Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, we're highlighting our favorite quotes from books. I love highlighting/dog-earing my books to remind me of pieces of writing I found particularly meaningful, so I enjoyed going back through some of my favorites and pulling out words I especially loved to share with y'all!

"Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul." (Lolita)

This book is FULL of gorgeous writing. Hands-down the most beautifully written book I've ever read. But this part of the intro has always stuck with me.

"Something sick at the heart of the country had infected the girls. Our parents thought it had to do with our music, our godlessness, or the loosening of morals regarding sex we hadn't even had. Mr. Hedlie mentioned that fin-de-sicle Vienna witnessed a similar outbreak of suicides on the part of the young, and put the whole thing down to the misfortune of living in a dying empire. It had to do with the way the mail wasn't delivered on time, and how potholes never got fixed, or the thievery at City Hall, or the race riots, or the 801 fires set around the city on Devil's night." (The Virgin Suicides)

I re-read this book, one of my all-time favorites, recently for my book club, and this passage has always struck me as both representative of the quality of writing in this book as a whole as well as capturing something real about the downswing Detroit experienced.

"Midway through the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood, for the true way was lost." (Inferno)

This line has been translated many different ways, but I've always loved the way the copy I studied in college did it.

"All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." (Anna Karenina)

Obviously this one is a classic. It's not exactly true, but has the ring and spirit of truth, which counts for as much anyways.

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." (1984)

This book was so prescient in so many ways and this is one of the truest things in it.

"'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'" (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Basically my personal motto when I start feeling like life's unfair. In many ways, our circumstances are beyond our control and all you can do about it is figure out how to make the best of it.

"Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring." (Breakfast at Tiffany's)

I'm one of those people who's never quite been able to let go of that sense of the new school year starting as the real beginning of the year, though my last school year started in 2009.

"And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." (The Great Gatsby)

This is my literal favorite line in all of literature. The only thing that rivals its perfection as an ending is the end of Six Feet Under (don't @ me).

"Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win." (The Shining)

If you've only ever seen the movie (which I love), I'd recommend reading the book as well. The latter tells a story not about a haunted hotel, but a haunted man and how his internal demons are played upon until he loses the battle to keep them at bay and it's really really good.

"The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously." (Jitterbug Perfume)

This is one of my favorite books, and while Tom Robbins isn't always an author that it's easy to pull a quote from (it's more about the writing as a whole), I love this one and it's something I think about when I start feeling down.


  1. Great quotes, lots of thought provoking ones - and I love the Tolkien one :)
    My TTT:

    1. Thank you! The Lord of the Rings books have so much great writing, but that bit is my favorite.

  2. I loved all of these. Good job.

  3. These are all absolutely beautiful quotes, but the one that stuck out to me the most was the one from The Virgin Suicides. I've never read the book, but the movie is fantastic, so now I think I might have to give it a chance! :) Great list!

    1. The book is amazing. I've got like a full half of it highlighted!

  4. I love that Stephen King quote. It’s one of my favorites.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I think his prolific output and genre focus make people think he's not a great writer, but he is!

  5. I almost included something from Virgin Suicides! So many great quotes from that one.

    1. It is just chock full of amazing writing ugh I love that book so much

  6. Lolita and Anna Karenina are my faves here-nice list!!