collection to sponsor Peeta and me during the Games. It was supposed to be just a Hob thing, but a lot of other people heard about it and chipped in. I don’t know exactly how much it was, and the price of any gift in the arena was exorbitant. But for all I know, it made the difference between my life and death.

It’s still odd to drag open the front door with an empty game bag, with nothing to trade, and instead feel the heavy pocket of coins against my hip. I try to hit as many stalls as possible, spreading out my purchases of coffee, buns, eggs, yarn, and oil. As an afterthought, I buy three bottles of white liquor from a one-armed woman named Ripper, a victim of a mine accident who was smart enough to find a way to stay alive.

The liquor isn’t for my family. It’s for Haymitch, who acted as mentor for Peeta and me in the Games. He’s surly, violent, and drunk most of the time. But he did his job — more than his job — because for the first time in history, two tributes were allowed to win. So no matter who Haymitch is, I owe him, too. And that’s for always. I’m getting the white liquor because a few weeks ago he ran out and there was none for sale and he had a withdrawal, shaking and screaming at terrifying things only he could see. He scared Prim to death and, frankly, it wasn’t much fun for me to see him like that, either. Ever since then I’ve been sort of stockpiling the stuff just in case there’s a shortage again.

Cray, our Head Peacekeeper, frowns when he sees me with the bottles. He’s an older man with a few strands of silver hair combed sideways above his bright red face. “That stuff’s too strong for you, girl.” He should know. Next to Haymitch, Cray drinks more than anyone I’ve ever met.

“Aw, my mother uses it in medicines,” I say indifferently.

“Well, it’d kill just about anything,” he says, and slaps down a coin for a bottle.

When I reach Greasy Sae’s stall, I boost myself up to sit on the counter and order some soup, which looks to be some kind of gourd and bean mixture. A Peacekeeper named Darius comes up and buys a bowl while I’m eating. As law enforcers go, he’s one of my favorites. Never really throwing his weight around, usually good for a joke. He’s probably in his twenties, but he doesn’t seem much older than I do. Something about his smile, his red hair that sticks out every which way, gives him a boyish quality.

“Aren’t you supposed to be on a train?” he asks me.

“They’re collecting me at noon,” I answer.

“Shouldn’t you look better?” he asks in a loud whisper. I can’t help smiling at his teasing, in spite of my mood.

“Maybe a ribbon in your hair or something?” He flicks my braid with his hand and I brush him away.

“Don’t worry. By the time they get through with me I’ll be unrecognizable,” I say.

“Good,” he says. “Let’s show a little district pride for a change, Miss Everdeen. Hm?” He shakes his head at Greasy Sae in mock disapproval and walks off to join his friends.

“I’ll want that bowl back,” Greasy Sae calls after him, but since she’s laughing, she doesn’t sound particularly stern. “Gale going to see you off?” she asks me.

“No, he wasn’t on the list,” I say. “I saw him Sunday, though.”

“Think he’d have made the list. Him being your cousin and all,” she says wryly.

It’s just one more part of the lie the Capitol has concocted. When Peeta and I made it into the final eight in the Hunger Games, they sent reporters to do personal stories about us. When they asked about my friends, everyone directed them to Gale. But it wouldn’t do, what with the romance I was playing out in the arena, to have my best friend be Gale. He was too handsome, too male, and not the least bit willing to smile and play nice for the cameras. We do resemble each other, though, quite a bit. We have that Seam look. Dark straight hair, olive skin, gray eyes. So some genius made him my cousin. I didn’t know about it until we were already home, on the platform at the train station, and my mother said, “Your cousins can hardly wait to see you!” Then I turned and saw Gale and Hazelle and all the kids waiting for me, so what could I do but go along?

Greasy Sae knows we’re not related, but even some of the people who have known us for years seem to have forgotten.

“I just can’t wait for the whole thing to be over,” I whisper.

“I know,” says Greasy Sae. “But you’ve got to go through it to get to the end of it. Better not be late.”

A light snow starts to fall as I make my way to the Victor’s Village. It’s about a half-mile walk from the square in the center of town, but it seems like another world entirely. It’s a separate community built around a beautiful green, dotted with flowering bushes. There are twelve houses, each large enough to hold ten of the one I was raised in. Nine stand empty, as they always have. The three in use belong to Haymitch, Peeta, and me.

The houses inhabited by my family and Peeta give off a warm glow of life. Lit windows, smoke from the chimneys, bunches of brightly colored corn affixed to the front doors as decoration for the upcoming Harvest Festival. However, Haymitch’s house, despite the care taken by the groundskeeper, exudes an air of abandonment and neglect. I brace myself at his front door, knowing it will be foul, then push inside.

My nose immediately wrinkles in disgust. Haymitch refuses to let anyone in to clean and does a poor job himself. Over the years the odors of liquor and vomit, boiled cabbage and burned meat, unwashed clothes and mouse droppings have intermingled into a stench that brings tears to my eyes. I wade through a litter of discarded wrappings, broken glass, and bones to where I know I will find Haymitch. He sits at the kitchen table, his arms sprawled across the wood, his face in a puddle of liquor, snoring his head off.

I nudge his shoulder. “Get up!” I say loudly, because I’ve learned there’s no subtle way to wake him. His snoring stops for a moment, questioningly, and then resumes. I push him harder. “Get up, Haymitch. It’s tour day!” I force the window up, inhaling deep breaths of the clean air outside. My feet shift through the garbage on the floor, and I unearth a tin coffeepot and fill it at the sink. The stove isn’t completely out and I manage to coax the few live coals into a flame. I pour some ground coffee into the pot, enough to make sure the resulting brew will be good and strong, and set it on the stove to boil.

Haymitch is still dead to the world. Since nothing else has worked, I fill a basin with icy cold water, dump it on his head, and spring out of the way. A guttural animal sound comes from his throat. He jumps up, kicking his chair ten feet behind him and wielding a knife. I forgot he always sleeps with one clutched in his hand. I should have pried it from his fingers, but I’ve had a lot on my mind. Spewing profanity, he slashes the air a few moments before coming to his senses. He wipes his face on his shirtsleeve and turns to the windowsill where I perch, just in case I need to make a quick exit.

“What are you doing?” he sputters.

“You told me to wake you an hour before the cameras come,” I say.

“What?” he says.

“Your idea,” I insist.

He seems to remember. “Why am I all wet?”

“I couldn’t shake you awake,” I say. “Look, if you wanted to be babied, you should have asked Peeta.”

“Asked me what?” Just the sound of his voice twists my stomach into a knot of unpleasant emotions like guilt, sadness, and fear. And longing. I might as well admit there’s some of that, too. Only it has too much competition to ever win out.

I watch as Peeta crosses to the table, the sunlight from the window picking up the glint of fresh snow in his blond hair. He looks strong and healthy, so different from the sick, starving boy I knew in the arena, and you can barely even notice his limp now. He sets a loaf of fresh-baked bread on the table and holds out his hand to Haymitch.

“Asked you to wake me without giving me pneumonia,” says Haymitch, passing over his knife. He pulls off his filthy shirt, revealing an equally soiled undershirt, and rubs himself down with the dry part.

Peeta smiles and douses Haymitch’s knife in white liquor from a bottle on the floor. He wipes the blade clean on his shirttail and slices the bread. Peeta keeps all of us in fresh baked goods. I hunt. He bakes. Haymitch drinks. We have our own ways to stay busy, to keep thoughts of our time as contestants in the Hunger Games at bay. It’s not until he’s handed Haymitch the heel that he even looks at me for the first time. “Would you like a piece?”

