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favorite reads

Once in a while I remember to write down or mark something I love in a book. Most of the time, I’m too busy turning pages. But here are some of my favorites.

“And by and by Christopher Robin came to an end of things, and he was silent, and he sat there, looking out over the world, just wishing it wouldn’t stop.” ~ A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

“I used to believe in forever . . . but forever was too good to be true.” ~ A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

“It is only the darkness in our own hearts that will defeat us, in the end.” ~ Alison Croggon, The Crow

“And all meet in singing, which braids together the different knowings into a wide and subtle music, the music of living.” ~ Alison Croggon, The Naming

“Many forgotten things live still in children’s tales.” ~ Alison Croggon, The Riddle

“The only thing to be ashamed of is denying your love. That is what makes the shadow grow within your heart; that is the darkening of the Light. And we all have many loves.” ~ Alison Croggon, The Riddle

“. . . But when a house is empty, then it’s the house’s turn. It holds all the emptiness and all the fullness of the years it has known, the footprints of all the people who have ever walked its rooms gather themselves. The air is expectant, waiting. Hushed. Hush. Listen to the house. What is it telling you?” ~ Alison McGhee, All Rivers Flow to the Sea

“It makes you wonder. All the brilliant things we might have done with our lives if only we suspected we knew how.” ~ Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

“A kiss in so much loneliness was like a hand pulling you up out of the water, scooping you up from a place of drowning and into the reckless abundance of air.” ~ Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

“She sang as if she was saving the life of every person in the room.” ~ Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

“It was the hour when snow goes blue
“and streetlights come on and a hare may
“pause on the tree line as still as a word in a book.
” ~ Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse

“Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?” ~ Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife

“We’re a fabular people, defined by the whims of their lore and their tales. They have always told us what we are.” ~ Brenna Yovanoff, The Replacement

“There was a whole sprawling world underneath us, filled with ugly, vicious, beautiful people. The line between the two places was thin, hardly a separation, and both ran on pain and blood and fear and death and joy and music. But for now, the sunset was enough.” ~ Brenna Yovanoff, The Replacement

“Some people say there is a new sun every day, that it begins its life at dawn and lives for one day only.” ~ Byrd Baylor, The Way to Start a Day

“A touch of truth makes a lie worth believing.” ~ Caitlin Kittredge, The Iron Thorn

“‘I don’t want to be a man,’ said Jace. ‘I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.’
“‘Well,’ said Luke, ‘you’re doing a fantastic job.'” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

“Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt.” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“If there was such a thing as terminal literalism, you’d have died in childhood.” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“Not everything that’s true needs to be said.” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“I have a high pain threshold. In fact, it’s more of a large and tastfully decorated foyer than a threshold. But I do get easily bored.” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“Sorry, are you telling me that your demon-slaying buddies need to be driven to their next assignment with the forces of darkness by my mom?” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“That’s why when major badasses greet each other in movies, they don’t say anything, they just nod. The nod means, ‘I am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badass,’ but they don’t say anything because they’re Wolverine and Magneto and it would mess up their vibe to explain.” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“She was still beautiful. Looking at her, he was in London again. He saw the gaslight and smelled the smoke and dirt and horses, the metallic tang of fog, the flowers in Kew Gardens. He saw a boy with black hair and blue eyes like Alec’s, heard violin music like the sound of silver water. He saw a girl with long brown hair and a serious face. In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants.” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Fallen Angels

“It’s harder to make someone laugh than it is to make them cry.” ~ Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon

“There was no skin on my voice and she heard the bones in my words.” ~ Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon

“I don’t think the world is the way we like to think it is. I don’t think it’s one solid world, but many, thousands upon thousands of them–as many as there are people–because each person perceives the world in his or her own way; each lives in his or her own world. Sometimes they connect, for a moment, or more rarely, for a lifetime, but mostly we are alone, each living in our own world, suffering our small deaths.” ~ Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot

“I hate the thought of her being forced into a box that doesn’t fit her. Of having her wings cut off, her sight blinded, her hearing muted, her voice stilled.” ~ Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot

“Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” ~ Charles de Lint, The Blue Girl

“She knew this music–knew it down to the very core of her being–but she had never heard it before. Unfamiliar, it had still always been there inside her, waiting to be woken. It grew from the core of mystery that gives a secret its special delight, religion its awe. It demanded to be accepted by simple faith, not dissected or questioned, and at the same time, it begged to be doubted and probed.” ~ Charles de Lint, The Little Country

