I have my fair share of prized sentences. They’re the ones I turn back to over and over again. They’re the ones that I can flip to and find easily because they rest on pages that align with cracked and overly bent spines. They made me laugh and think and remember. So in the spirit of pursuing the glorious and often sought perfect line, I present a few of my personal favorites.
*Possible spoilers. I apologize in advance.
“Peter Lake had no illusions about mortality. He knew that it made everyone perfectly equal, and that the treasures of the earth were movement, courage, laughter, and love. The wealthy could not buy these things. On the contrary, they were for the taking.”
― Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale
“My gosh, Nick, why are you so wonderful to me?'
He was supposed to say: You deserve it. I love you.
But he said,'Because I feel sorry for you.'
'Because every morning you have to wake up and be you.”
― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”
― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
“I want to do something splendid...something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
“In eight years not a day has gone by when she hasn’t thought of him. She misses him and she wants him back. I want my best friend back, she thinks, because without him nothing is good and nothing is right.”
― David Nicholls, One Day
“some men never
and some men never
but we're all alive
― Charles Bukowski, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won't do harm - yes, choose a place where you won't do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”
― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View
“It was early Saturday afternoon, and I hadn’t gotten dressed yet. Beth pointed to my pajama and life-jacket ensemble and asked what I was doing.
“I keep having these dreams that I’m drowning,” I answered. “Figured I’d go to sleep prepared.”’
─Janet Tashjian, The Gospel According to Larry
“So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.”
─ Robert Frost, Choose Something Like a Star
“I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong... to measure yourself at least once.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
“It is required of every man," the ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world — oh, woe is me! — and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol