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50 pieces of wisdom from novels

Like a literary Magic 8 ball

Everyday life is a perilous vortex of confusing decisions, moral dilemmas and social quandaries. Without any useful advice, it can all seem a bit too much to bear.

While we've already explored the fountain of wisdom which exists in the world of film, it's time to scour the library for some inspirational tidbits from those smart author types.

Read. Digest. Laminate.

  • The Fall

    The Fall

    "You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer… More details

    The Fall

    The Fall

    "You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question."

    Albert Camus

  • Murder At The Vicarage

    Murder At The Vicarage

    "The young people think the old people are fools --… More details

    Murder At The Vicarage

    Murder At The Vicarage

    "The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools."

    Agatha Christie

  • Atlas Shrugged

    Atlas Shrugged

    "Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment… More details

    Atlas Shrugged

    Atlas Shrugged

    "Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them."

    Ayn Rand

  • The Rules Of Attraction

    The Rules Of Attraction

    "No one will ever know anyone. We just have to deal… More details

    The Rules Of Attraction

    The Rules Of Attraction

    "No one will ever know anyone. We just have to deal with each other."

    Bret Easton Ellis

  • Great Expectations

    Great Expectations

    "We need never be ashamed of our tears." Charles… More details

    Great Expectations

    Great Expectations

    "We need never be ashamed of our tears."

    Charles Dickens

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Charlie and the Chocolate F…

    "You should never, never doubt something that no one… More details

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    "You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of."

    Roald Dahl

  • Things Fall Apart

    Things Fall Apart

    "A proud heart can survive a general failure because… More details

    Things Fall Apart

    Things Fall Apart

    "A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride."

    Chinua Achebe

  • The Bell Jar

    The Bell Jar

    "If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never… More details

    The Bell Jar

    The Bell Jar

    "If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed."

    Sylvia Plath

  • The Road

    The Road

    "You forget what you want to remember, and you… More details

    The Road

    The Road

    "You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget."

    Cormac McCarthy

  • Fear Nothing

    Fear Nothing

    "Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have… More details

    Fear Nothing

    Fear Nothing

    "Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have to get us through this life--and they are the only things from this world that we could hope to see in the next."

    Dean Koontz

  •  The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket & Related Tales

    The Narrative of Arthur Go…

    "Sensations are the great things, after all. Should… More details

     The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket & Related Tales

    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket & Related Tales

    "Sensations are the great things, after all. Should you ever be drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations; they will be worth to you ten guineas a sheet."

    Edgar Allan Poe

  • Fear Of Flying

    Fear Of Flying

    "Show me a woman who doesn't feel guilty and I'll show… More details

    Fear Of Flying

    Fear Of Flying

    "Show me a woman who doesn't feel guilty and I'll show you a man."

    Erica Jong

  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    What I Talk About When I Ta…

    "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is… More details

    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

    Haruki Murakami

  • Enduring Love

    Enduring Love

    "When its gone, you'll know what a gift love was.… More details

    Enduring Love

    Enduring Love

    "When its gone, you'll know what a gift love was. you'll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it."

    Ian McEwan

  • Trainspotting

    Trainspotting

    "By definition, you have to live until you die. Better… More details

    Trainspotting

    Trainspotting

    "By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be."

    Irvine Welsh

  • The Fellowship of the Ring

    The Fellowship of the Ring

    "Faithless is he that says farewell when the road… More details

    The Fellowship of the Ring

    The Fellowship of the Ring

    "Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."

    J.R.R Tolkien

  • Middlesex

    Middlesex

    "The essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you… More details

    Middlesex

    Middlesex

    "The essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back to where you begin."

    Jeffrey Eugenides

  • The Redeemer

    The Redeemer

    "Doubt is faith's shadow." Jo Nesbo More details

    The Redeemer

    The Redeemer

    "Doubt is faith's shadow."

    Jo Nesbo

  • Nothing To Lose

    Nothing To Lose

    "A person less fortunate than yourself deserves the… More details

    Nothing To Lose

    Nothing To Lose

    "A person less fortunate than yourself deserves the best you can give. Because of duty, and honor, and service."

    Lee Child

  • War and Peace

    War and Peace

    "We can know only that we know nothing. And that is… More details

    War and Peace

    War and Peace

    "We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom."

    Leo Tolstoy

  • House of Meetings

    House of Meetings

    "Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover,… More details

    House of Meetings

    House of Meetings

    "Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything."

    Martin Amis

  • Brave New World

    Brave New World

    "Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical… More details

    Brave New World

    Brave New World

    "Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth."

    Aldous Huxley

  • The Lost World

    The Lost World

    "All your life people will tell you things. And most… More details

    The Lost World

    The Lost World

    "All your life people will tell you things. And most of the time, probably ninety-five percent of the time, what they'll tell you will be wrong."

