#1 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
When I was a little girl, I read the abridged version of this book. It quickly became my very favorite Charlotte Bronte writing and one of my favorite novels of all time. I’m a hopeless romantic, and this merely sums up how deeply one can fall in love with another’s heart.
“Most true is it that ‘beauty is in the eye of the gazer.’ My master’s colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth, — all energy, decision, will, — were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me; they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me, — that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously arrived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”
#2 – A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter
I first read A Girl of the Limberlost at age 13, and discovered the way Gene Stratton Porter makes you feel each word; the way they rest in your soul and touch your heart. What a phenomenal writer! Here is one of my favorite quotes from her.
“There never was a moment in my life, when I felt so in the Presence, as I do now. I feel as if the Almighty were so real, and so near, that I could reach out and touch Him, as I could this wonderful work of His, if I dared. I feel like saying to Him: ‘To the extent of my brain power I realize Your presence, and all it is in me to comprehend of Your power. Help me to learn, even this late, the lessons of Your wonderful creations. Help me to unshackle and expand my soul to the fullest realization of Your wonders. Almighty God, make me bigger, make me broader!’”
#3 – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
This quote has stuck with me for many, many years.
“I have not wanted syllables where actions have spoken so plainly.”
#4 – 1984 by George Orwell
The very definition of throwing someone “under the bus,” “survival of the fittest,” etc. I read somewhere that 1984 is not a very good novel, but an excellent essay. In any case, what a fantastic point he makes here in this quote:
“Sometimes they threaten you with something – something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, “Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so.” And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself, and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You WANT it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care is yourself.”
#5 – The BFG by Roald Dahl
“I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.”