“We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful.”
“Sometimes the truth has difficulty breaching the city walls of our beliefs. A lie, dressed in the correct livery, passes through more easily.”
“The world inside myself is vaster and richer than this paltry plane, peopled with mere galaxies and gods.”
“That’s the secret to performance: conviction. The right note played tentatively still misses its mark, but play boldly and no one will question you. If one believes there is truth in art – and I do – then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying. Maybe lying is itself a kind of art. I think about that more than I should.”
“I cannot perch among those who think that I am broken.”
“He did not know the truth of me, yet he had perceived something true about me that no one else had ever noticed. And in spite of that—or perhaps because of it—he believed me good, believed me worth taking seriously, and his belief, for one vertigi-nous moment, made me want to be better than I was.”
“For future reference: do not underestimate the seductive power of math.”
“Who will kiss you? Who will rock you to sleep?" His voice was slow, drowsy.
"You never did," I said, trying to tease him. "You were more father to me than my father, but you never did that."
"Someone should. Someone should love you. I will bite him if he will not.”
“I’m attracting small children,” Orma muttered, twisting his hat in his hands. “Shoo it away, will you?”
“I mistook you for a metaphor.”
“Your lies didn't stop me loving you; your truth hasn't stopped me either.”
“I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence,and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth.”
“I was drawn to his aloofness, the way cats gravitate toward people who’d rather avoid them.”
“He was laughing, silently, and then we were both laughing, and then something changed. It was as if I had been watching the world through oiled parchment or smoked glass, which was yanked abruptly away. Everything grew very clear and bright; the music burst forth in majesty; we stood still and the room turned around us; and there was Kiggs, right in the middle of all of it, laughing.”
“Love is not a disease...I cannot let them cut you out of me, nor her either. I will cling to my sickness, if it is a sickness. I will hold it close to me like the sun.”
“He looked up at the reddening sky and said with a self-deprecating laugh, "You put me to shame, Seraphina. Your bravery always has."
"It's not bravery; it's bullheaded bumbling."
He shook his head, staring off into the middle distance. "I know courage when I see it, and when I lack it.”
“I barely noticed loneliness anymore; it was my normal condition, by necessity if not by nature.”
“How dare the world be beautiful when I was so horrifying?”
“The borderlands of madness used to have much sterner signage around them than they do now.”
“I scrupulously hide every legitimate reason for people to hate me, and it turns out they don’t need legitimate reasons. Heaven has fashioned a knife of irony to stab me with.”
“Music is only work when someone else makes you do it.”
“Peaches and Cheese”:
The vagabond sun winks down through the trees,
While lilacs, like memories, waft on the breeze,
My friend, I was born for days such as these,
To inhale perfume,
And cut through the gloom,
And feast like a king upon peaches and cheese!
I’ll travel this wide world and go where I please,
Can’t stop my wand’ring, it’s like a disease.
My only regret as I cross the high seas:
What I leave behind,
Though I hope to find,
My own golden city of peaches and cheese!”
“The truth may not be told. Here is an acceptable lie.”
“Please, Orma, I’ve already gotten you in so much trouble—”
“That I can’t possibly get into more. Take it.” He wouldn’t stop glaring at me until I’d put the earring back on its cord. “You are all that’s left of Linn. Her own people won’t even say her name. I—I value your continued existence.”
I could not speak; he had pierced me to my very heart.”
“I was half lawyer; I always noticed the loopholes.”
“My own survival required me to counterbalance interesting with invisible.”
“I felt lighter when I had finished, and for once emptiness was a sweet relief and a condition to be treasured.”
“He looked at me again and his eyes shone in the lamplight, or with the inner light of delighted anticipation.
His enthusiasm made him beautiful.”
“A feeling rose in me, and I just let it, because what harm could it do? It only had another thirty-two adagio bars of life in this world. Twenty-four. Sixteen. Eight more bars in which I love you. Three. Two. One.”
“Always I hev my fists and my war pipes!”
“...."the sound of a barrel organ rising from the deepest golden vein of the day; two or three bars of a chorus, played on a distant piano over and over again, melting in the sun on the white pavement, lost in the fire of high noon.”
“We had fallen in love; that was still true. But given the right psychological conditions, a person could fall in love with anyone or anything. A wooden desk—always on all fours, always prone, always there for you. What was the lifespan of these improbable loves? An hour. A week. A few months at best. The end was a natural thing, like the seasons, like getting older, fruit turning. That was the saddest part—there was no one to blame and no way to reverse it.”
“Suppose that Art is a real hothead. If Bud rats on him, Art will be so enraged that nothing will stop him from killing Bud, even if he has to wait ten years, and even if he has to chase Bud to the ends of the earth. If Bud knows of Art’s vengeful nature, then Bud has a strong incentive not to rat on him. Thus, by being vengeful, and being known for it, Art can be his own robotic hit man, incentivizing others to cooperate with him through his high-flying, credible threats. Of course, being vengeful can be very costly. Art could lose everything if he does, in fact, devote his life to exacting vengeance on Bud. Still, if all goes well, Art will never actually need to go after Bud, because people like Bud won’t dare cross him. Thus, the emotions that fuel vengeful behaviors are, or can be, a kind of rational irrationality. They serve our interests by publicly committing us to doing things that are not in our own interest. We”
“But over the last decade, neuroscientists have discovered that, like an eager student, the brain is remarkably responsive to experience. Ask your brain to do math every day, and it gets better at math. Ask your brain to worry, and it gets better at worrying. Ask your brain to concentrate, and it gets better at concentrating. Not only does your brain find these things easier, but it actually remodels itself based on what you ask it to do.”
“Just as sometimes I wondered if Grandpa had ever existed, sometimes I wondered if I truly existed myself. As I was running, I could see myself from outside myself: a skinny girl with the flapping shorts and too- big a T-shirt, always watching the other girls at school, a girl in a pink bedroom sitting with a book propped on her knees, the words she was reading entering her mind, some sticking like gluey never to be forgotten, others disappearing instantly, I could remember everything and remember nothing. I would watch a movie and recall every scene as if I had written the script, then watch another movie another day and be unable to recall it at all.”
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.