“No, I ate at the Hob,” I say. “But thank you.” My voice doesn’t sound like my own, it’s so formal. Just as it’s been every time I’ve spoken to Peeta since the cameras finished filming our happy homecoming and we returned to our real lives.

“You’re welcome,” he says back stiffly.

Haymitch tosses his shirt somewhere into the mess. “Brrr. You two have got a lot of warming up to do before showtime.”

He’s right, of course. The audience will be expecting the pair of lovebirds who won the Hunger Games. Not two people who can barely look each other in the eye. But all I say is, “Take a bath, Haymitch.” Then I swing out the window, drop to the ground, and head across the green to my house.

The snow has begun to stick and I leave a trail of footprints behind me. At the front door, I pause to knock the wet stuff from my shoes before I go in. My mother’s been working day and night to make everything perfect for the cameras, so it’s no time to be tracking up her shiny floors. I’ve barely stepped inside when she’s there, holding my arm as if to stop me.

“Don’t worry, I’m taking them off here,” I say, leaving my shoes on the mat.

My mother gives an odd, breathy laugh and removes the game bag loaded with supplies from my shoulder. “It’s just snow. Did you have a nice walk?”

“Walk?” She knows I’ve been in the woods half the night. Then I see the man standing behind her in the kitchen doorway. One look at his tailored suit and surgically perfected features and I know he’s from the Capitol. Something is wrong. “It was more like skating. It’s really getting slippery out there.”

“Someone’s here to see you,” says my mother. Her face is too pale and I can hear the anxiety she’s trying to hide.

“I thought they weren’t due until noon.” I pretend not to notice her state. “Did Cinna come early to help me get ready?”

“No, Katniss, it’s —” my mother begins.

“This way, please, Miss Everdeen,” says the man. He gestures down the hallway. It’s weird to be ushered around your own home, but I know better than to comment on it.

As I go, I give my mother a reassuring smile over my shoulder. “Probably more instructions for the tour.” They’ve been sending me all kinds of stuff about my itinerary and what protocol will be observed in each district. But as I walk toward the door of the study, a door I have never even seen closed until this moment, I can feel my mind begin to race. Who is here? What do they want? Why is my mother so pale?

“Go right in,” says the Capitol man, who has followed me down the hallway.

I twist the polished brass knob and step inside. My nose registers the conflicting scents of roses and blood. A small, white-haired man who seems vaguely familiar is reading a book. He holds up a finger as if to say, “Give me a moment.” Then he turns and my heart skips a beat.

I’m staring into the snakelike eyes of President Snow.

Copyright © 2009 by Suzanne Collins

Check out book 3 in The Hunger Games Trilogy, Mockingjay

Catching Fire PDf Review

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City of heavenly fire pdf

City of Heavenly Fire pdf by Cassandra Clare.

The Mortal Instruments Book 6, the final installment of this epic series was published on May 27, 2014. Yet another New York Times bestseller from Cassandra Clare.. In this finale the Shadowhunters must face Sebastian Morgenstern and his army of Endarkened warriors.

He keeps on turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. They have to travel to the demon world of Edom to face of with Sebastian in this conclusion to the series.
You can order the City of Heavenly Fire pdf here or

City of Heavenly Fire Quotes:

  • “Heroes aren’t always the ones who win,” she said. “They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. That’s what makes them heroes.”
  • “There are things our souls want, and mine wants you.”
  • “I am a hundred and forty six years old and this is not my first unwinnable war.”
  • “It wasn’t sexy,” he said.
    “It was a little sexy,” Simon said.
    He felt much better, having fed, and couldn’t help but poke at Alec a bit.
    “It wasn’t,” said Alec.
    “I had some feelings,” said Simon.”
    “Do feel free to agonize about it on your own time.”

Here are some reviews of City of Heavenly Fire by other fans:

You Will Lose Your Mind (Multiple Times) w/ CoHF

Pretty good but the ending left a little to be desired. I loved the action and detail of all of the battles within the book. I loved the series as a whole.

On one hand, there were things I absolutely loved about this installation. On the other, I was disappointed.

City of Heavenly Fire had one of the best opening lines I have ever read, and more or less surpassed my previous fav from Rick Riordan’s The Last Olympian.

City of Heavenly Fire Plot Summary:

Part One: Bring Forth a Fire
Jace Lightwood meets with Jordan Kyle in Central Park so that Jordan can help him learn to meditate, in an effort to help control his heightened emotions resulting from the heavenly fire in his veins. After Jordan leaves to meet Maia, Jace joins Clary, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec, who were hanging out nearby for moral support. Jace notices Alec staring at his phone, and makes fun of him for pining over Magnus, and ultimately breaks Alec’s phone to prevent him from texting him anymore, an act that makes Alec annoyed and frustrated. The group then discusses the events that have occurred in the weeks since. Isabelle and Alec mention that many of the Nephilim have refused to believe that Sebastian and the Endarkened are a threat to the Shadowhunters as a whole, as none of them can imagine a world where Shadowhunters fight against their brethren. Jace brings up the fact that the Clave has had no luck in trying to track Sebastian or the Endarkened, which is making it difficult for them to plan an attack. They also discuss that the experts at Wrangel Island working over-time to reinforce the wards, while the Spiral Labyrinth are researching a cure for the Endarkened to restore them back to Shadowhunters. Isabelle also reveals that despite the Silent Brothers doing a multitude of tests to draw the heavenly fire out of Jace, they have yet to find a way to use it against Sebastian. Isabelle gets a call from her mother, instructing her and Alec to return to the Institute; she then convinces Jace to go to Magnus’ apartment to talk to him about Alec, while Clary and Simon go Christmas shopping.

While shopping, Clary and Simon discuss the state of Simon’s relationship with Isabelle, and she encourages Simon to make things official with her. Simon is preoccupied by his future as a vampire, and begins to worry about what he’ll do after he and Jordan are no longer living together. The two are later found by Jocelyn and Luke, who interrupt their shopping date to inform Clary that they received a call for an emergency meeting at the Institute, and they both insist that she join them. Meanwhile, Jace goes to Magnus’ apartment to convince him to get back together with Alec. He argues that Magnus is clearly just as miserable as Alec is, as evidenced by the fact that Magnus’ apartment is dark and full of old take-out containers instead of the usual glitz and glamour. Magnus mentions that he’s known many Shadowhunters in his long life, and he describes them as having the “thoughtless fire of angels.” Before they can speak further, Isabelle calls Jace and orders him to return to the Institute for the emergency meeting.

At the Institute, the entirety of the New York Conclave, with the addition of Jocelyn and Luke, meet in the library, where Maryse announces that six Institutes have been attacked over the course of two nights: Berlin, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Oslo, and Los Angeles. Furthermore, all of the present Shadowhunters at each of the Institutes were either killed or Turned into Endarkened, with the exception of six children from the Los Angeles Conclave: Emma Carstairs, and Julian, Tiberius, Livia, Drusilla, and Octavian Blackthorn, all of whom survived the invasion. Maryse also reveals that something has happened to Mark Blackthorn, though they do not have any further information at the moment on what that could be. The members of the Conclave all agree that Sebastian and his Endarkened were behind the attacks, and as a result, Maryse informs them that all Shadowhunters are being called to Idris for an emergency meeting to come up with a strategy to eliminate the threat of Sebastian and his Endarkened warriors. She instructs them all to pack up their things, and insists that they will be leaving by Portal the following evening; once they’ve arrived to Alicante, the wards protecting Idris will be doubled, which will make them so strong that no one will be able to get in or out of the country. Source

That is the end of this post. Once again you can order the City of Heavenly Fire book pdf here or

Be sure to catch the other books in The Mortal Instruments series including City of Bones pdf

 

Paper Towns PDF

Download Paper Towns PDF by John Green
Another gripping novel from the no.1 best selling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska

To everyone who surrounds Margo Roth Spiegelman, she is an adventurous, unconventional, and intelligent person and a highly admired someone that everyone puts on a pedestal. So when Margo sneaks into Quentin Jacobsen’s room one glorious night and involves him in her crazy exploits, he can’t help but feel as if a new page has been turned, and just maybe he can be a part of the marvelous Margo’s life.

