Quotes from Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Maria Semple ·  330 pages

Rating: (294K votes)


“That's right,' she told the girls. 'You are bored. And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like I'm going to die. But the good kind of heart racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I'm about to kick the shit out of life.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“This is why you must love life: one day you're offering up your social security number to the Russian Mafia; two weeks later you're using the word calve as a verb.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“I can pinpoint that as the single happiest moment of my life, because I realized then that Mom would always have my back. It made me feel giant. I raced back down the concrete ramp, faster than I ever had before, so fast I should have fallen, but I didn't fall, because Mom was in the world.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Can you believe the weather?'...'Actually, I CAN believe the weather. What I can't believe is that I'm actually having a conversation about the weather.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“One of the main reasons I don't like leaving the house is because I might find myself face to face with a Canadian.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“What's this?" She pulled out a card and held it away from her face. "I can't read what it says." I took it from her and read it aloud.

1. Beeber Bifocal
2. Twenty Mile House
3. Bee
4. Your escape
Fourteen miracles to go.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Americans are pushy, obnoxious, neurotic, crass - anything and everything - the full catastrophe as our friend Zorba might say. Canadians are none of that. The way you might fear a cow sitting down in the middle of the street during rush hour, that's how I fear Canadians. To Canadians, everyone is equal. Joni Mitchell is interchangeable with a secretary at open-mic night. Frank Gehry is no greater than a hack pumping out McMansions on AutoCAD. John Candy is no funnier than Uncle Lou when he gets a couple of beers in him. No wonder the only Canadians anyone's ever heard of are the ones who have gotten the hell out. Anyone with talent who stayed would be flattened under an avalanche of equality. The thing Canadians don't understand is that some people are extraordinary and should be treated as such.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Life is a stew, and pot is poop.If someone stirred even a teeny-bit of poop in the stew, would you really want to eat it?”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“I'd say I never considered myself a great architect. I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“When "Here Comes the Sun" started, what happened? No, the sun didn't come out, but Mom opened up like the sun breaking through the clouds. You know how in the first few notes of that song, there's something about George's guitar that's just so hopeful? It was like when Mom sang, she was full of hope, too. She even got the irregular clapping right during the guitar solo. When the song was over, she paused.

"Oh Bee," she said. "This song reminds me of you." She had tears in her eyes.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“I'm not too good when exposed to people”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“We'd pass icebergs floating in the middle of the ocean. They were gigantic, with strange formations carved into them. They were so haunting and majestic you could feel your heart break, but really they're just chunks of ice and they mean nothing.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“We were quiet for a while, and then I said, "I think my favorite part of Antarctica is just looking out." You know why?" Dad asked. "When your eyes are softly focused on the horizon for sustained periods, your brain releases endorphins. It's the same as a runner's high.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Its like a hypnotist put everyone from Seattle into a collective trance. "You are getting sleepy, when you wake up you will want to live only in a Craftsman house, the year won't matter to you, all that will matter is that the walls will be thick, the windows tiny, the rooms dark, the ceilings low, and it will be poorly situated on the lot.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Those East Coast rich kids are a different breed, on a fast track to nowhere. Your friends in Seattle are downright Canadian in their niceness. None of you has a cell phone. The girls wear hoodies and big cotton underpants and walk around with tangled hair and smiling, adorned backpacks. Do you know how absolutely exotic it is that you haven’t been corrupted by fashion and pop culture? A month ago I mentioned Ben Stiller, and do you remember how you responded? ‘Who’s that?’ I loved you all over again.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“People like you must create. If you don't create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Hovering over me was the Chihuly chandelier. Chihulys are the pigeons of Seattle. They're everywhere and even if they don't get in your way, you can't help but build up a kind of antipathy toward them.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Here’s something about Mom: she’s bad with annoyances, but great in a crisis. If a waiter doesn’t refill her water after she’s asked three times, or she forgets her dark glasses when the sun comes out, look out! But when it comes to something truly bad happening, Mom plugs into this supreme calm.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Just because it's complicated, just because you think you can't ever know everything about another person, it doesn't mean you can't try.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“I can feel the irrationality and anxiety draining my store of energy like a battery-operated racecar grinding away in the corner. This is the energy I will need to get through the next day. But I just lie in bed and watch it burn, and with it any hope for a productive tomorrow. There go the dishes, there goes the grocery store, there goes exercise, there goes bringing in the garbage cans. There goes basic human kindness.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“We were like the Beatles, Dad.'
'I know you think that, sweetie'
'Seriously. Mom is John, you're Paul, I'm George, and Ice Cream is Ringo.'
'Ice Cream,' I said. 'Resentful of the past, fearful of the future...everytime we saw Ice Cream sitting there with her mouth open, we'd say, Poor Ice Cream, resentful of the past, fearful of the future.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“You bet your bindi that’s how big I want it.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“The first stop on this crazy train is Kindergarten Junction, and nobody gets off until it pulls into Harvard Station.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“The sky in Seattle is so low, it felt like God had lowered a silk parachute over us.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“All those ninnies have it wrong. The best thing about Seattle is the weather. The world over, people have ocean views. But across our ocean is Bainbridge Island, an evergreen curb, and over it the exploding, craggy, snow-scraped Olympics. I guess what I'm saying: I miss it, the mountains and the water.”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“Your mission statement says Galer Street is based on global "connectitude." (You people don't just think outside the box, you think outside the dictionary!)”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“You know what it’s like when you go to IKEA and you can’t believe how cheap everything is, and even though you may not need a hundred tea lights, my God, they’re only ninety-nine cents for the whole bag? Or: Sure the throw are filled with a squishy ball of no-doubt toxic whatnot, but they’re so bright and three-for-five-dollars that before you know it you've dropped five hundred bucks, not because you needed any of this crap, but because it was so damn cheap?”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


