Readers,

365 days have finally drew to a close. In its stead is a fresh set of 366 days. With the conclusion of a year is the commencement of a new one. Whilst the future is brimming with a whole world of prospects, the past is also indicative of how the future is gong to shape up. To celebrate the year that’s been, I am looking back to 2019, its hits, and of course, its mishits.

Carrying on from the momentum I gained in 2018, I was able to complete 56 books during the year. It is a decent number considering that I started working again in late March. I could have finished more but it is still fine because I am earning again! Haha.

This book wrap up is a part of a mini-series which will feature the following:

  1. 2019 Top Eight Not-So Favorite Reads
  2. 2019 Top Ten Favorite Books
  3. 2019 Book Wrap Up
  4. 2019 19 Most Memorable Book Quotes (Part I)
  5. 2019 19 Most Memorable Book Quotes (Part II)
  6. 2019 New Favorite Authors
  7. 2020 Books I Look Forward To List
  8. 2020 Top 20 Reading List

2019, in terms of reading, was a wonderful year. I managed to read 56 books from 56 amazing authors, a feat that I (unconsciously) achieved for the first time after many years of reading. These 56 books were brimming with the beauty of language and writing that simply took my breath away. From these 56 books, I collected some amazing and inspiring lines and quotes. Here are some of my favorite quotes from my 2019 reading journey.

There were too many memorable lines from the past year, hence, I am sharing 38 lines and quotes in two installments of 19 each. This is the second installment; for the first part, you can click on the link provided above.


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“All wars are sacred. To those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn’t make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and the fine words from stay-at-home orators.”
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

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“That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. “f we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“I wanted to tell her that if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine, I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and wearisome that I didn’t say anything. I only burrowed down further in the bed.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”
~ Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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“’I think, therefore I am,’ is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches. ‘I feel, therefore I am,’ is a truth much more universally valid, and it applies to everything that’s alive. My self does not differ substantially from yours in terms of its thought. Many people, few ideas: we all think more or less the same, and we exchange, borrow, steal thoughts from one another. However, when someone steps on my foot, only I feel the pain. The basis of the self is not thought but suffering, which is the most fundamental of all feelings. While it suffers, not even a cat can doubt its unique and uninterchangeable self. In intense suffering the world disappears and each of us is alone with his self. Suffering is the university of egocentrism.”
Milan Kundera, Immortality

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“All this time I told myself we were born from war – but I was wrong, Ma. We were born from beauty. Let no one mistake us for the fruit of violence – but that violence, having passed through the fruit, failed to spoil it.”
Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

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“You can’t compare yourself with others: if Nature has made you a bat you shouldn’t try to be an ostrich. You consider yourself odd at times, you accuse yourself of taking a road different from most people. You have to unlearn that. Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak, surrender to them, don’t ask first whether it’s permitted or would please your teachers or fathers, or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that.”
Hermann Hesse, Demian

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“Sometimes, just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter of an inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky. ”
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

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“Stones don’t have to be whole to be lovely. Even cracked ones can be polished and set. Small diamonds, if they are clear and well cut, can be more valuable than big ones with impurities. Listen, sometimes the brightest stars shine brightest, no?” ~ Zeyn Joukhadar, The Map of Salt and Stars

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“She had thought the open sea would be flat, like a mirror or a coin. But it had colors and shapes, turning green or black under approaching storm. Sometimes it was red and purple and silver and white gold. It had sharp hedges. It had its tempers, its blue spells, its fits of laughter.” ~ Zeyn Joukhadar, The Map of Salt and Stars

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“Yes, of course. If you love anyone, you cannot help but share his suffering. If we love our Lord, not just admire him or fear him or want things from him, we must recognize his feelings; he must be in anguish over our sins. We must understand this anguish. The Lord suffers with us. He suffers like us. It is a consolation to know this. To know that we are not in fact alone in our suffering.” ~ Min Jin Lee, Pachinko

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“I have this feeling, that all it will take will be one moment, even a tiny moment, provided it’s the correct one. Like a cord suddenly snapping and a thick curtain dropping to the floor to reveal a whole new world, a world full of sunlight and warmth.” ~ Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled

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“Is that the chair whimpering or is it me? She asks the deep emptiness, which, like every emptiness, spreads its putrid cloak in all directions to draw her in, her, the woman rocking, to swallow her, blanket her, swamp her, envelop her, ready her for the rubbish heap where the emptiness, her emptiness, is piling the corpses, already stiffened, of the past.” ~ Daša Drndić, Trieste

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“We have an odd relationship with words. We learn a few when we are small, throughout our lives we collect others through education, conversation, our contact with books, and yet, in comparison, there are only a tiny number about whose meaning, sense, and denotation we would have absolutely no doubts, if one day, we were to ask ourselves seriously what they meant.” ~ Jose Saramago, The Double

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“I’ve also been told it makes a good impression to begin modestly by asserting that novels no longer have heroes because individuals have ceased to exist, that individualism is a thing of the past, that all human beings are lonely, all equally lonely, with no claim to individual loneliness, that they all form some nameless mass devoid of heroes.”  ~ Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum

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“She hears voices where there are none. Her voices are dead. All the same, she converses with the voices of the dead, she quibbles with them, sometimes she slumps limply into their arms and they whisper to her and guide her through landscapes she has forgotten. There are times when events boil over in her mind and then her thoughts become an avenue of statues, granite, marble, stone statues, plaster figures that do nothing but move their lips and tremble.” ~ Daša Drndić, Trieste

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“A withered maple leaf has left its branch and is falling to the ground; its movements resemble those of a butterfly in flight. Isn’t it strange? The saddest and deadest of things is yet so like the gayest and most vital of creatures?” ~ Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

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“And the thing about love is that you can’t force anyone. It’s natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you have to let everything happen to them. You can’t interfere with people you love any more than you’re supposed interfere with people you don’t even know. And that’s hard because you often feel like interfering – you want to be the one who makes the plans.” ~ John Irving, The Cider House Rules

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“Its so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself. That’s above and beyond everything else, and it’s not a mental complaint-it’s a physical thing, like it’s physically hard to open your mouth and make the words come out. They don’t come out smooth and in conjunction with your brain the way normal people’s words do; they come out in chunks as if from a crushed-ice dispenser; you stumble on them as they gather behind your lower lip. So you just keep quiet.”
Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story


I hope you enjoyed this collection of book quotes. How about you, fellow reader? What book lines and quotes from your 2019 reads created an impact on you? Share it in the comment box.

~ CLB