Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely folks over at The Broke and the Bookish post a top ten list topic so that book lovers like you and me can pour over our shelves and make our own lists. You can check out all the other Top Ten Tuesday‘s on their site!
Oh, guys. QUOTES. SIGH. I love quotes. From anywhere. I have books and books filled with them, written down in the moments when they made me feel something most strongly. I feel like if you love books, you must love quotes because, well, it’s all words, right? Quotes make books. I’ve been looking forward to this Top Ten Tuesday for WEEKS because I couldn’t wait to share some of my favorite book quotes with you all and see what some of your were in return. Emphasis on SOME: there’s no way I could pick 10 favorite quotes out of the hundreds that strike me. In fact, I didn’t pick 10 at all. But these are the quotes that I REMEMBER always. I’ve written them down, but I didn’t really need to. Once I read these passages, they were burned in my brain.
“Youth cannot know what age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by J.K. Rowling
Because SERIOUSLY. I was well into my 20s when I read this quote the first time I read OOTP and even though I wasn’t THAT old, it still struck me as being good advice for grown-ups. I hope I don’t forget it when I’m an old lady nagging my kids.
“Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem, with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen. And when you’re bad, you can still be lucky.”
THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver
YO. I read this book in COLLEGE and I still to this day remember this quote because I loved that it told me to NOT think mathematically, which is something that comes easily to me. But also because it’s so true. Shit happens to everyone. Sometimes good or bad is irrelevant. And I just loved the phrasing.
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used against you.”
A GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin
OBVS there would be some Tyrion on this list. I LOVE this quote. I LOVE that Tyrion–who so obviously has taken this advice himself–tells it to Jon Snow–who so obviously has NOT. It’s a perfect, succinct lesson in embracing uniqueness and sticking up for yourself.
“Mum says that wanting collides with getting, that’s the moment of truth. I want to collide. I want to run right into Shadow and let the force spill our thoughts so we can pick each other up and pass each other back like piles of shiny stones.”
GRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley
The first time I read this quote–on page 3, I think–it was like, BOOM! The writing in this book will SLAY you. And it did. Gorgeous. Such a peaceful, intimate image, too.
“Remember how it was when we kissed? Armfuls and armfuls of light thrown right at us. A rope dropping down from the sky. How can the word love, the word life even fit in the mouth?”
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson
There is NO WAY that I could list my favorite quotes without reppin Jandy Nelson. Lady’s a GENIUS. No joke: THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is the most gorgeous YA book I’ve ever read, thanks in no small part to Lennie’s poems, of which this is one. They’re stunning, relevant, and the imagery is so magical.
“When he plays / all the flowers swap colors / and years and decades and centuries / of rain pour back into the sky.”
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson
What I said before. Jandy, you kill me. Read this whole book, though. I’d quote the ENITRE THING to you if I could.
“One day I would have all the books in the world, shelves and shelves of them. I would live my life in a tower of books. I would read all day long and eat peaches. And if any young knights in armor dared to come calling on their white chargers and plead with me to let down my hair, I would pelt them with peach pits until they went home.”
THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jacqueline Kelly
Oh, Calpurnia. Guys, this book is a solid middle grade because Callie is a CHARACTER. It’s impossible for her to remain two-dimensional. She HAS to jump off the page. I love this quote because it’s got so much of her spirit and her spunk and her love of reading. And also peaches. There’s another passage that I remember just as well about librarians, but it was too long to quote here. Alas.
“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”
THE POLAR EXPRESS by Chris Van Allsburg
This right here is Christmas. Fact: my parents never told me outright that Santa wasn’t real. I love that. Because even though I know now that he’s just an AWESOME figment of some GENIUS’S imagination, I’m convinced that I would still hear that bell, too. Spirit of the holidays, y’all. Who doesn’t believe in that?
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein
OHMYGOD FAVORITE SHEL SILVERSTEIN OF ALL TIME. I know that he was known more for his humorous poems, but I’ve always loved the message and the cadence of this one. Like, “DUH, 7-year-old Amy. OF COURSE Santa is real! ANYTHING can be, I said. I wasn’t yanking your chain, kid.” GAH! Love it.
“You do not write your life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness
So, READ THIS BOOK and all of the other words in it will make you DIE as well. They might give you the sads, but they’re so simple and heartfelt that they just have to be the truth, you know?
“We laugh and laugh, and nothing can ever be sad, no one can be lost, or dead, or far away: right now we are here, and nothing can mar our perfection, or steal the joy of this perfect moment.”
THE TIME-TRAVELER’S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger
Reading this book is one of my most vivid book memories. There was no book before it that made me so inconsolably sad, even though it’s more bittersweet than sad. This is such a pretty quote. SOO PRETTY!
“The referee told me this league has never had a brawl of that magnitude,” said Mr. Penderwick after a long, painful silence. “Of course, at the time I was pretending to be a casual passerby and not a father at all.”
THE PENDERWICKS ON GARDAM STREET by Jeanne Birdsall
BAHAHAH, PENDERWICKS! I laugh all the time reading about the Penderwicks, but sometimes no harder than when I’m reading about Jane’s cockney, soccer-playing alter ego, Mick Hart, who basically starts shit during moments when Jane’s feeling the most fierce. It’s HILARIOUS, imagining this 11 year old running around talking smack and blaming it on a foul-mouthed English figment of her imagination.
“Oh, my sweet summer child,” Old Nan said quietly, “What do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods.”
A GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin
BOOM. Preach, Old Nan. Preach.