Quotes from Memory

Lois McMaster Bujold ·  509 pages

Rating: (12.9K votes)


“Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. When you desire a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“I am who I choose to be. I have always been what I chose, though not always what I pleased.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“Money, power, sex ... and elephants.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“You go on. You just go on. There's nothing more to it, and there's no trick to make it easier. You just go on.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory



“You try to give away what you want yourself.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“stupidity can be as bad as malice”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“On the thought a blessed silence came, an empty clarity. He took it a first for utter desolation, but desolation was a type of free fall, perpetual and without ground below. This was stillness: balanced, solid, weirdly serene. No momentum to it at all, forward or backwards or sideways.

He lay drained of tension, not moving, and content to be so. The oddly stretched moment was like a bite of eternity, eaten on the run. Was this quiet place inside something new-grown, or had he just never stumbled upon it before? How could so vast a thing lay undiscovered for so long? His breathing slowed and deepened.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“His master plan to get them all out the door early met its first check of the day when he opened his closet door to discover that Zap the Cat, having penetrated the security of Vorkosigan House through Miles's quisling cook, had made a nest on the floor among his boots and fallen clothing to have kittens. Six of them.
Zap ignored his threats about the dire consequences of attacking an Imperial Auditor, and purred and growled from the dimness in her usual schizophrenic fashion. Miles gathered his nerve and rescued his best boots and House uniform, at a cost of some high Vor blood, and sent them downstairs for a hasty cleaning by the overworked Armsman Pym. The Countess, delighted as ever to find her biological empire increasing, came in thoughtfully bearing a cat-gourmet tray prepared by Ma Kosti that Miles would have had no hesitation in eating for his own breakfast. In the general chaos of the morning, however, he had to go down to the kitchen and scrounge his meal. The Countess sat on the floor and cooed into his closet for a good half-hour, and not only escaped laceration, but managed to pick up, sex, and name the whole batch of little squirming furballs before tearing herself away to hurry and dress.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“If there’s no game, isn't winning a pretty meaningless concept?”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory



“Well, one couldn't help one's thoughts. One could help opening one's mouth and saying something really stupid, though.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“You go on. You just go on. There's nothing more to it, and there's no trick to make it easier. You just go on."

"What do you find on the other side? When you go on?"

She shrugged. "Your life again. What else?”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“God save me from another such victory.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“Identity. That's my elephant. The thought came with certainty, without the question mark on the end this time. Not fame, exactly, though recognition was some kind of important cement for it. But what you were was what you did. And I did more, oh yes. If a hunger for identity were translated into, say, a hunger for food, he'd be a more fantastic glutton than Mark ever dreamed of being. Is it irrational, to want to be so much, to want so hard it hurts? And how much, then, was enough?”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“His mother had often said, When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. She had emphasized the corollary of this axiom even more vehemently: when you desired a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory



“I expect you’ll be wading for the rest of your life,” Illyan answered seriously. “But every Komarran who follows you will have less crap to deal with, because of you.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“My Lord, we wish to resign." Her smile, confusingly, crept wider, as if she just said something delightful.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“If he ever does do himself in, I'm betting it'll be something that involves large explosions. And lots of innocent bystanders, probably.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“So, Lord Auditor Coz. Did you find some fun?

Do I look cheerful?

More like manic.

It's a joy, Ivan, an absolute joy. The ImpSec internal Security system is lying to me.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“It was never what I wanted to buy that held my heart’s hope. It was what I wanted to be.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory



“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“Then she said, “You go on. You just go on. There’s nothing more to it, and there’s no trick to make it easier. You just go on.” “What do you find on the other side? When you go on?” She shrugged. “Your life again. What else?”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“Dying's easy." Illyan's drawn features grew distant. How much did he remember of his agonized pleading to Miles for an easy death, so few weeks ago? "Living's hard. Let the son of a bitch stand his court-martial. Every last eternal minute of it.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“Gregor grinned. “Congratulations to you, too, Miles. Your father before you needed a whole army to do it, but you’ve changed Barrayaran history just with a dinner invitation.” Miles shrugged helplessly. God, is everybody going to blame me for this? And for everything that follows? “Let’s try to avoid making history on this one, eh? I think we should push for unalleviated domestic dullness.” “With all my heart,” Gregor agreed. With a cheery salute, he cut the com. Miles laid his head down on the table, and moaned. “It’s not my fault!” “Yes, it is,” said Ivan. “It was all your idea. I was there when you came up with it.” “No, it wasn’t. It was yours. You’re the one who dragooned me into attending the damned state dinner in the first place.” “I only invited you. You invited Galeni. And anyway, my mother dragooned me.” “Oh. So it’s all her fault. Good. I can live with that.” Ivan”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“Successes are secret and thankless, failures are splashy and gain you only blame.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory



“Haroche opened his hand, dismissing the difference. “A matter of medical definition, not practical use. I’m a practical man. I’ve been studying the reports of your Dendarii missions for ImpSec. You and Simon Illyan made an extraordinary team.” We were the best, oh yes. Miles grunted, neutrally, suddenly uncertain of just where Haroche was leading. Haroche smiled wryly. “Filling Illyan’s place is a damned big challenge. I’m reluctant to give up any advantage. Now that I’ve had a chance to work with you in person, and look over your records in real detail . . . I’m increasingly sure that Illyan made a serious mistake when he discharged you.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“He hesitated, then arranged the gold medallion of the Cetagandan Order of Merit on its colorful ribbon, properly, around the tunic’s high collar. It was cool and heavy under his hand. He could be one of the few soldiers in history ever to be decorated by both sides in the same war . . . though to be truthful, the Order of Merit had come later, and actually had been presented to Lord Vorkosigan, not the little Admiral for a change. When they were all arranged, the effect was just short of loony. Separated into all the little secret compartments, he hadn’t realized just how much he’d accumulated, till he put it all together again. No, not again. For the first time. Let’s lay it all on the line. Smiling grimly, he fastened them down. He donned the white silk shirt that went underneath, the silver-embroidered suspenders, the brown trousers with the silver side-piping, the gleaming riding boots. Lastly, the heavy tunic. He fastened his grandfather’s dagger in its cloisonné sheath, with the Vorkosigan seal in the jeweled hilt, on its proper belt around his waist. He combed his hair, and stepped back to regard himself, glittering in his mirror. Going native, are we? The sarcastic voice was growing fainter. “If you expect to open a can of worms,” he spoke aloud for the first time, “you’d best trouble to pack a can-opener.” *”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“His horse, who had picked up the rather unfortunate name of Fat Ninny from Miles’s grandfather in the first few weeks of his life as a foal, came to greet Miles at his call, nickering, and Miles faithfully rewarded him with peppermints from his pocket. He petted the big roan’s wide, velvety nose. The beast, rising . . . twenty-three years old now?—had more gray among his red hairs, and wheezed from his canter across the pasture. So dare he ride, with this seizure-thing? Probably not the sort of days-long camping trips up into the hills he most enjoyed. If he trained Martin to be his spotter, he could perhaps risk a few turns around the pastures. He wasn’t likely to break any of his synthetic bones, falling off, and he trusted Ninny not to step on him. Swimming,”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


“Haroche was crouched to the left of his old comconsole desk, just levering the vent grille out of the wall. In the opened flimsie-folder on the floor by his side lay another fiber filter. Miles laid a small bet with himself that they would find a disemboweled grille awaiting Haroche’s return in one of the briefing rooms on a direct line between Illyan’s old office and this one. A quick switch, very cool. You think fast, General. But this time I had a head start.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Memory


About the author

Lois McMaster Bujold
Born place: in Columbus, Ohio, The United States
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“I need you to just trust me for now without knowing all the answers.”
― J.M. Richards, quote from Tall, Dark Streak of Lightning


“From my chair, I looked out my window, over these dreadful streets.

The baby asked,
'Is there not one righteous among them?”
― James Baldwin, quote from If Beale Street Could Talk


“But I hurt everywhere, Mama. How do I make it stop?" She looked at me with a sad smile. "I don't know. Only you can figure that out. But try to remember something, Teddi: Never tie you happiness to the tail of someone else's kite.”
― Beth Hoffman, quote from Looking for Me


“You know what, your imagination works faster than your mind.”
― Simona Panova, quote from Nightmarish Sacrifice


“Strangely, I found the conclusion quite liberating. When you’re fucked, you’re fucked. Things really can’t get much worse. With”
― Jodi Taylor, quote from Just One Damned Thing After Another


Interesting books

The Denial of Death
(5.5K)
The Denial of Death
by Ernest Becker
A Light in the Window
(19.7K)
A Light in the Windo...
by Jan Karon
English, August: An Indian Story
(4.6K)
English, August: An...
by Upamanyu Chatterjee
The Road to Avalon
(1.5K)
The Road to Avalon
by Joan Wolf
BoneMan's Daughters
(10.7K)
BoneMan's Daughters
by Ted Dekker
Vampire Chronicles: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned (Anne Rice)
(11.6K)
Vampire Chronicles:...
by Anne Rice

About BookQuoters

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 2023, 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.