The stories we love best are filled with subtle (and not-so-subtle) lessons and perspectives. These quotes from 15 modern Canadian books offer unique insights into the lives we live.
Most people look for words of wisdom in self-help books or in the Bible or other religious guides. But you will find much to think about in the passing comments of characters in works of fiction and other books, too.
Consider my favourite motivational quote:
“This above all: to thine own self be true, br>
And it must follow, as the night the day, br>
Thou canst not then be false to any man.” br>
Yes, it’s from Hamlet. It’s not from a self-help book. It’s not even from a novel. It’s from a stage play.
As we approach Canada Day, I reached out to 15 Canadian authors on Twitter. Here are the most compelling quotes from their novels that you can apply in real life today. Feel free to add these to your summer reading list.
Wise words from Canadian fiction
“Love, understanding, compassion, are inherent in everyone… What many lack in intelligence, they make up for in so many other ways. Everyone is important. We are all connected. And we all have gifts. Don’t you see that?”
– from The Recurring Mortality of Declan Darby by Chris Cavanagh
“He envisioned a trove of all the beautiful things; of mountains unclimbed, oceans unexplored, riches to unearth, and feasts to be devoured. Yet, the most precious thing on earth stood before him, glass raised, looking radiant and exuding a brilliance that would never tarnish.”
– from Timepiece by Barbara Avon
“I think what you need to remember is the way it made you feel at the time. Don’t let those thought take over and ruin it. You’re allowed to still feel the joy you always have at the memories you made.”
– from Time After Time: Forward by Mary Margaret
“When time is short, you can really see beyond the darkness. And you don’t need to close your eyes anymore.”
– from In the Silence of Words: A Three-Act Play by Cendrine Marrouat
“The truest magic is love, now and forever.”
– from Hidden Magic: The Eldritch of Hallows Book One by Elana Mcdougall
“I am struck by how intensely difficult it is to convey the raw reality of those days; how impossible it is to communicate the feeling of that time – the ineradicable, blatant, exuberant and encompassing joy of it.”
– from Flashbacks: an unreliable memoir of the 60s by Morgan Smith
– from Pender’s Death by Justin Haines
“I wouldn’t allow myself to believe that you could love me regardless if I were whole. I realize now that it doesn’t matter. You were right. I can’t let what happened to me define who I am.”
– from Untitled: Crimes Against the Crown by Wendy Bayne
“There’s a reason why light is symbolized as a flame, it takes work to remain lit and when it goes out, darkness is waiting to consume.”
– from The Summoning by SV Filice
“A balanced and strong society cannot treat girls and women as a weak link; rather, it must see them as a full part of the community. A society cannot achieve all its potential if such discriminations remain.”
– from Kellcey by Kacey Kells
“Be careful with other people’s hearts, Dex. You might need one someday.”
– from From Bridges to Breakdowns by Sandra A. Sigfusson
“Producers who spend lavishly on design and assembly don’t have much leftover for ad campaigns, whereas producers who sell junk can advertise like nobody’s business. Name recognition counts for everything in the global marketplace. Bigtime brands are worth more than the junk they sticker for.”
– from Loose Threads: Cool Assassins 1 by J. O. Quantaman
– from On the Trail of the Wind’s Tears by Lynne Armstrong-Jones
“You are supposed to be what they think you are. You know how it is.”
– from Look After Her by Hannah Brown
“We all come to a point in our story when we stop to take pause and look at the journey behind us and try to make sense of it. The trials we face, though they can be torturous, are also what make life worth living.”
– from 2 – 3 Tears by Suzie Klimt
So let’s wrap it up with a quote from the most classic Canadian novel of them all, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. If this doesn’t describe my relationship with books and movies, I don’t know what would.
“It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?”
Yes, a pandemic can be exciting in a book. Less so in real life.