· "This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty ... what you will. I am going to sing for you, a little off key perhaps, but I will sing." ~ Henry Miller on his bohemian experiences in France retold in "The Tropic of Cancer" (1934)
· "Some people become radical out of hatred. Others become radical out of love and sympathy. I come out of the second class. I have hated very few people. ... I have faith, despite the imperfections of the human race, that a better society, a better world, a more just world, a kindlier world can come into being." ~ I.F. (Isidor Feinstein) Stone
· Voltaire said: "Let us read and let us dance — two amusements that will never do any harm to the world."
· “And when that happens, I know it. A message saying so merely confirms a piece of news some secret vein had already received, severing from me an irreplaceable part of myself, letting it loose like a kite on a broken string. That is why, walking across a school campus on this particular December morning, I keep searching the sky. As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying towards heaven.” ~ Truman Capote " A Christmas Memory"
· "Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to while all the time we long to move the stars to pity." ~ ." Gustave Flaubert
· "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue [...] Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers." ~Rainer Maria Rilke
· "We wish to learn all the curious, outlandish ways of all the different countries, so that we can 'show off' and astonish people when we get home. We wish to excite the envy of our own untraveled friends with our strange foreign fashions which we can't shake off. All our passengers are paying strict attention to this thing, with the end in view which I have mentioned. The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad." ~ Mark Twain "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
· "Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life. All it needs from you is that you take care not to trample on it." ~ Marilynne Robinson "Gilead"
· "There isn’t any particular relationship between the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time." ~ Kurt Vonnegut "Slaughterhouse Five"
· Carl Sagan said: "What an astonishing thing a book is. It is a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts, on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person. [...] Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. Books are proof that humans are capable of working magic."
- "Prairie. Isn't that a pretty word? Rolls off the tongue like a fat little moon. Prairie must be one of the prettiest words in the English language. No matter that it's French. It's derived from the Latin word for 'meadow' plus a feminine suffix. A prairie, then, is a female meadow. It is larger and wilder than a masculine meadow (which the dictionary defines as 'pasture' or 'hayfield'), more coarse, more oceanic and enduring, supporting a greater variety of life." ~ Tom Robbins "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"
- "Man or woman, I might tell how I like you, but cannot, And might tell what it is in me and what it is in you, but cannot, And might tell that pining I have, that pulse of my nights and days. Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself." ~ Walt Whitman "Leaves of Grass"
- "Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Sylvia Plath
- "Keep a journal — not a diary, unless you want to keep a record of your daily doings, but a journal, a place where you record images, ideas, favorite passages from your reading, insights, overheard bits of conversation, drafts and random notes. The journal is your practice room and root cellar." Scott Russell Sande
- "Where love rules, there is no will to power and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other." Carl Jung
- "For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that's an earthquake. ... A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory." Arthur Miller ~ Final scene of "Death of a Salesman" at Willie Loman's funeral.
· “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. no interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this… for me the jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. and the jewish people to whom i gladly belong and with whose mentality i have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. as far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. otherwise i cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.” ~ Albert Einstein *The translation above is an abridgment of the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton NJ in January 1954
· Thomas Wolfe wrote, "All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken."· “In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind. ” ― Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
- JAPANESE PROVERB ~ "If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples."