Impressive Quotes 

George Carlin

"Life is a series of dogs."

Willa Cather

"...and in the warm, high wind--rising suddenly, sinking suddenly, impulsive and playful like a big puppy that pawed you and hen lay down to be petted.  If I had been tossed down blindfold on that red prairie, I should have known that it was spring." 

"This is reality, whether you like it or not.  All those frivolities of summer, the light and shadow, the living mask of green that trembled over everything, they were lies, and this is what was underneath.  This is the truth."

Ambrose Bierce

"History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools."

Erma Bombeck

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"

Cormac McCarthy

"Where men can't live, gods fare no better." The Road

"How does the never to be differ from what never was?" The Road

"All the trees in the world are going to fall sooner or later." The Road

"When we're all gone at last then there'll be nobody here but death and his days will be numbered too. He'll be out in the road there with nothing to do and nobody to do it to." The Road

Abraham Lincoln

"Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye, is the great invention of the world." lecture at Springfield Library Assoc. 22 Feb. 1860

"I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me." letter written 4 April 1864

"I leave it to you, my audience: If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?" debate with Stephen Douglas 1858

"Every effect must have its cause. The past is the cause of the present, and the present will be the cause of the future. All these are links in the endless chain stretching from the finite to the infinite."

"Common-looking people are the best in the world; that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them." said by Lincoln and recorded by John Hay 24 Dec. 1863

Isaac Asimov

"When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book."

Indira Gandhi

"My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there."


"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire."

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Bertolt Brecht

Andrea says, "Unhappy the land that has no heroes." To which Galileo replies, "No. Unhappy the land that needs heroes." from "Life of Galileo"

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations...for art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment." address to Amherst College 26 Oct. 1963

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."

Pearl S. Buck

"One faces the future with one's past."

John Steinbeck

“If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin , were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into ‘I’ and cuts you off forever from the ‘we.’” Grapes of Wrath

“It is true of the spirit as it is true of battles—only the winners are remembered.” East of Eden

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.” East of Eden

Patrick Henry

"I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past." 23 March 1775

Ray Bradbury

“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” Fahrenheit 451

“Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book.” Fahrenheit 451

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies…something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die…It doesn’t matter what you do…so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you were after you take your hands away.” Fahrenheit 451

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority…feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse.” Fahrenheit 451 Coda 1979

“Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blank-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.” Fahrenheit 451 Coda 1979

Bruce Barcott

"Some birds were made for poems. Keats had his nightingale, Poe his raven." National Geographic October 2008

Mark Twain

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.” [This quote is attributed to Twain, but it has no documentation.]

“Classic--a book which people praise and don't read” Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar

"All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."

"There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure."

"If you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them -- you can't help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so first thing you know, there's your book all finished up and never cost you an idea."

Harper Lee

“A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with...” To Kill a Mockingbird

Barbara DeAngelis

"The journey in between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place."

Sir Winston Churchill

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."

J.D. Salinger

“I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.” The Catcher in the Rye

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“They were careless people...they smashed up things and creatures then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” The Great Gatsby

Wayne Fields

“This seems the nature of all writing: an awkward fumbling after grace, an interruption of everyday life in which we try to redeem something from that mostly graceless endeavor.”

Charles Caleb Colton

"Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them." Lacon, 1820

W. Somserset Maugham

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

Matthew J. Bruccoli

"The Great Gatsby does not proclaim the nobility of the human spirit; it is not politically correct; it does not reveal how to solve the problems of life; it delivers no fashionable or comforting messages. It is just a masterpiece…Masterpieces are not accidents."

"The best reason to read literature is for pleasure."

Scott Johnson, student

"Just because he's screaming doesn't mean he's angry."

Willa Cather

"Two white butterflies...were fluttering in and out among the interlacing shadows; diving and soaring, now close together, now far apart, and in the long grass by the fence the last wild roses of the year opened their pink hearts to die." ~ O Pioneers!

"The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman." ~ O Pioneers!

Joel Achenbach

"The earth preserves its history haphazardly. Bones disintegrate, land erodes, artifacts cumble--the past, if not obliterated, is obscured." for National Geographic October 2010