Current Quotes

A collection of not-so-familiar quotes from current writers, musicians, politicians and other luminaries  


"If you are creative, you get busier as you get older." -- Tony Bennett

"The word happiness exists in every language; it is plausible the thing itself exists."   -- Jorge Luis Borges, in The Guardian

"It is one of the great charms of books that they have to end."                                              -- critic Frank Kermode, New York Times

"Part of growing up is knowing when to say things and when not to."                                -- Jim Menick, The House on Summer Street

"When you're my age, you'll see that it is wiser to make your own decisions than let time make decisions for you."  -- Charles Finch, A Death in the Small Hours

"Sometimes human nature can leave you looking just a little shamefaced."                    -- Philip Kerr, If the Dead Rise Not

"The expectations that others place on us help us form our expectations of ourselves."    -- Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore

"You soon become lonely if you want to use your own brain to find answers.                        -- Jo Nesbo, The Redeemer

"Statistics are like bikinis. They show a lot but not everything" -- Lou Piniella, former baseball manager

"Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business."  -- Dave Barry

"When we can't see a pattern, we fit pieces together until one takes shape, because we have to."   -- Tana French, Broken Harbor  

"In most marriages, there is a contented partner and a restless one."                               --  Jennifer Wilson, Running Away to Home

"We are all good at believing what puts the least pressure on our conscience."                       -- Akeela Green, If I Live to Tell

"Sometimes, when you're close to someone, you miss things. Other people can see them, but you can't."  --  Tana French, In the Woods

"Concealing an illness is like keeping a beach ball underwater."  -- Karen Duffy, actress 

"Fun is like life insurance: the older you get, the more it costs."                                             -- Kin Hubbard, cartoonist

"It's a lot easier to buy things than it is to sell them."  -- Warren Buffett

"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."  -- Simone Weil 

"One of the many interesting challenges nature presents us is its apparent disinterest in maintaining the order humans crave."  -- John Gardner, Jr., in The Wall Street Journal

"I'm retired. I can have an ice cream sundae."   -- Harry Bosch in Lost Light, by Michael Connelly

"The bone won't come to the dog. It's the dog that goes to the bone."                                  --  Philip Kerr, If the Dead Rise Not 

"When people are free to do as they please,  they usually imitate one another."                     --  Jonah Berger, Contagious: Why Things Catch On

"If it is art, it will offend before it is revered. There are calls for its destruction and then the bidding begins.  --  E. L. Doctorow, Homer & Langley

 "No good ever comes from putting up walls. What people mistake for safety is in fact captivity. And few things thrive in captivity."  -- Louise Penny, A Trick of the Light

"I have been everywhere because I don't know what I'm looking for."                                                 -- E. L. Doctorow, Homer & Langley

"Half the harm done in this world is due to people who want to feel important."                 -- T. S. Eliot
 
"There are many more ways to be attractive than to be beautiful."                                           -- William Landay, Mission Flats

"To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone."             -- Reba McEntire

 "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence." -- Robert Frost

"Nature doesn't see things through the prism of good or bad. It rewards efficiency. That is the simplicity of evolution, matching design to environment."
 -- Blake Couch, Pines
 
"Foolish people are never harmless. Stupidity accounts for as many crimes as anger and greed."  -- Louise Penny, A Trick of the Light
“Any legitimate religion consists of rules of morality linked by love. That’s it.”            Randy Wayne White, Everglades

"If you go far enough to the right and far enough to the left on the political spectrum you find people saying the exact same thing."                                                                                       -- Bill James, quoted by Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise

“Democracy does not require perfect equality, but it does require that citizens share in a common life.”   – Michael J. Sandel, What Money Can't Buy

"When you don't know what to do,  try something; if that doesn't work, try something else."  -- Richard Russo,  Elsewhere

"It is very, very dangerous to come between a person and their beliefs."                                                                  -- Louise Penny, The Beautiful Mystery

"It's always better to talk to a stranger. A stranger usually gives you a different perspective than a family member."  -- Barb at Living Richly in Retirement

"The measure of success is not  whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year."  -- John Foster Dulles

"The people who successfully delude themselves seem happier than the people who can't."   -- Woody Allen
 
"No single organism could be understood without observing and comprehending the entire colony."   -- John Steinbeck

"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."                                 -- John Kenneth Galbraith

"If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples."   -- Japanese proverb
 
"You know, being confident isn't the same as being right."  -- William Landay, Defending Jacob

"Humans were built to look back; that's why we have that swivel joint in our necks."                 -- Stephen King, 11/22/63

"Don't be overly concerned about your heirs. Usually, unearned funds do them more harm than good."        -- Gerald M. Loeb 

"The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent."   -- Stanley Kubrick

"You first have to be willing to give what you want to get."                                                             -- Jeanne Ray, Calling Invisible Women

