10 Books That Are Famous For Their Quotes

Guest post by Love Reading

We love books for the many things they bring to our lives – exciting stories, heart-warming characters and insightful moments, but at their core, books are loved for their use of words and the quotes we take away from them.

Some of the most memorable lines we read can be recited and reused for a range of purposes, from reflecting upon our everyday lives to inspiring new thoughts and even starting speeches. Words shape worlds and some of the greatest quotes are unforgettable for the effects they have, whether they make us laugh, cry, or remember.

Here are 10 books that are famous for their fantastic quotes, written by some of the most outstanding English language authors that have graced our pages and our hearts.

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four


If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever“.

Taken from his bleak dystopian novel, 1984, this classic one-liner from George Orwell is a harrowing concept that has been used to support anti-surveillance arguments and support the fundamental human rights of privacy and freedom of expression and will.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man“.

Anthony Burgess’ outstanding novel pushes the boundaries of the English language with his infamous gang dialect, whilst exploring the concept of choice and morality in this gripping, yet philosophical narrative. This quote reflects the dilemma at the heart of the book, as to whether or not morality requires free will.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

American Psycho

I had all the characteristics of a human being – flesh, blood, skin, hair – but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure“.

Exploring the relationship between power, wealth and the human condition, American Psycho brings to life a frightening depiction of how unstoppable riches and beauty can make a man and how dehumanising such power can be.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Bell Jar

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am“.

Bittersweet and dark, Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel is a soul searching narrative, wherein the heroine, Esther desperately seeks a sense of self, relating the agony of creating an identity from inside an emotional vacuum, pictured as the smothering enclosure of a bell jar.

Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men

No Country for Old Men

You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from“.

In this thrilling cross-country chase adventure, Cormac McCarthy shows how fickle a man’s fate can be and how lady luck can be a capricious creature. In a world where a windfall could be the end of a man’s life, the logic of luck is turned on its head and the chase is on.

Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End

Then we came to the end

We loved killing time and had perfected several ways of doing so. We wandered the hallways carrying papers that indicated some mission of business when in reality we were in search of free candy“.

Joshua Ferris brings to life the frustrations of office life, filled with its desperations, unrequited romances and cheeky acts of defiance and procrastination.

Written with great compassion and tenderness, this novel is filled with laughter and tears and speaks volumes to anyone who has ever worked a 9-5 desk job.

Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

What we talk about when we talk abut love

It ought to make us feel ashamed when we talk like we know what we’re talking about when we talk about love“.

Taken from the eponymous short story, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver aptly sums up the issue of identifying and discussing emotions in the limited confines of language. Articulate and beautiful, this is a must-read for all book lovers.

Toni Morrison, Beloved


Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another“.

In her award-winning novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison explores the issue of identity in the wake of slavery and the struggle to possess oneself when one is legally owned by another.

Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

It seems an obvious thing to say, but you should not imagine that we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all undercover assassins“.

Written in the aftermath of 9/11, Mohsin Hamid’s international bestseller explores the meaning of national and racial identity, as thrown into a new and terrifying light by the terrible events in New York.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007, this novel is thrilling and intelligent, spinning a tale of disenchantment and distrust between the East and the West. Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time “All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I’m not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are”.

Written from the perspective of an autistic boy, Mark Haddon’s brilliant debut showcases the world in an unfathomably logical manner, scrutinizing social norms under the microscope of a 10 year old with Asperger’s syndrome.

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This post was contributed by Love Reading; founded for book lovers by book lovers in 2005.

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1 Comment on "10 Books That Are Famous For Their Quotes"

  1. You know, I’m sad to say that I don’t know any of those quotes and have not read any of those books, either.


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