Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Memorable Character Quotes

“Books ran away when they grew restles, when they grew unruly, or when they grew real.”

First line in The Library of the Unwritten by A, J. Hackwith

As you can tell, I found the time to do this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt: Memorable character quotes. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, so head over there to check out future topics.

When compiling this list, I quickly realized that even if I remember quotes distinctly, I don’t always remember who said them. That made this post more challenging than I originally thought it would be but I have managed to find the character behind most of these quotes. Let’s get to it.


“I think what would be easy for anyone is a very great challenge for you, just like I think you routinely do things that would be impossible for others.”

Someone (I don’t remember who) in The Last Sun by K. D. Edwards

I try to remind myself of this whenever my anxiety thinks it should be the world’s greatest challenge to call my dentist.

“A boy may be as disagreeable as he pleases, but when a girl refuses to crap sunshine on command, the world mutters darkly about her moods.”

Sabetha in Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Isn’t colorful language just the best? Like, this idea has been said before but the way this is formulated just makes sure it’s stuck in my head.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

What a way to reference mental health in a fantasy book! I even have a bookmark with this quote so I can always remind myself.

“No thank you,” I said. “I don’t want to accept a drink from you, because then I would be obliged to purchase one for you in return, and I’m afraid I’m simply not interested in spending two drinks’ worth of time with you.”

Eleanor in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This is memorable for more personal reasons because my friend and I have both read this book. We’ve had a laugh over this because we often discuss how we reject advances from men in a polite manner. And here we have Eleanor, just giving it to them straight.

“That’s not because your games are any good, it’s because there is nothing wrong with them. Nothing to mark down. They’re completely empty. There’s nothing in them at all, no emotion, no truth.”

Carfax in The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

This one probably makes little sense if you haven’t read the book, but it was the one that enlightened me about some of this book’s messages and they are so beautiful.

“The man who must brag for himself knows that no one else will.”

The Duke of Bearns in Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

Just a little lesson in humility.

“Everyone thinks that courage is about facing death without flinching. But almost anyone can do that. Almost anyone can hold their breath and not scream for as long as it takes to die. True courage is facing life without flinching. I don’t mean the times when the right path is hard, but glorious at the end. I’m talking about enduring the boredom, and the messines, and the inconvinience of doing what is right.”

Amber in The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

I am not courageous because I flinch at everything but this is still a beautiful reminder and something to strive for.

She bent forward to breathe into his ear: “Never give me orders.”
“Command me, then,” he whispered back

Vasya and Morozko in The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

I’m just going to say that it is unhealthy how often I think about these few words.

“No,” Cath said. “Look at you. You’ve got your shit together, you’re not scared of anything. I’m scared of everything. And I’m crazy. Like maybe you think I’m a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I’m a complete disaster.”

Cath in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I could put every single quote from Cath in this post, but this one is very relatable. I’m also afraid of people seeing more than the tip of my crazy iceberg, so I found it very comforting to read about it in a book.

“All my life,” she said, “I have been told ‘go’ and ‘come.’ I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed me.”

Vasya in The Bear and the Nightingale by Kathrine Arden

I’ve shared this particular quote many times before but it is one I constantly return to and I continue to be amazed by its strength.

Apparently, I mainly remember the very inspirational quotes from characters so I hope you found yourself inspired (or something) after reading this. As I said, Fangirl could have filled this post on its own, so I’d love to know if there is a book YOU feel is especially quotable. Are there some character quotes you often find yourself thinking about?

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Memorable Character Quotes

  1. Ah, so many of my favorite books in one post! 🥰 (And now you’ve got me itching to reread that bathhouse scene again because I am, apparently, also unhealthily obsessed with The Winter of the Witch 😂)
    I never really remember quotes though – unless I’ve reread a book over and over again. I can actually quote quite a bit of Harry Potter, but not necessarily because whatever it was was particularly memorable. Like, once, in Latin class, our teacher let us translate the Latin version of Philosopher’s Stone as a treat, and it turned out to be the easiest exercise ever because I realized I had the entire passage more or less memorized (“On Halloween morning, they woke to the delicious smell of baking pumpkin wafting through the corridors…” See what I mean? Not very memorable, but apparently, I know it 🤣) That’s why I’m always really impressed when people can remember the actual specific words someone said after only one read-through. Or even when they take the time to notice the language enough to write particularly nice quotes down. I just don’t notice them 😂 I’ll know the gist of what was said and have a corresponding mental image to the scene, but unless the language is horrible, I won’t pay too much attention to the actual wording. So I wouldn’t be able to tell you any quotes unless I’ve read the book in question an excessive amount of times or seen them mentioned elsewhere… Which is when I start really appreciating them 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t understand people who read the bathhouse scene and not become obsessed with it 😄 And I’d say that and the Harry Potter one are the only ones I can quote word for word without having to look them up. With the rest, I just remembered the general idea of them and then had to use Goodreads’ quotes feature or my own notes for help. But that is a seriously specific line to remember from Harry Potter 😂 I doubt I would ever remember that.
      Maybe not being able to see quotes is the price you pay for being able to see fight scenes and all that other stuff I can’t picture. That makes sense to me at least 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ when I read it earlier this year, she’s a hoot! I haven’t read ‘Fangirl’ but I can definitely relate to the ‘crazy iceberg’ quote. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That quote from Republic of Thieves is so true!

    I have a relative who will command their young daughter to smile if they see her show any “negative” emotions like crying or frowning or showing anger. How they raise their kid is their business, but it makes me cringe to see someone expecting a child to suppress her emotions so early in life. 😦

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-memorable-things-characters-have-said/

    Liked by 1 person

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