Top Ten: Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was my top ten fourteen favorite book quotes. [Note: I did a Five Favorite post on quotes two years ago and three of those five show up here. LOLOL. #sorrynotsorry]

[Bran] looked up. Wrapped in his furs and leathers, mounted on his great warhorse, his lord father loomed over him like a giant. “Robb says the man died bravely, but Jon says he was afraid.”
“What do you think?” his father asked.
Bran thought about it.“Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
“That is the only time a man can be brave,” his father told him.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Perhaps some unbelievable guest would arrive, a person infinitely rare and to be marvelled at, some authentically radiant young girl who with one fresh glance at Gatsby, one moment of magical encounter, would blot out those five years of unwavering devotion.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I watched her for a long time, memorizing her shoulders, her long-legged gait. This was how girls left. They packed up their suitcases and walked away in high heels. They pretended they weren’t crying, that it wasn’t the worst day of their lives. That they didn’t want their mothers to come running after them, begging their forgiveness, that they wouldn’t have gone down on their knees and thanked God if they could stay.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

I wrote her college application essays, and she did my phone interviews. I called her immediately prior to taking my SATs, flying across the Atlantic, and losing my virginity. I have called from the post office, the grocery story, the DMV, the parkway toll plaza, elevators, cabs, the bathroom of the boy with the smallest penis I’ve ever seen. I do not know how to need her any less than I do.

Smart Girls like Me by Diane Vadino

If I was telling this story to the girls from back home, I would have to explain to them how it was possible to be drowning in a river of people and also to feel so very, very alone. But truly, I do not think I would have the words.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

“Tell me, then,” she said, unbuckling her seat belt and putting her arm around his waist. “Tell me now, won’t you ever wonder what it would have been like to be with someone else?”
“First, buckle up,” he said. She did. “I won’t wonder that because I already know what it would be like to be with someone else.”
“How do you know?” she said.
“I just do.”
“Then, what would it be like?”
“It would be less,” he said.
“Less?”
He looked over at her, just for a second, sitting sideways in her bucket seat, and squeezed the steering wheel. “It would have to be. I already love you so much. I already feel like something in my chest is going to pop when I see you. I couldn’t love anyone more than I do you, it would kill me. And I couldn’t love anyone less because it would always feel like less. Even if I loved some other girl, that’s all I would ever think about, the difference between loving her and loving you.”

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

To calm this girl down, to get her to listen, I tell her the story about my fish. This is fish number six hundred and forty-one in a lifetime of goldfish. My parents bought me the first one to teach me about loving and caring for another living, breathing creature of God. Six hundred and forty fish later, the only thing I know is everything you love will die. The first time you meet that someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground.

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

It wasn’t a small thing, to love a person. That was the gift she had offered him, had always offered him. And yet he had refused.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Sara waited a respectful time, knowing there was nothing she could do to ease the woman’s pain. Grief was a place, Sara understood, where a person went alone. It was like a room without doors, and what happened in that room, all the anger and the pain you felt, was meant to stay there, nobody’s business but yours.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

This morning, I had parents. This morning, they ate breakfast.
I fall to my knees, right there on the back stoop, howling into splayed hands.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

“So drive, Layla. I love you.” It’s a heavy load for those three words. Because what she means is I’m sorry. I’m sorry I was busy and I’m sorry I have to go inside and I might not see you again and I didn’t tell you enough that I’m proud of you, even though you do stupid shit, because it comes from the right place and that’s rare and precious, and you’ll grow up to be a good woman, and you won’t make the same dumb mistakes I did, you’ll make your own, but hopefully only to get you on course, and the world is greater and richer with you in it, sugarbean.

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

“You justify anarchy,” Tyler says. “You figure it out.”

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Words have a longevity I do not. I had thought I could leave her a series of letters – but what would they say? I don’t know what this girl will be like when she is fifteen; I don’t even know if she’ll take to the nickname we’ve given her. There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past.
That message is simple:
When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself… 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.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Five Favorite: Memoirs by Women

“Five Favorite” is a feature on thewasofshall where I lay out my five favorite “x”. Sometimes they’re relevant to a season or holiday, mostly they’re not. It’s an all-around fun excuse to give my 100% amazingly awesome opinion. To see previous (and future) topics, click here. To participate, scroll all the way down.

For Women’s History Month, I’ve been spotlighting books by or about women. For this last week, I want to focus on memoirs written by females because, well, why the hell not? Whether they’re laugh-out-loud funny, honest, heartbreaking, so something totally different, here are my five favorite.

BitterIsTheNewBlackBitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster

NotThatKindOfGirlNot That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

Persepolis
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
by Marjane Satrapi

WhatIWasDoingWhileYouWereBreedingWhat I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

YesPleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

Have your own five favorite memoirs by women? Share them! Post them to your blog, link back to this post, and then comment letting me know!

Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

YesPleaseTitle: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Rating: ★★★★
Summary: A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haiku from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers, Yes Please offers Amy Poehler’s thoughts on everything from her “too safe” childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and “the biz,” the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a “face for wigs.” Yes Please is a chock-full of words and wisdom to live by.


Amy Poehler is a funny lady (and if you don’t think so, maybe this blog isn’t for you). She’s smart and talented and unafraid to speak her mind or stand up for herself. And, boy, I did not know that I admired her until I started reading this book.

I mean, I think that it’s tough for anyone to write an interesting memoir, let alone someone who’s not only known for being funny, but also predominantly associated with sketch comedy, a medium which encourages the performer to use more than just his or her voice. So, Poehler isn’t just funny because of what she says, she’s funny because of the way she says it, or how her body moves while she says it, or the look she gives just after she finishes saying it. And that kind of humor is so totally hard to get across in print. (So, yeah, I’m a fan.)

Although Yes Please is technically a memoir, it doesn’t really feel like one. Poehler weaves past experiences into her most recent accomplishments, telling a thematic story instead of a linear one – interpreting her life instead of just regurgitating it. Her book is divided into loose essay-ish narratives punctuated by huge two-page quotes and hilarious photos while her writing is thoughtful, and brash, and foul, and frank, and, yes, funny. I want to be Poehler’s best friend and laugh at all her crude jokes. I want to let her know that she inspires me to be bolder, more honest, and, most importantly, less critical (of both myself and of others). She gives me courage to say the truth, even when that means admitting that I’ve fucked up. Her memoir isn’t just her story so far – it’s everything she’s learned while living that story, a story I really hope means another book will pop up someday down the road, complete with even funnier pictures and even dirtier humor.

In short, remember the titular directive: be polite and ask for what you want. (Yes please indeed.)

Five Favorite: Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Books

“Five Favorite” is a feature on thewasofshall where I lay out my five favorite “x”. Sometimes they’re relevant to a season or holiday, mostly they’re not. It’s an all-around fun excuse to give my 100% amazingly awesome opinion. To see previous (and future) topics, click here. To participate, scroll all the way down.

What makes something “funny” is a seriously suggestive and specific cocktail of sense of humor, timing, and vocabulary – something which print does not necessarily get across; punctuation just can’t always carry the weight of cadence or facial expression the way auditory and visual mediums do. Nevertheless, there are some books on my tbr list that purport to be funny enough that I at least crack a smile (if not actually laugh). Here are my five favorite.

DadIsFat

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

IsEveryoneHangingOutWithoutMeIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

NakedNaked by David Sedaris

NPH
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

YesPleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

Have your own five favorite LOL funny books? Share them! Post them to your blog, link back to this post, and then comment letting me know!