And You Can Quote Me: A Top Ten List

This week’s top ten list (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) is whatever I feel like making a top ten list about. I haven’t compiled quotes I enjoy in quite a while (November 5th, 2012 to be exact), so that is what I am doing today.


In no particular order:

10. “Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.” Lady Chatterly’s Lover / D.H. Lawrence

9. “You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.” Lolita / Vladimir Nabokov

8. “For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can’t come to know by hearsay…” The Razor’s Edge / W. Somerset Maugham

7. “It’s weird to feel like you miss someone you’re not even sure you know.” Infinite Jest / David Foster Wallace

6. “’My God,’ he gasped, ‘you’re fun to kiss.’” Tender is the Night / F. Scott Fitzgerald

5. “The American upper middle-class citizen is a composite of negatives. He is largely delineated by what he is not.” Junky / William S. Borroughs

4. “I am going to tell you a secret. Everything is about wanting. Everything. Things happen because of people wanting. Watch closely, and you’ll see what I mean.” Ghostwritten / David Mitchell

3. “We were not a hugging people. In terms of emotional comfort it was our belief that no amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well-made cocktail.” Naked / David Sedaris

2. “Every man loves a hot girl with a history of making mistakes,” …“Because it’s always possible she’ll make one with you.” NOS4A2 / Joe Hill

1. “If I want to feel as if I’m being sucked down a fathomless gloomy tunnel for hours and hours then I have a complete set of Schopenhauer at home.” The Teleportation Accident / Ned Bauman

Bonus: “Have you got any soul?” a woman asks the next afternoon. That depends, I feel like saying; some days yes, some days no. A few days ago I was right out; now I’ve got loads, too much, more than I can handle. I wish I could spread it a bit more evenly, I want to tell her, get a better balance, but I can’t seem to get it sorted. I can see she wouldn’t be interested in my internal stock control problems though, so I simply point to where I keep the soul I have, right by the exit, just next to the blues.” High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Does anyone else find it odd that 4 of my 10 quotes came from writers named David? Entirely accidental…


44 thoughts on “And You Can Quote Me: A Top Ten List

  1. I need to do a better job of keeping track of good quotes while I read. I make my students do it, I really should too. By the way, I love that you have read Ghostwritten! I haven’t (my husband actually is right now), but I do love Mitchell.


    1. I found Ghostwritten to be really remarkable, I think I liked it (if that makes sense). It stuck with me a long time. I use those little fluorescent sticky tabs to mark passages I like, my books always look ridiculous.


  2. Interesting quote from Lady Chatterly’s Lover, I’ve never read the book so now I’m curious to check it out 😉

    I have Beauman’s The Teleportation Accident sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. Can’t wait to get to it! 😀

    Great list of quotes!

    My TTT


    1. I didn’t love Lady Chatterly’s Lover, but I did love that quote. I think Lawrence is worth reading once, if only to find out what the fuss is about.

      The Teleportation Accident is not for everyone, I doubt it’s even for most people so I’ll be curious to read what you think. My review is actually my previous post.


  3. Such a good idea to highlight your favorite quotes! And how funny that Davids are so quotable 🙂 I like the Infinite Jest and NOS4A2 quotes quite a lot. Thanks for sharing these.


    1. NOS4A2 is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year and I happen to love that quote, I think it is applicable to both men and women. There is something sweet about being with that one person who makes everything right in the world – even if it ends up being a mistake.

      I don’t think people can fix each other, but I do think they can compliment each other in such a way to make the world a better place. Obviously I’m feeling quite philosophical tonight, must be the holiday…


    1. #3, that is exactly how it’s done in my family. Things a little awkward – have a drink. You’re a little upset – have a drink. Everything will seem better at the bottom of the wine bottle…(except the morning).

      I actually think #4 is quite accurate. The world functions on what people want (and, in turn, what they cannot have).

      I could probably somehow include High Fidelity on every list, but I refrain in the interest of remaining interesting (at least to myself, if no one else). As you know, I feel it can get a bit irritating to see the same book on every list…


      1. Oh, David Sedaris must be hard for you to read then? Ablutions might be also – although it’s -not really family related so might be easier.

        I’ve been reflecting on the idea of what people want in the book I’m currently writing.


      2. Oddly enough, I relate quite well to most of his stories. Especially the Greek ones, as my father’s half of the family was from Greece. I promise you his Greek grandmother stories are entirely true. My father, clearly not the best of men, could do no wrong in her eyes, And I was ‘the girl’ (had I been a male child…)

        His books do always make me wish I was part of a large family though. I only have one brother and I’m a decade older than him.

        You’re new book sounds interesting, at least with the elements you’ve shared so far…


    1. Obviously The Great Gatsby is his most famous, but I like Tender Is the Night almost as much – and that quote, of course.

      It would be lovely to be recipient of that type of compliment, but everyday speech is not conducive to those types of compliments anymore.


    1. I love that one. It’s funny and sweet and charming and true.

      I love compiling quotes, it can distill so many thoughts that I cannot put into words. I suppose that is why those authors are published and why I would never attempt to write a book,


    1. I have a love-hate relationship with the book. When I finished reading it I was so mad and hated it, but whenever I think back on it now (years later), I think of it fondly. So I like it, retrospectively.

      I also happen to think the quote is quite apt in our technology driven world.


    1. Lolita can be a lot of fun to read, aside from the subject matter which I would hesitate to ever describe as fun. But Nabokov has an appreciation of language which I enjoy, made more amazing by the fact that English was not his native language.


  4. Lovely! I can’t think of anything at all to comment that will reflect exactly how interesting these are so I will be overly wordy about it and leave it at that. (I swear I will read Infinite Jest someday. someday)


    1. Those are my favorite kind of comments. Most of my comments (and my reviews and lists, for that matter) consist of a significant number of words conveying no real point – so I applaud and appreciate others who make the same kind of effort.

      In regards to Infinite Jest, only read it if you feel you must. The working title of that novel was A Failed Entertainment, which is what it strives to be. There are plenty of better books out there that need to be read. I actually quite enjoy DFW’s short stories if you looking for a place to start.

      Can I make my comment longer? Yes I can – by telling you that thank you for referring to my list as lovely. It is one of my favorite words and one of my most overused words (right alongside adore/adored/adoration and quite).


    1. If you felt like reading a book that wasn’t quite your typical genre, I recommend that one. It’s horror in the sense that it has a nosferatu type villain, but it is significantly more complex than that. Plus the family dynamic between mother and son and mother and father is fantastic. Joe Hill is also quite punny, which I not so secretly enjoy.


    1. In my effort to keep track, I admit I abuse my books. I used to be a margin writer, but I’ve broken that habit (though occasionally I find myself making little notes, especially if it is a review copy). It seems so wrong to deface the pages…


    1. Thanks, I love reading books set in the Jazz Age. Though every time I read one, I want to cut my hair, which I am working very hard to grow out (if not cutting you hair can be said to be work…).


    1. Actually, of all the quotes, I think those two are the most true, though my favorite might be the one from Junky. I don’t know – it’s too hard to choose! Thankfully the nature of a list means choosing more than one, though I couldn’t even limit it to ten.


      1. Get Evernote! It’s excellent for such things. Also you can put quotes you love on Goodreads.


    1. Interesting is a good (and suitable) word for it. I can’t find it romantic and it’s not quite a love story…it’s just interesting and as someone else on here said the whole first chapter is great. There’s quite a bit of word play in it, which I find enjoyable.


    1. In what is probably a personal record, I have not mentioned Jane Eyre since May 13. It’s been tough, but no worries. I’m sure I will come up with something as I am reading Wide Sargasso Sea right now. Oh Edward…

      (he is not cast in a favorable light)


      1. I think Wide Sargasso Sea is a good book and has an interesting perspective to tell..BUT I don’t really buy it is as a prequel to Jane Eyre because I think Edward is portrayed too harshly..the person who was too good to allow Bertha to go to the madhouse and risked himself to save her from death..I don’t think would ever be as harsh as that Edward is.


    1. Goodreads has helped me, but I am not very good about keeping it updated. Actually, I am not very good at keeping up with much social media wise (save Twitter, where all the drama keeps me entertained), which is why lists like these are good for me.


  5. I should definitely start a quote book. I used to have one. I love the Sedaris quote, and the whole first chapter of Lolita is gorgeous.


    1. I should start something like that, currently I either mark the page or email it to myself (or worse, text it to myself because I can never remember where my notes icon is).

      There’s nothing a good cocktail can’t fix and consuming one is significantly less awkward than hugging. 🙂


    1. You were comment no. 2000. Congratulations, there’s no prize except knowing you made me happy (which, really, is reward enough – right?!?).

      I don’t love that book, but I do love that particular quote.


  6. I love all of these so much! And you included a Fitzgerald quote! That makes me super happy 😀 I really need to get around to reading more Joe Hill! I’ve only read his Heart-Shaped Box. And High Fidelity is on my Ipad but I have yet to read it. No excuses! Great list, Rory!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: