Friday, August 16, 2013

The best quotes from the books I've read this year

I think I've mentioned in a post or two this year that I'm reading more. It's been great. I read novels, business books, self-help, and non-fiction. I like the variety. I think it's helped me with my writing too. Not here, obviously, but at work and on other projects.

So I thought it would be fun to gather some of quotes from most of the books I've read this year and put them here for all of you. Maybe they'll inspire. Maybe they'll make you want to read. Maybe they'll give you a peek into my psyche.

Who knows?

“I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I've never met an ordinary man, woman or child.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

“My daddy always told me to just do the best you knew how and tell the truth. He said there was nothin to set a man’s mind at ease like wakin up in the morning and not havin to decide who you were. And if you done somethin wrong just stand up and say you done it and say you’re sorry and get on with it. Don’t haul stuff around with you.” ― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

“The story is not in the words; it's in the struggle.” ― Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy

“...being happy and fulfilled is probably one of the most attractive traits you can offer a partner.”
― Amir Levine, Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” ― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

“He was there for you, and yet at the same time he was inaccessible. You felt there was a secret core in him that could never be penetrated, a mysterious center of hiddenness. To imitate him was somehow to participate in that mystery, but it was also to understand that you could never really know him.” ― Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy

“Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth--penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images ... Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.” ― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

“When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life.” ― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

“Anyone too undisciplined, too self-righteous or too self-centered to live in the world as it is has a tendency to idealize a world which ought to be. But no matter what political or religious direction such idealists choose, their visions always share one telling characteristic: in their utopias, heavens or brave new worlds, their greatest personal weakness suddenly appears to be a strength.” ― David James Duncan, The Brothers K

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” ― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

“Logical validity is not a guarantee of truth.” ― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.” ― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

“Basically, secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving; anxious people crave intimacy, are often preoccupied with their relationships, and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back; avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.” ― Amir Levine, Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love

“[On having a rival] Women intrinsically understand human dynamics, and that makes them unstoppable. Unfortunately, the average man is less adroit at fostering such rivalries, which is why most men remain average; males are better at hating things that can't hate them back (e.g., lawnmowers, cats, the Denver Broncos, et cetera). They don't see the big picture.” ― Chuck Klosterman, Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.” ― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things - that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It's a discipline; you have to practice it. [Steve Jobs]” ― Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon.” ― Daniel H. Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

“One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are. [Steve Jobs]” ― Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.” ― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

“You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard. ... How promising you are as a Student of the Game is a function of what you can pay attention to without running away.” ― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

What are some of your favorite books this year? Do you have a favorite quote you try to live by?

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