“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” ~ Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“And even the most pleasant of dreams could be painful under the light of the morning sun.” ~ Christopher Golden, Sins of the Father

“Nobody else will ever be able to save me if I’m not fighting as hard as I can to save myself.” ~ Claudia Gray, Fateful

“We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.” ~ David Levithan, Every Day

“There will always be more questions. Every answer leads to more questions. The only way to survive is to let some of them go.” ~ David Levithan, Every Day

“‘I think we ought to live happily ever after,’ and she thought he meant it. Sophie knew that living happily ever after with Howl would be a good deal more hair-raising than any storybook made it sound, though she was determined to try. ‘It should be hair-raising,’ added Howl.
“‘And you’ll exploit me,’ Sophie said.
“‘And then you’ll cut up all my suits to teach me.'” ~ Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle

“But maybe supposed to be was what was wrong. Maybe supposed to be was like a child’s drawing of a night sky–stars all aligned, a yellow moon–simple and pretty and nothing to do with reality.” ~ Deb Caletti, Wild Roses

“He walked close enough to hold hands and far enough away that words could never repair the damage we’d done to each other.” ~ Elana Johnson, Possession

“It was like him, too, to love her and admit to it before he knew if she loved him. Maybe only mortals expected to barter their hearts.” ~ Emma Bull, War for the Oaks

“Every motion she made was slow, as if she’d never before put her arms around a man, and didn’t know for certain where everything fit. When at last they were pressed close, she didn’t think she’d know how to let go when the time came. They summarized the course of passion with kisses: a chaste, half-frightened brush of the lips metamorphosed into something fierce and fast-burning, which in its turn became a more patient, more intimate touch, full of inquiry and shared pleasure.” ~ Emma Bull, War for the Oaks

“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” ~ Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it’s really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours.” ~ Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.” ~ Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“When your soul-whatever that is anyway-something so alive when you make music or love and so mysteriously hidden most of the rest of the time, so colorful and big but without color or shape-when your soul finds another soul it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it. The rest of you just feels sweaty and jumpy at first. And your souls get married without even meaning to-even if you can’t be together for some reason in real life, your souls just go ahead and make the wedding plans.” ~ Francesca Lia Block, Dangerous Angels

“But be careful; sand is already broken but glass breaks. The shoes are for dancing, not running away.” ~ Francesca Lia Block, The Rose and the Beast, Fairy Tales Retold

“Magic is in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us–like electricity and horses and steam.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“I wished she’d never stop squeezing me. I wished I could spend the rest of my life as a child, being slightly crushed by someone who loved me.” ~ Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

“Does the walker choose the path or the path choose the walker?” ~ Garth Nix, Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr

“Fear and realisation of ignorance, strong medicines against stupid pride.” ~ Garth Nix, Sabriel

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

“There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: ‘Not today.'” ~ George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ~ George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“‘Sleep is good,’ he said, ‘and books are better.'” ~ George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

“Fear cuts deeper than swords.” ~ George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“And that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s how we manage to survive the loss. Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it.” ~ Gayle Forman, If I Stay

“Adam is crying and somewhere inside of me I am crying, too, because I’m feeling things at last. I’m feeling not just the physical pain, but all that I have lost, and it is profound and catastrophic and will leave a crater in me that nothing will ever fill.” ~ Gayle Forman, If I Stay

“It’s like the piano and the cello are being poured into my body, the same way the IV and blood transfusions are. And the memories of my life as it was, and the flashes of it as it might be, are coming so fast and furious. I feel like I can no longer keep up with them but they keep coming and everything is colliding, until I cannot take anymore. Until I cannot be like this a second longer.” ~ Gayle Forman, If I Stay

“Sleep would be so welcome. A warm blanket of black to erase everything else. Sleep without dreams. I’ve heard people talk about the sleep of the dead. Is that what death would feel like? The nicest, warmest, heaviest never-ending nap? If that’s what it’s like, I wouldn’t mind. If that’s what dying is like, I wouldn’t mind that at all.” ~ Gayle Forman, If I Stay

“And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuttered building until we feel the vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her gasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her neck is exposed. I want to rip my hands through her hair until her breath is labored. I want to make her cry and then lick up the tears. And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all the things she can’t understand.” ~ Gayle Forman, Where She Went

“I needed to hate someone and you’re the one I love the most, so it fell on you.” ~ Gayle Forman, Where She Went

