Amusing Quotes

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Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.
Gustave Flaubert
Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
Voltaire
Declarations of love amuse me. Especially when unrequited.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.
Plato
You live but once; you might as well be amusing.
Coco Chanel
I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on the water.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I can only assume," said Jace, "that mortal emotions amuse you because you have none of your own.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
Seneca
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience and Other Essays)
You didn't kill him. He would have killed you, but you didn't kill him." "So? He was stupid. If I killed everyone who was stupid, I wouldn't have time to sleep.
Tamora Pierce (In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2))
your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
I licked my lips and whispered, "Is this where you say you'll kill me?" One corner of his lips curled. "If you like," he murmured, a flicker of amusement finally crossing his face. "Though it's gotten far too interesting for that.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
I think hiccup cures were really invented for the amusement of the patient's friends.
Bill Watterson (The Complete Calvin and Hobbes)
Tacos." "Tacos?" I echoed. This seemed to amuse him. "Tomatoes, lettuce, cheese." "I know what a taco is!
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
Demon pox, oh demon pox Just how is it acquired? One must go down to the bad part of town Until one is very tired. Demon pox, oh demon pox, I had it all along— Not the pox, you foolish blocks, I mean this very song— For I was right, and you were wrong!" "Will!" Charlotte shouted over the noise, "Have you LOST YOUR MIND? CEASE THAT INFERNAL RACKET! Jem—" Jem, rising to his feet, clapped his hands over Will's mouth. "Do you promise to be quiet?" he hissed into his friend's ear. Will nodded, blue eyes blazing. Tessa was staring at him in amazement; they all were. She had seen Will many things—amused, bitter, condescending, angry, pitying—but never giddy before. Jem let him go. "All right, then." Will slid to the floor, his back against the armchair, and threw up his arms. "A demon pox on all your houses!" he announced, and yawned. "Oh, God, weeks of pox jokes," said Jem. "We're in for it now.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine. He repeats my name like the word amuses him. Entertains him. Delights him. In seventeen years no one has said my name like that
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Even the Inquisitor's eyebrows shot up when Magnus strode through the gate. The High Warlock was wearing black leather pants, a belt with a buckle in the shape of a jeweled M, and a cobalt-blue Prussian military jacket open over a white lace shirt. He shimmered with layers of glitter. His gaze rested for a moment on Alec's face with amusement and a hint of something else before moving on to Jace, prone on the ground. "Is he dead?" he inquired. "He looks dead." "No," snapped Maryse. "He's not dead." "Have you checked? I could kick him if you want." Magnus moved toward Jace. "Stop that!" the Inquisitor snapped, sounding like Clary's third-grade teacher demanding that she stop doodling on her desk with a marker.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
I believe your friends Misters Fred and George Weasley were responsible for trying to send you a toilet seat. No doubt they thought it would amuse you.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
You’re such an ass. Has…anyone ever told you that?” He flashed a genuinely amused smile. “Oh, Kitten, every single day of my blessed life.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
I've noticed the Fair Folk often say 'perhaps' when there is a truth they want to hide," Clary said. "It keeps you from having to give a straight answer." "Perhaps so," said the Queen with an amused smile. "'Mayhap' is a good word too," Alec suggested. "Also 'perchance,'" Izzy said. "I see nothing wrong with 'maybe'," said Simon. "A little modern, but the gist of the idea comes across.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Asscrown," I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn't proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it. Noah matched my pace. "Don't you mean 'assclown'?" He looked amused. "No," I said, louder this time. "I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses," I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity. "I guess you nailed me then.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
His blue eyes glittered with amusement. “Naïve, darlin'," He murmured. "I stole you a long time ago. Round the time you f**kin' stole me.
Madeline Sheehan (Undeniable (Undeniable, #1))
The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
Voltaire
Cats will amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch, #2))
Gods prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches, #2))
Do you want to go back to Vienna?” he said. Alec didn’t answer, just stared into space. “Or we could go somewhere else,” said Magnus. “Anywhere you want. Thailand, South Carolina, Brazil, Peru – Oh, wait, no, I’m banned from Peru. I’d forgotten about that. It’s a long story, but amusing if you want to hear it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Nice costume," he said. "Ditto. I can tell you put a lot of thought into yours." Amusement curled his mouth. "If you don't like it, I can take it off.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
Nothing really mattered that much, not the good things and not the bad ones. We were in the business of mutual amusement, and we were reasonably prosperous.
John Green (Paper Towns)
The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.
Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1))
But ... but what if I hit you?” A snort. “You’re not going to hit me.” “How do you know?” I bristled at his amused tone. “I could hit you. Even master swordsmen make mistakes. I could get a lucky shot, or you might not see me coming. I don’t want to hurt you.” He favored me with another patient look. “And how much experience do you have with swords and weapons in general?” “Um.” I glanced down at the saber in my hand. “Thirty seconds?” He smiled, that calm, irritatingly confident smirk. “You’re not going to hit me.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
And this is why you don’t want me to be friends with Dee, because you were afraid that I’d find out the truth?” “That, and you’re a human. Humans are weak. They bring us nothing but trouble.” My eyes narrowed. “We aren’t weak. And you’re on our planet. How about a little respect, buddy.” Amusement flickered in his emerald eyes. “Point taken.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
Winston S. Churchill
Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.
Mahatma Gandhi
He stared up at the stars: and it seemed to him then that they were dancers, stately and graceful, performing a dance almost infinite in its complexity. He imagined he could see the very faces of the stars; pale, they were, and smiling gently, as if they had spent so much time above the world, watching the scrambling and the joy and the pain of the people below them, that they could not help being amused every time another little human believed itself the center of its world, as each of us does.
Neil Gaiman (Stardust)
What was that?” he whispered, eyes narrowed. There was no mistaking the amusement in the tilt to his lips, though. “Very bad kitty…
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
He gazed amusedly down the table at Tessa. “You’re the shape-changer, aren’t you?” he said. “Magnus Bane told me about you. No mark on you at all, they say.” Tessa swallowed and looked him straight in the eye. They were discordantly human eyes, ordinary in his extraordinary face. “No. No mark.” He grinned around his fork. “I do suppose they’ve looked everywhere?” “I’m sure Will’s tried,” said Jessamine in a bored tone.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Warlock,” he said. “I know who you are.” Magnus raised his eyebrows. “You do?” “Magnus Bane. Destroyer of the demon Marabas. Son of—” “Now,” said Magnus, quickly. “There’s no need to go into all of that.” “But there is.” The demon sounded reasonable, even amused. “If it is infernal assistance you require, why not summon your father?” Alec looked at Magnus with his mouth open.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Home, Ms. Lane?” His deep voice was gently amused. “I have to call it something,” I said morosely. “They say home is where the heart is. I think mine’s satin-lined and six feet under.
Karen Marie Moning (Bloodfever (Fever, #2))
His eyes widened just a bit, his lips flexed. I realized he was trying not to laugh. I hate it when people find my threats amusing.
Laurell K. Hamilton (The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #2))
People frequently bore me, sometimes amuse me, most often irritate me, but rarely intrigue me.
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
You know, when most girls say they want a big rock, they don't mean, you know, literally a big rock." "Very amusing, my sarcastic friend. It's not a rock, precisely. All Shadowhunters have a witchlight rune-stone.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Tessa, surprising herself, let out a gasp of laughter. Will looked at her, his mouth just beginning to quirk up in a grin. "I must be more amusing than I thought. Which would make me very amusing indeed.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
Michael Crichton
In that case" Tessa said, feeling hot blood rise to her face,"I think I would prefer it if you called me by my Christian name, as you do with Miss Lovelace. Will look at her, slow and hard, then smiled. His blue eyes lit when he smiled. "Then you must do the same for me," he said. "Tessa." She had never thought about her name much before, but when he said it, it was as if she were hearing if for the first time-the hard T, the caress of the double S, the way it seemed to end on a breath. Her own breath was very short when he said, softly, "Will." "Yes?" Amusement glittered his eyes. With a sort of horror Tessa realized that she had simply said his name for the sake of saying it; she hadn't actually had a question.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Ready?" Despite the grim mood, I smiled and cracked my knuckles. "Ready to wrestle with my gorgeous boyfriend? Oh, I'd say I'm ready for that." Amusement softened his eyes. "I'll try to control where I put my hands, but in the heat of things, who knows what could happen?" I added. Patch grinned. "Sounds promising.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
We do not need to eat animals, wear animals, or use animals for entertainment purposes, and our only defense of these uses is our pleasure, amusement, and convenience.
Gary L. Francione
He laughed, like someone had stabbed him in the chest and he had no other choice but to find it amusing.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
I turned. “I was asking about Jurian, the king, the queens, and the Cauldron, but I’m glad to know I have so many options where our relationship stands. And that you’ll do whatever I want. I must have you wrapped completely around my finger.” His eyes danced with feline amusement. “Cruel, beautiful thing.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
You know, you’re topping from the bottom,” he murmurs against my lips. “What?” I don’t understand what he’s talking about. “Don’t worry. I’ll live with it,” he whispers, amused...
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
Do you know how far the wall is from the mines?” He gave her blank look. She closed her eyes and sighed dramatically. “From my shaft, it was three hundred sixty-three feet. I had someone measure.” “So?” Dorian repeated. “Captain Westfall, how far do slaves make it from the mines when they try to escape?” “Three feet,” he muttered. “Endovier sentries usually shoot a man down before he's moved three feet.” The Crown Prince's silence was not her desired effect. “You knew it was suicide,” he said at last, the amusement gone. Perhaps it had been a bad idea to bring up the wall. “Yes.” ... “I never intended to escape.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Amusement touched the corner of his lips. "Animals love me." "Oh, I'm sure they do," Scarlet said, beaming with fake encouragement. She shut the door before muttering, "What farm animals don't love a wolf?
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with 'winning or losing this game of chess.
Marcel Duchamp
Her green eyes flutter all the way open, and she looks amused. It pricks his ego slightly. After that kiss, shouldn’t she be fainting at his feet? But she’s grinning.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
A halo surrounded the grim reaper nun, Sister Maria. (By the way-I like this human idea of the grim reaper. I like the scythe. It amuses me.)
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
And because she was young, and so damn clever and amusing and wonderful, wherever she made her home, there would be some man who would fall in love with her and who would make her his wife, and that would be the worst truth of all. It had snuck up on him, this pain and terror and rage at the thought of anyone else with her. Every look, every word from her... he didn't even know when it had started.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
It doesn't hurt." "But my eyes do," said a coolly amused voice from the doorway. Jace. He had come in so quietly that even Simon hadn't heard him; closing the door behind him, he grinned as Isabelle pulled Simon's shirt down. "Molesting the vampire while he's too weak to fight back, Iz?" he asked. "I'm pretty sure that violates at least one of the Accords." "I'm just showing him where he got stabbed," Isabelle protested, but she scooted back to her chair with a certain amount of haste.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Fred and George, however, found all this very funny. They went out of their way to march ahead of Harry down the corridors, shouting, "Make way for the Heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through ...... Percy was deeply disapproving of this behavior. "It is not a laughing matter," he said coldly. "Oh, get out of the way, Percy," said Fred. "Harry's in a hurry." "Yeah, he's off to the Chamber of Secrets for a cup of tea with his fanged servant," said George, chortling. Ginny didn't find it amusing either. "Oh, don't," she wailed every time Fred asked Harry loudly who he was planning to attack next, or when George pretended to ward Harry off with a large clove of garlic when they met.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
It was strange and amusing...and, honestly, a bit embarrassing...to realize how much being near Bella had softened me. It seemed like no one was afraid of me any more. If Emmett found out about this, he would be laughing for the next century.
Stephenie Meyer (Midnight Sun [2008 Draft])
And as for the Lightwoods," Simon said, "it's not that I like them that much. I mean, I like Isabelle, and I sort of like Alec and Jace, too. But there's this girl. And Jace is her brother." When Samuel replied, he sounded, for the first time genuinely amused. "Isn't there always a girl.
Cassandra Clare
When I started on Disneyland, my wife used to say, 'But why do you want to build an amusement park? They're so dirty.' I told her that was just the point--mine wouldn't be.
Walt Disney Company
In his extreme youth Stoner had thought of love as an absolute state of being to which, if one were lucky, one might find access; in his maturity he had decided it was the heaven of a false religion, toward which one ought to gaze with an amused disbelief, a gently familiar contempt, and an embarrassed nostalgia. Now in his middle age he began to know that it was neither a state of grace nor an illusion; he saw it as a human act of becoming, a condition that was invented and modified moment by moment and day by day, by the will and the intelligence and the heart.
John Williams (Stoner)
Well now, Jack," Hastings said from the sidelines. "I'm afraid you've been beheaded. Not a good start." He sounded amused.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Warrior Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #1))
When she catches you," the guard snarled, "my queen will eat your heart with salt and pepper." "Well," said Cinder, unconcerned, "my heart is half synthetic, so it'll probably give her indigestion." Kinney looked almost amused.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
You're a very amusing fellow," he told Halt. "I'd like to brain you with my ax one of these days." Erak to Halt.
