Readers,

Happy New Year everyone! 2022 is now a done deal; we have completed a journal of 365 pages but as they say, every ending is a new beginning. We have been given a fresh set of 365 blank pages which we can fill with good and lasting memories. While the previous years have been shrouded in uncertainties due to the pandemic, 2023 is shaping up to be a year of good tidings. I sure hope so – despite the ominous forecasts vis-a-vis the global economy – because hope is the only thing that springs eternal.

As has been the tradition in the past couple of years, I am kicking off the new year by looking back to the previous year, its hits, and of course, its mishits. It is also an opportunity to take a glimpse of how the coming year is going to shape up. This book wrap-up is a part of a mini-series that will feature the following:

  1. 2022 Top Ten Favorite Books
  2. 2022 Book Wrap Up
  3. 2022 Most Memorable Book Quotes (Part I)
  4. 2022 Most Memorable Book Quotes (Part II)
  5. 2022 New Favorite Authors
  6. 2023 Books I Look Forward To List
  7. 2023 Top 23 Reading List

2022 has been my most productive reading year to date. I have achieved a goal that I have been hoping to achieve for the longest time: completing 100 books in a year; I capped 2022 with 103 completed books. This means that since the pandemic started, I read 288 books. While there were books that failed to live up to my expectations, the 103 books I read in 2022 provided me with a deep and rich well of memorable and impressionable quotes, and passages. I have noted several quotes and it has been a challenge choosing the best ones. For the third year in a row, I decided to share more than the normal number I choose for this annual post. I am choosing 100 quotes that caught my attention during the year; there were just too many memorable books and quotes that I had a difficult time which ones I should feature in this update. Without further ado, here’s the first batch of my favorite quotes from my 202 reads.


“We had to go back to choosing words, examining them in order to see whether they were true or false, to see if they had true roots or only the transitory roots of the common illusion. Writers were obliged to take their work more seriously. The time that followed was like a hangover, a time of nausea, lassitude, and boredom and everyone felt in one way or another that they had been cheated or betrayed. This was equally true of those who lived in the real world, and of those who possessed or thought they possessed the means of describing it. And so everyone went on their own way again, alone and discontented.”
~ Natalia Ginzburg, Family Sayings


“In a crisis a person will concentrate his thoughts on saving himself. Once he is safe, his conscience will start to give him trouble. Similarly, when a member of the body is ill, the body drains vital energies from other areas to try to heal it. When the diseased member recovers, these energies must be redistributed equally to other, neglected parts of the body.” 
~ Naguib Mahfouz, Palace Walk


“But people have no idea what time is. They think it’s a line, spinning out from three seconds behind them, then vanishing just as fast into the three seconds of fog just ahead. They can’t see that time is one spreading ring wrapped around another, outward and outward until the thinnest skin of Now depends for its being on the enormous mass of everything that has already died.”
~ Richard Powers, The Overstory



“A library, no matter how humble or grand, is a series of sacred gateways. You pass through them and leave your own city behind; you journey through time and space; and for a little while, you escape the confines of your own circumstances. Each of us who are readers gets to live through a multiplicity of eras; we get to tiptoe through, to borrow Jorge Luis Borge’s phrase, ‘a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent, and parallel times.’”
~ Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land


“The earthquake shook us awake, and the tsunami washed away our delusions. It caused us to question our values and our attachment to material possessions. When everything I think of as mine—my belongings, my family, my life—can be swept away in an instant, I have to ask myself, What is real? The wave reminded us that impermanence is real. This is waking up to our true nature. Already broken. Knowing this, we can appreciate each thing as it is, and love each other as we are—completely, unconditionally, without expectation or disappointment. Life is even more beautiful this way, don’t you think?”
~ Ruth Ozeki, The Book of Form and Emptiness


“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”
~ Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway


But the thing to know and remember is that you can never be something other than what you are, no matter how much you might want to. You can’t be them. You can only be you. And they’re going to always treat you differently than they treat themselves. They won’t ever know about it – at least, most of them won’t. Most of them will think that everything is okay and that you’re being treated well enough and that everything is beautiful. Because, I guess for them, all they can imagine is a world in which things are fair and beautiful because, after all, they’ve always been treated fairly and beautifully. History has always been kind to them.”
~ Jason Mott, Hell of a Book


“Religions, laws, books, and old customs have all been worn out. He who reads those old books and observes those laws and customs, it’s as if he’s always facing backward and yet he must move forward. That is why he will stumble and ultimately fail since everything that has been has come from the side of death. A wise man, meanwhile, will look ahead, through death, as though this were merely a muslin curtain, and he will stand outside of life.”
~ Olga Tokarczuk, The Books of Jacob


“He knew, even back then, that she was prone to bouts of melancholy. It came to her in successive waves, an ebb and flow. When the first wave arrives, barely touching her toes, it was so light and translucent a ripple that you might be forgiven for thinking it insignificant, that it would vanish soon, leaving no trace. But then followed another wave, and the next one, rising as far as her ankles, and the one after that covering her knees, and before you knew it she was immersed in liquid pain, up to her neck, drowning. That’s how depression sucked her in.”
~ Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees


“What you need to do is know who you are, and where you are at all times. This is about you finding and keeping your center. This is how you can take on a wave. Then you might find that you need to practice more, or there’s a storm swell coming in, or the wave is simply too much for you. You might even decide that you’re just not cut out for the surfing and that’s all right, too. But you cannot know which of these is true unless you go out there with your head in the right place.”
~ Charmaine Wilkerson, Black Cake


“He had come to realize that it was when you were dying that people most wanted things from you – they wanted you to remember, they wanted reassurance, they wanted forgiveness. They wanted acknowledgment and redemption; they wanted you to make them feel better – about the fact that you were leaving while they remained; about the fact that they hated you for leaving them and dreaded it, too; about the fact that your death was reminding them of their own inevitable one; about the fact that they were so uncomfortable that they didn’t know what to say.”
~ Hanya Yanagihara, To Paradise


“Mind? I wrote: love that within my mind discourses with me, the love that moves the sun and the other stars, stars hide your fires, if I were fire I would burn the world, I’ve got the world on a string, there are strings in the human heart, the heart does not take orders, who would hear me among the angels’ orders, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, tread lightly she is near, lie lightly on her, a beautiful lie, touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, wonder is the poet’s aim.”
~ Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana


“There’s a voice in the universe that holds the truth of all those who walk the earth. I believe that we are born for reasons we do not understand – and it is up to us to discover those reasons. That is your only task. If you are brave enough to sit and listen to the voice of the universe in the silence that lives within you, then you will always know what matters – and you will know too that you matter more to the universe than you will ever know.”
~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Dive Into The Waters of the World


“If I learned anything in the war, it’s that the point of utter abandonment—that moment at which you realize no one will be coming to your aid, not even your Maker—is the very moment in which you may discover the strength required to carry on. The Good Lord does not call you to your feet with hymns from the cherubim and Gabriel blowing his horn. He calls you to your feet by making you feel alone and forgotten. For only when you have seen that you are truly forsaken will you embrace the fact that what happens next rests in your hands, and your hands alone.”
~ Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway


A long song breaks their heart, for they yearn for their motherland to hold them, caress them, whisper in their ears. It will never be so again, those days are far gone. But the nostalgia, it makes crybabies out of grown men on the darkest of nights – many of them will never be whole again. They’ll be forever poorly patched and existing in a world that has little time to ask them to tell their stories – who cares for their stories?”
~ How Beautiful We Were, Imbolo Mbue


“Maybe we’re just born to love and worry about the people we know, and to go on loving and worrying even when there are more important things we should be doing. And if that means the human species is going to die out, isn’t it in a way a nice reason to die out, the nicest reason you can imagine? Because when we should have been reorganising the distribution of the world’s resources and transitioning collectively to a sustainable economic model, we were worrying about sex and friendship instead. Because we loved each other too much and found each other too interesting. And I love that about humanity, and in fact it’s the very reason I root for us to survive – because we are so stupid about each other.”
~ Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You


“At times I think of human relationships as something soft like sand or water, and by pouring them into particular vessels we give them shape. So a mother’s relationship with her daughter is poured into a vessel marked ‘mother and child’, and the relationship takes the contours of its container and is held inside there, for better or worse. Maybe some unhappy friends would have been perfectly contented as sisters, or married couples as parents and children, who knows. But what would it be like to form a relationship with no preordained shape of any kind? Just to pour the water out and let it fall. I suppose it would take no shape, and run off in all directions.”
~ Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You


“The paintings here were mystifying. In the reds and greens of the canvases, maidens danced with animals, a goat or something carried a violin in its mouth, and a man and a woman embraced under a gigantic blazing bouquet. This swarm of unrelated images was like a glimpse into a dream. But not a good one. The joy I saw there was ferocious, and the sadness suffocatingly cold. Blues thrown onto the canvas warred with yellows approaching like tornadoes. People gathered round aghast to watch a circus spin to life.”
~  Mieko Kawakami, Heaven


“In the meantime, there exist certain facts. They are stiff and immovable, like lampposts in the street, but at least they change in the evening when the lamplighter has touched them with his magic wand. Then they light up like big soft sunflowers in the narrow borderland between night and day, when all the people move so quietly and slowly, as if they were walking on the bottom of the green ocean.”
~ Tove Ditlevsen, The Copenhagen Trilogy


“I’ll survive this. I’ll live. But there’s a hole in me, never to be filled. Maybe that’s why people die of old age. Maybe we could live forever if we didn’t love so completely. But we do. And by the time old age comes, we’re filled with holes, so many that it’s too hard to breathe. So many that our insides aren’t even ours anymore. We’re just one big empty space, waiting to be filled by the darkness. Waiting to be free.”
~ Sabaa Tahir, All My Rage


“I said goodbye, kissed her, and asked her forgiveness for the sins of withholding and neglect. I thanked her for having existed, promised her that she would live on in my heart, and in her son’s, begged her not to leave me, to visit me in dreams, to send me signs and clues, to return incarnated in every beautiful young woman I saw on the street, and to appear to me in spirit during the darkest hours of the night and in the days of the midday Sun.”
~ Isabel Allende, Violeta


“What a terrible part we have to play, we mothers of sons? Our daughters bring us wealth, joy, and grandchildren, but our sons are nothing but torment, anguish, and affliction. They seek death in war, and if they don’t find it there they travel the world in search of it. And one day a stranger comes and tells us they are no more. Or else they try to undo what our fathers have done and so offend the ancestors. Sometimes I wonder if they ever think of us.”
~ Maryse Condé, Segu


“It’s a myth about motherhood that the time in utero imbues mothers with a lifelong understanding of their children. Yes, they know their essences, this she didn’t doubt, but mothers are still humans who eventually form their own ideas of both who their kids are and who they think they should be. Inevitably there were disparities.”
~ Xochitl Gonzalez, Olga Dies Dreaming


“The four winds have blown us here, people from all across the country, to the very edge of this great land, and now, at last, we make our stand, fight for what we know to be right. We fight for our American dream, that it will be possible again. Jack says that I am a warrior and, while I don’t believe it, I know this: A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself. It sounds like motherhood to me.”
~ Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds


“The library books were stacked on her bedside table. Her final library reading list. They were all her favorite books, the books she had grown up with, the books that had found her at the right time, that had given her comfort when she needed it, had given her an escape, an opportunity to live beyond her life, an opportunity to love more powerfully, a chance to open up and let people in. And now she read them all once more, for the very last time.”
~ Sara Nisha Adams, The Reading List


“That insane love, that almost intolerable passion for and from two brats who were annoying at almost every age; that boundless love that would outlast everything, transcend everything, forgive everything; the love that led her to call us (when we weren’t little shits, or bitches, or cunts) my adored darlings whom I love madly—that love kept her going for as long as she could.“
~ Violaine Huisman, The Book of Mother


“There is no limit to what certain people will do to you if you offend them or take away what they want, and the fact that at one time you liked or chose to be among those people is one of the central mysteries and tragedies of life. Yet it is only a reflection, I said, of the very conditions and substances out of which your humanity is made – it is the attempt by selfishness and dishonesty to reproduce themselves in you and to continue to flourish in the world. You might as well go mad, I said, as try to resist that attempt.”
~ Rachel Cusk, Second Place


“They know too much, you see, of the possibilities that may arise. When one is motoring one might easily say to oneself: ‘If a car came out from that crossroad—or if that lorry backed suddenly—or if the wheel came off the car that is approaching—or if a dog jumped off the hedge on to my driving arm—eh bien, I should probably be killed!’ But one assumes, and usually rightly, that none of these things will happen, and that one will get to one’s journey’s end. But if, of course, one has been in an accident, or seen one or more accidents, then one is inclined to take the opposite point of view.”
~ Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile


“To prey on others or be preyed upon, to use or be used, if this was the range of possibilities for inflamed desires, then it was certainly easier, and more direct to translate them into sensual pleasure, into games of cards, and beer-drinking under the shade of trees in summer or in a warm, well-lit tavern in winter, into marbled meat, warm potatoes, cold watermelon, fragrant wine, woolen underwear, and lined shoes.”
~ Aleksandar Tišma, The Use Of Man


“In essence, games are the only universally serious activity. They leave no room for skepticism, wouldn’t you agree? However incredulous or doubting you might be, if you want to play, you have no choice but to follow the rules. Only the person who respects the rules, or at least knows and applies them, can win. Reading a book is the same: you have to accept the plot and the characters to enjoy the story .”
~ Arturo Pérez-Reverte, The Dumas Club


“People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.”
~ Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises


“In summer, bad weather is no more than a passing fit of superficial ill-temper expressed by the permanent, underlying fine weather, a very different thing from the fluid and unstable-fine weather of winter, its very opposite, in fact, for has it not (firmly established in the soil on which it has taken solid form in dense masses of foliage over which the rain may pour in torrents without weakening the resistance offered by their real and lasting happiness) hoisted, to keep them flying throughout the season, in the village streets, on the walls of the houses and in their gardens, its silken banners, violet and white.”
~ Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way


“The sea, ebbing and flowing in the shaft at the eastern end of the cave, roared fiercely as it clashed against the rocks. The sound of the surging waves was completely different from that to which they were accustomed outside. It was a seething sound that echoed off the limestone walls of the cavern, the reverberations overlapping each other until the entire cave was aroar and seemed to be pitching and swaying.”
~ Yukio Mishima, The Sound of the Waves


“The present is a battleground where rival what-ifs compete to become the future ‘what is.’ How does one what-if prevail over its adversaries? The answer, the answer, ‘Military and political power, of course!’ is a postponement, for what is it that directs the minds of the powerful? The answer is ‘belief.’ Beliefs that are ignoble or idealistic; democratic or Confucian; Occidental or Oriental; timid or bold; clear-sighted or delusional. Power is informed by belief that this path, and not another, must be followed. What, then, or where, is the womb of belief What, or where, is the crucible of ideology?”
~ David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet


“She thought about the relation between readers and writers. A writer made an incantation, calling the reader into the magic circle of the world of the book. With subtle words, a writer enticed a reader to feel his or her skin prickle, his or her lips open, his or her blood race. But a writer did this on condition that the reader was alone with printed paper and painted cover. What were you meant to feel – what she was meant to feel – when the originals of the evanescent paper persons were only to a solidly present in flesh and bone and prosaic clothing? A gingery tweed jacket, a faded cotton skirt with lupins on it, and an elastic waist that clumped oddly?”
~ A.S. Byatt, The Children’s Book


“Now, he can see what he’s been trying to do: to bargain with grief. Behind all this frenetic activity there’s been the hope that if he keeps his promises there’ll be no more pain. But he’s beginning to understand that grief doesn’t strike bargains. There’s no way of avoiding the agony–or even of getting through it faster. It’s got him in its claws and it won’t let go till he’s learnt every lesson it has to teach.”
~ Pat Barker, The Silence of the Girls


“To put it another way, every love relationship is based on unwritten conventions rashly agreed upon by the lovers during the first weeks of their love. On the one hand, they are living a sort of dream, on the other, without realizing it, they are drawing up the fine print of their contract like the most hard-nosed of lawyers. O lovers! Be wary during those perilous first days! If you serve the other party breakfast in bd, you will be obliged to continue same in perpetuity or face charges of animosity and treason!”
~ Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting


“Laughable laughter is cataclysmic. And even so, the angels have gained something by it. They have tricked us all with their semantic hoax. Their imitation laughter and its original (the devil’s) have the same name. People nowadays do not even realize that one and the same external phenomenon embraces two completely contradictory internal attitudes. There are two kinds of laughter, and we lack the words to distinguish them.”
~ Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting


“You do not feel the same love that everyone else does. Yours is muted, damp, not bursting or breaking. But there is a place for you, in the category of personhood. There has to be. Humanity can discard you, but they cannot deny it. Your heart pounds. Your palms sweat. Your body wants and wants. It seems abundantly clear now, the opportunity you’ve wasted. There is good and there is evil, and the contradiction lives in everyone. The good is simply the stuff worth remembering. The good is the point of it all. The slippery things can have always been chasing.”
~ Danya Kukafka, Notes on an Execution


“Peace, alas, is only ever apparent and transitory, a pretense. War is the natural state of the world. Often it’s open warfare, but when it’s not, war is always there in latent or indirect form or is merely a war-in-waiting. There are large portions of humanity who are always trying to harm others, or to take something from them, and rancour and discord reign at all times, and, if not, then they’re in the wings, watching and waiting.”
~ Javier Marías, Berta Isla 


“We are all alike; we have no ties, we know nobody, we own nothing. When one of us dies, they scarcely know where to bury him. Our landlady and the delicatessen man are our mourners, and we leave nothing behind us but a frock-coat and a fiddle, or an easel, or a typewriter, or whatever took we got our living by. All we have ever managed to do is to pay our rent, that exorbitant rent that one has to pay for a few square feet of space near the heart of things. We have no house, no place, no people of our own. We live in the streets, in the parks, in the theaters. We sit in restaurants and concert halls and look about at the hundreds of our own kind and shudder.”
~ Willa Cather, O Pioneers!


