Sunday, December 11, 2011

30 days of Book Discussion: Day 17

Favorite quote(s) from your favorite book(s)

Well, my favorite book is for day 30.  And I can't really think of a favorite quote from it.  But I have LOTS of other favorite quotes, not necessarily from favorite books, but from some good ones.  I'll choose from five books and put them here in descending order of length.

So that means I'm going to do the longest for my first one, and then we'll have it out of the way, okay? It's a passage from Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.

In Paris, Simon Thibault had loved his wife, though not always faithfully or with a great deal of attention. They had been married for twenty-five years. There had been two children, a summer month spent every year at the sea with friends, various jobs, various family dogs, large family Christmases that included many elderly relatives. Edith Thibault was an elegant woman in a city of so many thousands of elegant women that often over the course of years he forgot about her. Entire days would pass when she never once crossed his mind. He did not stop to think what she might be doing or wonder if she was happy, at least not Edith by herself, Edith as his wife.

Then, in a wave of government promises made and retracted, they were sent to this country, which, between the two of them was always referred to as ce pays maudit, "this godforsaken country." Both of them faced the appointment with dread and stoic practicality, but within a matter of days after their arrival a most remarkable thing happened: he found her again, like something he never knew was missing, like a song he had memorized in his youth and had then forgotten. Suddenly, clearly, he could see her, the way he had been able to see her at twenty, not her physical self at twenty, because in every sense she was more beautiful to him now, but he felt that old sensation, the leaping of his heart, the reckless flush of desire. He would find her in the house, cutting fresh paper to line the shelves or lying across their bed on her stomach writing letters to their daughters who were attending university in Paris, and he was breathless. Had she always been like this, had he never known? Had he known and then somehow, carelessly, forgotten? In this country with its dirt roads and yellow rice he discovered he loved her, he was her. Perhaps this would not have been true if he had been the ambassador to Spain. Without these particular circumstances, this specific and horrible place, he might never have realized that the only true love of his life was his wife.

2. The next one comes from Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt.  This is a story about a girl who is confronted by Death, who wants to take her to the afterlife.  She buys time by telling him a story and then leaving it unfinished until the next day when she tells him a little more, but still isn't finished, etc.  The interesting thing is that she's telling Death a story about... Death.  Anyway, here's the passage that I like, it starts with her telling him part of the story:
"Though he was Death, and beyond all wanting, yet he wanted something, yearned and mourned and raged in his heart for something as only an immortal being can."
Lord Death had become very still.
"And what was it that Lord Death wanted and wept in his heart for?" I continued. "A love of his own, a consort to adorn his endless and hallowed halls, a companion who would comfort his heart when it broke from the sadness of his errands, who would weep with him when he carried home little ones in his arms, who would greet him with a joy equal to the terror with which mortals greeted him.  Above all, he wished for a wife into whom he might pour his passion--"
"Hush. You try my patience," he said coldly.
"But who would love such a one? What maid wished for gold coins to shut her eyes, or a satin-lined coffin for her marriage bed?  What maid would come willingly?  For he would have it be willingly.
"And so he did his endless work, without feeling, without pity, without rest... He waited without waiting, and dreamed of what he could not imagine."
3. This one is from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  'Nuff said.
“So this is it," said Arthur, "We are going to die."
"Yes," said Ford, "except... no! Wait a minute!" He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur's line of vision. "What's this switch?" he cried.
"What? Where?" cried Arthur, twisting round.
"No, I was only fooling," said Ford, "we are going to die after all.”
4. There are lots and lots of good quotes from Brandon Sanderson.  Unfortunately, I only took notes when I read the second book of the Mistborn series, The Well of Ascension.  Here are two of my favorites from the book (they aren't adjacent to each other in the book, by the way):
"You, Elend Venture, are a good man. A truly good man."
"Good men don't become legends," he said quietly.
"Good men don't need to become legends." She opened her eyes, looking up at him. "They just do what's right anyway."

"It's easy to believe in something when you win all the time, Jastes," Elend said, opening his eyes. "The losses are what define a man's faith."

By the way, I think it is really funny that a few people told me they were buying the Mistborn series after my review of it the other day.  I hope you're not disappointed!  I didn't really think you'd believe me when I said it was the perfect book!  But it is. =D

5. My last favorite quote is from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
"Happiness would continue for summer's duration and into autumn. It would then be brought abruptly to an end, for the brightness had shown suffering the way."
Most of the book is like that.  Breathtaking and sad.  Have the tissues ready.

So there you go.  I think each of those give you a little taste of each book, or at least of the best of each book.  You don't even have to read the books now, you can just tell people, "Nah, I got the jist of it."  Good work!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

No Mistborn yet, but I did read The Naming. LOVED it.