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Should I pull on a shirt?" he asked with hint of amusement. I WILL NOT BLUSH. "No." He'd be doing the world a favor if he never wore a shirt again, but I wasn't going to tell him that part. "You're fine.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
The first morning Simon had been at Amatis's house, a grinning lycanthrope had showed up on the doorstep with a live cat for him. "Blood," he'd said, in a heavily accented voice. "For you. Fresh!" Simon had thanked the werewolf, waited from him to leave, and let the cat go, his expression faintly green. "We'll you're going to have to get your blood from somewhere," said Luke, looking amused. "I have a pet cat," Simon replied. "There's no way.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
You know, you're rather amusingly wrong.
Terry Pratchett (Maskerade (Discworld, #18; Witches, #5))
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent.
Plato
If anyone were to find out—” I began. Patch kissed me, hard, but with an amused glint in his eye. “If I get caught, it’ll mean the end of kissing you. Do you really think I’d risk that?” His face grew serious. “I know I can’t feel your touch, but I feel your love, Nora. Inside me. It means everything to me. I wish I could feel you the same way you feel me, but I have your love. Nothing will ever outweigh that. Some people go their entire lives never feeling the emotions you’ve given me. There is no regret in that.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
Will!” he shouted. “Will, she bit me!” “Did she, Henry?” Will, looking amused as usual, appeared like a summoned spirit from the chaos of smoke and flames. . .Will raised an eyebrow in Tessa’s direction. “It’s bad form to bite,” he informed her. “Rude, you know. Hasn’t anyone ever told you that?” “It’s also rude to go about grabbing at ladies you haven’t been introduced to,” Tessa said stiffly. “Hasn’t anyone told you that?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Is adult amusement killing our children, or is killing our children amusing adults?
Marilyn Manson
Our lives are one endless stretch of misery punctuated by processed fast foods and the occasional crisis or amusing curiosity.
Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors)
Oh, God. I’m trapped in the fucking Chronicles of Narnia." "I’m sure that would be an amusing reference, if I understood it.
Richelle Mead (Storm Born (Dark Swan, #1))
Careful, human.” Grimalkin appeared on the corner of the stage, overshadowed by the dead chimera. “Do not lose your heart to a faery prince. It never ends well.” “Who asked you?” I glared at him. “And why do you always pop up when you’re not wanted? You got your payment. Why are you still following me?” “You are amusing,” purred Grimalkin.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
I’ve been drinking, all right? Your skin was three inches from my face, and you’re beautiful, and you smell fucking awesome when you sweat. I kissed you! I’m sorry! Get over yourself!” His excuse made the corners of my mouth turn up. “You think I’m beautiful?” He frowned with disgust. “You’re gorgeous and you know it. What are you smiling about?” I tried to quell my amusement to no avail. “Nothing. Let’s go.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
And no one will kill Bill.” I laughed softly as I unbuckled the seat belt. “Blake. His name is Blake.” Daemon pulled the keys out and leaned back, his eyes glimmering with amusement. “He’s whatever I decide to call him.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
My tendency to make up stories and lie compulsively for the sake of my own amusement takes up a good portion of my day and provides me with a peace of mind not easily attainable in this economic climate.
Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang)
Ancient eyes had stared at me, filled with ancient grief. And something more. Something so alien and unexpected that I'd almost burst into tears. I'd seen many things in his eyes in the time that I'd known him: lust, amusement, sympathy, mockery, caution, fury. But I had never seen this. Hope. Jericho Barrons had hope, and I was the reason for it. I would never forget his smile. It had illuminated him from the inside out.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
How is it that, a full two centuries after Jane Austen finished her manuscript, we come to the world of Pride and Prejudice and find ourselves transcending customs, strictures, time, mores, to arrive at a place that educates, amuses, and enthralls us? It is a miracle. We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else's mind.
Anna Quindlen (How Reading Changed My Life)
But we're a university! We have to have a library!" said Ridcully. "It adds tone. What sort of people would we be if we didn't go into the library?" "Students," said Senior Wrangler morosely.
Terry Pratchett (The Last Continent (Discworld, #22; Rincewind, #6))
If you start wondering how this house works, you'll likely go mad. That could be amusing, I suppose. Especially if it's the kind of madness that causes you to run naked through the hallways. Do feel free to indulge in that anytime.
Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
You don't have to pick me up," I said in a rush. "Considering you have no idea where we're going and I have no intention of telling you, I'm quite sure that I do." "I can meet you somewhere centrally located." Noah sounded amused. "I promise to press my trousers before meeting your family. I'll even bring flowers for the occasion." "Oh, God. Please don't." I said. Maybe honesty is the best policy. "My family is going to screw with my life if you come over." I knew them far too well. "Congratulations-- you just made the prospect all the more enticing. What is your address?
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question: "Is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey, don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we kill those people.
Bill Hicks
Personally, I like it much better when someone else does the decision making. That way you have legitimate grounds to whine and complain. I tend to find both whining and complaining quite interesting and amusing, though sometimes--unfortunately--it's hard to choose which one of the two I want to do. Sigh. LIfe can be so tough sometimes.
Brandon Sanderson (Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Alcatraz, #2))
Even though he was inside the house, I could still hear Vlad’s sardonic mutter of “Where’s a tissue when I need one?” I turned my face away from Bones after a long moment, ending our kiss, and called out, “If you’re not too busy watching Hitman, I hear Dracula 2000 is a good movie.” “Vicious,” came Vlad’s reply, amusement clear in his tone.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
I love it when he cocks an eyebrow whenever I say something he finds clever or amusing. I love listening to his boots clomp across my bedroom ceiling. I love that the accent over his first name is called an acute accent, and that he has a cute accent.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Relius looked away. "He said that you...cried," he said softly. "But not that he cried as well," said the queen, amused at the memory. "We were very lachrymose... would you like to hear more romance of the evening? He told me the Guard should be reduced by half, and I threw an ink jar at his head." "Is that when he cried?" "He ducked," said Attolia dryly. "I had not pictured you for a fishwife." "Lo, the transforming power of love.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
Fang: “Let them blow up the world, and global-warm it, and pollute it. You and me and the others will be holed up somewhere, safe. We’ll come back out when they’re all gone, done playing their games of world domination." Max: “That’s a great plan. Of course, by then we won’t be able to go outside because we’ll get fried by the lack of the ozone layer. We’ll be living at the bottom of the food chain because everything with flavor will be full of mercury or radiation or something! And there won’t be any TV or cable because all the people will be dead! So our only entertainment will be Gazzy singing the constipation song! And there won’t be amusement parks and museums and zoos and libraries and cute shoes! We’ll be like cavemen, trying to weave clothes out of plant fibers. We’ll have nothing! Nothing! All because you and the kids want to kick back in a La-Z-Boy during the most important time in history!” Fang: “So maybe we should sign you up for a weaving class. Get a jump start on all those plant fibers.” Max: "I HATE YOU!!!" Fang: "NO YOU DOOOOOON'T!!" Voice: "You two are crazy about each other.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
It amused me to think that one can tell the truth when one is drunk and nobody will believe it.