"Most things don't stay the way they are for very long. I take nothing for granted and try to be ready for the change that's soon to come."   -- Richard Ford, Canada

"What a generous thing that is, I realize, for a husband to try to make his wife laugh."     -- Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."   -- Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

"Use this in good health, master, for many good years happily."    -- Inscription on brass bucket from the Eastern Mediterranean, 6th century, currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Sometimes if you want to know for sure whether the stove is hot, the only way to find out is to touch it."    -- Lee Child, The Affair

"Only the human spirit can act with volition and consciously change itself; it is the only thing in all creation that is not entirely at the mercy of forces outside itself."         -- Dean Koontz, Sole Survivor

 "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."    -- Ray Bradbury

"Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory."                         -- Franklin Pierce Adams, journalist

 "It's only cows who never change their opinions." -- Chief Inspector Van Veeteren in Mind's Eye, by Hakan Nesser
  
"We are all incredibly different and rather than being something to be ashamed of, that's something to really celebrate." -- Lissa Rankin, MD, founder, OwningPink.com

"The assumption of perfect knowledge is very far from reality ... a lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional." -- George Soros, quoted in Newsweek 

"You can't stop progress, but wouldn't it be nice if we managed it better?" -- Michael Stanley, A Carrion Death

"Real leaders ... help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own."  -- David Foster Wallace

"The definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted." -- Abraham Verghese, Cutting for Stone

"There is no such thing as coincidence, only a lack of knowledge." -- Hakan Nesser, Woman with Birthmark

"The human propensity is to believe that flukes of good fortune will never come to an end."  -- Charles C. Mann, 1493

As long as you have life, you will have stages." -- Rosaria Williams, sixtyfivewhatnow

"When your enemy's making mistakes, don't interrupt him." -- Billy Beane, quoted by Michael Lewis in Moneyball

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."  -- Mark Twain
 
"In school, I could hear the leaves rustle and go on a journey." -- Clint Eastwood

"In times of crisis human beings don't have it in them to be rational."                                                 -- Larry McMurtry, Telegraph Days

"Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security." -- John Allen Paulos, A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market

"Can't complain because nobody listens." 
 -- Michael Connelly, A Darkness More Than Night

"If I were to say, 'God, why me?' about the bad things, then I should have said, 'God, why me?' about the good things that happened in my life."   -- Arthur Ashe

"Modern man was not meant to do his best work before forty but is by nature, and is becoming more so, an afternoon and evening worker."                                                                 -- G. Stanley Hall, American psychologist   
 
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."  -- Marcel Proust

"Life after 50 or 60 is itself another country, as different as adolescence is from childhood, or as adulthood is from adolescence -- and just as adventurous."                        -- Gloria Steinem, Doing Sixty and Seventy 

"A friendship without frank discussions is doomed in advance. It can never progress beyond the polite and the conventional."                                                                                         -- Kurdo Baksi, Stieg Larsson: A Memoir of a Friendship

"We aren't on Earth to be happy, but to experience incredible things."                                      -- Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics

"Most jury trials are contests between the rich and poor." -- Clarence Darrow

"On an overcrowded planet where more species slip toward extinction every day, should one species have the right to multiply and consume at will, even as it nudges others to oblivion?"  -- Thomas French, Zoo Story

"All men come to resemble their fathers. That isn't a tragedy. But you need a hell of a sense of humor to handle it."  -- Philip Kerr, A Quiet Flame

"The fastest way to become rich is to socialize with the poor, the fastest way to become poor is to socialize with the rich."                                                                                              -- Nassim Talib, financier and philosopher

"Too much screaming in Congress. Too much screaming everywhere."   -- Jeffery Deaver, Edge

"As I get older, the things I'm sure of become fewer." -- J. A. Jance, Trial By Fury

"Pay minimum wage, you get minimum work. Nobody seems to get that."
--  Sue Grafton, U Is for Undertow


"I always forget how strange it is, just to be alive at all." -- Patrick Park, "Life Is a Song" 

"I was in the machine. My whole life. Then the machine coughed and spat me out. All the way out. I was a little angry ... but I got used to it." 
--  Jack Reacher in One Shot, by Lee Child 

"It wasn't the people with sociable genes who fled the crowded Old World for the new continent; it was the people who didn't get along well with others."
 --  Jonathan Franzen, Freedom

"Show me what a man hates and I'll show you what he is." -- Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics

"Everybody counts, or nobody counts."                           -- Hieronymous Bosch in The Last Coyote, by Michael Connelly

"People came to this country for either money or freedom. If you don't have money, you cling to your freedoms all the more angrily."                                                                          -- Jonathan Franzen, Freedom

"To be too certain of anything is the beginning of bigotry."  -- Persian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah