“Personally, I felt pretty safe. Librarians are like priests. You can tell them you want information on just about any subject and they never look at you weird. It's like a rule or something. I figured even in a small town like this, my question wouldn't be the strangest one the librarian had heard. I didn't know if librarians had any sort of official privacy code, but I was counting on confidence. They're not big talkers. It comes from being forced to be quiet all the time.”
“Having someone you can talk to is cool, but it’s been my experience that it is a lot harder to find someone you can be quiet with.”
“Do you like kids?
Only with barbecue sauce.”
“Doesn’t just about everybody disappoint their parents? They say all they want is for us to be happy, but what they really want is for us to be their do-over. Their second chance at life.”
“My mom giggled and whacked Dick with a dish towel. I would have whacked him harder with the cutting board, but that was just my preference.”
“I'm proud of you, honey. This is a positive thing to have in your life. I'm glad to see you moving in the right direction.
I wasn't aware I was going in the wrong direction.”
“I was generally in favor of segregation of the dead and the living.”
“... Promise me you won't do anything stupid."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'd been planning to come up with the most moronic plan I could think of, but I guess now I won't.”
“When you're seventeen and the only friend you have in town is a stuffed animal that doesn't even belong to you, I think it's safe to say your life is officially in the shitter.”
“Apparently, in addition to muscles, Nate had an inner squirrel. He didn't have any trouble balancing on the tree, whereas I felt like I could fall out anytime.”
“Your dad does like you. In fact, he wants to protect you from me. He told me to not bother trying to get my claws into you and drag you down to my level.
Bother. Definitely bother. I like the idea of you getting your claws into me.”
“I couldn't decide if the fact that Nathaniel had watched me when I was sleeping was creepy or sort of exciting. God, I hoped I hadn't been lying there with my mouth open and drooling.”
“You better be careful, I've got a ladle. You never know what a trained killer can do with an innocent-looking kitchen utensil.
I don't think you're a trained killer.
So should I be insulted that you think I'm an amateur killer?”
“I refused to believe that I'd gone from sane to full-blown delusional in one night. After some consideration, I determined I didn't have any other crazy thoughts. I didn't think I was Napoleon, or that my bagel was an alien, and I didn't have voices in my head warning me about terrorist plots. Near as I could tell, I was still on the right side of sane.”
“Nicole put on a frowny face and leaned forward for maximum cleavage exposure. Nathaniel looked. Of course he looked. She practically was shaking her breasts in his face. If he wasn't careful, a wayward nipple was going to take out one of his eyes. Okay, so it would have been impossible for him not to notice. However, he didn't have to keep noticing. It was like his eyes had homing beacons on her boobs.”
“I'm not afraid,” I said, reminding myself and also putting the house on notice just in case.
“Well, that's a good thing,” a voice said.
I screamed and whirled around.”
“The mother was holding a baby, had a stroller with what looked like twin girls around three, and had a five-year-old boy who was running around the shelves with a finger shoved up his nose. I considered warning him that if he fell, he would poke his brain out, but it struck me that losing intelligence was not something he was worried about.”
“We reached to shake hands, and as soon as we touched, it felt like a current ran between the two of us. My heart sped up. Our eyes met. Nathaniel cleared his throat, and I realized he was trying to take his hand back and I was holding on to it with a death grip. I dropped his hand like it was a burning log. Oh God, I was turning into a stepbrother groper. He was nice to me, and the next thing he knew, I was hanging off him like a parasite. He was most likely grateful I hadn't thrown myself at his face for a tongue kiss.”
“Ah. Morrigan,” a voice said behind me. I jumped and spun around. Jesus. She must have been wearing super-quiet librarian shoes.”
“She was still getting organized, trying to get the books she'd taken out to fit into the shelf under the stroller. She would shove a book in, and then something, a juice cup, a Binky, or one disturbing Barbie-doll head, would fall out the other side. She would shove that back in, and then something else would leak out the other side. Her stroller was like a poorly designed clown car.
I went over and helped. It was a good thing spatial relations were a strength of mine, because it required the geometry skills of Newton to get everything slotted into place.”