But the next morning all of Quentin’s hopes are dashed with Margo’s disappearance. Her parents and the police think this is just another one of her stunts, but Q’s not so sure. Because Margo has left him a string of clues, one right after another, which just might lead him to her.
Here is a plot summary of Paper Towns by John Green
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
Paper Towns debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. It is taught in many high school and college curricular, often in conjunction with Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which is an important text within the novel.
If you’ve read the book and don’t mind spoilers, you can find much, much more over at the Paper Towns Questions Page.
If you would like to read this book in another language, go to the translations page.
The movie adaptation of Paper Towns will be released in Summer 2015 starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne, and directed by Jake Schreier.
Source
Reviews:
“Profound, moving, and funny – amazing read
Stunning. This is one of the few books I’ve recommended to nearly all my friends (across a wide variety of interests and demographics)–and thus far all have enjoyed it.”
“Well I loved this book so much and I believe that we can all prosper and thrive from reading this book”
“John Green also breaks the barrier between the popular perfect girl and the insecure nerdy boy. I loved the teenage truth in this novel. There was no shyness with alcohol, drug use, and other parts of teens lives’. This novel, especially near the end reveals many truths about human nature.”
“Clever book. Easy to read.”
Paper Towns PDF Quotes:
• “That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfeast cereals based on color instead of taste.”
• “It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
• “I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.”
• “I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.”
• “When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”
There you have it. With the plot summary, reviews and quotes from Paper Towns pdf you can decide whether or not this book is worth your while. These characters will definitely remind you of someone from your youth or maybe even someone you know today. John Green puts out another smash hit. We anticipate that Paper Towns pdf will be even bigger and more popular than The Fault In Our Stars and Looking for Alaska.
Thanks for reading.

The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up PDF

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up pdf by Marie Kondo.

This Zen Philosophy book about decluttering your living space took the world by storm (a very neat storm) and is already a New York Times number 1 best seller since it’s release date in October 2014. Mary Kondo is a Japanese cleaning consultant who quite brilliantly takes readers through her KonMari method to simplify, organize and store.
Kondo brings a bunch of insight such as to organize your things in categories rather than going from room to room, only ending up shuffling piles of stuff from one room to the other. Categories such as books, clothes, crockery makes it easier to sort out the things you want because you can see everything instead of seeing bits and pieces like one you go between rooms, like main bedroom to guest bedroom to lounge. In this way Kondo gets us to see the big picture.

Before we move on fyi you can order The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up book, ebook pdf and audiobook here or
That brings us to another revolutionary insight: Organization can only start to happen once you’ve gotten rid of the things you don’t need. Her book is very detailed and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish and experience the life changing magic of tidying up. And in doing so inspires a calm, motivated environment, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Here are some quick The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Summary and Reviews by other readers:
Marie “KonMari” Kondo’s book is a breath of fresh air and positive energy that brings real joy to the process of “tidying up.”
This book really is what it claims to be in the title: Life changing.
It’s a quick read but super clear and helpful for a new and totally different approach. Joy should be the focus not keeping things clean and figuring out how to store them.
I love this book! It gave me a new outlook on how I want to live my life. I do wish there was a chapter specifically about tidying with little kids.
Powermoms really gives an nice overlook and review of the book here.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Quotes:
• “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
• “Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.”
• “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
• “No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important.”
• “People with large book collections are almost always diligent learners.”
• “If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image.”
So you see even the quotes from the book are inspiring, makes you think and have a good look at yourself. This book is not only a guide to declutter your home, but also serves as a guide to better yourself if you are open to it.
That is the end of our The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up reviews and summary with quotes to help you decide if you are interested in reading this book. We also gave you places where you can order or download the book, but in case you missed it here it is again:
Order The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up book, ebook pdf and audiobook here or
We have many more books pdf and ebooks like Gone Girl and Entwined with you with summaries, quotes and reviews. Please feel free to have a look.

All The Light We Cannot See PDF

All the light we cannot see pdf: A novel by Anthony Doerr
This inventive novel by highly acclaimed Anthony Doerr is set in mostly Germany and France before and during WWII. Although the book pdf is set in this period with all the fear and fighting that surrounds it, it is not another war drama. The author mainly focuses on the lives of the two main characters, Marie-Laure and the orphan Werner.

All the light we cannot see pdf has been ten years in the making. The blind Maire-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History until they flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea carrying with them what might be considered the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
Werner, whose talent for building and fixing crude radio lands him a place at an academy for Hitler Youth. When Werner gets involved in intelligence he eventually lands up in Saint-Malo, where his and Marie-Laure’s lives intersect. That’s just a brief summary.
All The Light We Cannot See PDF Review
This is a well written and compelling story. For my review I give it 4.5 out 5 stars. I loved each page of this book and quickly fell in love with the characters. The author not only tells a story, but puts you right there in the middle of the action so to speak. All your senses enticed and part of the surroundings. While it is a somewhat depressing novel, the character development and thought provoking story speaks to the human spirit with hope, determination and endurance against all odds.
The only reason the review for All the light we cannot see is not a full 5 out of 5 is because the constant switching between characters and their stories became dreary after a while.

Here are excerpts from other reviews on Amazon:
” I was invited into the pages and could not only imagine the atmosphere, but all of my senses were collectively enticed from the very first page until the last. There were so many different aspects of the book that are lived out in separate moments and in different countries that find a way to unite in the end. What impressed me most was that I could have never predicted the outcome.”
“High quality, all the acclaim is justly deserved, and like many books, this one is enjoyed best if you go into it with no preconceptions.”
Hope you enjoyed the brief summary at the top and reviews of this wonderfully weaved book. A definite must read in 2015.
Click here to buy All the light we cannot see pdf from Amazon
or

Interested in other books like Looking for Alaska?
Check this out

Entwined With You

Entwined with you pdf

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts, and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires…

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside–so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession…

Get your copy of Entwined With You here

Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars It ain’t over yet!

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who was expecting this to wrap up a trilogy. And while I am frustrated, I have to say I’m not really disappointed because that means there are more to come. (According to Day’s website this is now a quintet.) I find myself liking Eva and Gideon a little more with each novel and I crave more of their story. I’m amazed that Day is able to carry a single romance story through 3 books without it feeling at all stale . . . she keeps introducing more challenges from their pasts (and present) that keep the back-and-forth struggle of their romance both exciting and believable. I would still recommend this series.

Get your copy of Entwined With You here

Watch this video on Entwined with You by Sylvia Day:

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch PDF

Donna Tartt, author of the bestselling novels The Secret History and The Little Friend, has published her much anticipated third book, The Goldfinch.

A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother, a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld.

Here we share an excerpt in two parts, in which we meet thirteen-year-old Theo Decker who is taken in by the family of a friend after his mother dies and his father abandons him. He clings onto a small painting that reminds him of her, which draws him into the world of underground art.

But first watch this video where Donna Tartt is being interviewed on The Goldfinch PDF:
Excerpt 1 The Goldfinch PDF

Things would have turned out better if my mother had lived. As it was, she died when I was a kid; and though everything that’s happened to me since then is thoroughly my own fault, still when I lost her I lost sight of any landmark that might have led me someplace happier, to some more populated or congenial life.

Her death the dividing mark: Before and After. And though it’s a bleak thing to admit all these years later, still I’ve never met anyone who made me feel loved the way she did. Everything came alive in her company; she cast a charmed theatrical light about her so that to see anything through her eyes was to see it in brighter colours than ordinary – I remember a few weeks before she died, eating a late supper with her in an Italian restaurant down in the Village, and how she grasped my sleeve at the sudden, almost painful loveliness of a birthday cake with lit candles being carried in procession from the kitchen, faint circle of light wavering in across the dark ceiling and then the cake set down to blaze amidst the family, beatifying an old lady’s face, smiles all round, waiters stepping away with their hands behind their backs – just an ordinary birthday dinner you might see anywhere in an inexpensive downtown restaurant, and I’m sure I wouldn’t even remember it had she not died so soon after, but I thought about it again and again after her death and indeed I’ll probably think about it all my life: that candlelit circle, a tableau vivant of the daily, commonplace happiness that was lost when I lost her.

She was beautiful, too. That’s almost secondary; but still, she was. When she came to New York fresh from Kansas, she worked part-time as a model though she was too uneasy in front of the camera to be very good at it; whatever she had, it didn’t translate to film.

And yet she was wholly herself: a rarity. I cannot recall ever seeing another person who really resembled her. She had black hair, fair skin that freckled in summer, china-blue eyes with a lot of light in them; and in the slant of her cheekbones there was such an eccentric mixture of the tribal and the Celtic Twilight that sometimes people guessed she was Icelandic. In fact, she was half Irish, half Cherokee, from a town in Kansas near the Oklahoma border; and she liked to make me laugh by calling herself an Okie even though she was as glossy and nervy and stylish as a racehorse. That exotic character unfortunately comes out a little too stark and unforgiving in photographs – her freckles covered with makeup, her hair pulled back in a ponytail at the nape of her neck like some nobleman in The Tale of Genji – and what doesn’t come across at all is her warmth, her merry, unpredictable quality, which is what I loved about her most. It’s clear, from the stillness she emanates in pictures, how much she mistrusted the camera; she gives off a watchful, tigerish air of steeling herself against attack. But in life she wasn’t like that. She moved with a thrilling quickness, gestures sudden and light, always perched on the edge of her chair like some long elegant marsh-bird about to startle and fly away. I loved the sandalwood perfume she wore, rough and unexpected, and I loved the rustle of her starched shirt when she swooped down to kiss me on the forehead. And her laugh was enough to make you want to kick over what you were doing and follow her down the street. Wherever she went, men looked at her out of the corner of their eyes, and sometimes they used to look at her in a way that bothered me a little.

Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.

End of Excerpt 1 The Goldfinch PDF

Excerpt 2 The Goldfinch PDF

I don’t know how long I was out. When I came to, it seemed as if I was flat on my stomach in a sandbox, on some dark playground – someplace I didn’t know, a deserted neighbourhood. Somebody had beaten me up pretty good: I ached all over, my ribs were sore and my head felt like someone had hit me with a lead pipe. I was working my jaw back and forth and reaching for my pockets to see if I had the train fare home when it came over me abruptly that I had no clue where I was. Stiffly I lay there, in the growing consciousness that something was badly out of joint. The light was all wrong, and so was the air: acrid and sharp, a chemical fog that burnt my throat. The gum in my mouth was gritty, and when – head pounding – I rolled over to spit it out, I found myself blinking through layers of smoke at something so foreign I stared for some moments without understanding.
I was in a ragged white cave. Swags and tatters dangled from the ceiling. The ground was tumbled and bucked-up with heaps of a grey substance like moon rock, and blown about with broken glass and gravel and a hurricane of random trash, bricks and slag and papery stuff frosted with a thin ash like first frost. High overhead, a pair of lamps beamed through the dust like off-kilter car lights in fog, cock-eyed, one angled upward and the other rolled to the side and casting skewed shadows.
My ears rang, and so did my body, an intensely disturbing sensation: bones, brain, heart all thrumming like a struck bell. Faintly, from somewhere far away, the mechanical shriek of alarms rang steady and impersonal.
I could hardly tell if the noise was coming from inside me or outside me. There was a strong sense of being alone, in wintry deadness. Nothing made sense in any direction.
In a cascade of grit, my hand on some not-quite-vertical surface, I stood, wincing at the pain in my head. The tilt of the space where I was had a deep, innate wrongness. On one side, smoke and dust hung in a still, blanketed layer. On the other, a mass of shredded materials slanted down in a tangle where the roof, or the ceiling, should have been.

My jaw hurt; my face and knees were cut; my mouth was like sandpaper. Blinking around at the chaos I saw a tennis shoe; drifts of crumbly matter, stained dark; a twisted aluminium walking stick. I was swaying there, choked and dizzy, not knowing where to turn or what to do, when all of a sudden I thought I heard a phone going off.
For a moment I wasn’t sure; I listened, hard; and then it spieled off again: faint and draggy, a little weird. Clumsily I grappled around in the wreckage – upending dusty kiddie purses and day packs, snatching my hands back at hot things and shards of broken glass, more and more troubled by the way the rubble gave under my feet in spots, and by the soft, inert lumps at the edge of my vision.
Even after I became convinced I’d never heard a phone, that the ringing in my ears had played a trick on me, still I kept looking, locked into the mechanical gestures of searching with an unthinking, robot intensity.
Among pens, handbags, wallets, broken eyeglasses, hotel key cards, compacts and perfume spray and prescription medications (Roitman, Andrea, alprazolam .25 mg) I unearthed a keychain flashlight and a non-working phone (half charged, no bars), which I threw in a collapsible nylon shopping bag I’d found in some lady’s purse.
I was gasping, half-choked with plaster dust, and my head hurt so badly I could hardly see. I wanted to sit down, except there was no place to sit.
Then I saw a bottle of water. My eyes reverted, fast, and strayed over the havoc until I saw it again, about 15 feet away, half buried in a pile of trash: just a hint of a label, familiar shade of cold-case blue.
With a benumbed heaviness like moving through snow, I began to slog and weave through the debris, rubbish breaking under my feet in sharp, glacial-sounding cracks. But I had not made it very far when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement on the ground, conspicuous in the stillness, a stirring of white-on-white.
I stopped. Then I waded a few steps closer. It was a man, flat on his back and whitened head to toe with dust. He was so well camouflaged in the ash-powdered wreckage that it was a moment before his form came clear: chalk on chalk, struggling to sit up like a statue knocked off his pedestal. As I drew closer, I saw that he was old and very frail, with a misshapen hunchback quality; his hair – what he had – was blown straight up from his head; the side of his face was stippled with an ugly spray of burns, and his head, above one ear, was a sticky black horror.
I had made it over to where he was when – unexpectedly fast – he shot out his dust-whitened arm and grabbed my hand. In panic I started back, but he only clutched at me tighter, coughing and coughing with a sick wetness.
Where –? he seemed to be saying. Where –? He was trying to look up at me, but his head dangled heavily on his neck and his chin lolled on his chest so that he was forced to peer from under his brow at me like a vulture. But his eyes, in the ruined face, were intelligent and despairing.
– Oh, God, I said, bending to help him, wait, wait – and then I stopped, not knowing what to do. His lower half lay twisted on the ground like a pile of dirty clothes.
He braced himself with his arms, gamely it seemed, lips moving and still struggling to raise himself. He reeked of burnt hair, burnt wool. But the lower half of his body seemed disconnected from the upper half, and he coughed and fell back in a heap.
I looked around, trying to get my bearings, deranged from the crack on the head, with no sense of time or even if it was day or night. The grandeur and desolation of the space baffled me – the high, rare, loft of it, layered with gradations of smoke, and billowing with a tangled, tent-like effect where the ceiling (or the sky) ought to be. But though I had no idea where I was, or why, still there was a half-remembered quality about the wreckage, a cinematic charge in the glare of the emergency lamps. On the internet I’d seen footage of a hotel blown up in the desert, where the honeycombed rooms at the moment of collapse were frozen in just such a blast of light.
Then I remembered the water. I stepped backwards, looking all around, until with a leap of my heart I spotted the dusty flash of blue.
– Look, I said, edging away. I’m just – The old man was watching me with a gaze at once hopeful and hopeless, like a starved dog too weak to walk.
– No – wait. I’m coming back.
Like a drunk, I staggered through the rubbish – weaving and plowing, stepping high-kneed over objects, muddling through bricks and concrete and shoes and handbags and a whole lot of charred bits I didn’t want to see too closely.

