Quotes from books, Part V

Continuing my series of quotes from books I’ve read semi-recently (this batch is November 2015-April 2016), originally inspired by The Broke and the Bookish and Three Good Rats. Here are quotes from three YA novels, three nonfiction books, one etiquette book, one book of essays, and two adult novels.

  1.  “When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies.” 
    1. b. “Oh, the world is full of things you don’t see.”The Neverending Story, Michael Ende
  2.  “Peace is joy at rest, and joy is peace on its feet.” –Small Victories, Anne Lamott
  3.  “It is surely a premise of democracy that the rules apply equally to everyone.” –Common Courtesy, Judith Martin
  4.  “The big problem doesn’t lie in differences between what men and women want out of life and love. The big problem is how hard it is to achieve equal relationships in a society whose work policies, school schedules, and social programs were constructed on the assumption that male breadwinner families would always be the norm.” –Marriage, a History, Stephanie Coontz
  5. “When you don’t know what made someone leave once, you also don’t know what might make him do it again.” –Conviction, Kelly Loy Gilbert
  6.   “The biggest difference between boys and girls is how people treat them.”None of the Above, I.W. Gregorio
  7.  “What redemption there is in being loved: we are always our best selves when loved by another. Nothing can replace this.” –This Must Be the Place, Maggie O’Farrell
  8.  “God is a human invention.”Gretel and the Dark, Eliza Granville
  9.  “We can stretch our personalities, but only up to a point….We might call this the “rubber band theory” of personality….We are elastic and can stretch ourselves, but only so much.” –Quiet, Susan Cain
  10.  “The first rule of a successful getaway is not to look as if you’re trying to get away.” –A Burglar’s Guide to the City, Geoff Manaugh

Previously:

Part I (August-November 2015)

Part II (June-September 2015)

Part III (January-June 2015)

Part IV (some all-time favorites, no particular order)

Quotes from books, IV

After more than a year, I’m picking this up again (see Part III here, with links to Parts I & II). The quotes below are some of my longtime favorites.

Clipart quotation marks

It occurs to her that there is one thing about people you can never understand well enough: how entirely inside themselves they are.Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver

She’ll be okay without me, I think as I watch her, but I know that she will not. –The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

“I love my children. No one will tell you otherwise, but just between the two of us I have to say I admire you for not having any. The ways they break your heart, Jesus, and it never stops. I mean it, it simply does not stop.” –The Magician’s Assistant, Ann Patchett

People had their natural habitats, after all, demarcated not in ecologies but in ages. He’d been perfectly adapted to being nineteen, and she was better at being thirty-two. –Gold, Chris Cleave

The shelves were supposed to be loaded with books – but they were, of course, really doors….A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination….They are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead. -“Alma Mater,” Caitlin Moran (anthologized in The Library Book)

Clipart quotation marks

Quotes from books, III

I’m continuing to run with this Top Ten Tuesday idea from The Broke and the Bookish; here’s a third installment of quotes from books I’ve read (semi-)recently. (See Part one | Part two.) This set spans my reading from June 2015 back to January 2015 (I’m going in reverse chronological order). Most of these are from adult literary fiction, but there are two from children’s books (actually three, there’s a bonus one from Harriet the Spy), one from a memoir, one from a classic, and one from a nonfiction book about the Finnish educational system.

