The Giver – Lois Lowry

 

lois lowry

“…it was not a rule, but was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals.” – Chapter 3

“Now, seeing the newchild and its expression, he was reminded that the light eyes were not only a rarity but gave the one who had them a certain look — what was it? Depth, he decided; as if one were looking into the clear water of the river, down to the bottom, where things might lurk which hadn’t been discovered yet.” – Chapter 3

“Fours, Fives, and Sixes all wore jackets that fastened down the back so that they would have to help each other dress and would learn interdependence.
The front-buttoned jacket was the first sign of independence, the first very visible symbol of growing up. The bicycle, at Nine, would be the powerful emblem of moving gradually out into the community, away from the protective family unit.” -Chapter 6

“The entire community had performed the Ceremony of Loss together, murmuring the name Caleb throughout an entire day, less and less frequently, softer in volume, as the long and somber day went on, so that the little Four seemed to fade away gradually from everyone’s consciousness.” – Chapter 6

“There’s much more. There’s all that goes beyond — all that is Elsewhere — and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. And how we shape our future.” -Chapter 10

“No voice made an explination. The experience explained itself to him.” -Chapter 11

“I have great honor. So will you. But you will find that that is not the same as power.” -Chapter 11

“‘If everything’s the same, then there aren’t any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things! A blue tunic, or a red one?’ He looked down at himself, at the colorless fabric of his clothing. ‘But it’s all the same, always.'” – Chapter 13

“Sometimes I wish they’d ask for my wisdom more often — there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they don’t want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable — so painless. It’s what they’ve chosen.” -Chapter 13

“What is it that makes you suffer so much? If you gave some of it to me, maybe your pain would be less.” -Chapter 13

They have never known pain, he thought. The realization made him feel desperately lonely, and he rubbed his throbbing leg. He eventually slept. Again and again he dreamed of the anguish and the isolation of the forsaken hill.” – Chapter 14

“But why can’t everyone have the memories? I think it would seem a little easier if the memories were shared. You and I wouldn’t have to bear so much by ourselves, if everybody took a part.” -Chapter 14

“And that’s the real reason The Receiver is so vital to them, and so honored. They selected me — and you — to lift that burden from themselves.” – Chapter 14

“‘I liked the feeling of love,’ he confessed. He glanced nervously at the speaker on the wall, reassuring himself that no one was listening. ‘I wish we still had that,’ he whispered.'” – Chapter 16

“He made himself say the words, though he felt flushed with embarrassment. He had rehearsed them in his mind all the way home from the Annex.
‘Do you love me?’
There was an awkward silence for a moment. Then Father gave a little chuckle. ‘Jonas. You, of all people. Precision of language, please!’
‘What do you mean?’ Jonas asked. Amusement was not at all what he had anticipated.
‘Your father means that you used a very generalized word, so meaningless that it’s become almost obsolete,’ his mother explained carefully.” -Chapter 16

“‘Things could change, Gabe,’ Jonas went on. ‘Things could be different. I don’t know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors.'” -Chapter 16

“The next morning, for the first time, Jonas did not take his pill. Something within him, something that had grown there through the memories, told him to throw the pill away.” -Chapter 16

“Thinking, as he always did, about precision of language, Jonas realized that it was a new depth of feelings that he was experiencing. Somehow they were not at all the same as the feelings that every evening, in every dwelling, every citizen analyzed with endless talk.” -Chapter 17

“Jonas knew with certainty that he could change nothing.” -Chapter 17

“If you were to be lost in the river, Jonas, your memories would not be lost with you. Memories are forever.” -Chapter 18

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” -Chapter 20

“All of it was new to him. After a life of Sameness and predictability, he was awed by the surprises that lay beyond each curve of the road. He slowed the bike again and again to look with wonder at wildflowers, to enjoy the throaty warble of a new bird nearby, or merely to watch the way wind shifted the leaves in the trees. During his twelve years in the community, he had never felt such simple moments of exquisite happiness.” -Chapter 22

“Once he had yearned for choice. Then, when he had had a choice, he had made the wrong one: the choice to leave. And now he was starving.
But if he had stayed…
His thoughts continued. If he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways. He would have lived a life hungry for feelings, for color, for love.” -Chapter 22

“But he began, suddenly, to feel happy. He began to recall happy times. He remembered his parents and his sister. He remembered his friends, Asher and Fiona. He remembered The Giver.
Memories of joy flooded through him suddenly.” -Chapter 23

“The runners sliced through the snow and the wind whipped at his face as they sped in a straight line through an incision that seemed to lead to the final destination, the place that he had always felt was waiting, the Elsewhere that held their future and their past.” -Chapter 23

“He knew they were shining through the windows of rooms, that they were the red, blue, and yellow lights that twinkled from trees in places where families created and kept memories, where they celebrated love.” -Chapter 23

“Behind him, across vas distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps it was only an echo.” -Chapter 23

 

 

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Wild – Cheryl Strayed

cheryl

I feel that this book deserves a special introduction. Although I have savored the pages of Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway, this was a different type of enjoyment. Wild was the first book on my list where finishing seemed like I was saying goodbye to an old friend. I wanted the life of Cheryl and the PCT to continue on, no ending, because I felt that I knew her, that I could relate and reflect with her. This might sound crazy to you, and it takes a very talented writer to evoke any type of attachment from me to their characters, but I was completely invested in this book- in her journey. Maybe it’s because I grew up backpacking in areas she passed through, or because I’ve experienced loss, but Cheryl has inspired me to do my own “spirit walk” someday, and it might just be on that very same trail.

