“I was depressed, but that was a side issue. This was more like closing up shop, or, say, having a big garage sale, where you look at everything you've bought in your life, and you remember how much it meant to you, and now you just tag it for a quarter and watch 'em carry it off, and you don't care. That's more like how it was.”
“I suspected that there were things he knew that I had been waiting all my life to learn.”
“The fact is that the same sequence of days can arrange themselves into a number of different stories.”
“But even though I felt her presence, I also felt the habitual fruitlessness of thinking about her. Her images, partly memories of her, partly memories of photos I had seen of her, yielded no new answers to old mysteries.”
“Shame is a distinct feeling. I couldn’t look at my hands around the coffee cup or hear my own laments without feeling appalled, wanting desperately to fall silent, grow smaller. More than that, I was uncomfortably conscious of my whole body, from the awkward way that the shafts of my hair were thrusting out of my scalp to my feet, which felt dirty as well as cold. Everywhere, I seemed to feel my skin from the inside, as if it now stood away from my flesh, separated by a millimeter of mortified space.”
“Daddy thinks history starts fresh every day, every minute, that time itself begins with the feelings he’s having right now. That’s how he keeps betraying us, why he roars at us with such conviction.”
“Had I faced all the facts It seemed like I had but actually you never know just by remembering how many there were to have faced.”
“You know when we came out of the clinic, and we saw those flower beds that we hadn’t seen when we were walking in? That was so unexpected, I think it made me delirious somehow. And then it seemed like if we just threw off all restraints and talked wildly and ate wildly and shopped wildly, it would just turn up the delirium, and make it even better, or permanent somehow...”
“I always feel a little guilty when I break bad news to someone, because that energy, of knowing something others don’t, sort of puffs you up.”
“We’re not going to be sad. We’re going to be angry until we die. It’s the only hope.”
“...and that's how the tournament started, the Million Dollar World Series of Monopoly...
...Jess and Pete thought alike -- like city boys, my father would have said, looking for the payoff in a situation rather than the pitfall. Rose and Ty and I played like farmers, looking for pitfalls, holes, drop-offs, something small that will tip the tractor, break it, eat into your time, your crop, the profits that already exist in your mind, and not only as a result of crop projections and long-range forecasts, but also as an ideal that has never been attained, but could be this year.”
“what it feels like to resist without seeming to resist, to absent yourself while seeming respectful and attentive.”
“She dressed to look good, and I dressed for obscurity.”
“I always think that things have to happen the way they do happen, that there are so many inner and outer forces joining at every event that it becomes a kind of fate. I learned from studying Buddhism that there’s beauty, and certainly a lot of peace, in accepting that.” I sniffed. A smile twinkled sheepishly across his face. “Okay, okay,” he said, “how about this? If you worry about it, you draw it to you.”
“We came to the corner, waited for the light, and crossed. I had no idea where we were going. I said, “I didn’t realize you were so depressed.” “I was depressed, but that was a side issue. This was more like closing up shop, or, say, having a big garage sale, where you look at everything you’ve bought in your life, and you remember how much it meant to you, and now you just tag it for a quarter and watch ’em all carry it off, and you don’t care. That’s more like how it was.”
“They throw themselves on the waters of the world, and they know they will be borne up.”
“...I had been with my father so constantly for so long that I knew less and less about him with every passing year. Every meaningful image was jumbled together with the countless moments of our daily life defeating my efforts to gain some perspective.”
“At sixty miles per hour, you could pass our farm in a minute, on County Road 686, which ran due north into the T intersection at Cabot Street Road.”
“When I went to first grade and the other children said that their fathers were farmers, I simply didn't believe them. I agreed in order to be polite, but in my heart I knew that those men were impostors, as farmers and as fathers, too. In my youthful estimation, Laurence Cook defined both categories. To really believe that others even existed in either category was to break the First Commandment.”
“I had a burden lift off me that I hadn't even felt the heaviness of until then, and it was the burden of having to wait and see what was going to happen.”
“I looked at her without replying. For me it had been more like being a passenger in a car that was going out of control. For three months we’d been swerving across the road, missing light poles and oncoming vehicles. Now the car was under control again,”
“Seeing him somewhere was always a pleasure, like taking a drink of water.”
“It was imperative that the growing discord in our family be made to appear minor. The indication that my father truly was beside himself was the way he had carried his argument with us to others. But we couldn’t give in to that—we were well trained. We knew our roles and our strategies without hesitation and without consultation. The paramount value of looking right is not something you walk away from after a single night. After such a night as we had, in fact, it is something you embrace, the broken plank you are left with after the ship has gone down.”
“He laughed with a kind of mirthless bark.”
“She always said, 'When I'm home, I've got to get things done, even if there are visitors. Elizabeth knows how to relax in her own house.' And then she would shake her head, as if Elizabeth had remarkable powers.”
“Linda was just born when I had my first miscarriage, and for a while, six months maybe, the sight of those two babies, whom I had loved and cared for with real interest and satisfaction, affected me like a poison. All my tissues hurt when I saw them, when I saw Rose with them, as if my capillaries were carrying acid into the furthest reaches of my system. I was so jealous, and so freshly jealous every time I saw them, that I could hardly speak, and I wasn’t very nice to Rose, since some visceral part of me simply blamed her for having what I wanted, and for having it so easily”
“poking around in this dump, as it would be”
“I dream about standing in the lunch line naked. It's always the lunch line in ninth grade.
Nakedness dreams are very common.
I suppose they are.”
“It is hard to know whether an air of self-confidence precedes or follows success.”
“We watched the swimmers and sunbathers and I thought about this. Had I faced all the facts? It seemed like I had, but actually, you never know, just by remembering, how many facts you were allowed to have faced. Your own endurance might be a pleasant fiction allowed you by others who've really faced the facts. The eerie feeling this thought gave me made me shiver in the hot wind.”
“Some men brought women flowers. Sicarius chose not to kill people. The latter seemed a tad more momentous.”
“Will this generation be able to turn things around and learn a valuable lesson from all of this? I hope so, but I have my doubts. The damage has been done. And as a lifelong student of history, it's quite evident that human beings don't learn from the mistakes of past generations.”
“We’ve all heard the usual examples: Michael Jordan cut from his high school basketball team, Walt Disney fired by a newspaper editor for not being creative enough, the Beatles turned away by a record executive who told them that “guitar groups are on their way out.” In fact, many of their winning mantras essentially describe the notion of falling up: “I’ve failed over and over again in my life,” Jordan once said, “and that is why I succeed.” Robert F. Kennedy said much the same: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” And Thomas Edison, too, once claimed that he had failed his way to success.”
“You poke at evil with a stick," Valerie had said, offering chilling advice they'd never forget. "Never use your fingers.”
“Fuel resources are very unevenly distributed, and any shortage of supplies, no matter how slight, would immediately divide the world into ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ along entirely novel lines. The specially favoured areas, such as the Middle East and North Africa, would attract envious attention on a scale scarcely imaginable today,”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.