  1. He wanted to travel but lacked any desire to arrive.The Waterproof Bible, Andrew Kaufman
  2. “The hardest part of making a sacrifice isn’t the moment when you do it. That’s the easiest. You’re too busy being proud of yourself for being so noble. What’s hard is the day after that and the following one and all of those days to come. It’s needing to make that sacrifice over and over again, the rest of your life, while in your mind, you can still taste that which you lost. Or what you think you lost.” Mambo in Chinatown, Jean Kwok
  3. I remembered my memory of the moment, because after so long that’s what memory is: the replaying of a filmstrip that’s slightly warped from having gone through the projector so many times. I’ll never know what actually happened and what distortions I added.The Children’s Crusade, Ann Packer
  4. What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk. -“Little Triggers,” Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman
  5. She never minded admitting she didn’t know something. So what, she thought; I could always learn. 5.5 Is everybody a different person when they are with somebody else?Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
  6. People who called her a pest did not understand that a littler person sometimes had to be a little bit noisier and a little bit more stubborn in order to be noticed at all.Ramona the Pest, Beverly Cleary
  7. I can’t imagine a better example of Things to Be Wary Of in the food department than bargain sushi.Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
  8. Disappointed a hundred times, she still hoped. Howards End, E.M. Forster
  9. I did not think I had rooms enough in me for this kind of love.Vanessa and Her Sister, Priya Parmar
  10. It is better to have a dream of your own than to rent one from others.Finnish Lessons, Pasi Sahlberg

Do these quotes stand alone, or do they need context? Which one(s) do you like best?

Quotes from Books, II

Here’s another installment of Quotes from Books I’ve Read Recently (see the first set of quotes here). When I started this series (if two posts thus far can be called a series), I figured most if not all of the quotes I’d select would be from adult literary fiction, but in fact there are several from nonfiction and plenty from YA and children’s as well.

  1. If you see hooded figures in the Dog Park, no you didn’t. Welcome to Night Vale, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
  2. …but they wanted someone to blame more than they wanted someone to explain.Uprooted, Naomi Novik
  3. If you think of doing something in New York City, you can be certain that at least two thousand other people have that same thought. And of the two thousand who do, about one thousand will be standing in line waiting to do it. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
  4. …the experience of reading is…our best vehicle to a transformed mind, and, literally and figuratively, to a changed brain….Reading changes our lives, and our lives change our reading. –Proust and the Squid, Maryanne Wolf
  5. What no one sees is the personal and cultural influences that have brought them to their opinions.Our Babies, Ourselves, Meredith F. Small
  6. I believed in her like some people believe in Heaven.Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
  7. [My dad] taught [us] some Beatles songs and told us that whenever we saw [reporters] with cameras, we should just sing those songs. At the time, I thought it was just fun to sing really loud, but then I realized what an evil genius my dad is. To broadcast Beatles lyrics, you have to have the rights to the songs… –Emmy & Oliver, Robin Benway
  8. After enough time it fades and you’re grateful. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
  9. “You have to believe it to see it.”Circus Mirandus, Cassie Beasley
  10. “There are no limits to the ways people you think you know can astonish you.”Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore

She Said, She Said: Quotes from Books

Here’s a Top Ten Tuesday feature from The Broke and the Bookish that I’m going to run with for weeks, months, quite possibly years: Quotes from Books I’ve Read Recently. As usual I read Linda’s Top Ten at Three Good Rats and got inspired. I write down quotes from nearly every book I read and keep them in my LibraryThing account, but I don’t often go back and look through them; here’s a great opportunity to do just that, at a time when saving time by recycling content is the perfect way to avoid complete radio silence on this blog (see: new baby in the house).

Here are ten quotes from books I’ve read recently. I chose these because they struck me as wise or poetic or true or funny, or all of the above.

  1. Every generation assumes that the way it does things is the way things are.Unfinished Business, Anne-Marie Slaughter
  2. What she doesn’t know yet is that ending a relationship cannot be done in one conversation over one evening, that such extrication takes days and months and sometimes years.My Lover’s Lover, Maggie O’Farrell
  3. “Your relatives are famous betrayers,” Penny argues. “There was a time in the 1700s when they weren’t even allowed to sign contracts.”Carry On, Rainbow Rowell
  4. The minute hand of the clock was a terribly slow lever, pushing the hour hand imperceptibly forward.  George, Alex Gino
  5. Memory is strange – part movie, part dream. You can never know if what you remember is the essential thing or something else entirely, a grace note. The Dive From Clausen’s Pier, Ann Packer
  6. There were musicians who never looked up from their hands or their instruments, but she’d seen quartets of straight men gaze at each other like they were making love. -“Cross,” Music For Wartime, Rebecca Makkai
  7. The choices don’t stop….Life is choices, and they are relentless. No sooner have you made one choice than another is upon you. –Being Mortal, Atul Gawande
  8. You could think of promises as a series of nets: some hold for a lifetime; others give way, surprisingly flimsy, in no time at all. –And the Dark Sacred Night, Julia Glass
  9. It is fairly amazing that we don’t get poisoned more often.At Home, Bill Bryson
  10. “There are four things that lead to wisdom….four sentences…[:]I don’t know. I need help. I’m sorry. I was wrong.”-Still Life, Louise Penny