“You were so busy trying to be my savior that you left me all alone.” ~ Gayle Forman, Where She Went

“He had no memory of a beginning—of a mother or father, sister or brother. His life was simply there, at Saint Anthony’s, and what he remembered began in the middle of things—the smell of boiled sheets and lye; the taste of watery oatmeal; the feel of dropping a brick onto a piece of stone, watching the red pieces split off, then using those broken shards to write on the wall of the monastery, and being slapped for this, and being forced to wash the dust away with a cold, wet rag.” ~ Hannah Tinti, The Good Thief

“You shall dance…dance in your red shoes until you become pale and thin. Dance till the skin on your face turns yellow and clings to your bones as if you were a skeleton. Dance you shall from door to door, and when you pass a house where proud and vain children live, there you shall knock on the door so that they will see you and fear your fate. Dance, you shall dance…Dance!” ~ Hans Christian Anderson, The Red Shoes, The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~ Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“She knew what it felt like to tremble like that before touching someone-desire so acute that it became despair.” ~ Holly Black, Ironside

“The more powerful you become, the more others will find ways to master you. They’ll do it through those you love and those you hate. They will find the bit and the bridle that fits your mouth and will make you yield.” ~ Holly Black, Ironside

“You are the only thing I have that is neither duty nor obligation, the only thing I chose for myself. The only thing I want.” ~ Holly Black, Ironside

“Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath.” ~ Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere

“I wish my shadow would get up and walk beside me.” ~ Jandy Nelson, The Sky is Everywhere

“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.” ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout, Obsidian

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” ~ J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” ~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“But she also knew that in the village of Malbry-as in the whole of the Strond Valley-certain things were never discussed, and that included anything curious, uncanny, or unnatural in any way. To be imaginative was considered almost as bad as giving oneself airs, and even dreams were hated and feared, for it was through dreams (or so the Good Book said) that the Seer-folk had crossed over from Chaos, and it was in Dream that the power of the Faerie remained, awaiting its chance to re-enter the world.” ~ Joanne Harris, Runemarks

“But understanding a thing and accepting it are so very different things.” ~ Kat Zhang, What’s Left of Me

“He stood in the small patch of light making its sullen way through the open flap of the tent. He let the fortuneteller take his hand. She examined it closely, moving her eyes back and forth and back and forth, as if there were a whole host of very small words inscribed there, an entire book about Peter Augustus Duchene composed atop his palm.” ~ Kate DiCamillo, The Magician’s Elephant

“The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination. Imagination has a poor memory; it slinks away and goes blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.” ~ Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood

“‘It’s not reasonable to love people who are only going to die,’ she said.
“Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small’s neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement.
“‘I have two responses to that,’ he said at last. ‘First, everyone is going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reason I loved my father.’ He looked at her keenly. ‘Did you love yours?’
“‘Yes,’ she whispered.” ~ Kristin Cashore, Fire

“Something caught in her throat at this second thanks, when she’d threatened him so brutally. When you’re a monster, she thought, you are thanked and praised for not behaving like a monster. She would like to restrain from cruelty and receive no admiration for it.” ~ Kristin Cashore, Graceling

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.” ~ Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

“I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.” ~ Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight

“Dead souls dream only of death. Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is.” ~ Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight

“I want to build spires in their minds and dance shadows through like marionettes, chased by whispers and hints of the unspeakable.” ~ Laini Taylor, Night of Cake & Puppets

“Trust is a careless pursuit at best. At worst, it’s a good way to get yourself killed.” ~ Lauren Kate, Fallen

“My angel-boy is close now, as in five-feet-away close. There’s no way I’m going to burst into song in front of him. But then the contrary part of me says, you’re going to let a boy keep you from singing out loud? Sing, sister! Sing!
“So I do, and my angel-boy turns his head.” ~ Lauren Myracle, Bliss

“Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.” ~ Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

“This is where you can find your soul if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you’ve never dared look at before. Do not come here and ask me to show you how to draw a face. Ask me to help you find the wind.” ~ Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

“When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.” ~ Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

“Here stands a girl clutching a knife. There is grease on the stove, blood in the air, and angry words piled in the corners. We are trained not to see it, not to see any of it.” ~ Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

“I am spinning the silk threads of my story, weaving the fabric of my world…I spun out of control. Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest.” ~ Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

“The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.” ~ Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm

“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” ~ Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events

“She scuffed her feet as she wandered up Eighth Avenue, reluctant to make her way uptown to the fourth-floor walk-up that she now called home. Except that home was something else. It was sky and grass and the trees of the woods outside her old window, and peace.” ~ Lesley Livingston, Wondrous Strange

“‘That’s the reason they’re called lessons,’ the Gryphon remarked, ‘because they lessen from day to day.'” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.” ~ Libba Bray, A Great and Terrible Beauty

“When the music is over, she keeps her head down till she finds her seat again, and I wonder how many times each day she dies a little.” ~ Libba Bray, A Great and Terrible Beauty

“These are hard times. The world hurts. We live in fear and forget to walk with hope. But hope has not forgotten you. So ask it to dinner. It’s probably hungry and would appreciate the invitation.” ~ Libba Bray, Going Bovine

“In a world like this one, only the random makes sense.” ~ Libba Bray, Going Bovine

“The dark does not weep for itself because there is no light. Rather, it accepts that it is the dark.” ~ Libba Bray, Going Bovine

“And for a moment, I understand that I have friends on this lonely path; that sometimes your place is not something you find, but something you have when you need it.” ~ Libba Bray, Rebel Angels

“Why is it that some secrets can drown you while some pull you close to others in a way you never want to lose?” ~ Libba Bray, Rebel Angels

“It is funny how you do not miss affection until it is given, but once it is, it can never be enough; you would drown in it if possible.” ~ Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

“A gentle breeze catches in the branches then and I hear it, soft and low, a murmured prayer–Gem-ma, Gem-ma–and then the leaves bend down and trail delicate fingers across my cold cheeks.” ~ Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

“Peace is not happenstance. It is a living fire that must be fed constantly. It must be tended to with vigilance, else it dies out.” ~ Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

“Around us the night creatures have their say. We are surrounded by a symphony of crickets and frogs. Neither of us feels the need to speak, and I suppose that is one of the qualities I find comforting in Kartik. We can be alone together.” ~ Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

“When she can’t bring me to heal with scolding, she bends me to shape with guilt.” ~ Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

“Most of us are called upon to perform tasks far beyond what we believe we can do. Our capabilities seldom match our aspirations, and we are often woefully unprepared. To this extent, we are all Assistant Pig-Keepers at heart.” ~ Lloyd Alexander, The Book of Three

“It seemed to travel with her, to sweep her aloft in the power of song, so that she was moving in glory among the stars, and for a moment she, too, felt that the words Darkness and Light had no meaning, and only this melody was real.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.
” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

“And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

“If you never saw the stars, candles were enough.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

“I want to reflect everything about you, and I never want to be too blind or too ancient to keep your profound wavering image with me. I want to unfold. I don’t want to be folded anywhere, because there, where I’m folded, I am a lie.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver

“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races

“My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races

“The truth is, until you know any different, the island is enough. Actually, I know different. And it’s still enough.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races

“Courage is fear holding out for just a few minutes longer.” ~ Marcia Byalick, Quit It

“Maybe everyone can live beyond what they’re capable of.” ~ Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger

“It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow. Like it had pulled it on, the way you pull on a sweater. Next to the train line, footprints were sunken to their shins. Trees wore blankets of ice.
“As you might expect, someone had died.” ~ Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“Words and sunlight. That’s how she remembered it. The light sparkling on the road and the words like waves, breaking on her back.” ~ Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” ~ Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“The last thing the justice system is, is just.” ~ Megan Shepherd, The Madman’s Daughter

“‘Do you ever wonder if what you look at is the same thing everyone else is seeing?’
“He went even stiller at her side. ‘Sometimes I’m sure it isn’t the same…but that’s not so bad is it? Seeing the world in a different way?’
“‘Creative vision creates art.’ He motioned around the gallery. ‘That shows the rest of the world a new angle. That’s a beautiful thing.’
” ~ Melissa Marr, Ink Exchange

“What does it mean when nightmares dream of peace? When shadows wish for light?” ~ Melissa Marr, Ink Exchange

“Mortals are such fragile things. Just tender feelings walking around exposed in their delicate shells…Easy to crush.” ~ Melissa Marr, Wicked Lovely

“I was brought up in Darkest Peru. By my aunt Lucy. She’s the one that lives in the home for retired bears.” ~ Michael Bond, Paddington Bear