“It was a world I’d never been to and yet had known was there all along, one I’d staggered to in sorrow and confusion and fear and hope. A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I’d once been. A world that measured two feet wide and 2,663 miles long.
A world called the Pacific Crest Trail.” -prologue

“I looked north, in its direction—the very thought of that bridge a beacon to me. I looked south, to where I’d been, to the wild land that had schooled and scorched me, and considered my options. There was only one, I knew. There was always only one.
To keep walking.” -prologue

“And then there was the real live truly doing it.
The staying and doing it, in spite of everything. In spite of the bears and the rattlesnakes and the scat of the mountain lions I never saw; the blisters and scabs and scrapes and lacerations. The exhaustion and the deprivation; the cold and the heat; the monotony and the pain; the thirst and the hunger; the glory and the ghosts that haunted me as I hiked eleven hundred miles from the Mojave Desert to the state of Washington by myself.” -Chapter 1

“We aren’t poor,” my mother said, again and again. “Because we’re rich in love.” She would mix food coloring into sugar water and pretend with us that it was a special drink. Sarsaparilla or Orange Crush or lemonade. She’d ask, Would you like another drink, madam? in a snooty British voice that made us laugh every time. She would spread her arms wide and ask us how much and there would never be an end to the game. She loved us more than all the named things in the world. She was optimistic and serene, except a few times when she lost her temper and spanked us with a wooden spoon. Or the one time when she screamed FUCK and broke down crying because we wouldn’t clean our room. She was kindhearted and forgiving, generous and naïve.” -Chapter 1

“It hadn’t occurred to me that my mother would die. Until she was dying, the thought had never entered my mind. She was monolithic and insurmountable, the keeper of my life. She would grow old and still work in the garden. This image was fixed in my mind, like one of the memories from her childhood that I’d made her explain so intricately that I remembered it as if it were mine. She would be old and beautiful like the black-and-white photo of Georgia O’Keeffe I’d once sent her. I held fast to this image for the first couple of weeks after we left the Mayo Clinic, and then, once she was admitted to the hospice wing of the hospital in Duluth, that image unfurled, gave way to others, more modest and true.” -Chapter 1

“But each day was an eternity, one stacked up on the other, a cold clarity inside of a deep haze.” -Chapter 1

“My connection with him and his gloriously unfractured life only seemed to increase my pain. It wasn’t his fault. Being with him felt unbearable, but being with anyone else did too” -Chapter 1

“I prayed fervently, rabidly, to God, any god, to a god I could not identify or find. I cursed my mother, who’d not given me any religious education. Resentful of her own repressive Catholic upbringing, she’d avoided church altogether in her adult life, and now she was dying and I didn’t even have God. I prayed to the whole wide universe and hoped that God would be in it, listening to me. I prayed and prayed, and then I faltered. Not because I couldn’t find God, but because suddenly I absolutely did: God was there, I realized, and God had no intention of making things happen or not, of saving my mother’s life. God was not a granter of wishes. God was a ruthless bitch.” -Chapter 1

“My mother died fast but not all of a sudden. A slow-burning fire when flames disappear to smoke and then smoke to air.” -Chapter 1

“All of that was impossible now, regardless of what the letter said. My mom was dead. My mom was dead. My mom was dead. Everything I ever imagined about myself had disappeared into the crack of her last breath.”-Chapter 2

“It seemed to me the way it must feel to people who cut themselves on purpose. Not pretty, but clean. Not good, but void of regret. I was trying to heal. Trying to get the bad out of my system so I could be good again. To cure me of myself.”-Chapter 2

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid.
I was working too hard to be afraid.”-Chapter 4

“I sat in the passenger seat as we drove across the country, feeling my real life present but unattainable. Paul and I fought and cried and shook the car with our rage. We were monstrous in our cruelty and then we talked kindly afterward, shocked at each other and ourselves. We decided that we would get divorced and then that we would not. I hated him and I loved him. With him I felt trapped, branded, held, and beloved. Like a daughter.” -Chapter 4

“I had to change. I had to change was the thought that drove me in those months of planning. Not into a different person, but back to the person I used to be—strong and responsible, clear-eyed and driven, ethical and good. And the PCT would make me that way. There, I’d walk and think about my entire life. I’d find my strength again, far from everything that had made my life ridiculous.”-Chapter 4

“I wasn’t thinking, I’m hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail. I wasn’t even thinking, What have I gotten myself into? I was thinking only of moving myself forward. My mind was a crystal vase that contained only that one desire. My body was its opposite: a bag of broken glass. Every time I moved, it hurt. I counted my steps to take my mind off the pain, silently ticking the numbers off in my head to one hundred before starting over again. The blocks of numbers made the walk slightly more bearable, as if I only had to go to the end of each one.”-Chapter 5

“The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer—and yet also, like most things, so very simple—was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial.”-Chapter 5

“I was a pebble. I was a leaf. I was the jagged branch of a tree. I was nothing to them and they were everything to me.”-Chapter 6

“I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising “of all, that I could carry it. That I could bear the unbearable. These realizations about my physical, material life couldn’t help but spill over into the emotional and spiritual realm. That my complicated life could be made so simple was astounding.” -Chapter 6

“Nothing fit until one day when the word strayed came into my mind. Immediately, I looked it up in the dictionary and knew it was mine. Its layered definitions spoke directly to my life and also struck a poetic chord: to wander from the proper path, to deviate from the direct course, to be lost, to become wild, to be without a mother or father, to be without a home, to move about aimlessly in search of something, to diverge or digress. I had diverged, digressed, wandered, and become wild. I didn’t embrace the word as my new name because it defined negative aspects of my circumstances or life, but because even in my darkest days—those very days in which I was naming myself—I saw the power of the darkness. Saw that, in fact, I had strayed and that I was a stray and that from the wild places my straying had brought me, I knew things I couldn’t have known before.” -Chapter 6

“Kennedy Meadows was a pretty expanse of piney woods and sage and grass meadows at an elevation of 6,200 feet on the South Fork Kern River. It wasn’t a town but rather an outpost of civilization spread out over a few miles, consisting of a general store, a restaurant called Grumpie’s, and a primitive campground.” -Chapter 7

“We are now in the mountains
and they are in us…
JOHN MUIR,
My First Summer in the Sierra”
-Chapter 8

“Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.” -Chapter 8

“There was no question I was in the Sierra now—Muir’s beloved Range of Light. I walked beneath great dark trees that put the smaller plants beneath in almost complete shadow and past wide grassy meadows of wildflowers; I scrambled over snowmelt streams by stepping from one unsteady rock to another, aided by my ski pole. At foot speed, the Sierra Nevada seemed just barely surmountable. I could always take another step.” -Chapter 8

“I was a startling sight.
I did not so much look like a woman who had spent the past three weeks backpacking in the wilderness as I did like a woman who had been the victim of a violent and bizarre crime. Bruises that ranged in color from yellow to black lined my arms and legs, my back and rump, as if I’d been beaten with sticks. My hips and shoulders were covered with blisters and rashes, inflamed welts and dark scabs where my skin had broken open from being chafed by my pack. Beneath the bruises and wounds and dirt I could see new ridges of muscle, my flesh taut in places that had recently been soft.” -Chapter 8

“The good things aren’t a movie. There isn’t enough to make a reel. The good things are a poem, barely longer than a haiku. There is his love of Johnny Cash and the Everly Brothers. There are the chocolate bars he brought home from his job in a grocery store. There are all the grand things he wanted to be, a longing so naked and sorry I sensed it and grieved it even as a young child. There is him singing that Charlie Rich song that goes “Hey, did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world?” and saying it was about me and my sister and our mother, that we were the most beautiful girls in the world. But even that is marred. He said this only when he was trying to woo my mother back, when he was claiming that things would be different now, when he was promising her that he would never again do what he’d done before.
He always did it again. He was a liar and a charmer, a heartbreak and a brute.” -Chapter 8

“I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn’t know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even precisely what the word faith meant, in all of its complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.” -Chapter 8

“I lay in the water as long as I could without breathing, alone in a strange new land, while the actual world all around me hummed on.” -Chapter 8

“Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.” -Chapter 9

“I thought about the fox. I wondered if he’d returned to the fallen tree and wondered about me. I remembered the moment after he’d disappeared into the woods and I’d called out for my mother. It had been so silent in the wake of that commotion, a kind of potent silence that seemed to contain everything. The songs of the birds and the creak of the trees. The dying snow and the unseen gurgling water. The glimmering sun. The certain sky. The gun that didn’t have a bullet in its chamber. And the mother. Always the mother. The one who would never come to me.” -Chapter 9

“One of the worst things about losing my mother at the age I did was how very much there was to regret. Small things that stung now: all the times I’d scorned her kindness by rolling my eyes or physically recoiled in response to her touch; the time I’d said, “Aren’t you amazed to see how much more sophisticated I am at twenty-one than you were?” The thought of my youthful lack of humility made me nauseous now. I had been an arrogant asshole and, in the midst of that, my mother died. Yes, I’d been a loving daughter and yes, I’d been there for her when it mattered, but I could have been better. I could have been what I’d begged her to say I was: the best daughter in the world.” -Chapter 10

“When Eddie arrived, my mother was still making dinner, so he played with Karen, Leif, and me out on the little patch of grass in front of our building. He chased us and caught us and held us upside down and shook us to see if any coins would fall from our pockets; if they did, he would take them from the grass and run, and we would run after him, shrieking with a particular joy that had been denied us all of our lives because we’d never been loved right by a man. He tickled us and watched as we performed dance routines and cartwheels. He taught us whimsical songs and complicated hand jives. He stole our noses and ears and then showed them to us with his thumb tucked between his fingers, eventually giving them back while we laughed.” -Chapter 10

“You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, my mother had often said.” -Chapter 10

“Horses were my mother’s religion. It was with them she’d wanted to be on all those Sundays as a child, when she’d been made to put on dresses to go to mass. The stories she told me about horses were a counterpoint to the other stories she’d told me about her Catholic upbringing. She did anything she could to ride them. She raked stalls and polished tack, hauled hay and spread straw, any kind of odd job that came her way, so that she would be allowed to hang out at whatever stable happened to be nearest and ride someone’s horse.” -Chapter 10

“I didn’t feel sad or happy. I didn’t feel proud or ashamed. I only felt that in spite of all the things I’d done wrong, in getting myself here, I’d done right.” -Chapter 11

“Maybe I was more alone than anyone in the whole wide world.
Maybe that was okay.” -Chapter 11

“Monster was my world, my inanimate extra limb. Though its weight and size still confounded me, I’d come to accept that it was my burden to bear. I didn’t feel myself in contradiction to it the way I had a month before. It wasn’t me against it. We two were one.” -Chapter 12

“So much of being able to hike the PCT depended upon mind control: the stout decision to move forward, regardless.” -Chapter 12

