Tuesday, August 25, 2015

keeper of words: favorite quotes

I love the peculiar mind-locking sensation of hearing or reading a line or phrase in a song or a story that completely captures you. There's a visceral reaction when you comprehend and are struck by a perfectly written or spoken phrase. It catches you off guard with its wittiness or makes your heart skip a beat with its ferocity or poetic accuracy. My favorite books have those pockets of power over me. I've never been much of a highlighter, physically marking up or taking notes in my actual books, but I absolutely am an internal keeper of words. Special lines stay with me for months, sometimes years.

When I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, I went to work the next day and created a collage of all of my favorites quotes from that book to hang around my cubicle wall. I wanted to be completely surrounded by those thoughts, words, feelings. The beauty of that novel struck me dumb, and it was all about the words.

My husband and I were listening to The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch on audiobook (for the second time) on our drive home this weekend, and we were practically giddy with the crude, brilliant writing. We kept skipping back to hear pieces of it again and again. The wit, the stunning wit. It tumbles around in your mind until you're dizzy with it.

I can't get Locke Lamora out of my head, so I thought today's post would be dedicated to sharing some of my favorite book quotes. There are so many to choose from, but I hope some of the ones featured here catch your mind in that extravagant way and inspire you to read and breathe them all in. Especially if there are any books in this list you haven't yet read! Go forth and remedy that at once.

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Leisel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.

"You were the one who taught me," he said. "I never looked at you without seeing the sweetness of the way the world goes together, or without sorrow for its spoiling. I became a hero to serve you, and all that is like you."

It seemed she was in a cathedral—if, that is, the earth itself were to dream a cathedral into being over thousands of years of water weeping through stone.

I'm going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.

Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. 
When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.

"He must have known I'd want to leave you."
"No, he must have known you would always want to come back."

It gave her a creeping sense of impending aloneness, like she was some orphaned animal raised by do-gooders, soon to be released into the wild. 
She didn't want to be released into the wild. She wanted to be held dear.

Rose doesn’t like the flat country, but I always did – flat country seems to give the sky such a chance.

If he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, Lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing! He steals too much!

I am what I am. I would tell you what you want to know if I could, for you have been kind to me. But I am a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer.

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