My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes

"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Friday, July 3, 2015

Perfect Words

Hello, readers!  Today I have a blogging tag to share with you.

Perfect words!

The challenge: select and share three of your favorite textual passages, where you feel the author found the ‘perfect words’.  Then tag your friends!

It was difficult, but I narrowed it down to three passages from three books.  I present them to you in no particular order.

The first is from “The Wee Free Men,” by Terry Pratchett, which, even aside from this passage, is delightful and a must-read.  I chose this passage because of its poignancy.  A wanderer far from home tells this to Tiffany, the young heroine, as her adventure begins:

“I am the last o’ those who came.  When this is o’er, I’ll seek the leave of the next kelda to return to my ain folk in the mountains.  This is a fiiine fat country and this is a fiiine bonny clan my nephews have, but I would like to die in the heather where I was borrrned.”

“The Wee Free Men,” by Terry Pratchett, p. 123

It’s all right to cry!  But really, I love this passage so much because it fills me with a longing for distant, heather-filled hills.

The second passage is from “Bitterblue,” by Kristin Cashore.  This novel is stunning and one of my favorites—but not one I can recommend casually, because of certain content and the fact that it is the third book in a trilogy, and I did not care overly for the other two.  But “Bitterblue,” recommending qualities aside, is stunning.

‘Bitterblue laid her pen down and went, cautiously, to an east-facing window.  She put a hand to the frame to steady herself ….

Why do I push myself to these windows when I know I’ll be too dizzy to get a good look at anything?  What is it I’m trying to see?’

“Bitterblue,” by Kristin Cashore, p. 19-20.

I love this passage for the same reason I love most of the novel: it asks questions and raises a sense of wonder that I find so relatable to my life.

The third and final quote was much harder to choose—not because I wasn’t sure which book to use!  Instead, I couldn’t decide which specific quotation to include, because four or so pages near the end of “The Queen of Attolia,” by Megan Whalen Turner, are absolute perfection.  For the sake of alacrity, I narrowed it down to a paragraph, removing names for the sake of not spoiling the plot.

“If there is one thing a woman understands, it is the nature of gifts.  They are bribes when threats will not avail.  Your emperor cannot attack this coast… [he must] hope to be invited in as an ally, and I did not invite him. …  The problem with bribes… is that after your money is gone, threats still do not avail.”

-“The Queen of Attolia,” by Megan Whalen Turner, p. 232.

This is the last word in dignity, regality, and cunning.  It left me jumping up and down, cheering—as did most of the series!

I tag Hannah from the Writer’s Window, Ghosty from Anything, Everything, Clara from To Find a CastleGrace from Fictionally, Emma Clifton from Peppermint and Prose, Candice from O Ye Scribes, Sarah from Dreams and Dragons, Jemma from the Sherwood Storyteller… pretty much whoever wants to join in!  And tell me in the comments: what are your favorite quotes?


Sarah said...

Excellent choices, Allison! I highly approve! :D
Thanks for tagging me as well. I shall get on this soon!

Jemma Tainsh said...

Thank you Alison! I like your choices, what's bitterblue?

Jemma Tainsh said...

I haven't really got a favourite quote in particular... There's to many to choose from! The only quotes I can remember are funny ones.

Just wondering, can I copy your description of the challenge?

MtheG said...

I have to confess - I am a bit nervous as this is my first time commenting on a blog. But, my favorite example of the author using the "best words" is found in Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I love the character, the Bishop of Digne. He was extremely humble and donated all his comforts to the poor. Because he donated his "carriage expenses", he had to travel throughout his territory on foot, by pack-mule, or whatever means he could. In the beginning of Book I, chapter III, Hugo describes the humble Bishop traveling to a nearby city:

He arrived one day at Senez, a former episcopal city, riding a donkey, his means at that moment being so scanty that he could afford no other conveyance. The mayor, welcoming him at the gates of the residence, watched with shocked eyes while he dismounted, and laughter arose from a few citizens who were standing by.

'Gentlemen,' said the Bishop, 'I know what has outraged you. You find it arrogant in a simple priest that he should be mounted like Jesus Christ. Let me assure you that I do it from necessity, not from vanity.'

This response touched me deeply. After "getting to know the Bishop", no other response would have been as fitting.

Allison Ruvidich said...

@Sarah- Yay!

@Jemma-- Bitterblue is the name of the title character. To reiterate, I wouldn't recommend that book for a variety of reasons. : ( But yes, feel free to copy the text!

@MtheG- I love that quote! It's the perfect example of true humility-- which also happens to be delightfully cutting. : D

ghost ryter said...

Great choices! Thank you for the tag!

Jemma Tainsh said...

Ok, thanks! :D

Allison Ruvidich said...

@Ghosty: No problems! It was fun seeing yours. : )

Jenelle Leanne said...

I love that you've read Meghan Whalen Turner's "Thief" series :)

One of my all-time favorite, achingly beautiful book quotes is:
"It was a sad song, a heartbreaking song, wild and proud... about all the losses a human heart might hold dear and remember. We are alike, you and I, she thought, homeless wayfarers in a world that is not our own." -Stephen R. Lawhead, Taliesin

Another would be:
“Time stole away commitments and loosened ties. Friendships were reduced to tales of the past and vague promises for the future, neither strong enough to recover what was lost. But that was what life did – it took you down separate roads until one day you found yourself alone.” ~Terry Brooks “First King of Shannara”

And of course...

“Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
--C.S. Lewis, 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"