Françoise Sagan (Bonjour tristesse)
Angel Bob: Doctor? Excuse me, hello, Doctor? Angel Bob here, sir. The Doctor: Ah, there you are, Angel Bob. How's life? Sorry, bad subject. Angel Bob: The Angels are wondering what you hope to achieve. The Doctor: Achieve? We're not achieving anything. We're just hanging, it's nice in here: consoles; comfy chairs; a forest... how's things with you? Angel Bob: The Angels are feasting, sir. Soon we will be able to absorb enough power to consume this vessel, this world, and all the stars and worlds beyond. The Doctor: Yeah, but we've got comfy chairs. Did I mention? Angel Bob: We have no need for comfy chairs. The Doctor: [amused] I made him say 'comfy chairs'.
Steven Moffat
When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
I just want God. I want God inside me. I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
You have a mother?" Only when I said it did I realize what a silly question it was! For heaven's sake! Gideon raised one eyebrow. "What did you expect?" he asked, amused. "You thought I was an android put together by Uncle Falk and Mr. George?
Kerstin Gier (Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1))
In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved, or improved, or freed, or educated. But in our century, they want to be entertained. The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom. A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do. A sense that we are not amused.
Michael Crichton (Timeline)
When are you putting me down?" he counters, no longer amused. "I mean, I've got an excellent view of your ass from here, but if you don't mind me staring -" I drop him without thinking. "Goddammit, Juliette - what the hell -" "How's the view from down there?" I stand over his splayed body, arms crossed over my chest. "I hate you.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
May the fleas of a thousand camels invade the crotch of the person that ruins your day. And may their arms be to short too scratch
Keisha Keenleyside
Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.
Jean-Paul Sartre
Hasn’t anyone ever told you,” Jesse asked, in a semi-amused voice, “ that a gentleman never lays a hand on a lady?” Which I thought was kind of funny, considering where Jesse had had his hand the last time I’d seen him. But I thought it better to let that slide.
Meg Cabot
When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself. You are not made up of compartments! You are one whole person! What gets said to you gets said to all of you, ditto what gets done. Being treated like shit is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you deserve. This is so simple. But I tried so hard to make it complicated.
Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
I had no illusions about you,' he said. 'I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate. But I loved you. It's comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn't ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you'd only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn't care. Most people, as far as I can see, when they're in love with someone and the love isn't returned feel that they have a grievance. They grow angry and bitter. I wasn't like that. I never expected you to love me, I didn't see any reason that you should. I never thought myself very lovable. I was thankful to be allowed to love you and I was enraptured when now and then I thought you were pleased with me or when I noticed in your eyes a gleam of good-humored affection. I tried not to bore you with my love; I knew I couldn't afford to do that and I was always on the lookout for the first sign that you were impatient with my affection. What most husbands expect as a right I was prepared to receive as a favor.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance. The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour. That is personality and individuality and self-respect -- the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours -- and the superior person recognises and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense.
H.P. Lovecraft
While browsing in a second-hand bookshop one day, George Bernard Shaw was amused to find a copy of one of his own works which he himself had inscribed for a friend: "To ----, with esteem, George Bernard Shaw." He immediately purchased the book and returned it to the friend with a second inscription: "With renewed esteem, George Bernard Shaw.
George Bernard Shaw
Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and coarse pleasures in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices reaches complete beastiality, and it all comes form lying continually to others and himself. A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense. it sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn't it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked up on a word and made a mountain out of a pea--he knows all of that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
And pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked.
Jane Austen
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
Bill Hicks
He was wearing a look that she found odd and compelling - that amusement that didn’t seem to pass beyond the surface of his features, as he found everything in the world both infinitely funny and infinitely tragic all at the same time.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
You may think it all very fine, Mr. Huntingdon, to amuse yourself with rousing my jealousy; but take care you don't rouse my hate instead. And when you have once extinguished my love, you will find it no easy matter to kindle it again.
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state--it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle.... Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one's actions. Source: The Wisdom of Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel
How can I describe Peter's face, the pieces of him that stick to my heart? Peter sometimes looked aloof and distant; sometimes his face was open and soft as a bruise. Sometimes he looked completely at Tiger Lily, as if she were the point on which all the universe revolved, as if she were the biggest mystery of life, or as if she were a flame and he couldn't not look even though he was scared. And sometimes it would all disappear into carelessness, confidence, amusement, as if he didn't need anyone or anything on this earth to feel happy and alive.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
Obama’s next words captured the attention of the world and the amusement of those present. As he wagged his finger at the crowd, he scolded, ‘So stop it, all of you. I know you have to find something to report on, but we have more than enough problems out there without manufacturing problems.
Claudia Clark (Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel)
A forty-foot worm?" Will muttered to Jem as they moved through the Italian garden, their boots - thanks to a pair of Soundless runes - making no noise on the gravel. "Think of the size of the fish we could catch." Jem's lips twitched. "It's not funny, you know." "It is a bit." "You cannot reduce the situation to worm jokes, Will. This is Gabriel and Gideon's father we're discussing." "We're not just discussing him; we're chasing him through an ornamental sculpture garden because he's turned into a worm." "A demonic worm," said Jem, pausing to peer cautiously around a hedgerow. "A great serpent. Would that help your inappropriate humor?" "There was a time when my inappropriate humor brough you a certain amusement," sighed Will. "How the worm has turned.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
In a dog's life, some plaster would fall, some cushions would open, some rugs would shred. Like any relationship, this one had its costs. They were costs we came to accept and balance against the joy and amusement and protection and companionship he gave us.
John Grogan (Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog)
There are 10,000 books in my library, and it will keep growing until I die. This has exasperated my daughters, amused my friends and baffled my accountant. If I had not picked up this habit in the library long ago, I would have more money in the bank today; I would not be richer.
Pete Hamill
(Nix and Lothaire conversing) "Have you no mate, female?” he’d asked, intrigued with her, though she was his natural enemy. “I was betrothed to Loki for a time. Which did not proceed smoothly for obvious reasons. So for now I am an unrepentant manizer.” At Lothaire’s blank look, she’d said, “That will be amusing in the twenty-first century.
Kresley Cole (Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12))
A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween.
Erma Bombeck
I'm not mad, though," Kat said. "You lied to me, and I lied to you. We're even." Finally he lost the grin. "When did you lie?" She gave him a Sweet'N Low smile, as if his amusement had been poured into her. "Every time we messed around. I didn't actually enjoy myself, if you know what I mean.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
As far as informing the headmaster, Harry had no idea where Dumbledore went during the summer holidays. He amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full-length wizard's robes, and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion onto his long crooked nose.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
I slide my feet onto the seat next to him, my ankle brushing against his thigh. “No shallowness of breath? No rapidly beating heart?” He rests one hand on my foot as he continues to mess with his phone. His eyes meet mine in amusement. “Are those the indicators? I might have an issue after all.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us (Old Town Shops #1))
He wanted her. He knew where to find her. He waited. It amused him to wait, because he knew that the waiting was unbearable to her. He knew that his absence bound her to him in a manner more complete and humiliating than his presence could enforce. He was giving her time to attempt an escape, in order to let her know her own helplessness when he chose to see her again.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us . . . But what if there are no cries of anguish to be heard? Who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when serious discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture's being drained by laughter?
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
However, while being able to think about two things at the same time is a terribly convenient, the training it takes to get there is frustrating at best, and at other times rather disturbing. I remember one time I looked for the stone for almost an hour before I consented to ask the other half of me where I'd hidden it, only to find I hadn't hidden the stone at all. I had merely been waiting to see how long I would look before giving up. Have you ever been annoyed and amused with yourself at the same time? It's an interesting feeling, to say the very least.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
MTV and video games have solved that problem as far as most of humanity goes. That, and telly, as it were.” “Telly?” Who was that? He grunted in amusement. “Television, of course. Don’t you speak English?” “You sure don’t,” I muttered. Shaking his head, he frowned at me.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
[M]ost of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action. (68).
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Congratulations on the new library, because it isn't just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you -- and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life. [Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]
Isaac Asimov
...happiness does not consist in amusement. In fact, it would be strange if our end were amusement, and if we were to labor and suffer hardships all our life long merely to amuse ourselves.... The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement....
Aristotle
There is something else which has the power to awaken us to the truth. It is the works of writers of genius. They give us, in the guise of fiction, something equivalent to the actual density of the real, that density which life offers us every day but which we are unable to grasp because we are amusing ourselves with lies.
Simone Weil
Clothes were scattered across the floor in piles, a duffel bag open on the floor as if it had exploded. Isabelle's bright silver-gold whip hung from one bedpost, a lacy white bra from another. Simon averted his eyes. The curtains were drawn, the lamps extinguished. Isabelle flopped down on the edge of the bed and looked at him with bitter amusement. "A blushing vampire. Who would have guessed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
You’re here.” “I am.” Jason boldly took in the way she looked. “I take it you don’t often wear that dress in court.” “Probably not a good idea.” He grinned. “Yes, I can imagine it would be somewhat awkward standing before a judge who has a huge hard-on.” “Is that the effect this dress has?” Taylor’s eyes traveled downward, to the zipper of Jason’s pants, and he was momentarily caught off guard by her bluntness. Her eyes sparkled, amused. “You’re blushing, Jason. That’s cute.
Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive)
Ladies and gentlemen, Jamal Feldstein-Roth.” I blinked. “Wait, Jamal?” “Suck it,” he said with a grin. “My parents are liberal Jews from Long Island, okay? They wanted me to have a connection to my heritage.” Jamie made air quotes with his fingers. “I’m not judging—my middle name is Amitra. I’m just surprised.” “Amitra,” Noah amused. “Mystery solved.” “What is that?” Jamie asked me. “Sanskrit? Hindi?” I shrugged. “Randomly?” I shook my head. “My mom’s Indian.” “What does that mean?” Jamie asked me. “What does Jamal mean?” I asked him. “Point taken.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings but contemplate their return. If you don't realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king. Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, you can deal with whatever life brings you, And when death comes, you are ready.
Zhuangzi
Altho' I rarely waste time in reading on theological subjects, as mangled by our Pseudo-Christians, yet I can readily suppose Basanistos may be amusing. Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. If it could be understood it would not answer their purpose. Their security is in their faculty of shedding darkness, like the scuttlefish, thro' the element in which they move, and making it impenetrable to the eye of a pursuing enemy, and there they will skulk. [Letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp on 30 July 1810 denouncing the Christian doctrine of the Trinity]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it. I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don't belong; it doesn't include me, and it never has. no matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
At first we had so much to catch up on we were talking a hundred words a second, barely even listening to the ends of one another's sentences before moving onto the next. And there was laughing. Lots of laughing. Then the laughing stopped and there was this silence. What the hell was it? It was like the world stopped turning in that instant. Like everyone around us had disappeared. Like everything at home was forgotten about. It was as if those few minutes on this world were created just for us and all we could do was look at each other. It was like he was seeing my face for the first time. He looked confused but kind of amused. Exactly how I felt. Because I was sitting on the grass with my best friend Alex, and that was my best friend Alex's face and nose and eyes and lips, but they seemed different. So I kissed him. I seized the moment and I kissed him,
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
These days, however, I am much calmer - since I realised that it’s technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn’t be allowed to have a debate on women’s place in society. You’d be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor - biting down on a wooden spoon, so as not to disturb the men’s card game - before going back to quick-liming the dunny. This is why those female columnists in the Daily Mail - giving daily wail against feminism - amuse me. They paid you £1,600 for that, dear, I think. And I bet it’s going in your bank account, and not your husband’s. The more women argue loudly, against feminism, the more they both prove it exists and that they enjoy its hard-won privileges.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
Then he crouches down behind it, motions for Tess and me to sit down, and begins unbuttoning his vest. I blush scarlet and thank every god in the world for the darkness surrounding us. “I’m not cold and I’m not bleeding,” I say to him. “Keep your clothes on.” The boy looks at me. I would’ve expected his bright eyes to look dimmer in the night, but instead they seem to reflect the light coming from the windows above us. He’s amused. “Who said anything about you , sweetheart?
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
Assume the worst. About everybody. But don't let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious and corrupt asshole shouldn't prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them or finding them entertaining.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
You were so hurt,” he says, “that I’d asked you to wear a dress.” He looks at me then, eyes sparkling with amusement. “Here I was, prepared to defend my life against an uncontrollable monster who could kill,” he says, “kill a man with her bare hands—” He bites back another laugh. “And you threw tantrums over clean clothes and hot meals. Oh,” he says, shaking his head at the ceiling, “you were ridiculous. You were completely ridiculous and it was the most entertainment I’d ever had. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. I loved making you mad,” he says to me, his eyes wicked. “I love making you mad.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares. But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
I’m fairly certain, Captain, that the more you discover about me, the more you will dislike me. Therefore, let’s cut to the chase and acknowledge that we don’t like each other. Then we won’t have to bother with the in-between part.” She was so bloody frank and practical about the whole thing that Christopher couldn’t help but be amused. “I’m afraid I can’t oblige you.” “Why not?” “Because when you said that just now, I found myself starting to like you.” “You’ll recover,” she said.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Well, you've finally got a license to kill. It's about time. " I turned and met the amused eyes of Christian Ozera, a onetime annoyance who'd become a good friend. So good, in fact, that in my joyous zeal, I reached out and hugged him--something he clearly didn't expect. I was surprising everyone today. "Whoa, whoa, " he said backing up, flushing. "It figures. You're the only girl who'd get all emotional about the thought of killing. I don't even want to think about what goes on when you and Ivashkov are alone.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
Boys. Listen up. We are going out for a girls’ night, where there will be dancing.” Kami did an illustrative shimmy. Angela looked resigned. Jared looked amused. “What was that?” “You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watching, Jared,” Kami informed him. “Have you considered that perhaps nobody’s watching because they’re too embarrassed for you?” “Fine,” said Kami, grinning at him. “Be a hater of dances. Be a hater of joy. I don’t care. You’re not invited!