“I myself could do without the heart-shovel. But my hunger depends on it. I wish the heart-shovel were my tool. But the shovel is the master, and I am the tool. I submit to its rule. Nevertheless, it’s my favorite shovel. I’ve forced myself to like it. I submit because it is a better master when I am compliant, when I don’t hate it. I ought to thank it, because when I shovel for my bread I am distracted from my hunger. Since hunger never goes away, the heart-shovel makes sure that shoveling gets put ahead of hunger. Shoveling takes priority when you are shoveling, otherwise your body can’t manage the work.”
~ Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way


 “Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. How do you know you have graduated? You don’t. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me? God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest.”
~ Toni Morrison, Paradise


“Contemporary consciousness is no longer equipped to deal with our mortality. More than at any time or in any other civilisation, human beings are obsessed with ageing. Each individual has a simple view of the future: a time will come when the sun of pleasures that life has left to offer is outweighed by the sum of pain (one can actually feel the meter ticking, and it ticks inevitably towards the end), This weighing up of pleasure and pain which, sooner or later, everyone is forced to make, leads logically, at a certain age, to suicide.”
~ Michel Houellebecq, Atomised


“But – and I think I’ve already once warned you on this score – pity is a confoundedly two-edged sword. Anyone who doesn’t know how to deal with it should keep his hands, and, above all, his heart of it. It is only at first that pity, like morphia, is a solace to the invalid, a remedy, a drug, but unless you know the correct dosage and when to stop, it becomes a virulent poison. The first few injections do good, they soothe, they deaden the pain. But the devil of it is that the organism, the body, just like the soul, has an uncaring capacity for adaptation. Just as the nervous system cries out for more and more morphia, so the emotions cry out for more than one can give.”
~ Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity


“But can’t you even imagine what it must feel like to have a true home? I don’t mean heaven. I mean a real earthly home. Not some fortress you bought and built up and have to keep everybody locked in or out. A real home. Not some place you went to and invaded and slaughtered people to get. Not some place you claimed, snatched because you got the guns. Not some place you stole from the people living there, but your own home, where if you go back past your great-great-grandparents, past theirs, and theirs, past the whole of Western history, past the beginning of organized knowledge, past pyramids and poison bows, on back to when rain was new, before plants forgot they could sing and birds thought they were fish, back when God said Good!
~ Toni Morrison, Paradise


“You are not lost so much as you are betrayed by fools who mistook glimmer for power. They gave away all the symbols that hold sway. The penance for this is lasting. Your blood will have long been diluted by the time reason finally takes hold. Or the world itself will have been reduced to ash, making memory beside the point. But yes, you have been wronged. And you will do wrong. Again. And again. And again. Until finally, you wake. Which is why we are here, speaking with you now.”
~ Robert Jones Jr., The Prophets


“That mesh of leaves and twigs of fork and froth, minute and endless, with the sky glimpsed only in sudden specks and splinters, perhaps it was only there so that my brother could pass through it with his tomtit’s thread, was embroidered on nothing, like this thread of ink which I have let run on for page after page, swarming with cancellations, corrections, doodles, blots and gaps, bursting at times into clear big berries, coagulating at others into piles of tiny starry seeds, then twisting away, forking off, surrounding buds of phrases with frameworks of leaves and clouds, then interweaving again, and so running on and on and on until it splutters and bursts into a last senseless cluster of words, ideas, dreams, and so ends.”
~ Italo Calvino, The Baron in the Trees


“She could now string letters into words. She marveled at the magic of it all, how human beings had thought to etch markings on stone to tell their stories, sensed each lifetime too grand, too interesting, not to document. She placed one hand to her belly and felt the something in her move and stretch as if seeking its own freedom, felt as if the whole world were her womb. She wanted to write her own words. She wanted to write her life into existence and endure.”
~ Gabriela Marquez, Of Women and Salt


“The water that had frozen was only the brittle silver ornamentation that forms among the grass roots on frosty April nights – the water did not seem to have passed, it left its trace on everything. It filled all existences, cascading in all the rivulets – its singing never so clear as on a holiday morning, whatever the season. The big lake was brimful after the thaw, with a haze above it, large and small ice floss floating in it, and its shores black. Beyond it all, unheard at such a distance, flowed the great river, thundering with giant power.”
~ Tarjei Vesaas, The Ice Palace