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  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare
    "Our revels now are ended. These our actors, / As I foretold you, were all spirits, and / Are melted into air, into thin air; / And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, / The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, / The solemn temples, the great globe itself, / Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, / And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, / Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff / As dreams are made on, and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep."
  • The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
    "Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance."
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
    "Nothing will come of nothing."
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
    "Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit, and lost without deserving."
  • Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
    "Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall."
  • Henry V by William Shakespeare
    "O, for a muse of fire, that would ascend / The brightest heaven of invention! / A kingdom for a stage, princes to act / And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"
  • The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
    "All that glisters is not gold- / Often have you heard that told. / Many a man his life hath sold / But my outside to behold. / Gilded tombs do worms enfold."
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    "Brevity is the soul of wit."
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
    "A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are."


  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
    "All my life, I've always waited for signs. Like with art, like with everything. I've waited for things to fall into place and to feel right, to feel like the universe had given me its permission and its blessing. But maybe you never really get that, or maybe only some of us do, if we're lucky, if we're born to the right people in the right circumstances at the right time, and even then, maybe not."
  • The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
    "Things don't have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What's the function of a galaxy? I don't know if our life has a purpose and I don't see that it matters. What does matter is that we're a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass-blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass."
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
    "The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid."
  • The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chiang
    "Four things do not come back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity."
  • Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
    "Only three things mattered about a hotel: position, position and position."
  • Educated by Tara Westover
    "My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs."
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    "At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them."
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
    "Who can say if the thoughts you have in your mind as you read these words are the same thoughts I had in my mind as I typed them? We are different, you and I, and the qualia of our consciousnesses are as divergent as two stars at the ends of the universe. And yet, whatever has been lost in translation in the long journey of my thoughts through the maze of civilization to your mind, I think you do understand me, and you think you do understand me. Our minds managed to touch, if but briefly and imperfectly. Does that thought not make the universe seem just a bit kinder, a bit brighter, a bit warmer and more human? We live for such miracles."
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    "And the air was full of Thoughts and Things to Say. But at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. Big Things lurk unsaid inside."
  • Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
    "Sleep is no longer a healing bath, a recuperation of vital forces, but an oblivion, a nightly brush with annihilation."
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
    "Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them. All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have."
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
    "It is forgetting, not remembering, that is the essence of what makes us human. To make sense of the world, we must filter it. “To think,“ Borges writes, “is to forget.”"
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
    "It sounds plausible enough tonight, but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning."
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
    "One had followed the rules, and one had not. But the problem with rules... was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on."
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
    "If only I were as good at life as I am at the internet."
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
    "Psychologists call it “learned helplessness” when a person believes, as I did during my youth, that the choices I made had no effect on the outcomes in my life."
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    "If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
    "There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own."
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
    "“I had my chance.” He said it, retiring from a lifetime of wanting. “I had my chance, and sometimes in life, there are no second chances. You look at what you have, not what you miss, and you move forward.”"
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
    "My life story is the story of everyone I've ever met."
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    "Sometimes I think if I had to choose between an ear of corn or making love to a woman, I'd choose the corn."
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    "And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfennig might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough? They flow above the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through the other side, the air a library and the record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it."
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
    "I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything."
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
    "All my friends seem to be smart arses. Don't ask me why. Like many things, it is what it is."
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
    "I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy."
  • Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
    "“Nowadays, no one believes in evil. It is considered, at most, a mere negation of good. Evil, people say, is done by those who know no better - who are undeveloped - who are to be pitied rather than blamed. But, M. Poirot, evil is real! It is a fact! I believe in Evil as I believe in Good. It exists! It is powerful! It walks the earth!” He stopped. His breath was coming fast. He wiped his forehead with his handkerchief and looked suddenly apologetic. “I'm sorry. I got carried away.”"
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
    "But no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is a natural craving for recognition which cannot be gain-said."
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    "I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right."