Book Quotes #6: The Fellowship of the Ring/Tolkien Reading Day

March 25th is celebrated as Tolkien Reading Day – something I came to know a few days later. A day marked to celebrate the life and work of JRR Tolkien must be quite something, fans and readers sharing their favorite passages from Tolkien’s work. I was introduced to Lord of the Rings (LoTR) from the movie franchise and right then on I was mesmerized by the characters, the stories, and the magical realm of Middle Earth.

Last year I finished reading the first part of LoTR, The Fellowship of the Ring. There are many things to note in the pages, and something that really stood out was how Tolkien describes the imaginary world of Middle Earth, the myths, and the lives that were, that was, and that will be. I felt as though I was reading a history of a real world. It is almost impossible to imagine the depth of art and work that must have gone into the making of the story.

Fiction isn’t real. The characters aren’t real. And yet there is a touch of truth behind, an invisible line of connection with the characters you’d never meet. That is the mind of the creator, the writer. A mind we marvel at.

Since 2003, Tolkien Reading Day has been celebrated by The Tolkien Society. This year the theme is Hope and Courage. When I lack courage I remember Frodo, when my patience wavers I think of Arwen, when I search for a guardian I look for Gandalf, when hope seems far I pray to be like Samwise, and when I think of life well lived I seek for the tiny yet strong Hobbits.

Here are some of my favorite passages from The Fellowship of the Ring.

‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.
‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’

Book 1, Chapter 2: The Shadow of the Past

A poignant line that also features in the movie franchise. It speaks of both hope and courage. All we can do is decide what to do with the time that is with us.

‘But where shall I find courage?’ asked Frodo. ‘That is what I chiefly need.’
‘Courage is found in unlikely places,’ said Gildor.

Book 1, Chapter 3: Three is Company

Like Frodo carries the burden of the ring, each of us carries our own. Where do the fires of Mordor lie where we may be able to leave the ring to burn, we cannot tell.

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Book Quote #5: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Like millions of people all over the world, I came to know about Brene Brown through her TedTalk. However it was not her famous talk on vulnerability, rather the one on shame. I’ve stumbled upon her here and there through her podcasts, write ups, and other things on the internet. But never had I read her book. This was about to change after reading The Gifts of Imperfection.

There were times when I felt some stories and examples were a bit shallow and I wanted to know more about it, however, there were also lines, seemingly normal lines, that became glaringly obvious as it shone across the page. These lines will be sticking with me for a long time. The best thing about this book is how it normalizes feelings of shame, insecurity, worry, comparison, and many other emotions we feel on a daily basis but never have time to deal with. The book is simple and a good read for first timers in this subject or self help.

When I sat down to write this blog post, I thought an hour would be enough. I had underlined and made notes of many quotes while reading, but I didn’t think there would be so many that choosing 7 out of them would require a break and restarting.

Here are 7 quotes that touched my heart. There are many more, 7 for this post.

Ellen, I think asking for what you need is one of the bravest things that you’ll ever do.

As someone whose barely ever had courage to ask what I need, this line struck like gold. To ask for what we need, is indeed the bravest thing to do. Be it in class wanting to go to the bathroom or to ask what someone else is thinking. It is scary to ask for what one needs.

It’s as if we’re divided the world into ‘those who offer help’ and ‘those who need help.’ The truth is that we are both.

Sometimes we are the savers and sometimes we need to be saved. There’s no black and white. Our circumstances keep changing.

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Book Quotes #4: The Sun Is Also A Star

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It took me quite a while to finish this book. It’s a YA genre and perhaps not the kind that has hard core reality stuff in it. But it has some very amazing lines. Also, I liked how the author chose to move between the first person perspective of each character, with each chapter telling the story from the character’s view.

Here are some of my favorites lines from The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon.

On Randomness:

No one wants to believe that life is random.

On Feeling:

If snow falls in a city and no one is around to feel it, is it still cold?

On Choices:

I’m happy to have choices. They’re mine to make.

On Falling in Love:

I want to do the easy thing, not the right thing. I want to fall in love, with an emphasis on the falling part. No obstacles in the way, please. No one needs to get bruised up falling in love. I just want to fall the way everybody else gets to.

On Fear:

What if this thing between us was only meant to last the day? What if we are each other’s in-between people, a way station on the road to someplace else? What if we are just a digression in someone else’s history?

On Stars:

I remind myself that stars are more than just poetic. If you need to, you can navigate your way by them.

Book quotes #3: Pride and Prejudice

How to refuse a proposal Jane Austen style:

“Upon my word, sir,” cried Elizabeth, “your hope is rather an extraordinary one after my declaration. I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (if such young ladies there are) who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who would make you so. Nay, were your friend Lady Catherine to know me, I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation.”

Taken from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.