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Topic: Favorite quotations from novels

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Subject: Favorite quotations from novels
Date Posted: 11/20/2011 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I love the feature "Favorite Quotations" (that you can find on your profile page.)  My problem is I find more quotes that I like, then there is space for.  I thought it would be fun for us to share a thread with our favorite quotations. 

So, as you read and come across a "line"  that grabs your attention, take a moment and share it with us. 

Last Edited on: 11/20/11 8:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/20/2011 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,683
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While not from a novel, here is one I currently use as a signature line on my e-mail from home. While over 100 years old, it has special relevance to what is happening today. I added it before the Penn State scandal broke. I use it because I work at a major university where football also seems to take precendence over everything else.

"College football is a sport that bears the same relation to education as bullfighting does to agriculture."  - Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), American writer, publisher, artist and philosopher


But one of my favorite quotes, as it has relates to my job and which I use as a signature on my e-mail from work, is from Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi. As an extension entomologist with a university, I have spent a great part of my career answering questions on arthropods: identification, how to control the "bad" one, how to rear them, etc. In extension at the university, we are suppose to have the answer to everything. So I love this quote:

"I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know."  - Mark Twain

Last Edited on: 11/20/11 11:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/21/2011 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I keep a notebook with me when I'm reading.  I love quotes.

"I can heal the scars on your body, but I can't heal the scars of the soul. Not yours, not mine. You have to learn to live with them. You have to choose to live beyond them."
--Anne Bishop from the book Heir to the Shadows (Black Jewels, Bk 2)

This is one of my favorites.  It reminds me that my memories and hurts are real, but I'm responsible for how I live my life and deal with those problems.

Date Posted: 11/21/2011 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon had some great lines IMHO:

"Years of teaching had left him with that firm and didactic tone of someone used to being heard, but not certain of being listened to."

"Look, Daniel. Destiny is usually around the corner. Like a thief, like a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it."

"Every book, every volume you see here has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it."

"Nobody knows much about women, not even Freud, not even women themselves. But it's like electricity: you don't have to know how it works to get a shock on the fingers."

"Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart"

"But in good time you'll see that sometimes what matters isn't what one gives but what one gives up." 


Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston:

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board."


Walden - Henry David Thoreau

We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.


Date Posted: 11/21/2011 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Historically, Catherine De Medici was portrayed as a ruthless villainess.  In this novel, we see her human side.

"the truth is, no one is innocent.  We all have sins to confess."   THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI by C. W. Gortner

Date Posted: 11/23/2011 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I have 2 current favorites.

"Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold on to."  Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

"Being nice is all you have left when you've failed at everything else." The Thirteenth Tale by  Diane Setterfield

Date Posted: 11/23/2011 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,582
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I have a coworker who has been baffled for years at my resistance to using an umbrella, so this quote has long been a favorite.

“My dad hates umbrellas, said Deeba, swinging her own. When it rains he always says the same thing. 'I do not believe the presence of moisture in the air is sufficient reason to overturn society's usual sensible taboo against wielding spiked clubs at eye level.”
China Miéville, Un Lun Dun

Last Edited on: 11/23/11 10:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/23/2011 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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This one has always resonated with me:

"He knew the world too well to risk the comfort of such halcyon moments, by prolonging them till they were disagreeable."
--Anthony Trollope from the book The Warden (World's Classics)
Date Posted: 11/27/2011 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,575
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There is need for a prayer before an emergency surgery in the book, The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler, and the prayer begins:

O Lord of mercies and miracles........

I love that phrase.  I will never forget it.

Date Posted: 11/29/2011 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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It's not just a quote, but an entire monologue from a book that IMHO everyone should read at least once in their Lifetime:

Atlas Shrugged-Ayn Rand

Here is the link to the monologue of Francisco d'Aconia.

Absorb It.





Date Posted: 1/3/2012 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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A quote from my favorite book of 2011, STATE OF WONDER by Anna Patchett

"Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook the thing you actually found."