The bottle was three quarters full and hot to the touch. But at the first swallow my throat took charge and I’d gulped more than half of it – plastic-tasting, dishwater warm – before I realised what I was doing and forced myself to cap it and put it in the bag to take back to him.

Kneeling beside him. Rocks digging into my knees. He was shivering, breaths rasping and uneven; his gaze didn’t meet mine but strayed above it, fixed fretfully on something I didn’t see.

I was fumbling for the water when he reached his hand to my face. Carefully, with his bony old flat-pad fingers, he brushed the hair from my eyes and plucked a thorn of glass from my eyebrow and then patted me on the head.

“There, there.” His voice was very faint, very scratchy, very cordial, with a ghastly pulmonary whistle. We looked at each other, for a long strange moment that I’ve never forgotten, actually, like two animals meeting at twilight, during which some clear, personable spark seemed to fly up through his eyes and I saw the creature he really was – and he, I believe, saw me. For an instant we were wired together and humming, like two engines on the same circuit.

Then he lolled back again, so limply I thought he was dead. – “Here,” I said, awkwardly, slipping my hand under his shoulder. “That’s good.” I held up his head as best I could, and helped him drink from the bottle. He could only take a little and most of it ran down his chin. Again falling back. Effort too much.

“Pippa,” he said thickly.

I looked down at his burnt, reddened face, stirred by something familiar in his eyes, which were rusty and clear. I had seen him before. And I had seen the girl too, the briefest snapshot, an autumn-leaf lucidity: rusty eyebrows, honey-brown eyes. Her face was reflected in his. Where was she? He was trying to say something. Cracked lips working. He wanted to know where Pippa was.

Wheezing and gasping for breath. “Here,” I said, agitated, “try to lie still.”

“She should take the train, it’s so much faster. Unless they bring her in a car.”

“Don’t worry,” I said, leaning closer. I wasn’t worried. Someone would be in to get us shortly, I was sure of it. “I’ll wait till they come.”

“You’re so kind.” His hand (cold, dry as powder) tightening on mine.

“I haven’t seen you since you were a little boy again. You were all grown up the last time we spoke.”

“But I’m Theo,” I said, after a slightly confused pause.

“Of course you are.” His gaze, like his handclasp, was steady and kind. “And you’ve made the very best choice, I’m sure of it. The Mozart is so much nicer than the Gluck, don’t you think?”

I didn’t know what to say.

“It’ll be easier the two of you. They’re so hard on you children in the auditions –” Coughing. Lips slick with blood, thick and red. “No second chances.”

“Listen –” It felt wrong, letting him think I was someone else.

“Oh, but you play it so beautifully, my dear, the pair of you. The G major. It keeps running through my mind. Lightly, lightly, touch and go –”

Humming a few shapeless notes. A song. It was a song.

“… and I must have told you, how I went for piano lessons, at the old Armenian lady’s? There was a green lizard that lived in the palm tree, green like a candy drop, I loved to watch for him… flashing on the windowsill… fairy lights in the garden… du pays saint … 20 minutes to walk it but it seemed like miles…”

He faded for a minute; I could feel his intelligence drifting away from me, spinning out of sight like a leaf on a brook. Then it washed back and there he was again.

“And you! How old are you now?”

“Thirteen.”

“At the Lycée Français?”

“No, my school’s on the West Side.”

“And just as well, I should think. All these French classes! Too many vocabulary words for a child. Nom et prénom, species and phylum. It’s only a form of insect collecting.”

“Sorry?”

Suddenly something was very wrong. He was awake, shaking me. Hands flapping. He wanted something. He tried to press himself up on a whistling in-breath.

“What is it?” I said, shaking myself alert. He was gasping, agitated, tugging at my arm. Fearfully I sat up and looked around, expecting to see some fresh danger rolling in: loose wires, a fire, the ceiling about to collapse.

Grabbing my hand. Squeezing it tight. “Not there,” he managed to say.

“What?”

“Don’t leave it. No.” He was looking past me, trying to point at something. “Take it away from there.”

Please, lie down –

“No! They mustn’t see it.” He was frantic, gripping my arm now, trying to pull himself up. “They’ve stolen the rugs, they’ll take it to the customs shed –”

He was, I saw, pointing over at a dusty rectangle of board, virtually invisible in the broken beams and rubbish, smaller than my laptop computer at home.

“That?” I said, looking closer. It was blobbed with drips of wax, and pasted with an irregular patchwork of crumbling labels. “That’s what you want?”

“I beg of you.” Eyes squeezed tight. He was upset, coughing so hard he could barely speak.

I reached out and picked the board up by the edges. It felt surprisingly heavy, for something so small. A long splinter of broken frame clung to one corner.

Drawing my sleeve across the dusty surface. Tiny yellow bird, faint beneath a veil of white dust. The Anatomy Lesson was in the same book actually but it scared the pants off me.

Right, I answered drowsily. I turned, painting in hand, to show it to her, and then realised she wasn’t there.

I rubbed my arm across my forehead and tried to blink the grit from my eyes and, with a massive effort, like lifting a weight much too heavy for me, tried to shift my mind where I knew it needed to be. Where was my mother? For a moment there had been three of us and one of these – I was pretty sure – had been her. But now there were only two.

Behind me, the old man had begun to cough and shudder again with an uncontrollable urgency, trying to speak. Reaching back, I tried to hand the picture over to him. “Here,” I said.

But the painting wasn’t what he wanted. Fretfully he pushed it back at me, babbling something. The right side of his head was such a sticky drench of blood I could hardly see his ear.

“What?” I said, mind still on my mother – where was she? “Sorry?”

“Take it. Take it with you!” Pressing it on me. “Go!” He was trying to sit up. His eyes were bright and wild; his agitation frightened me. “They took all the light bulbs, they’ve smashed up half the houses in the street –”

A drip of blood ran down his chin.

“Please,” I said, hands flustering, afraid to touch him. “Please lie down –”

He shook his head, and tried to say something, but the effort broke him down hacking with a wet, miserable sound. When he wiped his mouth, I saw a bright stripe of blood on the back of his hand.

“Fire,” he said, in a gargling voice.

