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50 pieces of wisdom from novels

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.

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels

    The Fall

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

    Albert Camus

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 1

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 2

    Atlas Shrugged

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

    Ayn Rand

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 3

    The Rules Of Attraction

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

    Bret Easton Ellis

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 4

    Great Expectations

    "We need never be ashamed of our tears."

    Charles Dickens

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 5

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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

    Roald Dahl

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 6

    Things Fall Apart

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

    Chinua Achebe

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 7

    The Bell Jar

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

    Sylvia Plath

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 8

    The Road

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

    Cormac McCarthy

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 9

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 10

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 11

    Fear Of Flying

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

    Erica Jong

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 12

    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

    Haruki Murakami

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 13

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 14

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 15

    The Fellowship of the Ring

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

    J.R.R Tolkien

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 16

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 17

    The Redeemer

    "Doubt is faith's shadow."

    Jo Nesbo

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 18

    Nothing To Lose

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

    Lee Child

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 19

    War and Peace

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

    Leo Tolstoy

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 20

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 21

    Brave New World

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

    Aldous Huxley

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 22

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 23

    Revolutionary Road

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

    Richard Yates

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 24

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 25

    Long Goodbye

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

    Raymond Chandler

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 26

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

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

    Stieg Larsson

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 27

    Clear and Present Danger

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

    Tom Clancy

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 28

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

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

    Truman Capote

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 29

    Invisible Monsters

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

    Chuck Palahniuk

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 30

    Lolita

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

    Vladimir Nabokov

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 31

    To Kill A Mockingbird

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

    Harper Lee

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 32

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 33

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 34

    On The Road

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

    Jack Kerouac

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 35

    The Killer Inside Me

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

    Jim Thompson

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 36

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 37

    The Secret History

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

    Donna Tartt

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 38

    The Rum Diary

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

    Hunter S Thompson

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 39

    1984

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

    George Orwell

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 40

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 41

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 42

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 43

    Casino Royale

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

    Ian Fleming

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 44

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 45

    Mother Night

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

    Kurt Vonnegut

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 46

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 47

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 48

    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

  • 50 pieces of wisdom from novels 49

    The Blind Assassin

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

    Margaret Atwood

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