More to come, in reverse chronological order from when I read them. What’s your favorite quote from a book?

 

The Queen of Dinner Parties: in which I discover The Yale Book of Quotations

yalebookquotationsThe Library Link of the Day for September 30…you know, I’m having trouble even putting into words how delighted I was to read it (“Who Really Said That?” by Corey Robin in The Chronicle of Higher Education) and to find, as a direct result, The Yale Book of Quotations on the library shelf. I have always collected quotes – from books, from songs, from anywhere really. I am a magpie, and quotes are my shiny objects.

How, then, did I not discover The Yale Book of Quotations previously? I do not know. But needless to say that when I did find it, browsing through it was a purely joyful experience. (Book nerd. Yes. That has been established.) At last, I could find out whether Oscar Wilde’s last words really were “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” (Close enough: “Decidedly one of us will have to go.”) I could verify the wording of Clarke’s Third Law (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”) and discover that he also said, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean” (1990).

I could be indignant that the lyrics of Eminem’s “My Name Is” and “The Way I Am” were included nearly in full, but there was only one quote from The Princess Bride (“Life is pain…anybody that says different is selling something”). Incidentally, you’d have to know that William Goldman wrote the book (and the screenplay) to find the Princess Bride quote, because the contents are organized alphabetically by author last name. (Would anyone look under Morgenstern, I wonder?)

For anyone who believes, as I do, that correct wording is important, and correct attribution is equally important, The Yale Book of Quotations is a goldmine. (“Oh, you’re going to be the queen of dinner parties,” my husband said when I bombarded him with my new discovery. “You won’t be able to take me anywhere,” I agreed.) With over 12,000 quotes in 851 pages (plus a keyword index that brings the total page count to 1067), this is one of those times when a book might just be better than the internet. Here are a few of its many gems:

“Mother told me a couple of years ago, ‘Sweetheart, settle down and marry a rich man.’ I said, ‘Mom, I am a rich man.'” -Cher, 1995

“When Tolstoy wrote that all happy families are alike, what he meant was that there are no happy families.” -Susan Cheever, 1991

“What America does best is to understand itself. What it does worst is to understand others.” -Carlos Fuentes, 1986

“Diplomacy is to do and say / the nastiest thing in the nicest way.” -Isaac Goldberg, 1927

“Gentlemen, include me out.” -Samuel Goldwyn, 1933

“You lose more of yourself than you redeem
Doing the decent thing.” -Seamus Heaney, 1984

[J. Cheever Loophole, played by Groucho Marx, speaking:] “I bet your father spent the first year of your life throwing rocks at the stork.” –At the Circus (motion picture) (1939) Screenplay by Irving Brecher.

[Responding to a fan’s request that he autograph a school chemistry book:] “Sure thing, man. I used to be a laboratory myself once.” -Keith Richards, 1994

[On looting after the fall of Baghdad:] “Stuff happens!” -Donald Rumsfeld, 2003

“A rattlesnake that doesn’t bite teaches you nothing” -Jessamyn West, 1979

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what Feminism is: I only know that people call me a Feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” -Rebecca West, 1913

“It was in dealing with the early feminist that the Government acquired the tact and skillfulness with which it is now handling Ireland.” -Rebecca West, 1916

[Mother:] It’s broccoli, dear.
[Child:] I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.
-E.B. White, New Yorker cartoon caption, 1928

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” -Marianne Williamson, 1992 (frequently misattributed to Nelson Mandela)

I also wrote about this article and book on the Robbins Library blog.