23. "To lose love is a terrible thing... But to turn away from it is unbearable. Will you spend the rest of your life replaying it in your head? Wondering if you walked away too soon or too easily? Or if you'll ever love anyone that deeply again?"
Kristin Hannah, Winter Garden
22. “The most dangerous thing we can believe is that we are not the authors of our fate. God gave us reason, conscience. We must use it. To say that our life, our world, just is the way that it is, that we do not play a part - I think it is the worst kind of cowardice.”
Kelly O’Connor McNees, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
21. “Any woman who is sure of her own wits is a match at any time for a man who is not sure of his own temper.”
Wilkie Collins, A Woman in White
20. "The incompetent always present themselves as experts, the cruel as pious, sinners as devout, usurers as benefactors, the small-minded as patriots, the arrogant as humble, the vulgar as elegant, and the feeble-minded as intellectual."
Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Angel’s Game
19. “A birth is not really a beginning. Our lives at the start are not really our own but only the continuation of someone else's story.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
18. “You’re so good at pretending, you’re even tricking yourself.”
Emma Donoghue, Room
17. “How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.”
Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie
16. “It'll be a change," says Marcus. "Something different."
"Not a mystery."
Marcus laughs. "No. Not a mystery. Just a nice safe history."
“Ah, my darling. But there is no such thing.”
Kate Morton, The House at Riverton
15. “Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
14. "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
13. "Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves."
Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
12. “Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.”
“You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
11. “But the rest are even scared to open up and laugh. You know, that's the first thing that got me about this place, that there wasn't anybody laughing. I haven't heard a real laugh since I came through that door, do you know that? Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
10. “He was BEAT — the root, the soul of Beatific.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
9. "A man ain't nothing but a man. But a son? Well, now, that's somebody"
Toni Morrison, Beloved
8. "There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, and everything that he desires is outside; and there is another kind where things are behind bars, and the man is outside."
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
7. “... there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life... you steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness... there is no act more wretched than stealing.”
- Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
6. “The discomfort of that gaze, its disconcerting combination of impenetrability and knowingness, affected me intensely, producing a kind of paralysis of will. I felt that she knew me instantly for what I was, and for who I was, in all my disguises. It appeared to me that those eyes had taken in all the degradations of my life, and recorded all my doings committed beneath the light of heaven, or the cloak of night; that they saw, too, what I was capable of, and what, with time and opportunity, I would do. I suddenly felt unaccountably afraid of her; for I knew then that I would have no choice but to love her, with nothing given back.”
- Michael Cox, The Meaning of Night
5. “She told us that both our grandmothers were angry because neither Lori nor I had been named after them, so she decided to call the baby Lilly Ruth Maureen. Lilly was Mom’s mother’s name, and Erma Ruth was Dad’s mother’s name. But we’d call the baby Maureen, a name Mom liked because it was a diminutive of Mary, so she’d also be naming the baby after herself but pretty much no one would know it. That, Dad told us, would make everyone happy except his mom, who hated the name Ruth and wanted the baby called Erma, and Mom’s mom, who would hate sharing her namesake with Dad’s mom.”
- Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
4. "When you're five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties you know how hold you are. I'm twenty-three, you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. It's a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you're not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it."
- Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants
3. "Bodies may be tortured. They may even die. But the spirit goes on. And if a person is part of family, the spirit is housed anew in another body each time a child builds his home as a branch of his parents'. In this way, every father and every mother, every grandfather and every grandmother, goes on living in children and grandchildren."
- Naomi Ragen, The Ghost of Hannah Mendes
2. "Success today would dispel at last the eastern perception that Chicago was nothing more than a greedy, hog-slaughtering backwater; failure would bring humiliation from which the city would not soon recover, given how heartily its leading men had boasted that Chicago would prevail. It was this big talk, not the persistent southwesterly breeze, that had prompted New York editor Charles Anderson Dana to nickname Chicago the Windy City."
- Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City
1. “Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.”