I have recently acquired the top three books on the stack, finished the bottom four plus Conversion (Katherine Howe), and been reading the rest.
From Hard Times (Charles Dickens):
It was one of the most exasperating attributes of Bounderby, that he not only sang his own praises but stimulated other men to sing them. There was a moral infection of clap-trap in him.
“I beg your pardon for interrupting you, sir,” returned Bitzer; “but I am sure you know that the whole social system is a question of self-interest. What you must always appeal to, is a person’s self-interest. It’s your only hold….”
From Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson):
MARWOOD: Never discuss your family, do you?
WITHNAIL: I fail to see my family is of any interest to you — I have absolutely no interest in yours — I dislike relatives in general, and my own in particular.
WITHNAIL: Because… I’ve told you why… we’re incompatible. They don’t like me being on stage.
MARWOOD: Then they must be delighted with your career.
WITHNAIL: What d’you mean?
MARWOOD: You rarely are.