A Novel Idea: Quotes of the Day from Reads You Love

Quotes of the Day is a tradition that my friends and I have stuck to faithfully over the years. Funny quotes, poignant quotes, those that touch the soul and those that describe our lives better than we ourselves ever could. We send them to each other in impromptu texts, from novels, TV shows, songs, you name it! So, I thought I’d bring this tradition to my Navi follower friends. Get ready to laugh, eye roll, cry and everything in between! Comment or tweet suggestions to be added to the blog! The dates listed are the dates that I quoted them, not the date of publication.*

I see religion as a pinnacle of human achievement. In inventing God, we’ve developed the ability to consider our own straits–and we’ve equipped Him with the kind of handy loopholes that enable us to believe we only have so much control. The truth is that most people enjoy a certain level of impotence. But I think we do have control–so much that is scares us to death. As a species, God might be the greatest gift we’ve ever given ourselves. The gift of sanity. — Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists, December 21, 2017

“In these our cowardly times, we deny the grandeur of the Universal, and assert and glorify our local Bigotries, and so we cannot agree on much. In these our degenerate times, men bent on nothing but vainglory and personal gain— hollow, bombastic men for whom nothing is off-limits if it advances their petty cause— will claim to be great leaders and benefactors, acting in the common good, and calling all who oppose them liars, envious, little people, stupid people, stiffs, and, in a precise reversal of the truth, dishonest and corrupt. We are so divided, so hostile to one another, so driven by sanctimony and scorn, so lost in cynicism, that we call our pomposity idealism, so disenchanted with our rulers, so willing to jeer at the institutions of our state, that the very word goodness has been emptied of meaning and needs, perhaps, to be set aside for a time, like all the other poisoned words, spirituality, for example, final solution, for example, and (at least when applied to skyscrapers and fried potatoes) freedom.” –Salman Rushdie, The Golden House, October 11, 2017

“Everything is a strategy. This is the wisdom of the spider. Everything is food. This is the wisdom of the shark.” –Salman Rushdie, The Golden House, October 11, 2017

“Need exists, that is clear, but must be satisfied, that is a precondition without which love cannot be born…I am a matter-of-fact person, so I know a house must be built before one can live in it. First build a solid house, then have a happy life therein, forever.” –Salman Rushdie, The Golden House, October 11, 2017

“…at some point we need to be honest with ourselves and do what excites us instead of that looks good on paper.” – Terry McMillan, I Almost Forgot About You, June 15, 2016


“…you were struggling to be you without knowing how to stand up for yourself, so it was easy to get you to bend.” – Terry McMillan, I Almost Forgot About You, June 15, 2016


“…I decide to just let [the tears] roll. I need to feel what I feel and stop pretending I don’t feel it.”    – Terry McMillan, I Almost Forgot About You, June 15, 2016


“Most women are amazing. They just need to be with someone who makes it easy for them to express it. I think it’s called respect.” – Terry McMillan, I Almost Forgot About You, June 15, 2016


“I’m not even sure there is a rational case to be made for traditional marriage any more. Without external pressure, religious or social, to compel marriage, no rational, welfare-maximizing individual would enter into one.” New England White, Stephen L. Carter, March 27, 2016


“We too have been known to prefer plot to truth; to deny the evidence before us in favor of the ideas behind us; to do insane things in the name of reason; to take that satisfying step from the righteous to the self-righteous…to indulge in a little delusion.” –The Witches, Stacy Schiff


“We all subscribe to preposterous beliefs; we just don’t know yet which ones they are.” –The Witches, Stacy Schiff


“…who has turned some simple lack or some not-so-simple excess into self-hate. Lack and excess, these are the tickets: who would have thought moderation would prove so essential? Enough love, but not too much. Enough discipline, but not too much. Enough morality, but not too much.” – The Passion of Alice by Stephanie Grant, December 16, 2014


“Stupidity is one of two things we see most clearly in retrospect. The other is missed chances.”                                                                                                 —Stephen King, 11/22/63, October 2, 2014


“I longed to moan. I practiced…on a tape recorder…but always when I played it back, it sounded fake. It was fake. It wasn’t rooted in anything sexual, really, only in my desire to be sexual…I realized that moans are connected with not getting what you want right away, with putting things off…”  —The Vagina Monologues, May 31, 2012


“Stop shoving things up me. Stop shoving and stop cleaning it up. My vagina doesn’t need to be cleaned up. It smells good already. Not like rose petals. Don’t try to decorate. Don’t believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals when it’s supposed to smell like pussy. That’s what they’re doing—trying to clean it up, make it smell like bathroom spray or a garden. All those douche sprays—floral, berry, rain. I don’t want my pussy to smell like rain. All cleaned up like washing a fish after you cook it. Want to taste the fish. That’s why I ordered it.”  —The Vagina Monologues,  May 31, 2012


“…I was in a state of outrage. Outraged that 20,000-70,000 women were being raped in the middle of Europe in 1993, as a systematic tactic of war, and no one was doing anything to stop it. I couldn’t understand it. A friend asked me why I was surprised. She said that over 500,000 women were raped every year in this country, and in theory we were not at war.   –The Vagina Monologues, May 31, 2012


The striking thing about the normal is that there is nothing normal about it: normality is the gentrification of ordinary madness—ask any Surrealist. In analysist ‘the normal child’ is often synonymous with the obedient good child, the one who only wants to please the parents and develops what Winnicott called ‘a false self…’ couldn’t there be a definition of the normal which didn’t equate it with the ordinary or uninspiring? Or which wasn’t coercive or ridiculously prim?                                               —Hanif Kureishi, Something to Tell You, May 28, 2012


QOTD: ‘“How do you get a girl to be nice to you? Should you kiss her on the first date? What about marriage, should you bring it up sooner or later?”… The stupid indirect shit the straights have to go through. What’s it laughably called—seduction?’  Hanif Kureishi, Something to Tell You, May 28, 2012


QOTD: Haunted by the idea that he will find the one who will complete him, therefore rejecting all others as wrong. The founding myth of heterosexuality: completion, the ultimate fulfillment.

                                                                            —Hanif Kureishi, Something to Tell You, May 28, 2012


“Most people are too well-behaved…They go to their graves wondering whether they should have caused more harm to others, knowing they should.”   —Hanif Kureishi, Something to Tell You, May 19, 2012


“…rather than feeling partly present, as I did before…I seemed to have some weight. I was able to be their equal and, to my dismay, it seemed to diminish them, render tham a little pathetic even, as though I had been reducing my own stature all my life, to keep [them] big.”

                                                                                    —Hanif Kureishi, Somethin to Tell You, May 16, 2012


“…the innocent have everything—integrity, respect, moral goodness—except pleasure…Pleasure was hard work; not everyone, perhaps not most people, could bear to find it.”                                                                       –Hanif Kureishi, Something to Tell You, May 3, 2012


“Perhaps the most different thing between the two cultures (UK and US), the thing that truly distinguishes them from one another…is their attitude and approach towards death. Americans simply think they are going to live forever; that they can somehow ward off death if they try hard enough. Americans believe that since they are only given one life to live, it is up to them to get it right and maximise their individual potential. If they fail, it’s because they were not trying hard enough. This…is the secret to American optimism. Brits, on the other hand, live with a certain detachment and never want to be seen as trying too hard. They are supposed to roll with the punches, accept the inevitable and ‘keep strong and carry on.’ Success should be effortless.”   –Jane Walmsley, May 3, 2012


[Chili’s] basic understanding was that people were weak and lazy. He didn’t think they were stupid; he wasn’t going to make that mistake. He saw, though, that people resisted change, even if it would improve their lives; they were afraid, complacent, lacking courage. This gave the advantage to someone with initiative and will.”  —The Black Album, Hanif Kureishi, April 20, 2012


‘In reading, one foresees; one awaits. One foresees the end of the sentence, the following sentence, the next page. One waits for them to confirm or disappoint one’s foresights. The reading is composed of a host of hypotheses, of dreams followed by awakenings, of hopes and deceptions…’ The reader does not simply accept wholesale whatever the author says but rather evaluates the author’s credibility with each passing sentence.” – Toni Morrison’s Fiction: Contemporary Criticism, March 30, 2012