Date Posted: 2/14/2012 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I just finished THE BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER by Amy Tan.  I love her descriptions of life in China and the dynamics of mother/daughter relationships.  My favorite quote from the book is --- "That was how dishonesty and betrayal starts, not in big lies, but in small secrets."

Date Posted: 2/27/2012 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Here are two that I came across in the last month and put on my iPad...

"Happiness is a risk. If you are not a litttle scared, then you're not doing it right",  Sarah Addison Allen, The Peach Keeper

"Had I held my breath my entire marriage, waiting to spring into motion at the first signs of Bobby's unhappiness? There now seemed to be so much more room and space for joy",  Katrina Kittle, The Blessings of the Animals

FYI: They both were really good reads and I recommend them!




Date Posted: 3/5/2012 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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...when a person dies he only appears to die.  He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral.  All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.
Billy from "Slaughterhouse-Five" Kurt Vonnegut pg 33-34

This is how I view death, as well.  I just finally found a quote to explain it better than I can.

Last Edited on: 3/10/12 5:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/9/2012 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,208
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“Sometimes, as she has well learned in life, one's actions must precede the emotions one hopes to feel.”
Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Secret Daughter
Date Posted: 5/10/2012 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I didn't care for the book.....the author was too self indulgent for my taste.  But I love her quote from the book, "Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."

Date Posted: 7/8/2012 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2011
Posts: 404
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In KnitLit Too : Stories from Sheep to Shawl . . . and More Writing About Knitting , one contributor (I think it was Molly Wolf, one of the co-editors), writes about frogging, which is what you do if you make a mistake in knitting that can't be easily corrected.  You rip out all the stitches until you get back before the mistake, and start again.

"I wonder sometimes if, after death, God frogs us -- holds us firm, undoes the years of pain and wrong and suffering, reknits us together in eternity's womb, so that we emerge in glory, just as we should have been if this life weren't so broken and bloody imperfect."


And for pure fun: --Heather Webber from the book Weeding Out Trouble (Nina Quinn, Bk 5) :

"...I stopped on the oldies station. "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" was playing, but it wasn't the Righteous Brothers singing it. It was Hall and Oates.

On the oldies station.


Hall and Oates.

Something was very wrong in this world."

Don't you hate when something makes you feel old?  :-)

Date Posted: 9/24/2012 2:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,886
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Can't select a single fave. This one popped to mind first:

As usual she wanted everything, which was in short supply. - Margaret Atwood / Bodily Harm

Date Posted: 9/28/2012 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I recently read the funniest line ever. A woman was refering to a man having a "cranial rectal inversion" - head up his ass.

Last Edited on: 9/29/12 10:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/1/2012 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,442
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"You have to believe in dreams, because sometimes they believe in you."

Simon R. Green   from Something From the Nightside

"Talking to ones'self is a poor means of achieveing a divergent opinion."

Jim Butcher  from ....Summer Knight..... (I think. I'll have to it up to be sure)

Last Edited on: 10/2/12 1:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/2/2012 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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You can have more joy or less pain.  But generally, not both.

Date Posted: 11/27/2012 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2012
Posts: 593
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"He thought the world's heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world's pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower."

Cormac McCarthy, All The Pretty Horses


Date Posted: 11/30/2012 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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At every title he discovered he let out exclamations of happiness, either because he knew the work, or because he had been seeking it for a long time, or  because he had never heard it mentioned and was highly excited and titillated. In short, for him every book was like a fabulous animal that he was meeting in a strange land.  From Umberto Eco - The Name of the Rose

Date Posted: 12/9/2012 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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"Adults weren't supposed to understand their children and you were doing something wrong if they did!"    Kate Morton,  THE SECRET KEEPER

Date Posted: 12/12/2012 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,858
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As a man looks down on the headstone at his father's grave he ponders:

"How a man's life could fit between the lines of words and numbers.  A hyphen, symbolically or not, representing all the events between."

Linda Lael Miller in Big Sky Mountain