“Miles weren’t things that blazed dully past. They were long, intimate straggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and screeched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The PCT had taught me what a mile was. I was humble before each and every one.” -Chapter 12

“I didn’t just feel like a backpacking expert. I felt like a hard-ass motherfucking Amazonian queen.” -Chapter 12

“Yes,” said Pat. “And you’re wounded in the same place. That’s what fathers do if they don’t heal their wounds. They wound their children in the same place.” -Chapter 12

“The father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse and ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself…This isn’t about strength,” said Pat. “And you may not be able to see this yet, but perhaps there will come a time—it could be years from now—when you’ll need to get on your horse and ride into battle and you’re going to hesitate. You’re going to falter. To heal the wound your father made, you’re going to have to get on that horse and ride into battle like a warrior.” -Chapter 12

“It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.” -Chapter 13

“It was what I knew before I even really did, before I could have known how truly hard and glorious the PCT would be, how profoundly the trail would both shatter and shelter me.” -Chapter 13

“The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back. I really did have only one boot.” -Chapter 13

“Hiking the PCT was the maddening effort of knitting that sweater and unraveling it over and over again. As if everything gained was inevitably lost” -Chapter 14

“As difficult and maddening as the trail could be, there was hardly a day that passed that didn’t offer up some form of what was called trail magic in the PCT vernacular—the unexpected and sweet happenings that stand out in stark relief to the challenges of the trail.” -Chapter 14

“What is he doing right this minute? I’d thought occasionally throughout my life, but I was never able to imagine it. I didn’t know my own father’s life. He was there, but invisible, a shadow beast in the woods; a fire so far away it’s nothing but smoke.
That was my father: the man who hadn’t fathered me. It amazed me every time. Again and again and again. Of all the wild things, his failure to love me the way he should have had always been the wildest thing of all. But on that night as I gazed out over the darkening land fifty-some nights out on the PCT, it occurred to me that I didn’t have to be amazed by him anymore.
There were so many other amazing things in this world.
They opened up inside of me like a river. Like I didn’t know I could take a breath and then I breathed. I laughed with the joy of it, and the next moment I was crying my first tears on the PCT. I cried and I cried and I cried. I wasn’t crying because I was happy. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I wasn’t crying because of my mother or my father or Paul. I was crying because I was full. Of those fifty-some hard days on the trail and of the 9,760 days that had come before them too.” -Chapter 14

“I didn’t feel like a big fat idiot anymore. And I didn’t feel like a hard-ass motherfucking Amazonian queen. I felt fierce and humble and gathered up inside, like I was safe in this world too.” -Chapter 14

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
MARY OLIVER,
“The Summer Day”
-Chapter 15

“I would walk its entire length if I made it all the way to the Bridge of the Gods. Who would I be if I did? Who would I be if I didn’t?” -Chapter 15

“I was trying so hard to seem content and perfectly at ease, as if I would be at this very club listening to this very band whether Jonathan had invited me to or not, and, most of all, to be neither looking nor not looking at Jonathan, who was looking at me every time I looked at him, which then made me worry that he thought I was always looking at him because what if it was only a coincidence that every time I looked at him he was looking at me and he wasn’t actually looking at me always, but only in the moments that I looked at him, which would compel him to wonder, Why is this woman always looking at me?” -Chapter 15

“It had been an indisputably good time, but now I felt empty. Like there was something I didn’t even know I wanted until I didn’t get it.” -Chapter 15

“Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we’d left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could fill. I’d have to fill it myself again and again and again.” -Chapter 16

“She’d come at us with maximum maternal velocity. She hadn’t held back a thing, not a single lick of her love.” -Chapter 16

“She seemed to come at me now, the full perfect and imperfect force of her humanity, as if her life was an intricately painted mural and I could finally see the whole thing. Who she’d been to me and who she hadn’t. How it was she belonged to me profoundly, and also how she didn’t.” -Chapter 16

“Much as I loved and admired my mother, I’d spent my childhood planning not to become her.” -Chapter 16

“I never got to be in the driver’s seat of my own life,” she’d wept to me once, in the days after she learned she was going to die. “I always did what someone else wanted me to do. I’ve always been someone’s daughter or mother or wife. I’ve never just been me.” -Chapter 16

“I walked and I walked, my mind shifting into a primal gear that was void of anything but forward motion, and I walked until walking became unbearable, until I believed I couldn’t walk even one more step.
And then I ran.” -Chapter 17

“He felt like a brother of mine, but not at all like my actual brother. He seemed like someone I’d always know even if I never saw him again.” -Chapter 19

“There’s no way to know what makes one thing happen and not another. What leads to what. What destroys what. What causes what to flourish or die or take another course. But I was pretty certain as I sat there that night that if it hadn’t been for Eddie, I wouldn’t have found myself on the PCT. And though it was true that everything I felt for him sat like a boulder in my throat, this realization made the boulder sit ever so much lighter. He hadn’t loved me well in the end, but he’d loved me well when it mattered.” -Chapter 19

“I read a line or two from a dozen or so of the poems, each of them so familiar they gave me a strange sort of comfort. I’d chanted those lines silently through the days while I hiked. Often, I didn’t know exactly what they meant, yet there was another way in which I knew their meaning entirely, as if it were all before me and yet out of my grasp, their meaning like a fish just beneath the surface of the water that I tried to catch with my bare hands—so close and present and belonging to me—until I reached for it and it flashed away.” -Chapter 19

