Reading Group Center

18 Insightful Quotes from Your Favorite Authors (Who Happen to Be Women)

18 Insightful Quotes from Your Favorite Authors (Who Happen to Be Women)

March is Women’s History Month, and here at the Reading Group Center we’re celebrating the best way we know how—reading books written by women. It’s impossible to pick up a book without gleaning at least a little wisdom from it, but we were overwhelmed with the amount of insight and inspiration we found in the works of these exceptional women. Of course, we just had to share our discoveries with all of you! We hope you’re as moved by the quotes below as we were.

1. “The thing is to be happy,” he said. “No matter what. Just try that. You can. It gets to be easier and easier. It’s nothing to do with circumstances. You wouldn’t believe how good it is. Accept everything and then tragedy disappears. Or tragedy lightens, anyway, you’re just there, going along easy in the world.” —Alice Munro, Dear Life

2. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

3. “Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.” —Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things

4. “I made my excuses and left, thinking, really, after a certain age, people are just going to do what they’re going to do and you’re either going to accept them as they are or you’re not.” —Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

5. “If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.” —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

6. “I’ve discovered over the years that the simplest explanation is almost always the right one; and that hunger of one kind or another—desire, by another name—is the source of almost every sorrow.” —Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs

7. “The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” —Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

8. “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” —Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader

9. “This was the hardest part about a marriage, or a relationship like theirs: your hopes and your fears and your happiness hinged on someone else. When you stopped thinking that they ought to, you ended up like her parents, bitter and angry and apart.” —J. Courtney Sullivan, The Engagements

10. “I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead.” —Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

11. “The beginning of the end can feel a lot like the middle when you are living in it.” —Karen Russell, Swamplandia!

12. “Mind who you love. For that matter, mind how you are loved.” —Julia Glass, Three Junes

13. “All the world’s a stage we’re going through.” —Lorrie Moore, Anagrams

14. “It’s a funny old world. Once you realize that, you’re halfway there.” —Maeve Binchy, A Week in Winter

15. “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” —Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

16. “Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” —Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

17. “There is no good reason. Don’t waste your life waiting for good reasons…. You’ll wait and wait.” —Susan Minot, Evening

18. “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.” ―Toni Morrison, Beloved