    Michael Crichton

  • Revolutionary Road

    Revolutionary Road

    "No one forgets the truth; they just get better at… More details

    Revolutionary Road

    Revolutionary Road

    "No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying."

    Richard Yates

  • The Catcher In The Rye

    The Catcher In The Rye

    "All you have to do is say something nobody… More details

    The Catcher In The Rye

    The Catcher In The Rye

    "All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to."

    J.D. Salinger

  • Long Goodbye

    Long Goodbye

    "There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for… More details

    Long Goodbye

    Long Goodbye

    "There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself."

    Raymond Chandler

  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    The Girl With The Dragon Ta…

    "Love was that moment when your heart was about to… More details

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    "Love was that moment when your heart was about to burst."

    Stieg Larsson

  • Clear and Present Danger

    Clear and Present Danger

    "Words are important. Your word is the most important… More details

    Clear and Present Danger

    Clear and Present Danger

    "Words are important. Your word is the most important of all. Your word is who you are."

    Tom Clancy

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    "Because no matter where you run, you just end up… More details

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    "Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."

    Truman Capote

  • Invisible Monsters

    Invisible Monsters

    "The only way to find true happiness is to risk being… More details

    Invisible Monsters

    Invisible Monsters

    "The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open."

    Chuck Palahniuk

  • Lolita

    Lolita

    "The more you love a memory the stronger and stranger… More details

    Lolita

    Lolita

    "The more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes."

    Vladimir Nabokov

  • To Kill A Mockingbird

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    "People generally see what they look for, and hear… More details

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    "People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."

    Harper Lee

  • The Moon and the Sixpence

    The Moon and the Sixpence

    "As lovers, the difference between men and women is… More details

    The Moon and the Sixpence

    The Moon and the Sixpence

    "As lovers, the difference between men and women is that women can love all day long, but men only at times."

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • The Sound and the Fury

    The Sound and the Fury

    "It's not when you realise that nothing can help you -… More details

    The Sound and the Fury

    The Sound and the Fury

    "It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid."

    William Faulkner

  • On The Road

    On The Road

    “The best teacher is experience and not through someone's… More details

    On The Road

    On The Road

    “The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view”

    Jack Kerouac

  • The Killer Inside Me

    The Killer Inside Me

    "There are things that have to be forgotten if you… More details

    The Killer Inside Me

    The Killer Inside Me

    "There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living."

    Jim Thompson

  • High Fidelity

    High Fidelity

    "It's no good pretending that any relationship has a… More details

    High Fidelity

    High Fidelity

    "It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."

    Nick Hornby

  • The Secret History

    The Secret History

    “Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver… More details

    The Secret History

    The Secret History

    “Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”

    Donna Tartt

  • The Rum Diary

    The Rum Diary

    "A man can live on his wits and his balls for only so… More details

    The Rum Diary

    The Rum Diary

    "A man can live on his wits and his balls for only so long."

    Hunter S Thompson

  • 1984

    1984

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who… More details

    1984

    1984

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

    George Orwell

  • The White Lioness

    The White Lioness

    "‎Not having time for a person, not being able to… More details

    The White Lioness

    The White Lioness

    "‎Not having time for a person, not being able to sit in silence together with somebody, that's the same as rejecting them, as being scornful about them."

    Henning Mankell

  • The Human Stain

    The Human Stain

    "Because that is when you love somebody - when you see… More details

    The Human Stain

    The Human Stain

    "Because that is when you love somebody - when you see them being game in the face of the worst. Not courageous. Not heroic. Just game."

    Philip Roth

  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

    "It was a sign of growing up, when the dark made no… More details

    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

    "It was a sign of growing up, when the dark made no more difference to you than the day."

    Roddy Doyle

  • Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    "Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James.… More details

    Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    "Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles."

    Ian Fleming

  • By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

    By the River Piedra I Sat D…

    “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not… More details

    By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

    By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

    “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.”

    Paulo Coelho

  • Mother Night

    Mother Night

    "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful… More details

    Mother Night

    Mother Night

    "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

    Kurt Vonnegut

  • The Old Man And The Sea

    The Old Man And The Sea

    "Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But… More details

    The Old Man And The Sea

    The Old Man And The Sea

    "Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready."

    Ernest Hemingway

  • Naked Lunch

    Naked Lunch

    "You were not there for the beginning. You will not be… More details

    Naked Lunch

    Naked Lunch

    "You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative."

    William Burroughs

  • Freedom

    Freedom

    "You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take… More details

    Freedom

    Freedom

    "You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to."

    Jonathan Franzen

  • The Blind Assassin

    The Blind Assassin

    "The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there… More details

    The Blind Assassin

    The Blind Assassin

    "The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one."

    Margaret Atwood

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