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  • Jenny Shank 7:45 pm on 2018/02/14 Permalink
    Tags: , love sweet love, quotes, , ,   

    7 Lines from Classic Literature for Incurable Romantics 

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    If you’re looking for the perfect sentiment about love for Valentine’s Day, and greeting cards and conversation hearts just aren’t cutting it, why not turn to classic literature for some insights on romance? Here are seven timeless quotes on love.

    “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” –Aristotle, derived from The Symposium, by Plato
     Ever since people have been people, they’ve been thinking about love. Witness this idea, which Aristotle said was sparked by his mentor, Plato, in his work, The Symposium, a fictional dialogue between Socrates and his buddies about love written more than 2300 years ago. This philosophical dinner party banter is credited with inspiring the idea of “soul mates.”

    “If you wish to be loved, love.” Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, by Seneca the Younger
    In this collection of 124 letters that Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC–AD 65) wrote late in life, he quotes this sage and simple love advice, which he attributes to stoic philosopher Hecato of Rhodes. Two thousand years later, it still rings true.

    Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs/ Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes.” –Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
    However lovelorn a teen might be, there’s no way he’s as lovelorn as Romeo and Juliet. Here’s a line in which Romeo muses about the nature of love while chatting with his cousin Benvolio.

    “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” –Pensées, by Blaise Pascal
    Seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and inventor Blaise Pascal was big on logic and reason, but as one of the most famous lines in his Pensées suggests, he threw logic out the window when it came to love.

    “It is best to love wisely, no doubt; but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all.” –The History of Perdennis, by William Makepeace Thackeray 
    Thackeray was a British novelist during the Victorian era, best known for his novel Vanity Fair, first published as a serial from 1847 to 1848. He followed it up with another serial, The History of Perdennis (18481850), which includes this nugget of wisdom.

    “Love flowers best in openness and freedom.” –Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey
    Edward Abbey is best known as a cranky defender of nature, not a writer given to pondering love, but this line from 1968’s Desert Solitaire is as mushy as they come. Abbey’s rep remains intact, though—he was talking about desert plants, not people. The full quote: “The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom.”

    “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.” –Jazz, by Toni Morrison
    Toni Morrison shows she knows a thing or two about love—forbidden, brutal, sweet, selfless, and otherwise—in her many fine novels. Forbidden love turns violent in this unforgettable novel set in Harlem in the 1920s.

    The post 7 Lines from Classic Literature for Incurable Romantics appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jen Harper 8:30 pm on 2016/05/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , quotes   

    7 Book Quotes that Would Make Great Campaign Slogans 

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    It’s election season! Yes, still. And now that the field of candidates has narrowed, perhaps you’re mourning the loss of slogans like “Jeb!”—that exclamation point was everything. But we’ve still got some gems in the running—like the ominous “A Political Revolution is Coming” (Bernie Sanders), the demanding “Make America Great Again!” (Donald Trump), the don’t-you-know-who-I-am? “Hillary for America” (Hillary Clinton), and the I-want-to-hold-your-hand “Be Libertarian with Me” (Gary Johnson).

    But what if all the candidates decided to pull book quotes for their slogans instead? It would definitely be a lot more fun, and potentially insightful into what makes these people tick—and what books are sitting on their nightstands. Check out some of our picks for book quotes that would make incredible campaign slogans.

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” (The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss)
    For the nature-loving candidate who speaks in rhyme all the time.

    “Stay gold, Ponyboy.” (The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton)
    For the candidate who believes in a simpler time and holding onto all that is good and pure—and who doesn’t mind “Ponyboy” being in his or her slogan.

    “We’re all mad here.” (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll)
    For the candidate who wants to fully acknowledge that we’re all totally nuts in our own special way.

    “I volunteer as tribute!” (The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins)
    For the candidate who understands the true costs of getting elected.

    “The world you desire can be won. It exists…it is real…it is possible.. it’s yours.” (Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand)
    For the fight-the-power, empower-the-people candidate who loves really long books and lots of ellipses.

    “I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!” (The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper)
    For the cautiously optimistic candidate who has a kitten poster that says “Hang in there!” in his or her office.

    “Don’t panic.” (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams)
    For the super-anxious candidate who seriously can’t even handle the fact that he or she is going to have the nuclear codes.

  • Ginni Chen 6:30 pm on 2016/04/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , fictional wisdom, , quotes,   

    Can You Guess the Fictional Character By Their Yearbook Quote? 

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    It’s that time of year, when bright-eyed seniors on the verge of leaving the academic coop put together their yearbook pages. Between the “thank you’s” and the “I love you’s” and the “OMG ROTFL’s,” every cap-and-gown-clad student feels compelled to pass on some words of wisdom that sum up their life view. Some quotes are inspiring, some are less so, but everyone strives for words that give readers a sense of who they truly are.

    As the class of 2016 ponders what quotes they’ll leave as their legacy, we thought it would be fun to imagine what fictional characters would’ve said on their yearbook pages. Test your book cred by guessing which fictional character belongs to each of these perfect yearbook quotes.

    1. This fantastically clever character’s yearbook page says this to his loving friends and family: “I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.”

    2. This character would get a kick out of quoting his girlfriend on his yearbook page, leaving underclassmen the following words of wisdom (attributed to her, of course): “It’s leviOsa, not levioSA!”

    3. This character is unpersuaded by peer pressure to change even when deemed a “nerd,” and would say: “Nothing else has any efficacy, I might as well be myself.”

    4. This character would come back from the strangest senior trip involving the most bizarre encounters, and would sum it up rather philosophically: “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

    5. This commitment-phobic party girl would have bounced out of school the day after graduation for the Big City, leaving behind this quote: “I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together.”

    6. This character would start to unravel toward the end of school and nobody would seem to notice. He’d leave behind this cryptic yearbook quote: “I have to return some videotapes.”

    7. This manifesto-writing, riot-inducing, hot-dog loving character would toss one last insult at his classmates in his yearbook quote: “I mingle with my peers or no one, and since I have no peers, I mingle with no one.”

    8. This mischievous character soars above the rest of the class and seeks adventure wherever he goes. Before he takes off, he’d say to his schoolmates, “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”

    9. This character is a little less hopeful about the future than his peers. He’s little sad for the past, a little bit in love, and a little worried about what’s ahead. His parting words would be “Develop a sense of nostalgia for something, or you’ll never figure out what’s important.”

    10. This character is the rich eccentric kid in class, but truly means well and has a heart of gold. Before leaving on a strange philanthropic adventure, this character’s yearbook quote would say, “Many, many good things have I bought! Many, many bad things have I fought!”

    11. This mistake-prone yet lovable character would graduate from school at the top of the class, and would share the following optimistic outlook: “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

    12. This character would ask classmates to think of the world and their responsibility to future generations. This character would want a yearbook quote that inspires awareness and change, something like: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

    13. This character isn’t a big fan of school, but isn’t happy about graduating either, because it means entering the grownup world. Their yearbook quote would speak the truth about getting older, “Grown-ups never have any fun. All they have is a lot of dull work and stupid clothes and corns and nincom tax.”


    1. Mr. Fox, from Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl
    2. Ron Weasley, from The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
    3. Oscar De Leon, from The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
    4. Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
    5. Holly Golightly, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote
    6. Patrick Bateman, from American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
    7. Ignatius Reilly, from A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
    8. Peter Pan, from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
    9. Lenny Abramov, from Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
    10. Eliot Rosewater, from God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
    11. Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
    12. The Once-ler, from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
    13. Pippi Longstocking, from Pippi in the South Seas, by Astrid Lindgren

    How many did you get right?

  • Heidi Fiedler 3:45 pm on 2016/02/12 Permalink
    Tags: , off the beaten path, quotes, ,   

    The 10 Best Literary Quotes for Your Valentine’s Day Card 

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    Despite the naysayers, Valentine’s Day is still an occasion to celebrate the one you love and to tell them exactly how you feel. As you hold your feathered quill over a card for your beloved, worn but beloved phrases like, “Let me count the ways” may come to mind, but if you’re writing sweet nothings for a fellow book nerd, you may want to dig a little deeper. Here are ten ways to say those three little words and avoid the dreaded “You shouldn’t have” reply. (Hint: If you tuck your card inside one of these books, you’ll have a love letter and a gift all wrapped up together!) Get to it, love birds.

    “I Carry Your Heart with Me,” by E.E. Cummings

    “here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
    I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”

    Save Me the Waltz, by Zelda Fitzgerald

    “Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”

    The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss

    “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

    This Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen

    “No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater…The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key. It’s like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.”