“Perhaps his gloom was due to his profession, that he lived among fallen empires, and in reading these languages that had not been spoken by the common man in centuries, he had all about him the ruin of language, evidence of toppled suburbs, grass growing among the mosaics, and voices that had been choked with poison, iron, age, or ash.” ~ M.T. Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavious Nothing

“To participate, then, in the pomp of the orchestra, in the full scintillation thereof, was in the highest degree thrilling. Is this not the image of the perfect republic — each instrument singing its wonted melody, endeavoring at once to express its part, and, in the same instance to conform its voice to the conversation of the whole?” ~ M.T. Anderson, The Kingdom on the Waves

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses it turning.” ~ Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

“Today is the day tomorrow becomes, and yesterday used to be.” ~ Natalie Babbitt, The Search for Delicious

“Nothing was said. Just a silence in reply, that echoed of dust and loneliness.” ~ Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.” ~ Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: The Kindly Ones

“She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.” ~ Neil Gaiman, Stardust

“Most dreams are a tangle of things: foreground and background, subject and object. I once had a dream in which I was chasing a mad clown around Saint Patrick’s cathedral, which was also my old high school. And after a while I was the clown they were chasing.” ~ Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Fables & Reflections

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” ~ Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

“Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.” ~ Pablo Neruda

“As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin.” ~ Pablo Neruda

“It was a place of brilliant sunlight, never undappled. Shafts of lemon-gold brilliance lanced down to the forest floor between bars and pools of brown-green shade; and the light was never still, never constant, because drifting mist would often float among the treetops, filtering all the sunlight to a pearly sheen and brushing every pine cone with moisture that glistened when the mist lifted. Sometimes the wetness in the clouds condensed into tiny drops half mist and half rain, which floated downward rather than fell, making a soft rustling patter among the millions of needles.” ~ Phillip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials

“Truly honorable death, the only honorable death, is one that enables life.” ~ Rae Carson, The Girl of Fire and Thorns

“Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and mildly socially retarded, I’m a complete disaster.” ~ Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.” ~ Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

“That very next morning, when there was nothing left of the Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent, this ‘satiable Elephant’s Child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the little short red kind), and a hundred pounds of sugar-cane (the long purple kind), and seventeen melons (the greeny-crackly kind), and said to all his dear families, ‘Goodbye. I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner.’ And they all spanked him once more for luck, though he asked them most politely to stop.” ~ Rudyard Kipling, The Elephant’s Child

“She must have seen more of my charm than my strangeness tonight.” ~ Stephanie Kuehn, Charm & Strange

“Because blood is blood, and every family has its own force. Its own flavor. Its own charm and strange.” ~ Stephanie Kuehn, Charm & Strange

“I knew, in the silence that followed, that anything could happen here. It might be too late: again, I might have missed my chance. But I would at least know I tried, that I took my heart and extended my hand, whatever the outcome.
“‘Okay,’ he said. He took a breath. ‘What would you do, if you could do anything?’
“I took a step toward him, closing the space between us. ‘This,’ I said. And then I kissed him.” ~ Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

“That was the thing. You just never knew. Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really all about. It was twenty minutes, or a hundred years, or just the instant, or any instant I wished would last and last. But there was only one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening. Right then, as I ran with Wes into that bright sun, and every moment afterwards. Look, there. Now. Now. Now.” ~ Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

“The shuddering little pool of light that traveled just ahead of her had started out pretty dim, and it was fading out like Tinkerbell full of poisoned cake.” ~ Scott Westerfeld, Midnighters: Touching Darkness

“Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence.” ~ Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” ~ Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

“My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.” ~ Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

“Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.” ~ Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me

“In the bus’s air-conditioned climate, I could look out and enjoy the beauty, but knowing the heavy humidity that hung just outside the huge glass windows made me nervous. The landscape looked so civilized and tame, it was hard to reconcile it with the exotic, nearly tropical humidity in the air. I never felt anything like that lethargy that settled over me when I stepped outside the airport with my bags. I couldn’t breathe; the air was as thick as soup.” ~ Tammar Stein, Light Years

“Rules and school are tools for fools! I don’t give two mules for rules.” ~ Trenton Lee Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society

“Man’s principle trait is a readiness to believe anything.” ~ Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetery

“People are never so completely and enthusiastically evil as when they act out of religious conviction.” ~ Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetery

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” ~ Veronica Roth, Divergent

“We both have war inside us. Sometimes it keeps us alive. Sometimes it threatens to destroy us.” ~ Veronica Roth, Insurgent

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