Quotes from Ten Favorite Books

In no particular order.

Fox in Socks, Dr. Seuss
“When these beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles and the bottle’s in a puddle … they call this a tweedle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle.”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver
“I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.”

“It’s possible, in a poem or short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things—a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring—with immense, even startling power.”

13 Clocks, James Thurber
“He was six feet four, and forty-six, and even colder than he thought he was. One eye wore a velvet patch; the other glittered through a monocle, which made half his body seem closer to you than the other half…”

“What’s the Todal?”
A lock of the guard’s hair turned white and his teeth began to chatter. “The Todal looks like a blob of glup,” he said. “It’s made of lip. It makes a sound like rabbits screaming, and smells of old, unopened rooms. It’s waiting for the Duke to fail in some endeavor, such as setting you a task that you can do.”
“And if he sets me one, and I succeed?” the Prince inquired.
“The Todal will glup him,” said the guard. “It punishes evil men for doing less evil than they can.”

Something very much like nothing anyone had seen before came trotting down the stairs and crossed the room.
“What was that?” the Duke asked, palely.
“I don’t know what it was,” said Hark, “but it’s the only one there ever was.”

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.”

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
“You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.”

“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.”

A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter Miller
“You don’t have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.”

“Bless me Father, I ate a lizard.”

Love and Rockets, Jaime Hernandez
“That night the animals talked. I was speaking in tongues. My dad up in heaven? He glanced up from his paper.”

The Princess Bride, William Goldman
“I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, twoo wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.” (OK, from the movie, not the book!)

Lord of the Flies, William Golding
“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

“The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.”

1984, George Orwell
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

“If you want a keep a secret, you must hide it from yourself.”

“Nothing is your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.”