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

    “She had an overwhelming desire to tell him, like the most banal of women. Don’t let me go, hold me tight, make me your plaything, your slave, be strong! But they were words she could not say. The only thing she said when he released her from his embrace was, ‘You don’t know how happy I am to be with you.’ That was the most her reserved nature allowed her to express.”

    Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami

    “If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.”

    A Room with a View, by E.M. Forster

    “You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”

    The Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan

    “I love and am loved, fully and freely, nothing expected, more than enough received.”

    All About Love, by bell hooks

    “Love is an action, never simply a feeling.”

     This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett

    “The love between humans is the thing that nails us to this earth.”









    What are your favorite literary quotes about love?

  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2015/12/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , old school, , quotes   

    10 Great Literary Quotes to Add to This Year’s Christmas Card 

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    Once again it’s December, and that means, in the immortal words of American poet Tom Petty, it’s Christmas all over again. No matter how digitally sleek and cloud-based the world becomes, at Christmas we all devolve to a more primitive state where things we can touch and feel have value; no one gets excited about getting a Christmas ecard, after all, but a real, actual old-school Christmas card? Maybe it’s due to distant memories of finding $5 bills from our grandparents inside, but everyone gets excited about those.

    Ah, but what to write in your old-school cards? You can’t be one of those lazy folks who scrawls MERRY XMAS and your indecipherable signature. You need an appropriate quote, selected not just for the season but also for the recipient. As always, books have your back—here are a few suggestions for the perfect Christmas card quote.

    For anyone who dreads that trip home at the holidays: “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” (Exiles, by Garrison Keillor)
    It’s a strange twist that most of our Christmas celebrations include a lot of stuff we’d rather not be doing—and Keillor, as usual, just gets that, offering the perfect comforting quote.

    For anyone who can’t be where they want to be at Christmas: “Call a truce, then, to our labors—let us feast with friends and neighbors, and be merry as the custom of our caste; for if faint and forced the laughter, and if sadness follow after, we are richer by one mocking Christmas past.” (Christmas in India, by Rudyard Kipling)
    Kipling’s poem about celebrating the holidays while far away from your home is sharp, beautiful, and will reduce to tears anyone who can’t get home this year.

    For the stuffy and overly formal: “I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings, and that your beaux will be so numerous as to prevent your feeling the loss of the three of whom we shall deprive you.” (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)
    This quote can be used two ways: Ironically on your hip and happening friends or unironically on someone who takes the holiday—and themselves—far too seriously.

    For your goth and emo pals: “Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.” (A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens)
    Not everyone likes the cheerful ending of A Christmas Carol; some folks prefer the beginning and middle where Scrooge is an epic meanie and is terrified by ghosts.

    For the traditionalist: “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” (How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss)
    Dr. Seuss has provided generations of people with innocent, childish quotes for all occasions, and this one is the perfect fun quote for your friends and family who consider Christmas to be Serious Business.

    The obligatory Potterverse quote: “One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling)
    At this point the Harry Potter fandom is probably bigger than just about any other ethnic, political, or religious group in the world. That means you have at least one friend or relation who has memorized the rules of Quidditch. This quote will delight them.

    For the Bah Humbugger on your list: “People, generally, suck.” (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, by Christopher Moore)
    Direct and to the point, this is the Down With People quote your dark, edgy friend will appreciate.

    For those suffering from holiday depression: “I felt overstuffed and dull and disappointed, the way I always do the day after Christmas.” (The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath)
    Contrary to popular belief, the folks who find Christmas intolerably cheery and depressing don’t need cheering up, they need to be understood. This quote “gets” them.

    For your friend with pagan sympathies: “Midnight, and the clock strikes. It is Christmas Day, the werewolves birthday, the door of the solstice still wide enough open to let them all slink through.” (The Company of Wolves, by Angela Carter)
    Ideal for someone who loves celebrations but prefers to think Christmas is all about werewolves being born.

    Finally, perfect sincerity: “I heard the bells on Christmas Day. Their old familiar carols play. And wild and sweet the words repeat. Of peace on earth goodwill to men.” (Christmas Bells, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
    If you’re not looking to make a statement, soothe someone, or comment ironically on some aspect of the Christmas season, this quote from Longfellow is sincere, beautiful, and perfect.

    Now, go forth and start signing holiday cards so you can spread holiday cheer—or holiday sarcasm, depending on your life goals.

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