Happy Tuesday everyone! It is the second day of the week already but I hope everyone is doing well and is safe. Oh well, Tuesday also means one thing, a Top Ten Tuesday update! Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s given topic is Memorable Things Characters Have Said
This is going to be quite a challenge! Haha. There are many lines that have made an impression on me. Unfortunately, I have forgotten so many of them so I had to search my Facebook; I used some as captions. Some also I had to take from memory. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy my list.
“We are each the authors of our own lives, Emma. We live in what we have created. There is no way to shift the blame and no one else to accept the accolades.”
~ Barbara Taylor Bradford, A Woman of Substance
Barbara Taylor Bradford’s A Woman of Substance is one of my all-time favorite reads. The first book in the Emma Harte saga, it made me fall in love with Emma and her courage to build her own empire from literally nothing. One of the quotes that stood out for me is this. I think I even had it written somewhere, or perhaps in my phone notepad. Unfortunately, I forgot who said it.
“… Kind of a major paradox, wouldn’t you say? As we go through life we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves.”
~Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tzukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
I have read quite my fair share of Haruki Murakami books. One of the quotes that stood out for me was taken from his Bildungsroman novel, Colorless Tzukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Compared to Kafka on the Shore, or 1Q84, it was one of his less complex works. This quote was from Aka, one of the main protagonist’s friends. It has left such a deep impression on me that I have used as captions in one of my cover photos.
“Yes, this is what I thought adulthood would be, a kind of long indian summer, a state of tranquility, of calm incuriousness, with nothing left of the barely bearable raw immediacy of childhood, all the things solved that had puzzled me when I was small, all mysteries settled, all questions answered, and the moments dripping away, unnoticed almost, drip by golden drip, toward the final, almost unnoticed quietus.”
~ John Banville, The Sea
John Banville’s Booker Prize-winning novel, The Sea was a poignant work of literature. A reflective story, it abounded with wonderful and thought-provoking passages such as the one quoted above.
“There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone
One of the most quotable series of all time is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. One of the primary drivers was Hogwarts’ Head, Albus Dumbledore. He was the voice of wisdom and reason who guided Harry. One of his most memorable lines was from the first book in the series and was directed to the series’ hero, Harry Potter.
“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
“We accept the love we think we deserve,” used to be my favorite quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I noted this one from the movie. However, when I read the book, a different quote stood out for me. As Charlie narrates it, it just hits differently. Yes, music was a subtly integral part of both the movie and the book it was adapted from.
“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
One of the most poetic and lyrical novels I have read was Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Although it touched base with dark and heavy subjects, it still left a deep impression for it was beautifully written. The troubled relationship between mother and son was vividly portrayed by Vuong, who started as a poet before writing his first novel. This line captures both the beauty of the writing and the emotions that flowed.
“We can’t change the world, and a lot of time we can’t even change people. No more than one bit at a time. So we do what we can to help whenever we get the chance, sweetheart. We save those we can. We do our best. Then we try to find a way to convince ourselves that will just have to… be enough. So we can live with our failures without drowning.”
~ Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
“The truth of course is that if people were really as happy as they look on the Internet, they wouldn’t spend so much damn time on the Internet, because no one who’s having a really good day spends half of it taking pictures of themselves. Anyone can nurture a myth about their life if they have enough manure, so if grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, that’s probably because it’s full of shit.”
~ Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
“They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences. But that isn’t true, at least not entirely, because if your past was all that defined us, we’d never be able to put up with ourselves. We need to be allowed to convince ourselves that we’re more than the mistakes we made yesterday. That we are all of our next choices, too, all of our tomorrows.”
~ Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
I have picked not one but three memorable quotes from Fredrik Backman’s Anxious People. Yes, I was reluctant to read the book at first but I am glad I overcame this ambivalence. The book grappled with mental health awareness, a subject that is somehow close to my heart. There was plenty of humor, typical of Backman, but this belied the weight of the messages the book carried. It was one of my favorite reads of 2020, perhaps of all times.
“It’s madness to hate all roses because you got scratched with one thorn, to give up all dreams because one of them didn’t come true, to give up all attempts because one of them failed. It’s folly to condemn all your friends because one has betrayed you, to no longer believe in love just because someone was unfaithful or didn’t love you back, to throw away all your chances to be happy because something went wrong. There will always be another opportunity, another friend, another love, a new strength. For every end, there is always a new beginning….. And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
And I have reserved the best for last. The Little Prince, despite its seemingly “childish” premise, was brimming with messages that we can apply even when we are adults. It is for this that I loved the book, even though I read it when I was already a young adult; it is a great book for all ages. One of the reasons I loved it is because of this line. The last part summarily captures what the book is about: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed my list. What are some of your favorite literary lines? I hope you can share it in the comment box as well. For now, have a great day ahead! Stay safe and, as always, happy reading!