One of my favorite things to do is to find new quotes that inspire me. I love to write them down in a journal, so that I can look back on them and think about what they mean to me. In my opinion, the best places to find great quotes are in great books.
One of the greatest books that I have ever read is The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. I first read this book in the third grade and eight years later I still am still absolutely, irrevocably in love with it. This book, believe it or not, is actually a picture book.
Regardless of the youth oriented novel, this book is a must read for everyone. I guarantee it will change your life, if you let it. Here are some of my favorite quotes from it:
“As I look out at all of you gathered here, I want to say that I don’t see a room full of Parisians in top hats and diamonds and silk dresses. I don’t see bankers and housewives and store clerks. No. I address you all tonight as you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, and magicians. You are the true dreamers.”
“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
“Time can play all sorts of tricks on you. In the blink of an eye, babies appear in carriages, coffins disappear into the ground, wars are won and lost, and children transform, like butterflies, into adults.”
“If you’ve ever wondered where your dreams come from when you go to sleep at night, just look around. This is where they are made. ”
The next two books are ones that I have mentioned before in my July Favorites, All the Light We Cannot See and When Breath Become Air.
All the Light We Cannot See is, again, one of the greatest books that I have ever read. If I could I would quote the entire book because it really is that good. But, sadly, I cannot quote the entire book, so here are just a few of my favorite, most powerful quotes:
“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”
“But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”
“Don’t you want to be alive before you die?”
“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”
“We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.”
“What mazes there are in this world. The branches of trees, the filigree of roots, the matrix of crystals, the streets her father recreated in his models… None more complicated than the human brain, Etienne would say, what may be the most complex object in existence; one wet kilogram within which spin universes.”
“So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”
When Breath Becomes Air is probably the most eye-opening book that you will ever read. This is one of the few books that have brought me to tears. There is no doubt in my mind that you will love this book as much as I, and many others have.
This is a must read for anyone looking to be inspired by a surgeon, father, husband, and an incredible human being.
Written by a surgeon who finds out he has terminal cancer, the book is exactly what you would expect, inspirational and so, very powerful. And here are some quotes:
“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”
“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”
“Don’t think I ever spent a minute of any day wondering why I did this work, or whether it was worth it. The call to protect life—and not merely life but another’s identity; it is perhaps not too much to say another’s soul—was obvious in its sacredness. Before operating on a patient’s brain, I realized, I must first understand his mind: his identity, his values, what makes his life worth living, and what devastation makes it reasonable to let that life end. The cost of my dedication to succeed was high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.”
“I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”
“The physician’s duty is not to stave off death or return patients to their old lives, but to take into our arms a patient and family whose lives have disintegrated and work until they can stand back up and face, and make sense of, their own existence.”
“Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.”
“Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.”
The next books are all part of a series. This book series is one of the most popular in the entire world because of it’s ability to completely capture the audience with it’s beautiful words.
Harry Potter.With characters who are so real and relatable, there is absolutely nothing that I would possibly change about these books.
Needless to say is one of the greatest collection of books in our generation, gifted to us by one of the most talented writers of our generation. A collection of my favorite quotes:
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
And now a few of my favorite quotes that JK Rowling has spoken, but are not a part of the Harry Potter books:
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
“I believe in free will. Of those that, like us, are in a privileged situation at least. For you, for me: people who are living in western society, people who are not repressed, who are free. We can choose. The things go largely like you want them to go. You control your own life. Your own will is extremely powerful.”
“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”
The last book that I will be sharing is one that I was reluctant to share, but later felt it was necessary because of its incredibly moving words that are still relevant today. To Kill A Mockingbird is an everlasting classic, that will never and should never be forgotten.
Here are some of the most moving quotes:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
There is absolutely nothing better than being completely absorbed by a book, not being able to put it down until you are finished. Being so completely obsessed with each character and beginning to relate the one of them in particular. And then falling in love with the writing of a particular author and reading all of his/her books. I hope all of you have found books that have given you that feeling. And If you haven’t give some of the books that I mentioned a try, I promise that they will not disappoint. Having access to such incredible books and words is a privilege that most people do not take advantage of, make sure that you do.
I hope you have enjoyed reading through my some of my favorite quotes, pulled from a few of my favorite books! If you have any quotes or books that you would like to share with me comment them down below 🙂