Favourite Quotes from Books I Read in 2019

I know that I said I was done with 2019-type posts, but I completely forgot that I had planned to share my favourite quotes from the year. I often share quotes I love in my “Favourite Quotes from the Last Five Books I Read” posts (look out for one soon!), but I thought it would be fine to choose my best of the best!

“Perhaps the unattached, the unwanted, the unloved, could grow to give love as lushly as anyone else.”
― Vanessa Diffenbaugh, The Language of Flowers

“…at some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls

“It’s a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown I back, throat to the stars, “more like deer than human being.” To be absolutely free! One is quite capable, of course, of working out these destructive passions in more vulgar and less efficient ways. But how glorious to release them in a single burst! To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”
― Donna Tartt, The Secret History

“But some people are just starfish–they need everyone to fill the roles that they assign. They need the world to sit around them, pointing at them and validating their feelings. But you can’t spend your life trying to make a starfish happy, because no matter what you do, it will never be enough. They will always find a way to make themselves the center of attention, because it’s the only way they know how to live.”
― Akemi Dawn Bowman, Starfish

“I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. She is still small and scared and ashamed, and perhaps I am writing my way back to her, trying to tell her everything she needs to hear.”
― Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

“No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.”
― Sally Rooney, Normal People

“We must believe in our souls that we are somebody, that we are significant, that we are worthful, and we must walk the streets of life every day with this sense of dignity and this sense of somebody-ness.”
― Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys

“The world is a turntable that never stops spinning; as humans we merely choose the tracks we want to sit out and the ones that inspire us to dance.”
― Elizabeth Acevedo, With the Fire on High

“Beautiful on the surface, but look a little closer and everything is decaying, rotting, falling apart.”
― Claire Fuller, Bitter Orange

“I was confronted by a world that I could see and touch but didn’t know how to talk about. There were so many words and names that I just didn’t have. Flowers, trees, birds, reptiles, organs. The words you learn as you grow up in a country the ones the language reserves for people who are immersed in it and denies to those who just dip their toes in every now and then. The words for Saturday-afternoon strolls and summer camps and weekends in the country. Words from peaceful lives, lives that belong to the people living them.”
― Négar Djavadi, Disoriental


12 thoughts on “Favourite Quotes from Books I Read in 2019

  1. I love the Sally Rooney quote. This is such a good idea. I’ll have to remember to do this in 2020 and take down quotes I like.
    The only quote I remember and liked from 2019 is from the last book I read
    “What is difficult is also beautiful, good, great and so forth” – Beethoven

    1. Oh, and another coz I Tweeted it
      “Never worry about what you say to a man. They’re so conceited that they never believe you mean it if it’s unflattering.” – Agatha Christie (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd)

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