The Best Quotes From This Week's Most Popular Books

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After working in my hometown's bookstore, OtherTiger, there's no doubt that the best way to get a book in someone's hands is a good recommendation. We hardly turn to a book's trailer (yes, those exist) to determine whether we want to dedicate 10 hours of our time reading it. The way of book circulation is through critics, friends, and the book-sellers' recommendation tabs on the shelf. Basically, word of mouth.

Let's take that whole word thing a little more seriously and use some good lines in this week's best-sellers to see which one is the right summer-read for you.

Fiction

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter:

Goodreads

The line: “He wished he could reassure his mother: a man wants many things in life, but when one of them is also the right thing, he would be a fool not to choose it.”

Why this line is good: Who doesn't want the whole world? No one--we all want to maximize our lives with many things, but the ability to choose one right thing is something I want to see, and I want it in writing.

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Goodreads

The line: "For scientists, reality is not optional."

Why this line is good: Kingsolver strips the scientist of the stereotypical cast of linear thinking. The scientist that appears in this story will not rule life with a logical fist. Reality will likely bend.

The line: “A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away, and it is one part rapture.”

Why it's good: The "good life" may just be a title for what we have collectively deemed the right kind of life as a culture. Throwing all that "good" away might be unwise, but don't sit there and tell me it won't also be thrilling.

Joyland by Stephen King

Goodreads

The line: “Beware the dark stranger! He rides a unicycle!”

Why it's good: Like many lines I found from this book, it's delightfully absurd. I can't imagine this book will be anything less than that considering the author. (NOTE: The book has a loooot of potty language. Egads.).

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Goodreads

The line: “There's no app for a bourbon buzz on a warm day in a cool, dark bar. The world will always want a drink.”

Why it's good: I'm sure that right now, everyone--even those with air conditioning--agree wholeheartedly. The summer heat evokes desires that simply can't be met with a smartphone.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Goodreads

The line: “Part of the beauty of love was that you didn’t need to explain it to anyone else. You could refuse to explain. With love, apparently you didn’t necessarily feel the need to explain anything at all.”

Why it's good: It doesn't take a hopeless romantic to stab at the definition of love, and it takes no time at all to find ourselves fumbling in our descriptions. Wolitzer just said it all in three sentences, one of which is five words. This is a smart, and efficient writer.

Non-Fiction

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

Goodreads

The line: “If you stepped out of the shower and saw a leprechaun standing at the base of your toilet, would you scream, or would you innately understand that he meant you no harm?” 

Why it's good: This is something I genuinely would like to know about my friends. There are more observations and hypothetical prompts like this in the book. Pondering these things is the kind of quiet delight we need for a day on the porch or at the beach.

Wild: From Lost to Found On the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Goodreads

The line: “Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves...”

Why it's good: Fear is what keeps us from living, and is the most popular tool for self-sabotage. What a relief to hear that it might be, after all, merely a figment of our tendency to stay indoors and away from failure.

 Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Khaling

Goodreads

The line: “I simply regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world created therein has different rules than my regular human world.”

Why it's good: If you've seen this book, you'll notice it's mostly pink and written by a woman. You'll also notice it's not very long, and you might therefore worry you're about to read a pamphlet on the dried-out female conundrum of shallow friendship and heartbreak. The fact that Khaling classifies romantic comedies as a sub-genre of sci-fi is very good news.

In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Goodreads

The line: “Recalling his first impression of Hitler, Hanfstaengl wrote, 'Hitler looked like a suburban hairdresser on his day off.'"

Why it's good: The simple, thoughtful observation of the appearance of history's most infamous villain is more powerful than it's brevity implies. The satirically dry undertone sucks a splinter of the pain from Hitler's genocidal legacy. A suburban hairdresser on his day off? Tell me that wouldn't send steam shooting out Hitler's ears, and tell me that visual isn't fantastic.

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Esquire

The line/excerpt (it was all too good to leave out): "Every year after Jeannie has her annual baby, I receive congratulations from friends and family. There’s always one per- son who says, “Oh, you just had a baby. Yeah, we just got a puppy.” What? In no other situation could you compare a human to an animal and people would actually be okay with it. You could never say, “Oh, you just got married? Yeah, I used to have a pig. Does your new wife like to roll around in mud, too? My pig loved that.” -Excerpt from Esquire

Why it's good: Because we say ridiculous things for the sake of conversation momentum all the time and it's time that someone alert us to the insanity of it all.

All titles were found on National Indie Bestsellers list.

Think this is a lot of books to get to? You might want to think again. Take a look at the girl who read over 300 books in one year.  

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