Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Oh boy, this is a hard one!
I have a feeling that 90% of my favorite book quotes are from one of my favorite authors: Lois McMaster Bujold. So um, stand by a for a lot of quotes on honor, humanity, and more.
Non LMB Quotes
“How do you like your dukes? Grumpy? Tortured? Alpha, beta, or alpha in the streets, beta in the sheets?”Alyssa Cole, A Duke by Default
This had me rolling! I have no idea what the deal is with all the duke romances, but this line nailed it. Plus, being about a duke, it was kinda more meta than it needed to be. I love books that are ironically self-aware.
You were hurt, and you reacted. You were in an unhealthy situation in more ways than one, and you panicked and cleansed everything with fire. Don’t dismiss your emotions and your self-protection as just a fucked-up decision. Don’t reduce something so complex and real and important to nothing.Talia Hibbert, Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Emotional abuse stories are hard to read because they hit so personally, always.
I hope your bacon burns.Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle
Smite your fucking enemies. Ensure everything they touch burns and they find no satisfaction, ever.
Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?Garth Nix, The Abhorsen Trilogy
I’ve loved this quote ever since the first time I read Sabriel, all those years ago. If I ever get a tattoo and not care about the cliches of a literary quote tattoo, I’d probably get this one. It’s not as poetic as Not all who wander are lost, but I’m not a huge Tolkien fan.
Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.Diane Duane, So You Want to be a Wizard
I mean, she’s not wrong. I tend to read two at a time: one print, one audio.
I’m not going to go through each quote. I love the Vorkosigan series. It contains so many parallels to life, so much humor, and such love and heartbreak and society and life and resilience and exceeding expectations (but not necessarily in the way you had planned). There are so many life lessons and history lessons and insights on humanity, all wrapped up in a story that seems really whacky from the outside.
A hyper, hunchbacked little person who is the son of the regent of a militaristic planet tries to surpass his famous father’s military history by accidentally hijacking a fleet of space mercenaries by pretending to be a clone of himself, and then continues this ruse for quite some time while his actual clone goes after him in an attempt to kill his father and dismantle the planet’s colonial territories.
The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present — they are real.Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honor
Experience suggests it doesn’t matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive.Lois McMaster Bujold, Barrayar
“Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can’t trade for your heart’s desire is your heart.”Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory
There is one quote that I read again (and did not include here) while looking up quotes because I cried even when reading it out of context.