“From afar, the sight of Mount Hood had never failed to take my breath away, but up close it was different, the way everything is.” -Chapter 19

“I didn’t know how living outdoors and sleeping on the ground in a tent each night and walking alone through the wilderness all day almost every day had come to feel like my normal life, but it had. It was the idea of not doing it that scared me.” -Chapter 19

“I slept on my tarp, not wanting to shelter myself on that last night, and woke before dawn to watch the sun rise over Mount Hood. It was really over, I thought. There was no way to go back, to make it stay. There was never that. I sat for a long while, letting the light fill the sky, letting it expand and reach down into the trees.” -Chapter 19

“I had arrived. I’d done it. It seemed like such a small thing and such a tremendous thing at once, like a secret I’d always tell myself, though I didn’t know the meaning of it just yet.” -Chapter 19

“After he drove away, I leaned my head back and closed my eyes against the sun as the tears I’d expected earlier at the bridge began to seep from my eyes. Thank you, I thought over and over again. Thank you. Not just for the long walk, but for everything I could feel finally gathered up inside of me; for everything the trail had taught me and everything I couldn’t yet know, though I felt it somehow already contained within me. How I’d never see the man in the BMW again, but how in four years I’d cross the Bridge of the Gods with another man and marry him in a spot almost visible from where I now sat. How in nine years that man and I would have a son named Carver, and a year and a half after that, a daughter named Bobbi. How in fifteen years I’d bring my family to this same white bench and the four of us would eat ice-cream cones while I told them the story of the time I’d been here once before, when I’d finished walking a long way on something called the Pacific Crest Trail. And how it would be only then that the meaning of my hike would unfold inside of me, the secret I’d always told myself finally revealed.” -Chapter 19

“It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That it was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life—like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.
How wild it was, to let it be.” -Chapter 19

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

John-Green

“My parents were my two best friends. My third best friend was an author who did not know I existed.” – Chapter 1

“‘There will come a time,’ I said, ‘when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this’ – I gestured encompassingly – ‘will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.'” – Chapter 1

“‘Why are you looking at me like that?’
Augustus half smiled. ‘Because you’re beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.'” – Chapter 1

“‘They don’t kill you unless you light them,’ he said as Mom arrived at the curb. ‘And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.'” – Chapter 1

“I like that he was a tenured professor in the Department of slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointment in the Department of Having a Voice That Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin.” -Chapter 2

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” – Chapter 2

“‘Feel better?’ he asked.
‘No,’ Isaac mumbled, his chest heaving.
‘That’s the thing about pain,’ Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. ‘It demands to be felt.'” – Chapter 4

“You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence. But I do — God, I do really want to know what happens to everyone else.” -Chapter 5

“Given the final futility of our struggle, is the fleeting jolt of meaning that art gives us valuable? Or is the only value in passing the time as comfortably as possible?” – Chapter 5

“I giggled and said, ‘Okay.’ And then the line was quiet but not dead. It almost felt like he was there in my room with me, but in a way it was better, like I was not in my room and he was not in his, but instead we were together in some invisible and tenuous third space that could only be visited on the phone.” – Chapter 5

“‘God, you’re the best,’ I told him.
I bet you say that to all the boys who finance your international travel,’ he answered.” – Chapter 5

“Oh, I got over it, darling. It took me a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints and forty minutes to get over that boy.” – Chapter 6

“I’m like. Like. I’m like a grenade, Mom. I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” – Chapter 6

“So of course I tensed up when he touched me. To be with him was to hurt him – inevitably. And that’s what I’d felt as he reached for me: I’d felt as though I were committing an act of violence against him, because I was.” Chapter 6

“‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.’ Easy enough to say when you’re a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.” – Chapter 7

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” – Chapter 7

“‘You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you,’ he said.
‘I guess?’ I said
‘All efforts to save me from you will fail,’ he said.” -Chapter 8

“You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.” – Chapter 8

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” – Chapter 8

“The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.” -Chapter 10

“I could feel everybody watching us, wondering what was wrong with us, and whether it would kill us, and how heroic my mom must be, and everything else. That was the worst part about having cancer, sometimes: The physical evidence of disease separates you from other people.” -Chapter 10

“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.” -Chapter 10

“It looked like an old painting, but real — everything achingly idyllic in the morning light — and I thought about how wonderfully strange it would be to live in a place where almost everything had been built by the dead.” – Chapter 11

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” – Chapter 11

“If you don’t live a life in service of a greater good, you’ve gotta at least die a death in service of a greater good, you know?” -Chapter 11

“‘I don’t ever want to do that to you,’ I told him.
‘Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.'” – Chapter 11

“Maybe some people need to believe in a proper and omnipotent God to pray, but I don’t.” -Chapter 12

“The space around us evaporated, and for a weird moment I really liked my body; this cancer-ruined thing I’d spent years dragging around suddenly seemed worth the struggle, worth the chest tubes and the PICC lines and the ceaseless bodily betrayal of the tumors.” -Chapter 12

“According to Maslow, I was stuck on the second level of the pyramid, unable to feel secure in my health and therefore unable to reach for love and respect and art and whatever else, which is, of course, utter horseshit: The urge to make art or contemplate philosophy does not go away when you are sick. Those urges just become transfigured by illness. Maslow’s pyramid seemed to imply that I was less human than other people, and most people seemed to agree with him. But not Augustus.” -Chapter 13

“Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but A Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.” – Chapter 13

“‘Some war,’ he said dismissively. ‘What am I at war with? My cancer. And what is my cancer? My cancer is me. The tumors are made of me. They’re made of me as surely as my brain and my heart are made of me. It is a civil war, Hazel Grace, with a predetermined winner.” – Chapter 13

“I don’t know what I believe, Hazel. I thought being an adult meant knowing what you believe, but that has not been my experience.” – Chapter 14

“Sometimes it seems the universe wants to be noticed. That’s what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it — or my observation of it — is temporary?” – Chapter 14

“‘Ma’am,’ Augustus said, nodding toward her, ‘your daughter’s car has just been deservedly egged by a blind man. Please close the door and go back inside or we’ll be forced to call the police.'” – Chapter 14

“It seems like forever ago, like we’d had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” – Chapter 15

“I can’t talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this: There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s 0.1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.” – Chapter 20

“I realized there was no one else to call, which was the saddest thing. The only person I really wanted to talk to about Augustus Waters’s death was Augustus Waters.” -Chapter 21

“It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.” -Chapter 21

“Thinking you won’t die is yet another side effect of dying.” -Chapter 21

“It’s almost as if the way you imagine my dead self says more about you than it says about either the person I was or the whatever I am now.” – Chapter 21

“You get all these friends just when you don’t need friends anymore.” -Chapter 21

“Writing does not resurrect. It buries.” – Chapter 21

“I went on spouting bullshit Encouragements as Gus’s parents, arm in arm, hugged each other and nodded at every word. Funerals, I had decided, are for the living.” – Chapter 22

“I knew that time would now pass for me differently than it would for him — That I, like everyone in that room, would go on accumulating loves and losses while he would not. And for me, that was the final and truly unbearable tragedy: Like all the innumerable dead, he’d once and for all been demoted from haunted to haunter.” – Chapter 22

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.” -Chapter 23

“Sober up. Write another novel. Do the thing you’re good at. Not many people are lucky enough to be so good at something.” – Chapter 23

“It was kind of a beautiful day, finally real summer in Indianapolis, warm and humid — the kind of weather that reminds you after a long winter that while the world wasn’t built for humans, we were built for the world.” -Chapter 25

“We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.” -Chapter 25

“The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invent anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox.” -Chapter 25

The Collected Stories – Ernest Hemingway: Part One

hemingway1This is the largest collection I’ve read in a while; and although I’m currently only half way through, I thought it would be appropriate to present the quotes in two parts.
As a side note: Reading a large volume of short stories consecutively can be rather challenging because of the lack of attachment/investment a reader usually feels toward any brief character or setting. That being said, Hemingway is arguably my favorite author.. ever so experiencing a fuller range of his writing styles, as well as a more diverse pool of themes has really been a treat.
So here’s a little taste of The Collected Stories of Ernest Hemingway – Part One:
(The title of each short story will be in bold.)

The Three-Day Blow:

“Fall for them but don’t let them ruin you.”

“Nick said nothing. The liquor had all died out of him and left him alone. Bill wasn’t there. He wasn’t sitting in front of the fire or going fishing tomorrow with Bill and his dad or anything. He wasn’t drunk. It was all gone. All he knew was that he had once had Marjorie and that he had lost her. She was gone and he had sent her away. That was all that mattered. He might never see her again. Probably he never would. It was all gone, finished.”

Cross Country Snow:

“On the white below George dipped and rose and dipped out of sight. The rush and the sudden swoop as he dropped down a steep undulation in the mountain side plucked Nick’s mind out and left him only the wonderful flying, dropping sensation in his body. He rose to a slight up-run and then the snow seemed to drop out from under him as he went down, down, faster and faster in a rush down the last, long steep slope. Crouching so he was almost sitting back on his skis, trying to keep the center of gravity low, the snow driving like a sandstorm, he knew the pace was too much. But he held it. He would not let go and spill. Then a patch of soft snow, left in a hollow by the wind, spilled him and he went over and over in a clashing of skis, feeling like a shot rabbit, then stuck, his legs crossed, his skis sticking straight up and his nose and ears jammed full of snow.”

My Old Man:

“Once there was an American woman sitting with her kid daughter at the next table to us and they were both eating ices and I kept looking at the girl and she was awfully good looking and I smiled at her and she smiled at me but that was all that ever came of it because I looked for her mother and her every day and I made up ways that I was going to speak to her and I wondered if I got to know her if her mother would let me take her out to Auteuil or Tremblay but I never saw either of them again.”

“He’d be reading the Paris-Sport and he’d look over at me and say, ‘Where’s your girl, Joe?’ to kid me on account I had told him about the girl that day at the next table. And I’d get red, but I liked being kidded about her. It gave me a good feeling. ‘Keep your eye peeled for her Joe,’ he’d say, ‘she’ll be back.'”

Big Two-Hearted River:

“Nick slipped off his pack and lay down in the shade. He lay on his back and looked up into the pine trees. His neck and back and the small of his back rested as he stretched. The earth felt good against his back. He looked up at the sky, through the branches, and then shut his eyes. He opened them and looked up again. There was a wind high up in the branches. He shut his eyes again and went to sleep.”

In Another Country:

“Although, as we walked to the Cova through the tough part of town, walking in the dark, with light and singing coming out of the wine-shops, and sometimes having to walk into the street when the men and women would crowd together on the sidewalk so that we would have to jostle them to get by, we felt held together by there being something that had happened that they, the people that disliked us, did not understand.”

‘Are you married?’
‘No, but I hope to be.’
‘The more of a fool you are,’ he said. He seemed very angry. ‘A man must not marry.’
‘Why, Signor Maggiore?’
‘Don’t call me “Signor Maggiore.”‘
‘Why must not a man marry?’
‘He cannot marry. He cannot marry,’ he said angrily. ‘If he is to lose everything, he should not place himself in a position to lose that. He should not place himself in a position to lose. He should find things he cannot lose.’
He spoke very angrily and bitterly, and looked straight ahead while he talked.
‘But why should he necessarily lose it?’
‘He’ll lose it,’ the major said. He was looking at the wall.

Hills Like White Elephants:

‘And we could have all this,’ she said. ‘And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.’
‘What did you say?’
‘I said we could have everything.’
‘We can have everything.’
‘No, we can’t.’
‘We can have the whole world.’
‘No, we can’t.’
‘We can go everywhere.’
‘No, we can’t. It isn’t ours any more.’
‘It’s ours.’
‘No, it isn’t. And once they take it away, you never get it back.’
‘But they haven’t taken it away.’
‘We’ll wait and see.’
‘Come on back in the shade,’ he said. ‘You mustn’t feel that way.’
‘I don’t feel any way,’ the girl said. ‘I just know things.’
‘I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want to do –‘
‘Nor that isn’t good for me,’ she said. ‘I know. Could we have another beer?’

Che Ti Dice La Patria?:

“Naturally, in such a short trip, we had no opportunity to see how things were with the country or the people.”

A Simple Enquiry:

“Around the major’s eyes were two white circles where his snow-glasses had protected his face from the sun on the snow. The rest of his face had been burned and then tanned and then burned through the tan. His nose was swollen and there were edges of loose skin where blisters had been. While he worked at the papers he put the fingers of his left hand into a saucer of oil and then spread the oil over his face, touching it very gently with the tips of his fingers. He was very careful to drain his fingers on the edge of the saucer so there was only a film of oil on them, and after he had stroked his forehead and his cheeks, he stroked his noes very delicately between his fingers.”

An Alpine Idyll:

‘You oughtn’t to ever do anything too long.’
‘No. We were up there too long.’
‘Too damn long,’ John said. ‘It’s no good doing a thing too long.’

Banal Story:

“Our children’s children – what of them? Who of them? New means must be discovered to find room for us under the sun. Shall this be done by war or can it be done by peaceful methods?”

“Men and boys bought full-length colored pictures of him to remember him by, and lost the picture they had of him in their memories by looking at the lithographs. Bull-fighters were very relieved he was dead, because he did always in the bull-ring the things they could only do sometimes.”

Now I Lay Me:

“I myself did not want to sleep because I had been living for a long time with the knowledge that if I ever shut my eyes in the dark and let myself go, my soul would go out of my body. I had been that way for a long time, ever since I had been blown up at night and felt it go out of me and go off and then come back. I tried never to think about it, but it had started to go since, in the nights, just at the moment of going off to sleep, and I could only stop it by a very great effort. So while now I am fairly sure that it would not really have gone out, yet then, that summer, I was unwilling to make the experiment.

I had different ways of occupying myself while I lay awak. I would think of a trout stream I had fished along when I was a boy and fish its whole length very carefully in my mind; fishing very carefully under all the logs, all the turns of the bank, the deep holes and the clear shallow stretches, sometimes catching trout and sometimes losing them. I would stop fishing at noon to eat my lunch; sometimes on a log over the stream; sometimes on a high bank under a tree, and I always ate my lunch very slowly and watched the stream below me while I ate.”

“And I do not remember a night on which you could not hear things. If I could have a light I was not afraid to sleep, because I knew my soul would only go out of me if it were dark.”

A Way You’ll Never Be:

“‘Let’s not talk about how I am,’ Nick said. ‘It’s a subject I know too much about to want to think about it any more.'”

A Natural History of the Dead:

“…considering his days as numbered and nothing appearing to remain for him to do but to lie down and die, a small moss-flower of extraordinary beauty caught his eye. ‘Though the whole plant,’ says he, ‘ was no larger than one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves and capsules without admiration. Can that Being who planted, watered and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and suffering of creatures formed after his own image? Surely not. Reflections like these would not allow me to despair; I started up and, disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forward, assured that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed.'”

“Maybe cats do not die then, they say they have nine lives, I do not know, but most men die like animals, not men. I’d never seen a natural death, so called, and so I blamed it on the war and like the persevering traveller, Mungo Park, knew that there was something else; that always absent something else, and then I saw one.”

 

The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls – Favorite Quotes

jeannette

“I wondered if the fire had been out to get me. I wondered if all fire was related, like Dad said all humans were related, if the fire that had burned me that day while I cooked hot dogs was somehow connected to the fire I had flushed down the toilet and the fire burning at the hotel. I didn’t have the answers to those question, but what I did know was that I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes.” pg. 34

“Dad missed the wilderness. He needed to be roaming free in open country and living among untamed animals. He felt it was good for your soul to have buzzards and coyotes and snakes around. That was the way man was meant to live, he’d say, in harmony with the wild, like the Indians, not this lords-of-the-earth crap, trying to rule the entire god-damn planet, cutting down all the forests and killing every creature you couldn’t bring to heel.” pg. 106

“No one tried to wring Dad’s neck or yell at him or even point out that he’d ruined the Christmas his family had spent weeks planning – the Christmas that was supposed to be the best we’d ever had. When Dad went crazy, we all had our own ways of shutting down and closing off, and that was what we did that night.” pg. 115

“‘I wonder what life will be like now,’ I said to Lori.
‘The same,’ she said. ‘He tried stopping before, but it never lasted.’
‘This time it will.’
‘How do you know?’
‘It’s his present to me.'” pg. 118

“‘Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy,’ Mom told me. ‘You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.'” pg. 129

“Lori and I did work out a budget, and we included a generous allowance for Mom to cover luxuries such as extra-large Hershey bars and cut crystal vases. If we kept to our budget, we believed, we could afford new clothes and shoes and coats, and buy a ton of coal at the cheaper off-season price. Eventually, we could install insulation, run a water pipe into the house, and maybe even add a water heater. But Mom never turned the money over to us. So even though she had a steady job, we were living pretty much like we had before.” pg. 198

“He never said anything, but I think he figured that, as when we were kids, we both stood a better chance if we took on the world together.” pg. 250

“If every action in the universe that we thought was random actually conformed to a rational pattern, Dad said, that implied the existence of a divine creator, and he was beginning to rethink his atheistic creed. ‘But if the physics — the quantum physics — suggests that God exists, I’m more than willing to entertain the notion.'” pg. 261

“In August, Dad called to go over my course selection for the fall semester. He also wanted to discuss some of the books on the reading lists. Since he’d come to New York, he’d been borrowing my assigned books from the public library. He read every single one, he said, so he could answer any questions I might have. Mom said it was his way of getting a college education along with me.” pg. 264

“Eventually, even Mom acknowledged that I’d done all right. ‘No one expected you to amount to much,’ she told me. ‘Lori was the smart one, Maureen the pretty one, and Brian the brave one. You never had much going for you except that you always worked hard.'” pg. 270

“In the months that followed, I found myself always wanting to be somewhere other than where I was. If I was at work, I’d wish I were at home. If I was in the apartment, I couldn’t wait to get out of it. If a taxi I had hailed was stuck in traffic for over a minute, I got out and walked. I felt best when I was on the move, going someplace rather than being there. I took up ice-skating. I rose early in the morning and made my way through the quiet, dawn-lit streets to the rink, where I laced up my skates so tightly my feet throbbed. I welcomed the numbing cold and even the jolt of my falls on the hard, wet ice. The fast-paced, repetitive maneuvers distracted me, and sometimes I went back at night to skate again, returning home only when it was late and I was exhausted. It took me a while to realize that just being on the move wasn’t enough; that I needed to reconsider everything.” pg. 280

Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris – Favorite Quotes

David Sedaris

“In other parts of the country people tried to stay together for the sake of the children. In New York they tried to work things out for the sake of the apartment. Leaving a spacious, reasonably priced one-bedroom in the middle of the month usually signified that someone had done something really bad.” – The Great Leap Forward

“I was mortified, but Bonnie was in a state of almost narcotic bliss, overjoyed to have discovered a New York without the New Yorkers… The crowd was relentlessly, pathologically friendly, and their enthusiasm was deafening. Looking around her, Bonnie saw a glittering paradise filled with decent, like-minded people, sent by God to give the world a howdy. Encircled by her army of angels, she drifted across the avenue to photograph a juggler, while I hobbled off toward home, a clear outsider in a city I’d foolishly thought to call my own.” -City of Angels

“…I chickened out, realizing that I was afraid of France. My fear had nothing to do with the actual French people… What scared me was the idea of French people I’d gotten from movies and situation comedies. When someone makes a spectacular ass of himself, it’s always in a French restaurant, never a Japanese or Italian one. The French are the people who slap one another with gloves and wear scarves to cover their engorged hickies. My understanding was that, no matter how hard we tried, the French would never like us, and that’s confusing to an American raised to believe that the citizens of Europe should be grateful for all the wonderful things we’ve done. Things like movies that stereotype the people of France as boors and petty snobs, and little remarks such as ‘We saved your ass in World War II.'” – See You Again Yesterday

“I’d hoped the language might come on its own, the way it comes to babies, but people don’t talk to foreigners the way they talk to babies. They don’t hypnotize you with bright objects and repeat the same words over and over, handing out little treats when you finally say “potty” or “wawa”. It got to the point where I’d see a baby in the bakery or grocery store and instinctively ball up my fists, jealous over how easy he had it. I wanted to lie in a French crib and start from scratch, learning from the floor up. I wanted to be a baby, but instead, I was an adult who talked like one, a spooky man-child demanding more than his fair share of attention.” -See you Again Yesterday

“Sitting in Paris and watching my American movies… (I) feel the exact opposite of homesick. The camera glides over the cities of my past, capturing their energetic skylines just before they’re destroyed by the terrorist’s bomb or advancing alien warship. New York, Chicago, San Francisco: it’s like seeing pictures of people I know I could still sleep with if I wanted to.” – The City of Light in the Dark

“…nothing is more disgusting than a glass of milk, especially French milk, which comes in a box and can sit unrefrigerated for five months, at which point it simply turns into cheese and is moved to a different section of the grocery store.” – The Late Show

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen – Favorite Quotes

Pride and Prejudice

“What are men to rocks and mountains? Oh! What hours of transport we shall spend! And when we do return, it shall not be like other travelers, without being able to give one accurate idea of anything. We will know where we have gone — we will recollect what we have seen. Lakes, mountains, and rivers shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations;” – Chapter 27

“Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind. But vanity, not love, has been my follly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself.” – Chapter 36

“It was, on the contrary, exactly calculated to make her understand her own wishes; and never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved him as now, when all love must be vain.” – Chapter 46

“She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.” – Chapter 50

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” -Chapter 60