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
When he faced her again, he had never looked to her so much like one of the Fair Folk. His eyes were full of feral amusement, a carelessness that spoke of a world where there was no human Law. He seemed to bring the wildness of Faerie into the room with him: a cold, sweet magic that was nevertheless a bitter at the roots. The storm calls you as it calls me, does it not? He held out a hand to her, half-beckoning, half-offering. "Why lie?" he said.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Again I take a taxi to Clichy address, but feel that I do not want to go on loving Henry more actively than he loves me (having realized that nobody will ever love me in that overabundant, overexpressive, overthoughtful, overhuman way I love people), and so I will wait for him. So I ask taxi driver to drop me at the Galeries Lafayette, where I begin to look for a new hat and to shop for Christmas. Pride? I don't know. A kind of wise retreat. I need people too much. So I bury my gigantic defect, my overflow of love, under trivialities, like a child. I amuse myself with a new hat.
Anaïs Nin (Incest: From A Journal of Love - The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1932-1934))
Huh,” said Kit, thinking of the Cold Peace. “Are you a prisoner?” “No,” said the faerie. “I’m Mark’s lover.” Oh, Kit thought. The person he went into Faerie to save. He tried to stifle a look of amusement at the way faeries talked. Intellectually, he knew the word “lover” was part of traditional speech, but he couldn’t help it: He was from Los Angeles, and as far as he was concerned, Kieran had just said, Hello, I have sex with Mark Blackthorn. What about you?
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
There was a soft chuckle beside me, and my heart stopped. "So this is Oberon's famous half-blood," Ash mused as I whirled around. His eyes, cold and inhuman, glimmered with amusement. Up close, he was even more beautiful, with high cheekbones and dark tousled hair falling into his eyes. My traitor hands itched, longing to run my fingers through those bangs. Horrified, I clenched them in my lap, trying to concentrate on what Ash was saying. "And to think," the prince continued, smiling, "I lost you that day in the forest and didn't even know what I was chasing." I shrank back, eyeing Oberon and Queen Mab. They were deep in conversation and did not notice me. I didn't want to interrupt them simply because a prince of the Unseelie Court was talking to me. Besides, I was a faery princess now. Even if I didn't quite believe it, Ash certainly did. I took a deep breath, raised my chin, and looked him straight in the eye. "I warn you," I said, pleased that my voice didn't tremble, "that if you try anything, my father will remove your head and stick it to a plaque on his wall." He shrugged one lean shoulder. "There are worse things." At my horrified look, he offered a faint, self-derogatory smile. "Don't worry, princess, I won't break the rules of Elysium. I have no intention of facing Mab's wrath should I embarrass her. That's not why I'm here." "Then what do you want?" He bowed. "A dance." "What!" I stared at him in disbelief. "You tried to kill me!" "Technically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I'd had the shot, I would have taken it." "Then why the hell would you think I'd dance with you?" "That was then." He regarded me blandly. "This is now. And it's tradition in Elysium that a son and daughter of opposite territories dance with each other, to demonstrate the goodwill between the courts." "Well, it's a stupid tradition." I crossed my arms and glared. "And you can forget it. I am not going anywhere with you." He raised an eyebrow. "Would you insult my monarch, Queen Mab, by refusing? She would take it very personally, and blame Oberon for the offense. And Mab can hold a grudge for a very, very long time." Oh, damn. I was stuck.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
The stains could be seen only in the sunlight, so Ruth was never really aware of them until later, when she would stop at an outdoor cafe for a cup of coffee, and look down at her skirt and see the dark traces of spilled vodka or whiskey. The alcohol had the effect of making the black cloth blacker. This amused her; she had noted in her journal: 'booze affects material as it does people'.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
So,” Royce said, “you want us to escape from this prison, kidnap the king, cross the countryside with him in tow while dodging soldiers who I assume might not accept our side of the story, and go to another secret prison so that he can visit an inmate?” Arista did not appear amused. “Either that, or you can be tortured to death in four hours.” “Sounds like a really good plan to me,” Hadrian declared.“Royce?” “I like any plan where I don’t die a horrible death.
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
Get me some Midol, all right?" Benjamin all but choked. Leon studies the ceiling with a great deal of interest, a smile twitching at the corners of his thin mouth. While Benjamin looked ready to sink into the floor, Leon looked highly amused. I decided I liked him. "I think you should pick your own Midol." Graves even said it with a straight face, but there was a ghost of a grin quirking his lips......"Cause, you know, there's different types.
Lili St. Crow (Jealousy (Strange Angels, #3))
Current relationship status?” Her voice cut like an arctic chill blowing through the room. “If you mean me, then you’re not my type. If you mean my dad, he’s single, but I don’t think you’re his type either,” I said with a small smile. Mercy didn’t find it amusing. A small blue vein in her forehead started throbbing like crazy....“Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think he has a type. I’ve never seen him with a woman. Mercy, I hate to break it to you, but there’s a very real possibility my dad is gay.
Jus Accardo (Touch (Denazen, #1))
I simply state that I'm a product of a versatile mind in a restless generation-with every reason to throw my mind and pen in with the radicals. Even if, deep in my heart, I thought we were all blind atoms in a world as limited as a stroke of a pendulum, I and my sort would struggle against tradition; try, at least, to displace old cants with new ones. I've thought I was right about life at various times, but faith is difficult. One thing I know. If living isn't seeking for the grail it may be a damned amusing game.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?" What other reason could there be?" Colonel Gerineldo Marquez answered. "For the great Liberal party." You're lucky because you know why," he answered. "As far as I'm concerned, I've come to realize only just now that I'm fighting because of pride." That's bad," Colonel Gerineldo Marquez said. Colonel Aureliano Buendia was amused at his alarm. "Naturally," he said. "But in any case, it's better than not knowing why you're fighting." He looked him in the eyes and added with a smile: Or fighting, like you, for something that doesn't have any meaning for anyone.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Because I was permanently confused, dissatisfied, unhappy, tormented by inadequacy, driven by wanting towards every kind of impossible future, the attitude of mind described by 'tolerantly amused eyes' was years away from me. I don't think I really saw people then, except as appendages to my needs. It's only now, looking back, that I understood, but at the time I lived in a brilliantly lit haze, shifting and flickering according to my changing desires. Of course, that is only a description of being young.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Television, radio, and all the sources of amusement and information that surround us in our daily lives are also artificial props. They can give us the impression that our minds are active, because we are required to react to stimuli from the outside. But the power of those external stimuli to keep us going is limited. They are like drugs. We grow used to them, and we continuously need more and more of them. Eventually, they have little or no effect. Then, if we lack resources within ourselves, we cease to grow intellectually, morally, and spiritually. And we we cease to grow, we begin to die.
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
Asher was a vampire. How much more dangerous could he be with a gun? But I couldn't do it. "Let me test my understanding. Is Asher going to ride in the car with us to the meeting?" I must to give you directions," Asher said. Then lean against the Jeep." He frowned at me in an amused, condescending sort of way. Excuse me?" I don't care if you're the second coming of the Antichrist, you can't sit behind me in my own car until I know you're not carrying a weapon." Asher smiled briliantly at both of us, flashing fang. ...I could rip you into pieces with my bare hands, and you're worried I have a gun?" He chuckled, a low, skin-prickling sound. "That is so very cute.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #7))
You are a terrible liar. You do want this. Just as badly as I do.” My mouth opened, but no words came out. “You want this as badly as you want to go to ALA this winter.” Now my jaw was on the floor. “You don’t even know what ALA is!” “American Library Association midwinter event,” he said, grinning proudly. “Saw you obsessing over it on your blog before you got sick. I’m pretty sure you said you’d give up your firstborn child to go.” Yeah, I kind of did say that. Daemon eyes flashed. “Anyway, back to the whole you wanting me part.” I shook my head, dumbfounded. “You do want me.” Taking a deep breath, I struggled with my temper… and my amusement. “You are way too confident.” “I’m confident enough to wager a bet.” “You can’t be serious.” He grinned. “I bet that by New Year’s Day, you will have admitted that you’re madly, deeply, and irrevocably—” “Wow. Want to throw another adverb out there?” My cheeks were burning. “How about irresistibly?” I rolled my eyes and muttered, “I’m surprised you know what an adverb is.” “Stop distracting me, Kitten. Back to my bet—by New Year’s Day, you’ll have admitted that you’re madly, deeply, irrevocably, and irresistibly in love with me.” Stunned, I choked on my laugh. “And that you dream about me.” He released my arm and folded his, cocking an eyebrow. “I bet you’ll even admit that. Probably even show me your notebook with my name circled in hearts—” “Oh, for the love of God…” Daemon winked. “It’s on.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
LADY LAZARUS I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it-- A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin O my enemy. Do I terrify?-- The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade. What a million filaments. The peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot-- The big strip tease. Gentlemen, ladies These are my hands My knees. I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman. The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell. It's easy enough to do it and stay put. It's the theatrical Comeback in broad day To the same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout: 'A miracle!' That knocks me out. There is a charge For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart-- It really goes. And there is a charge, a very large charge For a word or a touch Or a bit of blood Or a piece of my hair or my clothes. So, so, Herr Doktor. So, Herr Enemy. I am your opus, I am your valuable, The pure gold baby That melts to a shriek. I turn and burn. Do not think I underestimate your great concern. Ash, ash-- You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there-- A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. Herr God, Herr Lucifer Beware Beware. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And I eat men like air. -- written 23-29 October 1962
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return. Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source. Returning to the source is serenity. If you don't realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king. Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, you can deal with whatever life brings you, and when death comes, you are ready.
Lao Tzu
Oh my. He's English. "Er. Does Mer live here?" Seriously, I don't know any American girl who can resist an English accent. The boy clears his throat. "Meredith Chevalier? Tall girl? Big, curly hair?" Then he looks at me like I'm crazy or half deaf, like my Nana Oliphant. Nanna just smiles and shakes her head whenever I ask, "What kind of salad dressing would you like?" or "Where did you put Granddad's false teeth?" "I'm sorry." He takes the smallest step away from me. "You were going to bed." "Yes! Meredith lives here. I've just spent two hours with her." I announce this proudly like my little brother, Seany, whenever he finds something disgusting in the yard. "I'm Anna! I'm new here!" Oh, [Gosh]. What. Is with. The scary enthusiasm? My cheeks catch fire, and it's all so humiliating. The beautiful boy gives an amused grin. His teeth are lovely - straight on top and crooked on the bottom, with a touch of overbite. I'm a sucker for smiles like this, due to my own lack of orthodontia. I have a gap between my front teeth the size of a raisin. "Étienne," he says. "I live one floor up." "I live here." I point dumbly at my room while my mind whirs: French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused. He raps twice on Meredith's door. "Well. I'll see you around then, Anna." Eh-t-yen says my name like this: Ah-na.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Karrin." She looked up at me. She looked very young somehow. "Remember what I said yesterday," I said. "You're hurt. But you'll get through it. You'll be okay." She closed her eyes tightly. "I'm scared. So scared I'm sick." "You'll get through it." "What if I don't?" I squeezed her fingers. "Then I will personally make fun of you every day for the rest of your life," I said. "I will call you a sissy girl in front of everyone you know, tie frilly aprons on your car, and lurk in the parking lot at CPD and whistle and tell you to shake it, baby. Every. Single. Day." Murphy's breath escaped in something like a hiccup. She opened her eyes, a mix of anger and wary amusement easing into them in place of fear. "You do realize I'm holding a gun, right?
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
And then," Ress was saying, his boyish face set with fiendish delight, "just as he got her into bed, stark naked as the day he was born, her father walked in"- winces and groans came from the guards, even Chaol himself-"and he dragged him out of bed by his feet, took him down the hall, and dumped him down the stairs. He was shrieking like a pig the whole time." Chaol leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms. "You would be, too, if someone were dragging your naked carcass across the ice-cold floor." He smirked as Ress tried to deny it. Chaol seemed so comfortable with the men, his body relaxed, eyes alight. And they respected him, too-always glancing at him for approval, for confirmation, for support. As Celaena's chuckle faded, Chaol looked at her, his brows high. "You're one to laugh. You moan about the cold floor more than anyone else than I know." She straightened as the guards gave hesitant smiles. "If I recall correctly, you complain about every time I wipe the floor with you when we spar." "Oho!" Ress cried, and Chaol's brows rose higher. Celaena gave him a grin. "Dangerous words," Chaol said. "Do we need to go to the training hall to see if you can back them up?" "Well, as long as your men don't object to seeing you knocked on your ass." "We certainly do not object to that," Ress crowed. Chaol shot him a look, more amused than warning. Ress quickly added, "Captain.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
What’s so funny?” I asked, horrified, trying to think of an inconspicuous way to check my breath. “Of everything you’ve done, this is by far the most entertaining!” Maxon bent over, hitting his knee as he laughed. “Excuse me?” He kissed me hard on my forehead. “I always wondered what it would be like to see you try.” He started laughing again. “I’m sorry; I have to go.” Even the way he stood held a sense of amusement. “I’ll see you in the morning.” And then he left. He just left!