“I made it until the threes before a new problem, in addition to my possible haunting, came up. I had to pee. Three hours fifty-two minutes. I tried crossing my legs and thinking dry desert thoughts. I wasn't going to make it until six a.m. No way. That left me two choices:
1. Stay here and pee the bed. This option was fraught with a whole load of downsides, not the least being forced to sit in a puddle of my own urine for hours (three hours forty-seven minutes to be exact). Then there would be the morning humiliation to consider. Dick's great-grandmother probably made this bed by collecting feathers off her pet goose. He would shit if I peed in it. He would make me sleep on rubber sheets as long as I lived here. Plus Nathaniel would know. I would be his spastic stepsister with an incontinence problem.
2. Leave the bed and make a run for the bathroom. This had the upside of not getting me a year's subscription to Bedwetters Anonymous. The downside was obvious. I had to leave the safety of the covers and risk the dead girl grabbing ahold of me.”
“Shit. I was stuck. I suspected Dick would skip the hassle of having to ferry me back and forth to talk to someone and instead convince my mom to toss me into a mental ward where I could stay out of his hair and he'd have her all to himself. I imagined myself wearing institutional pajamas and having to eat everything with a spoon because no one would trust me with a fork or knife. Most likely my roommate would be some freakish, giant-size woman who didn't speak because she'd chewed off her own tongue.”
“The entrance hall was designed to impress. The floor was a buttery cream-colored marble and the walls were paneled in dark wood. I'm not a lumberjack, so I had no idea what kind of wood it was, but it looked expensive.”
“What's wrong? Are you trying to make me lose it? Why didn't you say something when I came in?"
"I didn't know I was supposed to. You called out for your mom. I didn't know I was required to announce my presence like it was roll call.”
“To be fair, it's not just cycling— the term "sporty" isn't used to describe me. I don't run unless something is chasing me, and I have some kind of visual-spatial ball deficiency.”
“I never worried about being a whale stalker before. I promise to leave them unmolested from now on.”
“There was no doubt about it. I was falling for my stepbrother. Long term this would likely result in my ending up on a tacky daytime talk show with other people who had an unnatural love for their relatives.”
“I could have gone my entire life without the image of my mom and Dick engaged in a sexual role-playing game. Especially in my clothes.”
“Remember, ghosts don't care if you believe in them. They can still believe in you.”
“There went any progress we'd made in being friends. It was going to take more than shared lunches and singing Christmas carols to get over the fact that I'd basically implied he was capable of murdering his own family.”
“Vidiš, veoma je malo stvarnih ogreničenja. Sve čemu te uče je korisno, ali nikad ne prihvataj tvrdnju da je neko rešenje *jedino* rešenje samo ako uspe da reši problem.”
“Healing wasn’t always the best thing. Sometimes a hole was better left open. Sometimes it healed too thick and too well and left separate pieces fused and incompetent. And it was harder to reopen after that.”
“The Christmas tree, twinkling with lights, had a mountain of gifts piled up beneath it, like offerings to the great god of excess.”
“While endowed with the morose temper of genius, he [Lakes, Arts Professor] lacked originality and was aware of that lack; his own paintings always seemed beautifully clever imitations, although one could never quite tell whose manner he mimicked. His profound knowledge of innumerable techniques, his indifference to 'schools' and 'trends', his detestation of quacks, his conviction that there was no difference whatever between a genteel aquarelle of yesterday and, say, conventional neoplasticism or banal non-objectivism of today, and that nothing but individual talent mattered--these views made of him an unusual teacher. St Bart's was not particularly pleased either with Lake's methods or with their results, but kept him on because it was fashionable to have at least one distinguished freak on the staff. Among the many exhilarating things Lake taught was that the order of the solar spectrum is not a closed
circle but a spiral of tints from cadmium red and oranges through a strontian yellow and a pale paradisal green to cobalt blues and violets, at which point the sequence does not grade into red again but passes into another spiral, which starts with a kind of lavender grey and goes on to Cinderella shades transcending human perception. He taught that there is no such thing as the Ashcan School or the Cache Cache School or the Cancan School. That the work of art created with string, stamps, a Leftist newspaper, and the droppings of doves is based on a series of dreary platitudes. That there is nothing more banal and more bourgeois than paranoia. That Dali is really Norman Rockwell's twin brother kidnapped by gipsies in babyhood. That Van Gogh is second-rate and Picasso supreme, despite his commercial foibles; and that if Degas could immortalize a calèche, why could not Victor Wind do the same to a motor car?”
“He who fight monsters must take care that he doesn't become one himself.”
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