My favorite quotes of all time.

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Without literature, life is hell.

— Charles Bukowski

Even my best intentions come to naught, and hope itself is but an obstacle.

— Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

I’ve been coming to you on a hard road and I’m not letting you go.

— Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

What I’m certain I don’t want, she finally said aloud, is to find myself someday in a new century, an old bitter woman looking back, wishing that right now I’d had more nerve.

— Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

They sat for a while easy together and talked as people do in the ruins of the past, having the unavoidable feeling that we are a short time here, a long time gone.

— Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

The world was such an incredibly lonely place, and to lie down beside him, skin to skin, seemed the only cure.

— Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

He had been alone in the world and empty for so long. But she filled him full, and so he believed everything that had been taken out of him might have been for a purpose. To clear space for something better.

— Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.

— Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

“Child, it’s a very bad thing for a woman to face the worst that can happen to her, because after she’s faced the worst she can’t ever really fear anything again. …Scarlett, always save something to fear— even as you save something to love…”

— Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

My mind is empty, but my heart weighs a thousand pounds.

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

“The pain. It’s worth it. The more you love, the more it hurts. But it’s worth it. It’s the only thing that is.”

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

I’m convinced everyone is a little vile, if they are honest about it. Vile and scared and human.

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

Hating never fixed anything. It seems simple, but most things are. We just complicate them. We spend our lives complicating what we would do better to accept. Because in acceptance, we put our energies into transcendence.

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

That’s what hope feels like: the best air you’ve ever breathed after the worst fall you’ve ever taken. It hurts.

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

I am suddenly engulfed in a longing for home. It stuns me. Maybe I’ve just never been away long enough to appreciate it. Maybe that’s the way it is with everything.

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

I realize now that life is just a continual parting of the ways, some more painful than others.

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

Are you angry with the bird because he can fly, or angry with the horse for her beauty, or angry with the bear because he has fearsome teeth and claws? Because he’s bigger than you are? Stronger too? Destroying all the things you hate won’t change any of that. You still won’t be a bear or a bird or a horse. Hating men won’t make you a man. Hating your womb or your breasts or your own weakness won’t make those things go away. Hating never fixed anything.

— Amy Harmon, Where the Lost Wander

“Love’s a terrible price to pay for company, ain’t it, Matty?” Caleb said. “I won’t pay it, myself. I’d rather do without the company.”

— Larry McMurtry, Dead Man’s Walk

It hurt, almost, to remember what I’d been like at their age, not so long ago, a woman-child—my body beginning to change, my mind, like theirs, still full of tricks and gossip. The darkness of the grown-up world just starting to seep in.

— Anna North, Outlawed

I imagined my hate as a flame racing along the dirt road until it licked at their door.

— Anna North, Outlawed

He hadn’t drawn the best of cards, but he’d played his hand darned well, so what was there to grieve over?

— Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

There was nothing finer than the feeling that came rushing through you when it clicked and you suddenly understood something that had puzzled you. It made you think it just might be possible to get a handle on this old world after all.

— Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

Anyone who thinks he’s too small to make a difference has never been bit by a mosquito.

— Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

No one was more reliable, and if that was not the ultimate act of compassion, she did not know what was.

— Nathan Harris, The Sweetness of Water

That was the beauty of nature—it was always a step ahead, privy to a joke he did not know, a riddle with no answer.

— Nathan Harris, The Sweetness of Water

Our love of each other was like two long shadows kissing without hope of reality.

— Anaïs Nin

Maybe I was lacking. It was possible. I often felt inferior. I just wanted to get away from them. But there was no place to go.

— Charles Bukowski

People wanted a loser who became a winner. Or a winner who became a loser. But a loser who stayed a loser? That was too much like themselves. They weren’t interested in themselves.

— Charles Bukowski, More Notes of a Dirty Old Man

I was alone again, I always felt better being alone. When you’re alone, the only problem is yourself. It’s nicer that way. You stay out of trouble.

— Charles Bukowski

Any person into living and creativity must discourage a certain number of visitors, if not most of them.

— Charles Bukowski
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