Going through my longtime book quote notebook for insight into 10 of my favorite quotes was so much fun that I continued sifting through my records for 10 more lovely quotes to talk about. While the first post solidly covered books read in my last two years of high school and first year of college, these quotes jump around in time a lot. While away at college, I never had my notebook with me, and I kept quotes I liked in my phone Notes. I work through transferring quotes from the phone to the book quite slowly, so the notebook has some chronological gaps. So, I would say that this post includes books I read mostly from freshman to junior year of college.
“I waited patiently – years – for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, ‘Yeah, he’s a cool guy.’ But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl.”
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is one of those books that I didn’t really like, yet it was a fascinating page-turner that really messed with the reader’s perspective. I can understand why both it and the movie adaptation did so well. It’s passages like these that drew me in and made me stop and think about how society works. I like this quote because of how it sets up this double standard that plays out with men and women – women are rewarded for liking what men are typically more interested in, while men who like “girly stuff” are made fun of.
“It wasn’t their fault, but around men who interested her, she always turned into Celia Version 2.0 – similar to the real thing, but not quite as sharp or fully formed.”
Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan
If you’d like a hint at how I am around attractive guys, there you go.
“The world, a tired performer, offers us another half-assed season.”
The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
After an awful introduction to Eugenides through The Marriage Plot, reading The Virgin Suicides for class helped me realize how beautiful his writing is. This was another book that really nails down points you were always vaguely aware of but never knew how to explain. I particularly like this quote because as a teenager and adult, the weather never seemed to be at the full force you interpret as a kid. I like having seasons, and when it’s November and the weather doesn’t seem to understand that, I’m not happy.
“Married people, it’s up to you. It’s entirely on your shoulders to keep this sinking institution afloat. It’s a stately old ship, and a lot of people, like me, want to get on board. Please be psyched, and convey that psychedness to us. And always remember: so many, many people are envious of what you have.”
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is my hero. I related so much to her books, and starting The Mindy Project was one of my best decisions this year, hands down. I’m so happy for everything that she’s experiencing now – expecting a baby, starting new TV projects (like an anthology series based on Four Weddings and a Funeral!), and just being amazing. I love the relatability of this quote and how it captures how desperately some of us want something (not even necessarily marriage, but just a relationship) that often comes so easily to others.
“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.”
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
I have to be in a certain mood for Shakespeare, but I really love chipping through the writing and figuring out the modern meaning. It’s amazing how the messages in his plays are still so true today. I love this bit’s message to give everyone a chance but keep your true self under wraps until you find the right people to share it with.
“So you’re going to horrible places and meeting horrible people and you’re complaining about it? Live your life like a decent person. Go to the grocery store, buy your own food, take care of yourself. If you live a responsible life, you’ll run into responsible people,” he said.
Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari
I read the majority of this book on my fall break in Italy during my semester abroad. I remember riding buses to new cities and working through this on my Kindle, fascinated by this fun but thorough insight into modern relationships. This quote is probably one of my favorites in my entire notebook. I’m someone who easily gets frustrated or upset with the way relationships (or lack thereof) work today, and reading this always just reminds me that everything will be okay when it comes to love.
“Everything you do, it’ll all feel really slow for a long time…But looking back, much later, it will have seemed like it was fast.”
The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer
I rarely reread books as an adult, but The Interestings was an exception. It’s full of gorgeous writing that I think needs a second read for you to fully appreciate it. This particular quote just makes a totally valid point about life that I feel people need to remember when they’re hung up on a particular issue in their lives.
“There is still such crookedness in my heart. I had thought loving two people so much would straighten it.”
Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill
I love books mostly comprised of vignettes that ask you to use context clues. That’s basically what Dept. of Speculation is, exploring a woman’s insight into her relationship with her husband as they grow older and raise a baby.
“So where does that leave us? Why do I need this man at all? I need him only because I happen to adore him, because his company brings me gladness and comfort, and because, as a friend’s grandfather once put it, ‘Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone.'”
Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert
Shortly after I finished this book, Elizabeth Gilbert announced that she left her husband for her best friend, which crushed me a little bit. Its writing about marriage and love was so gorgeous and reassuring, so, even though it sounds silly, it felt like a bit of a betrayal for that to happen to the author not long after the book’s release. That aside, this book is beautifully written, and I think anyone interested in relationships should read it.
“Yet even if the details of my life looked nothing like Hughes’s movies, they nonetheless taught me something important: that I, a weird girl who lived too much inside her own head, whose looks somehow never seemed to coincide with the fashions of that day and wouldn’t kiss a boy until well into her third decade, deserved to be the star of my own movie.”
Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies, Hadley Freeman
This was one of my favorite reads of 2016, and I’m still hoping that Hadley Freeman writes another book on movies someday. When it comes to non-fiction about pop culture, sometimes the author’s opinions are totally irrelevant and dull but they still insist on including them. With this book, Freeman had the perfect balance between discussing the movies and including her own stories about why they mattered to her. Upon reading this quote, I knew that I got Freeman and, even though she obviously didn’t know it, she got me.
At this rate, I’m definitely writing another post with more quotes from my notebook! In the meantime, what about you? Are there any book quotes you’re particularly fond of?