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What I’m Reading – Beautiful and/or Inspirational Passages

November 5, 2010
girl reading book

There is nothing like reading a good book. Photo courtesy of ooh_food

Lately, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for passages/quotes that are beautiful, speak to me in some way and/or inspire me. Below are my favorites from the past couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Feel free to share your favorite passages or quotes in the comments – I’d love to read them! 

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.” The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman (found on CAITYSAIDSO’s blog)

“The bank teller has a great ass. I know this because she had to get up and go to her boss’s office when I told her I wanted to withdraw sixteen of the just under twenty thousand dollars remaining in mine and Jen’s joint checking account. When she returns, I see that she has nice lips too—full and pouty—and she has a dimple in one cheek, and something about her eyes and the way she chews her gum makes me think she’s a very sexual person. Her name is Marianna, which I know because it’s on the little badge she has affixed just beside her breasts, which aren’t particularly large but come together nicely  in her push-up bra to form a perfectly adequate suntanned cleavage in the V-neck of her blouse. My guess is that she didn’t go to college, at least not a four-year college. Probably community college for her associate’s degree, and then right into the bank’s training program. She is the kind of girl who dates the kind of guys who will ultimately screw around on her, guys like her brothers, who work with their hands and drink too many beers while watching football, and have a stupid tattoo of a dragon or the Rolling Stones’ lips on their scapulas, guys upon whom she projects more romance and ambition than is actually there, and then she asks her girlfriends, who are hairdressers and medical technicians and tanning salon clerks and secretaries, why she can’t find a nice guy. And I’m dying to tell her that I’m a nice guy. I’m the last nice guy. And I haven’t been kissed or rubbed in months, and I’m as horny as a high school kid, but I’m also dying to fall in love, and if you let me, I’ll fall in love with you, and cherish you, and listen to your dreams and your hurts and I’ll be faithful and funny and I’ll never forget your birthday or make out with your girlfriend and blame it on too many shots, or come home from guys’ night out drunk and smelling of strippers. That’s what I want to tell her, but instead I say, ‘Can I have an envelope for that?’ and if you want to know where all the good guys are, we’re standing right in front of you, lacking the balls to actually make ourselves heard.”  This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (found on Judgement Daze, where I steal my best quotes. Remember this one I stole awhile back? Sorry, Maggie – you just post the best stuff and I feel compelled to share it!)

“Sometimes you walk past a pretty girl on the street there’s something beyond beauty in her face, something warm and smart and inviting, and in the three seconds you have to look at her, you actually fall in love, and in those moments, you can actually know the taste of her kiss, the feel of her skin against yours, the sound of her laugh, how she’ll look at you and make you whole. And then she’s gone, and in the five seconds afterwards, you mourn her loss with more sadness than you’ll ever admit to.” — How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper

“You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.” — The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

“I took my morning walk, I took my evening walk, I ate something, I thought about something, I wrote something, I napped and dreamt something too, and with all that something, I still have nothing because so much of sum’things has always been and always will be you. I miss you.” House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.” Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

“A tender heart and a brave soul light up the path for others with the kind of luminosity that heals and enlivens. So don’t worry about being good. Instead, discover how both good and bad live within you. Deeply accept the shadows even as you seek the light. Believe in change. Take full responsibility for who you are and what you want. And from such forthright wisdom, your goodness will prevail and your kindness will blossom and your heart will be healed.” —The Seeker’s Guide by Elizabeth Lesser

“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.” Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” — A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Just Saying permalink
    November 5, 2010 12:08 pm

    I want to steal all these quotes!

    Great entry!

  2. Megan permalink
    November 5, 2010 12:21 pm

    Just read This is Where I Leave You. It’s a neat book. Cool quote choice!

    • November 5, 2010 5:42 pm

      Thanks! I am about to buy the book, myself. Really enjoy the way he writes.

  3. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    November 5, 2010 1:47 pm

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” [Marilyn Monroe]

    • November 5, 2010 5:42 pm

      OMG! LOVE this quote. Thank you so much for sharing it! One of my new faves!

  4. November 5, 2010 5:05 pm

    THese are very pretty. Memoirs of a Geisha was a particularly good choice; it was one of the first ‘adult’ (ie grown up) novels I ever read.

    • November 5, 2010 5:43 pm

      Thank you! I love them. What other “adult” books would you recommend? I really enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha.

  5. Matt79 permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:26 pm

    Great quotes – I’ve never read anything by Jonathan Tropper but sadly I think I’ve had thought processes similar to his in the past!

    The only quote which is popping into my head at the moment is “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”

    • November 5, 2010 5:44 pm

      Thank you! I haven’t read Jonathan Tropper myself, just quotes by him. But, I feel compelled to read one of his books now. His writing just strikes me in a way, I think because it feels so real and like something I would think. I find it interesting that you feel the same. Great minds think alike, maybe?

      That’s a great quote too. Thanks for sharing!

  6. November 5, 2010 5:54 pm

    “She makes me feel kinda funny. Like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.”

    ~ Garth, Wayne’s World

    If you ask me why I chose that quote, well, Jonathan Tropper’s description of the bank teller kinda has ME feeling that way. Shh…

  7. SimplyStac permalink
    November 5, 2010 11:59 pm

    Perfect! Thanks for posting.

  8. November 6, 2010 3:19 pm

    Ahhh these are amazing! Love it!!


  9. November 8, 2010 8:32 pm

    “But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter” Actions speak louder than words…its something I lay out on the table before I start talking to a guy…right after we’ve made it clear we’re interested… and I let them know even though actions speak louder than words I always remember what you say… so don’t make yourself a liar by default.

    Nanny McPhee: When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It’s rather sad, really, but there it is.

    • November 9, 2010 10:49 am

      I think it’s good that if you feel strongly about actions speaking louder than words (who doesn’t) that you spell that out for a guy. At least he knows what is expected of him.

      I really like your Nanny McPhee quote, thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. November 9, 2010 7:33 am

    I love quotes. I like the one from The Rescue. I read it awhile ago, but it may be time to reread it.

    • November 9, 2010 10:39 am

      Thank you! I do like The Rescue. Those damn Nicholas Sparks books get me every time – no matter how formulaic they are!

  11. November 10, 2010 9:13 am

    “I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
    Pride & Prejudice
    Jane Austen.

  12. November 15, 2010 6:49 am

    These are all amazing. I particularly liked the last one and the one about the man in the bank. So pretty! I’m going to look up some more passages too, I could do with a nice fuzzy feeling inside! xx

    • November 17, 2010 7:14 pm

      Thanks! I love them too. If you find any good ones, please send them my way (if you don’t mind)! It’s my new obsession. Beautiful passages. My email is
      The one about the man in the bank, most men in my life that have read that say that it sounds like them and really identified with the narrator. I think that’s so interesting – I guess I never thought guys thought like that. Maybe I need to give men more credit!

  13. eternallyemo permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:13 am

    Love the Tropper quotes, especially the one about the pretty girl on the street. I want to read more from him. I don’t read enough books (more of a music fan) but I really like your idea of having a list of quotes that speak to you for one reason or another. If I find any that sound particularly inspirational, I’ll let you know!

    • December 1, 2010 11:09 pm

      Enternallyemo: Thanks for stopping by! I love his writing too, but haven’t had a chance yet to read one of his books. Here’s another quote from him that I like:
      “She was smart and funny and vulnerable and just so goddamned beautiful, the kind of beautiful that was worth being shot down over.” — How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper


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