Monday, April 13, 2015

Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books and Authors

It's time again for The Broke and The Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's theme was: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books and Authors (Ok, so I added the "and authors" part becasue I had one particular quote I wanted to add that was made by the author about his book.)

1. “There have been so many interpretations of the story that I'm not going to choose between them. Make your own choice. They contradict each other, the various choices. The only choice that really matters, the only interpretation of the story, if you want one, is your own. Not your teacher's, not your professor's, not mine, not a critic's, not some authority's. The only thing that matters is, first, the experience of being in the story, moving through it. Then any interpretation you like. If it's yours, then that's the right one, because what's in a book is not what an author thought he put into it, it's what the reader gets out of it.”
― William Golding

Reason:  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people (even the author) tells me what I should have or shouldn't have gotten out of a book. Each of has unique life experience and that effects what we get out of books. I think Golding states it so eloquently in the quote above.

2.  “When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbors whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbors. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like 'the body of Christ' and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people that next pew really contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy's side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father Below, is a fool. Provided that any of those neighbors sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters 

Reason:  This is one of my all time favorite books because of the way it makes me reflect upon myself. Even if you are not religious, and you take the element of church out of this book and just focus on the difference between being a good person and not, the book leaves you thinking a lot about yourself. This is one such quote. How often in life do I write something off as silly because someone who participates in it does something embarrassing or stupid?


3.  "Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence.  There's no better rule." 
- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations 

Reason: This book is chock full of amazing quotes. Dickens is legendary for a reason.  He is a master of language and thought. This quote is one of my favorites because it is short and to the point, but powerful. It's all about not judging a book by its cover; something I think we are all a little guilty of at some point in our lives.

4. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird 
Reason: I could have made this entire list on How to Kill a Mockingbird quotes, but I decided to limit myself to just one.  This, of course, is a quote by Atticus in the book. He is a brilliant character who I adore. He speaks of real courage. This aspect of courage is reiterated in several different ways in the book. Courage isn't just being brave and strong in a fight, but doing so in a fight you know you can't win.
5.  “Too late, I found you can't wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.”
― Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes 
Reason:  This book, while filled with spooky elements, has a rather deep meaning to it. It's all about what we want and what we struggle with, and what we'd be willing to give up for what we think we want (confusing, huh?). I like this quote because it so eloquently states that mistakes are a necessary part of life.
 6. "Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five 
Reason: I adore Vonnegut. He is so funny, yet so profound.  How strong of a statement is he making here about our society's view of money. Those who have it think it's easy to come by and make it known.  Those who don't have it know it's hard to come by, but blame themselves for not having it. More often than not, we use people's monetary status as a reflection of their worth. It's really not that black and white.
7.  “It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book 
Reason: With my recent obsession with Gaiman, it's no surprise he made the list.  Honestly though, this is advise my dad has given me in the past. You can run from your problems all you want, but if you are your problems, then they will follow.

8.  “I do not understand it. I would not have believed that such things could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves. The solution, as I see it, is to work harder. From now onwards I shall get up a full hour earlier in the mornings.”

― George Orwell, Animal Farm 
Reason: Orwell is another one of those authors that has brilliant insight and is a master of conveying it. Animal Farm is my favorite of his books. This is a quote by Boxer, the ever loyal horse, who is one of the best characters. No matter what goes wrong, Boxer blames himself. While I think working on yourself is an excellent goal, self-blame for all things can be very self-destructive. 
9. “Accept who you are; and revel in it.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie 
Reason: Eight little words in this quote, but something I think everyone needs to hear often in their lives. Too often we compare ourselves to others and too often we focus on only our flaws.  We are all unique and strong in our own ways. We need to embrace ourselves and be happy with who we are, no matter what others do, say, or think. 
10.  “Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo 
Reason: This quote is one I need to see more often.  Life is hard. It never gets easier. Some weeks I just want to sit and cry because there is just too much to handle. But crying doesn't solve anything. I need to look at life and say "Do your worst, for I will do mine!".  


  1. Love all your quotes! Even the ones from books I don't particularly enjoy. The Screwtape Letters, The Count of Monte Cristo, and To Kill a Mockingbird are three of my all time favorite books (books I take the time to reread often) and I love the quotes you picked from each.

  2. Any list that includes CS Lewis and Neil Gaiman gets an A+ in my book. Great list.

    For some reason, the blogger comment software won't me comment as my book blog. So here's my list if you're interested.

  3. I really like the quote on to kill a mockingbird! <3

    Top Ten Tuesday

  4. Great list of quotes! That quote from The Graveyard Book is one of my favourites from that book :)

    My TTT

  5. I need to read Dickens!! Love the quote from To Kill A Mockingbird :-) Thank you for sharing these! Here's my TTT @ Emma's Bookery if you would like to check it out :-) Have a great day!