Favorite Quotes from Books


This is another Top Ten Tuesday I’m reposting from my old blog, although only a few of the quotes are actually from that original post. All but the last few are from books I’ve read (ending with the Mindy Kaling quote); those few are ones I came across elsewhere that really affected me, and are probably what made me add the book to my TBR shelf.

Each of us had all the troubles we could carry. They rained down on us from the sky, and we raced around in a frenzy to pick them up and stuff them in our pockets. Why we did that stumps me, even now. Maybe we thought they were something else.

—Haruki Murakami, Wind/Pinball

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
—Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
—Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“I used to think the world was broken down by tribes,” I said. “By Black and White. By Indian and White. But I know this isn’t true. The world is only broken into two tribes: the people who are assholes and the people who are not.”
—Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

I never use the words “humanist” or “humanitarian,” as it seems to me that to be human is to be capable of the most heinous crimes in nature.

—Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

“In traveling, a companion, in life, compassion.”
—Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

“We carry the lives we’ve imagined as we carry the lives we have, and sometimes a reckoning comes of all the lives we have lost.”
—Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk

I dream of raised fists and solidarity marches led by matriarchs fueled by cafe con leche where I can march alongside cigar-smoking donas and Black Power dykes and all the world’s weirdos and no one is left out. And no one is living a lie.

—Gabby Rivera, Juliet Takes a Breath

“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.”
—Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

“People’s reaction to me is sometimes ‘Uch, I just don’t like her. I hate how she thinks she is so great.’ But it’s not that I think I’m so great. I just don’t hate myself. I do idiotic things all the time and I say crazy stuff I regret, but I don’t let everything traumatize me. And the scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don’t hate themselves. So that’s why you need to be a little bit brave.”
—Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?

“If I’m sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?”
—Jose Saramago, Blindness

There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.

—James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

“It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires.”
—Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

“I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.'”
—David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

And, finally, a combination of quotes I liked so much I needed to take a screenshot:


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sherman Alexie is excellent – great choices! 🙂

    Lauren @ Always Me


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