He broke off coughing again. Red-tinged froth bubbling at his nostrils. In the midst of all that unreality, cairns and broken monoliths, I had a dreamlike sense of having failed him, as if I’d botched some vital fairy-tale task through clumsiness and ignorance. Though there wasn’t any visible fire anywhere in that tumble of stone, I crawled over and put the painting in the nylon shopping bag, just to get it out of his sight, it was upsetting him so.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll –”

He had calmed down. He put a hand on my wrist, eyes steady and bright, and a chill wind of unreason blew over me. I had done what I was supposed to do. Everything was going to be all right.

“Wrap it in newspapers and pack it at the very bottom of the trunk, my dear. With the other curiosities.”

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Illustration by Wesley Merritt

Relieved that he’d calmed down, exhausted with my headache, all memory of my mother faded to a mothlike flicker, I settled down beside him and closed my eyes, feeling oddly comfortable and safe. Absent, dreamy. He was rambling a bit, under his breath: foreign names, sums and numbers, a few French words but mostly English. A man was coming to look at the furniture. Abdou was in trouble for throwing stones. And yet it all made sense somehow and I saw the palmy garden and the piano and the green lizard on the tree trunk as if they were pages in a photograph album.

“And where did you say you were living now?” His hand on my head, very gently, the way you’d rest your hand on the head of a dog you liked.

“East 57th Street.”

“Oh, yes! Near Le Veau d’Or?”

“Well, a few blocks.” Le Veau d’Or was a restaurant where my mother had liked to go, back when we had money. I had eaten my first escargot there, and tasted my first sip of Marc de Bourgogne from her glass.

“Towards Park, you say?”

“No, closer to the river.”

“Close enough, my dear. Meringues and caviare. How I loved this city the first time I saw it! Still, it’s not the same, is it? I miss it all terribly, don’t you? The balcony, and the…”

“Garden.” I turned to look at him. Perfumes and melodies. In my swamp of confusion, it had come to seem that he was a close friend or family member I’d forgotten about, some long-lost relative of my mother’s…

“Oh, your mother! The darling! I’ll never forget the first time she came to play. She was the prettiest little girl I ever saw.”

How had he known I was thinking about her? I started to ask him but he was asleep. His eyes were closed but his breath was fast and hoarse like he was running from something.

I was fading out myself – ears ringing, inane buzz and a metallic taste in my mouth like at the dentist’s – and I might have drifted back into unconsciousness and stayed there had he not at some point shaken me, hard, so I awoke with a buck of panic. He was mumbling and tugging at his index finger. He’d taken his ring off, a heavy gold ring with a carved stone; he was trying to give it to me.

“Here, I don’t want that,” I said, shying away. “What are you doing that for?”

But he pressed it into my palm. His breath was bubbled and ugly.

“Hobart and Blackwell,” he said, in a voice like he was drowning from the inside out. “Ring the green bell.”

“Green bell,” I repeated, uncertainly.

He lolled his head back and forth, punch-drunk, lips quivering. His eyes were unfocused. When they slid over me without seeing me they gave me a shiver.

“Tell Hobie to get out of the store,” he said thickly.

In disbelief, I watched the blood trickling bright from the corner of his mouth. He’d loosened his tie by yanking at it; “here,” I said, reaching over to help, but he batted my hands away.

“He’s got to close the register and get out!” he rasped. “His father’s sending some guys to beat him up –”

His eyes rolled up; his eyelids fluttered. Then he sank down into himself, flat and collapsed – looking like all the air was out of him, 30 seconds, 40, like a heap of old clothes but then – so harshly I flinched – his chest swelled on a bellows-like rasp, and he coughed a percussive gout of blood that spewed all over me. As best he could, he hitched himself up on his elbows – and for 30 seconds or so he panted like a dog, chest pumping frantically, up and down, up and down, his eyes fixed on something I couldn’t see and all the time gripping my hand like maybe if he held on tight enough he’d be okay.

“Are you all right?” I said – frantic, close to tears. “Can you hear me?”

As he grappled and thrashed – a fish out of water – I held his head up, or tried to, not knowing how, afraid of hurting him, as all the time he clutched my hand like he was dangling off a building and about to fall.

Each breath was an isolated, gargling heave, a heavy stone lifted with terrible effort and dropped again and again to the ground. At one point he looked at me directly, blood welling in his mouth, and seemed to say something, but the words were only a burble down his chin.

Then – to my intense relief – he grew calmer, quieter, his grasp on my hand loosening, melting, a sense of sinking and spinning almost like he was floating on his back away from me, on water.

– Better? I asked, and then –

Carefully, I dripped a bit of water on his mouth – his lips worked, I saw them moving; and then, on my knees, like a servant boy in a story, I wiped some of the blood off his face with the paisley square from his pocket.

As he drifted – cruelly, by degrees and latitudes – into stillness, I rocked back on my heels and looked hard into his wrecked face.

Hello? I said.

One papery eyelid, half shut, twitched, a blue-veined tic.

“If you can hear me, squeeze my hand.”

But his hand in mine was limp. I sat there and looked at him, not knowing what to do. It was time to go, well past time – my mother had made that perfectly clear – and yet I could see no path out of the space where I was and in fact in some ways it was hard to imagine being anywhere else in the world – that there was another world, outside that one. It was like I’d never had another life at all.

“Can you hear me?” I asked him, one last time, bending close and putting my ear to his bloodied mouth. But there was nothing.

*

Not wanting to disturb him, in case he was only resting, I was as quiet as I could be, standing up. I hurt all over. For some moments I stood looking down at him, wiping my hands on my school jacket – his blood was all over me, my hands were slick with it – and then I looked at the moonscape of rubble trying to orient myself and figure the best way to go.

When – with difficulty – I made my way into the centre of the space, or what seemed like the centre of the space, I saw that one door was obscured by rags of hanging debris, and I turned and began to work in the other direction. There, the lintel had fallen, dumping a pile of brick almost as tall as I was and leaving a smoky space at the top big enough to drive a car through. Laboriously I began to climb and scramble for it – over and around the chunks of concrete – but I had not got very far when I realised that I was going to have to go the other way. Faint traces of fire licked down the far walls of what had been the exhibition shop, spitting and sparkling in the dim, some of it well below the level where the floor should have been.

I didn’t like the looks of the other door (foam tiles stained red; the toe of a man’s shoe protruding from a pile of gravel) but at least most of the material blocking the door wasn’t very solid. Blundering back through, ducking some wires that sparked from the ceiling, I hoisted the bag over my shoulder and took a deep breath and plunged into the wreckage headlong.

Immediately I was choked by dust and a sharp chemical smell. Coughing, praying there were no more live wires hanging loose, I patted and groped in the dark as all sorts of loose debris began to patter and shower down in my eyes: gravel, crumbs of plaster, shreds and chunks of god-knows-what.

Some of the building material was light, and some of it was not. The further I worked in, the darker it got, and the hotter. Every so often my way dwindled or closed up unexpectedly and in my ears a roaring crowd noise, I wasn’t sure where it came from. I had to squeeze around things; sometimes I walked, sometimes I crawled, bodies in the wreckage more sensed than seen, a disturbing soft pressure that gave under my weight but worse than this, the smell: burnt cloth, burnt hair and flesh and the tang of fresh blood, copper and tin and salt.

My hands were cut and so were my knees. I ducked under things and went around things, feeling my way as I went, edging with my hip along the side of some sort of long lathe, or beam, until I found myself blocked in by a solid mass that felt like a wall. With difficulty – the spot was narrow – I worked around so I could reach into the bag for a light.

I wanted the keychain light – at the bottom, under the picture – but my fingers closed on the phone. I switched it on – and almost immediately dropped it, because in the glow I’d caught sight of a man’s hand protruding between two chunks of concrete. Even in my terror, I remember feeling grateful that it was only a hand, although the fingers had a meaty, dark, swollen look I’ve never been able to forget; every now and then I still start back in fear when some beggar on the street thrusts out to me such a hand, bloated and grimed with black around the nails.

There was still the flashlight – but I wanted the phone. It cast a weak glimmer up into the cavity where I was, but just as I recovered myself enough to stoop for it, the screen went dark. An acid-green afterburn floated before me in the blackness. I got down on my knees and crawled around in the dark, grabbling with both hands in rocks and glass, determined to find it.

I thought I knew where it was, or about where it was, and I kept looking for it probably longer than I should have; and it was when I’d given up hope and tried to get up again that I realised I’d crawled into a low spot where it was impossible to stand, with some solid surface about three inches above my head. Turning around didn’t work; going backwards didn’t work; so I decided to crawl forward, hoping that things would open up, and soon found myself inching along painfully with a smashed, desperate feeling and my head turned sharply to one side.

When I was about four, I’d gotten partially stuck inside a Murphy bed in our old apartment on Seventh Avenue, which sounds like a humorous predicament but wasn’t really; I think I would have suffocated if Alameda, our housekeeper back then, hadn’t heard my muffled cries and pulled me out. Trying to manoeuvre in that airless space was somewhat the same, only worse: with glass, hot metal, the stink of burnt clothes, and an occasional soft something pressing in on me that I didn’t want to think about. Debris was pattering down on me heavily from above; my throat was filling with dust and I was coughing hard and starting to panic when I realised I could see, just barely, the rough texture of the broken bricks that surrounded me. Light – the faintest gleam imaginable – crept in subtly from the left, about six inches from floor level.

I ducked lower, and found myself looking over into the dim terrazzo floor of the gallery beyond. A disorderly pile of what looked like rescue equipment (ropes, axes, crowbars, an oxygen tank that said FDNY) lay harum-scarum on the floor.

“Hello?” I called – not waiting for an answer, dropping to wriggle through the hole as fast as I could.

The space was narrow; if I’d been a few years older or a few pounds heavier I might not have got through. Partway, my bag caught on something, and for a moment I thought I might have to slip free of it, painting or no painting, like a lizard shedding its tail, but when I gave it one last pull it finally broke free with a shower of crumbled plaster. Above me was a beam of some sort, which looked like it was holding up a lot of heavy building material, and as I twisted and squirmed beneath it, I was light-headed with fear that it would slip and cut me in two until I saw that somebody had stabilised it with a jack.

Once clear, I climbed to my feet, watery and stunned with relief. “Hello?” I called again, wondering why there was so much equipment around and not a fireman in sight. The gallery was dim but mostly undamaged, with gauzy layers of smoke that thickened the higher they rose, but you could tell that a tremendous force of some sort had blown through the room just from the lights and the security cameras, which were knocked askew and facing the ceiling. I was so happy to be out in open space again that it was a moment or so before I realised the strangeness of being the only person standing up in a room full of people. Everybody else was lying down except me.

There were at least a dozen people on the floor – not all of them intact. They had the appearance of having been dropped from a great height. Three or four of the bodies were partially covered with firemen’s coats, feet sticking out. Others sprawled glaringly in the open, amidst explosive stains. The splashes and bursts carried a violence, like big blood sneezes, an hysterical sense of movement in the stillness. I remember particularly a middle-aged lady in a bloodspattered blouse that had a pattern of Fabergé eggs on it, like a blouse she might have bought in the museum gift shop, actually. Her eyes – lined with black make-up – stared blankly at the ceiling; and her tan was obviously sprayed on since her skin had a healthy apricot glow even though the top of her head was missing.

Dim oils, dulled gilt. Taking tiny steps, I walked out into the middle of the room, swaying, slightly off balance. I could hear my own breath rasping in and out and there was a strange shallowness in the sound, a nightmare lightness. I didn’t want to look and yet I had to. A small Asian man, pathetic in his tan windbreaker, curled in a bellying pool of blood. A guard (his uniform the most recognisable thing about him, his face was burnt so badly) with an arm twisted behind his back and a vicious spray where his leg should have been.

But the main thing, the important thing: none of the lying-down people was her. I made myself look at them all, each separately, one by one – even when I couldn’t force myself to look at their faces, I knew my mother’s feet, her clothes, her two-tone black and white shoes – and long after I was sure of it I made myself stand in their midst, folded deep inside myself like a sick pigeon with its eyes closed.

In the gallery beyond: more dead. Three dead. Fat Argyll-vest man; cankered old lady; a milky duckling of a little girl, red abrasion at her temple but otherwise hardly a mark on her. But then, there were no more.

I walked through several galleries littered with equipment but despite the bloodstains on the floor, there were no dead at all. And when I walked into the far-seeming gallery where she’d been, where she’d gone, the gallery with The Anatomy Lesson – eyes closed tight, wishing hard – there were only the same stretchers and equipment and there, as I walked through, in the oddly screaming silence, the only two observers were the same two puzzled Dutchmen who had stared at my mother and me from the wall: what are you doing here?

Then something snapped. I don’t even remember how it happened; I was just in a different place and running, running through rooms that were empty except for a haze of smoke that made the grandeur seem insubstantial and unreal. Earlier, the galleries had seemed fairly straightforward, a meandering but logical sequence where all tributaries flowed into the gift shop. But coming back through them fast, and in the opposite direction, I realised that the path wasn’t straight at all; and over and over I turned into blank walls and veered into dead-end rooms. Doors and entrances weren’t where I expected them to be; free-standing plinths loomed out of nowhere. Swinging around a corner a little too sharply I almost ran headlong into a gang of Frans Hals guardsmen: big, rough, ruddy-cheeked guys, bleary from too much beer, like New York City cops at a costume party. Coldly they stared me down, with hard, humorous eyes, as I recovered, backed off, and began to run again.

Even on a good day, I sometimes got turned around in the museum (wandering aimlessly in galleries of Oceanic Art, totems and dugout canoes) and sometimes I had to go up and ask a guard to point the way out. The painting galleries were especially confusing since they were rearranged so often; and as I ran around in the empty halls, in the ghostly half-light, I was growing more and more frightened. I thought I knew my way to the main staircase, but soon after I was out of the Special Exhibitions galleries things started looking unfamiliar and after a minute or two running light-headed through turns I was no longer quite sure of, I realised I was thoroughly lost. Somehow I’d gone right through the Italian masterworks (crucified Christs and astonished saints, serpents and embattled angels) ending up in England, 18th century, a part of the museum I had seldom been in before and did not know at all. Long elegant lines of sight stretched out before me, mazelike halls which had the feel of a haunted mansion: periwigged lords, cool Gainsborough beauties, gazing superciliously down at my distress. The baronial perspectives were infuriating, since they didn’t seem to lead to the staircase or any of the main corridors but only to other stately baronial galleries exactly like them; and I was close to tears when suddenly I saw an inconspicuous door in the side of the gallery wall.

You had to look twice to see it, this door; it was painted the same colour as the gallery walls, the kind of door which, in normal circumstances, looked like it would be kept locked. It had only caught my attention because it wasn’t completely closed – the left side wasn’t flush with the wall, whether because it hadn’t caught properly or because the lock wasn’t working with the electricity out, I didn’t know. Still, it was not easy to get open – it was heavy, steel, and I had to pull with all my strength. Suddenly – with a pneumatic gasp – it gave so capriciously I stumbled.

