Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Quotes

Oh dear.

I don’t know many quotes. I’m not a quote person. So this is really not the best Top Ten Tuesday prompt for me. Don’t get me wrong! There are tons of good quotes out there. I just can’t keep track of them. Still, there are some quotes that stick with me. Here are three.

(Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl here.)

All that is gold does not glitter/Not all those who wander are lost/The old that is strong does not wither/Deep roots are not reached by the frost/From the ashes a fire shall be woken/A light from the shadows shall spring/Renewed shall be blade that was broken/The crownless again shall be king

This quote is from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, and I honestly just like this quote because I want to be Aragorn when I grow up. He’s so badass and awesome. Come on. Wouldn’t it be cool for this poem to refer to you?

But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.

This is one of my favourite authors, Leigh Bardugo, in one of my favourite books, Crooked Kingdom. In some ways, it’s the antitheses of the previous quote. The Lord of the Rings quote is all about destiny and becoming who you were born to be. This quote is about people who don’t have prophecies or thrones to claim. People who have to create themselves.

It’s a quote I think about a lot, not just because it’s one of the few instances of YA fantasy (although I really think that Six of Crows should be read beyond young adults) that’s thematically coherent and manages to distill those themes so thoroughly into a quote, but because I frequently feel like one of those invisible girls, and realizing that there’s no prophecy about you is kind of sad, but this quote (and this duology) shows how the most formidable people are the ones who never had any claim to anything but manage to make something of themselves anyways.

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.

This is from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. (Confession: I have not read The Bell Jar and so might be really taking this out of context.) I first heard this quote when I was around eleven, and it’s stuck with me. It’s very simple. The “old brag of [her] heart” is just I am. But sometimes that’s what I need to remind myself. It’s enough – more than enough – to exist. That in itself is something of a miracle and I shouldn’t throw that away.

Do you have any favourite quotes? What are they? Why?

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