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Susan Allen Toth

  • 'Boyfriends' weren't friends at all; they were prizes, escorts, symbols of achievement, fascinating strangers, the Other.

  • I really fished mainly because I wanted to be alone on the middle of the lake. ... Sometimes a fish jumped nearby, as though it knew it was safe.

  • When I was young, I saw middle age as a vast dull expanse, something like a big gray parking lot baking in the sun, filled with empty cars, deserted of life, but serving a useful purpose. I certainly didn't intend to end up parked there.

  • At my high-school reunion, I learned how to summarize my life.

  • ...those of us who travel tend to stretch the truth on occasion.

  • ...most travelers have time, money, and a sense of adventure not available to everyone.

  • In my own traveler's bill of rights, I'm putting in the undeniable right to have a lousy time.

  • Perhaps quiet places are rare because too few of us admit how much we need them. Noise seems to be the norm, and we are afraid to demand equal time for silence.

  • I wish we had more outposts, not of progress, but of silence.

  • ... when I enter a library, even a commonplace one, I still have a reassuring sense that it is going to tell me all I need to know.

    • Susan Allen Toth,
    • in Susan Allen Toth and John Coughlan, eds., Reading Rooms ()
  • Perhaps I love England most for its paths. They lead across pastures and cultivated fields, over stiles and through gates, into valleys and over hills, along the banks of rivers and canals, beside lakes and ponds, atop mountain ridges and seaside cliffs, past moors, meadows, bogs, and dunes, and through every English garden.

  • What impressed me most about English gardens was their generosity of spirit, an exuberant lavishness that could not always be contained within strict squares or rectangles. ... I discovered cultivated flowers that soared on trellises, curved along winding paths, tumbled over walls, popped up between stones on a terrace, clustered in hidden corners like gossiping friends at a tea party, and crowded each other to show off their colors in mixed borders.

  • I came to regard England as a giant conservatory without glass.

  • Each garden has its own surprise.

  • We subscribe to the thumbprint school of travel, which commits us to spending at least a week in one spot no larger than my thumbprint will cover on a standard folding road map ...

  • The feel of libraries — the way they look, feel, smell, sound — lingers intensely as the memories of a fierce first love.

    • Susan Allen Toth,
    • in Susan Allen Toth, ed., Reading Rooms: America's Foremost Writers Celebrate Our Public Libraries With Stories, Essays, Poems, and Memoirs ()

Susan Allen Toth, U.S. writer

(1940)

Full name: Susan Erickson Allen Toth.