“I got a huge knot in my stomach because if Antarctica could talk, it would be saying only one thing: you don't belong here. (277)”
― Maria Semple, quote from Where'd You Go, Bernadette


Video

About the author

Maria Semple
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Ten minutes later, Julio and Bobby Escobar eased from the shadows and saw Theo before he saw them. Bobby was very nervous and did not want to risk being seen by a policeman, so they walked to the other side of the park and found a spot on the steps of a gazebo. Theo couldn’t see his father but he was sure he was watching. He asked Bobby”
― John Grisham, quote from Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer


“morning he couldn’t dwell on waffles and fudge, famous or not. He was far too occupied with thoughts of April and the slimy figure of Jack Leeper. The Boones were seated at a small table in the crowded diner. The air was thick with bacon grease and strong coffee, and the hot topic, as Theo realized not long after he sat down, was the abduction of April Finnemore. To their right, four uniformed policemen talked loudly about the possibility that Leeper was close by. To their left, a table of gray-haired men spoke with great authority on several subjects, but seemed particularly interested in the “kidnapping,” as it was sometimes referred to. The menu promoted the myth that Gertrude’s was indeed the home of “World-Famous Pecan Waffles.” In silent protest against false advertising, Theo ordered scrambled eggs and sausage.”
― John Grisham, quote from The Abduction


“Everybody has an idea of himself which augments, aggravates, or modifies the actuality.”
― John Myers Myers, quote from Silverlock


“Only rear echelons with plenty of fat on them can afford such rich diseases, like an epicure with his gout.”
― Robert Leckie, quote from Helmet for My Pillow


“I turn and gaze at the
bright blue sky, squinting. It’s like surfacing for air after
giving up hope, after resigning to drown, suffocating”
― Katie Klein, quote from Cross My Heart


Interesting books

First Among Sequels
(21.7K)
First Among Sequels
by Jasper Fforde
Birthright
(21.2K)
Birthright
by Nora Roberts
Double Time
(22.7K)
Double Time
by Olivia Cunning
Romeo Redeemed
(2.6K)
Romeo Redeemed
by Stacey Jay
Too Good to Be True
(16.9K)
Too Good to Be True
by Kristan Higgins
Loki
(1.6K)
Loki
by Mike Vasich

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 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.