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Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes

I was really excited about this week's top 10 Tuesday theme, which is favorite quotes from books. But the list ended up taking me a really long time to compile! How do you choose your favorite quotes? Do you pick the funniest, the most profound, or the most beautiful? I basically ended up picking sentences and paragraphs that have stuck with me over several months or years. Many of the quotes are from my favorite books. I had to completely disregard poetry and the Bible, because otherwise I'd never have been able to narrow my list down to ten. Anyway, I picked some because I liked the turn of phrase, some because I agree with them, and some because they make me think. Here is my list, in no particular order -- hope you enjoy them!

1. “The Kingdom of God is a door perpetually opening, and it makes me, as dear Emerson said, ‘glad to the brink of fear.’"
{Haven Kimmel, The Used World}

2. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
{Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey}

3. “My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and the rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don’t expect hard-boned and useless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.”
{Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale}

4. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
{J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, p. 288}

5. “The Psalmist said sing a new song. And, for a fact, the old ones are pretty well worn out.”
{Walker Percy, “Diagnosing the Modern Malaise,” in Signposts in a Strange Land}

6. “[B]y the side of the everlasting Why there is a Yes—a transitory Yes if you like, but a Yes.”
{E. M. Forster, A Room with a View}

7. “If music be the food of love, play on…”
{Shakespeare, Twelfth Night}

8. “I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us. . . . Humans are caught - in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too - in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well - or ill?”
{John Steinbeck, East of Eden}

9. “If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite pleasure in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions. He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.”
{G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy}

10. “[L]ife isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”
{William Goldman, The Princess Bride}


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
I very nearly included #10 in my own list. I haven't actually read the book, though, so I decided to pass on it.
May. 10th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
You should read the book! It's quite different from the movie, but I think they're each great in their own way.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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