Squeezing through, I found myself in a dark office hallway under a much lower ceiling. The emergency lights were much weaker than in the main gallery, and it took my eyes a moment to adjust.

The hallway seemed to stretch for miles. Fearfully I crept along, peering into the offices where the doors happened to stand ajar. Cameron Geisler, Registrar. Miyako Fujita, Assistant Registrar. Drawers were open and chairs were pushed away from desks. In the doorway of one office a woman’s high-heeled shoe lay on its side.

The air of abandonment was unspeakably eerie. It seemed that far in the distance I could hear police sirens, maybe even walkie-talkies and dogs, but my ears were ringing so hard from the explosion that I thought I might well be hearing things. It was starting to unnerve me more and more that I had seen no firemen, no cops, no security guards — in fact not a single living soul.

“Hello?” I said, tentatively, glancing into some of the rooms as I passed. Some of the offices were modern and spare; others were crowded and dirty-looking, with untidy stacks of paper and books.

To my left, light flickered from a ceiling fixture. It hummed and caught, in a staticky fit, and in the trembling glow, I saw a drinking fountain down the hall.

I ran for it – so fast my feet almost slid out from underneath me – and gulped with my mouth pressed against the spigot, so much cold water, so fast, that a spike of pain slid into my temple. Hiccuping, I rinsed the blood from my hands and splashed water in my sore eyes. Tiny splinters of glass – almost invisible – tinkled to the steel tray of the fountain like needles of ice.

I leaned against the wall. The overhead fluorescents – vibrating, spitting on and off – made me feel queasy. With effort, I pulled myself up again; on I walked, wobbling a bit in the unstable flicker. Things were looking decidedly more industrial in this direction: wooden pallets, a flatbed pushcart, a sense of crated objects being moved and stored. I passed another junction, where a slick shadowy passageway receded into darkness, and I was just about to walk past it and keep going when I saw a red glow at the end that said EXIT.

I tripped; I fell over my feet; I got up again, still hiccuping, and ran down the endless hall. Down at the end of the corridor was a door with a metal bar, like the security doors at my school.

It pushed open with a bark. Down a dark stairwell I ran, 12 steps, a turn at the landing, then 12 steps to the bottom, my fingertips skimming on the metal rail, shoes clattering and echoing so crazily that it sounded like half a dozen people were running with me. At the foot of the steps was a grey institutional corridor with another barred door. I threw myself against it, pushed it open with both hands – and was slapped hard in the face by rain and the deafening wail of sirens.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Illustration by Wesley Merritt

I think I might have screamed out loud, I was so happy to be outside, though nobody could have heard me in all that noise: I might as well have been trying to scream over jet engines on the tarmac at LaGuardia during a thunderstorm. It sounded like every fire truck, every cop car, every ambulance and emergency vehicle in five boroughs plus Jersey was howling and caterwauling out on Fifth Avenue, a deliriously happy noise: like New Year’s and Christmas and Fourth of July fireworks rolled into one.

The exit had spat me out in Central Park, through a deserted side door between the loading docks and the parking garage. Footpaths stood empty in the grey-green distance; treetops plunged white, tossing and foaming in the wind. Beyond, on the rainswept street, Fifth Avenue was blocked off. Through the downpour, from where I stood, I could just see the great bright bombardment of activity: cranes and heavy equipment, cops pushing the crowds back, red lights, yellow and blue lights, flares that beat and whirled and flashed in quicksilver confusion.

In all the welter, nobody noticed me. For a moment or two, I ran uselessly back and forth in the street, rain peppering in my face. Everywhere I looked, images of my own panic dashed past. People coursed and surged around me blindly: cops, firemen, guys in hard hats, an elderly man cradling a broken elbow and a woman with a bloody nose being shooed toward 79th Street by a distracted policeman.

Pushing through the sea of parked vehicles and official black raincoats, I spotted a Hatzolah ambulance: Hebrew letters on the back, a little lighted hospital room visible through the open doors. Attendants were bending over a woman, trying to press her down as she struggled to sit up. A wrinkled hand with red fingernails clawed at the air.

I beat on the door with my fist. “You need to go back inside,” I yelled. “People are still in there –”

“There’s another bomb,” yelled the attendant without looking at me. “We had to evacuate.”

Before I had time to register this, a gigantic cop swooped down on me like a thunderclap: a thick-headed, bulldoggish guy, with pumped-up arms like a weightlifter’s. He grabbed me roughly by the upper arm and began to hustle and shove me to the other side of the street.

“What the f— are you doing over here?” he bellowed, drowning out my protests, as I tried to wrench free.

“Sir –” A bloody-faced woman coming up, trying to get his attention –“Sir, I think my hand is broken –”

“Get back from the building!” he screamed at her, throwing her arm off and then, at me – “Go!”

“But –” With both hands, he shoved me so hard I staggered and nearly fell.

“GET BACK FROM THE BUILDING!” he screamed, throwing up his arms with a flap of his rain slicker. “NOW!” He wasn’t even looking at me; his small, bearish eyes were riveted on something going on over my head, up the street, and the expression on his face terrified me.

In haste, I dodged through the crowd of emergency workers to the opposite sidewalk, just above 79th Street – keeping an eye out for my mother, though I didn’t see her. Ambulances and medical vehicles galore: Beth Israel Emergency, Lenox Hill, NY Presbyterian, Cabrini EMS Paramedic. A bloody man in a business suit lay flat on his back behind an ornamental yew hedge, in the tiny, fenced yard of a Fifth Avenue mansion. A yellow security tape was strung up, snapping and popping in the wind – but the rain-drenched cops and firemen and guys in hard hats were lifting it up and ducking back and forth under it as if it weren’t even there.

All eyes were turned uptown, and only later would I learn why; on 84th Street (too far away for me to see) the Hazmat cops were in the process of “disrupting” an undetonated bomb by shooting it with a water cannon. Intent on talking to someone, trying to find out what had happened, I tried to push my way towards a fire truck but cops were charging through the crowds, waving their arms, clapping their hands, beating people back.

I caught hold of a fireman’s coat – a young, gum-chewing, friendly looking guy. “Somebody’s still in there!” I screamed.

“Yeah, yeah, we know,” shouted the fireman without looking at me. “They ordered us out. They’re telling us five minutes, they’re letting us back in.”

A swift push in the back. “Move, move!” I heard somebody scream.

A rough voice, heavily accented: “Get your hands off me!”

“NOW! Everybody get moving!”

Sirens; white smoke billowing from the subway vents. A homeless man wrapped in a dirty blanket wandered back and forth, looking eager and confused. I looked around hopefully for my mother in the crowd, fully expecting to see her; for a short time I tried to swim upstream against the cop-driven current (standing on my toes, craning to see) until I realised it was hopeless to push back up and try to look for her in that torrential rain, that mob. I’ll just see her at home, I thought.

Home was where we were supposed to meet; home was the emergency arrangement; she must have realised how useless it would be, trying to find me in all that crush. But still I felt a petty, irrational pang of disappointment – and, as I walked home (skull-cracking headache, practically seeing double) I kept looking for her, scanning the anonymous, preoccupied faces around me. She’d gotten out; that was the important thing. She’d been rooms away from the worst part of the explosion. None of the bodies was her. But no matter what we had agreed upon beforehand, no matter how much sense it made, somehow I still couldn’t quite believe she had walked away from the museum without me.

Excerpts from The Goldfinch PDF