May 8, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Quotes from Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the bloggers of The Broke and the Bookish. This week everyone is supposed to post his/her top ten favorite quotes from books. 

This was a hard challenge for me, in part because I find it hard to determine how I should define a favorite quote. Is it one that is profound, hitting at some important truth? Or is it something that’s beautifully written? Or something that makes me smile or tear up? The quotes I’ve chosen below are some quotes that I consider to be the most memorable – for the reasons I’ve listed above and more.

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why earth should that mean that it is not real?”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead in the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day.
― Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia

I had been able to break the curse myself. I’d had to have reason enough, love enough to do it, to find the will and the strength. My safety from the ogres hadn’t been enough; zhulpH’s rescue hadn’t been enough, especially not with guards about; my slavery to Mum Olga hadn’t been enough. Kyrria was enough. Char was enough.
Now it was over. Ended forever. I was made anew. Ella. Just Ella. Not Ella, the slave. Not a scullery maid. Not Lela. Not Eleanor. Ella. Myself unto myself. One. Me.  
― Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

The wind was strong on the cliff, and it whipped his hair across his face. Suddenly her hand reached out to hold it back. When he felt her fingers, he flinched; he had not been touched with such gentleness since his childhood. He was no stranger to women and had felt their hands on all parts of his body, but her touch made him feel like he belonged someplace.
― Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock

“And if I should leave you, for any reason,” he added, tightening his grip as she struggled to free her hand, “I will return to you. That is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow morning and the thunderbolt falling tomorrow night. That is as sure as the god's existence. I will come back to you, or I will find you - over and over again, as often as we are parted, until the end of the world itself.”
― Sharon Shinn, Archangel

And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that's an evil one because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels.
― Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Although Gwen had looked like the same girl wearing her brother’s clothes, Ash looked like a stranger. And if she looked nothing like herself, she thought, then she couldn’t possibly be herself. Perhaps her entire life – all her memories, thoughts, emotions – would melt away from her, leaving only the flesh-and-bone shell behind.
― Malinda Lo, Ash

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.
We lived in the gaps between the stories.
― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

“What was that?” Belgarath asked, coming back around the corner.
“Brill,” Silk replied blandly, pulling his Murgo robe back on.
“Again?” Belgarath demanded with exasperation. “What was he doing this time?”
“Trying to fly, last time I saw him.” Silk smirked.
The old man looked puzzled.
“He wasn't doing it very well,” Silk added.
Belgarath shrugged. “Maybe it'll come to him in time.”
“He doesn't really have all that much time.” Silk glanced out over the edge.
From far below - terribly far below - there came a faint, muffled crash; then, after several seconds, another. “Does bouncing count?” Silk asked.
Belgarath made a wry face. “Not really.”
“Then I'd say he didn't learn in time.” Silk said blithely.
― David Eddings, Magician's Gambit

Have you read any of these books? Are any of these among your favorite quotes? 
author image


Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. Interesting list! I only read The Amber Spyglass of these books - love this quote!
    My TTT.

  2. Great choice from Harry Potter!

  3. I love, love, love that quote from the Deathly Hallows!

  4. Beautiful quotes <3 <3 I love the one of Melina Marchetta ;)

    My Top10

  5. I did quotes today as well! LOVE the HP quote.
    Great choices


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