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
He’s the kind of man who if you gave him a gun and told him he had two choices—“shoot one of your dogs or shoot yourself in the head”—he’d put the gun to his ear and pull the trigger.” “Hell, Jules, you’d do the same thing if someone did that to you and your goddamned cats,” Blake said in amusement. “No,” Julian murmured with a shake of his head. “No, there’s a third option. People like us, we’re third-option people. We take the gun, stuff it in the person’s mouth, and eliminate the problem. Walk off into the sunset with our kitty.
Abigail Roux (Warrior's Cross)
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.” Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?” … “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.” “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon) ...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.” “That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count. He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said. Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough. His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud... His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up. ...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?” The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
His fingers lightly grazed my cheek. "I didn't know you before. When you're not there, I can't concentrate. I'm wondering where you are, what you're doing...if you're there and I can see you, I can see you, I can focus. I know it's crazy, but that's how it is." "And crazy is exactly the way I like it," I said, leaning up to kiss his lips. "Obviously," America muttered under breath.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
He could tell at once that they carried different sorts of bubble bath mixed with the water though it wasn't bubble bath as Harry had ever experienced. One tap gushed pink and blue bubbles the size of footballs; another poured ice-white foam so thick that Harry thought it would have supported his weight if he'd cared to test it; a third sent heavily perfumed purple clouds hovering over the surface of the water. Harry amused himself for a while turning the taps on and off, particularly enjoying the effect of one whose jet bounced off the surface of the water in large arcs.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
His habit of reading isolated him: it became such a need that after being in company for some time he grew tired and restless; he was vain of the wider knowledge he had acquired from the perusal of so many books, his mind was alert, and he had not the skill to hide his contempt for his companions' stupidity. They complained that he was conceited; and, since he excelled only in matters which to them were unimportant, they asked satirically what he had to be conceited about. He was developing a sense of humour, and found that he had a knack of saying bitter things, which caught people on the raw; he said them because they amused him, hardly realising how much they hurt, and was much offended when he found that his victims regarded him with active dislike. The humiliations he suffered when he first went to school had caused in him a shrinking from his fellows which he could never entirely overcome; he remained shy and silent. But though he did everything to alienate the sympathy of other boys he longed with all his heart for the popularity which to some was so easily accorded. These from his distance he admired extravagantly; and though he was inclined to be more sarcastic with them than with others, though he made little jokes at their expense, he would have given anything to change places with them.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Huxley added, "people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us".
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
I am alone this evening, and I am alone because of a cruel twist of fate, a phrase which here means that nothing has happened the way I thought it would. Once I was a content man, with a comfortable home, a successful career, a person I loved very much, and an extremely reliable typewriter, but all of those things have been taken away from me, and now the only trace I have of those happy days is the tattoo on my left ankle. As I sit in this very tiny room, printing these words with a very large pencil, I feel as if my whole life has been nothing but a dismal play, presented just for someone else’s amusement, and that the playwright who invented my cruel twist of fate is somewhere far above me, laughing and laughing at his creation.
Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
Ron, you're making it snow," said Hermione patiently, grabbing his wrist and redirecting his wand away from the ceiling from which, sure enough, large white flakes had started to fall. Lavender Brown, Harry noticed, glared at Hermione from a neighboring table through very red eyes, and Hermione immediately let go of Ron's arm. "Oh yeah," said Ron, looking down at his shoulders in vague surprise." Sorry...looks like we've all got horrible dandruff now...." He brushed some of the fake snow off Hermione's shoulder. Lavender burst into tears. Ron looked immensely guilty and turned his back on her. "We split up," he told Harry out of the corner of his mouth. "Last night. When she saw me coming out of the dormitory with Hermione. Obviously she couldn't see you, so she thought it had just been the two of us." "ah," said Harry. "Well - you don't mind it's over, do you?" "No," Ron admitted. "It was pretty bad while she was yelling, but at least I didn't have to finish it." "Coward," said Hermione, though she looked amused. "Well, it was a bad night for romance all around. Ginny and Dean split up too, Harry." Harry thought there was a rather knowing look in her eye as she told him that, but she could no possibly know that his insides were suddenly dancing the conga.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
He seriously thought that there is less harm in killing a man than producing a child: in the first case you are relieving someone of life, not his whole life but a half or a quarter or a hundredth part of that existence that is going to finish, that would finish without you; but as for the second, he would say, are you not responsible to him for all the tears he will shed, from the cradle to the grave? Without you he would never have been born, and why is he born? For your amusement, not for his, that’s for sure; to carry your name, the name of a fool, I’ll be bound – you may as well write that name on some wall; why do you need a man to bear the burden of three or four letters?
Gustave Flaubert (November)
In the past, when gays were very flamboyant as drag queens or as leather queens or whatever, that just amused people. And most of the people that come and watch the gay Halloween parade, where all those excesses are on display, those are straight families, and they think it's funny. But what people don't think is so funny is when two middle-aged lawyers who are married to each other move in next door to you and your wife and they have adopted a Korean girl and they want to send her to school with your children and they want to socialize with you and share a drink over the backyard fence. That creeps people out, especially Christians. So, I don't think gay marriage is a conservative issue. I think it's a radical issue.
Edmund White
Love potions? For Will 'erondale? 'Tain't my way to turn down payment, but any man who looks like you 'as got no need of love potions, and that's a fact." "No," Will said, a little desperation in his voice. "I was looking for the opposite, really -- something that might put an end to being in love." "An 'atred potion?" Mol still sounded amused. "I was hoping for something more akin to indifference? Tolerance?" She made a snorting noise, astonishingly human for a ghost. "I 'ardly like to tell you this, Nephilim, but if you want a girl to 'ate you, there's easy enough ways of making it 'appen. You don't need my help with the poor thing." And with that she vanished, spinning away into the mists among the graves. Will, looking after her, sighed. "Not for her," he said under his breath, though there was no one to hear him, "for me..." And he leaned his head against the cold iron gate.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
It slowly began to dawn on me that I had been staring at her for an impossible amount of time. Lost in my thoughts, lost in the sight of her. But her face didn't look offended or amused. It almost looked as if she were studying the lines of my face, almost as if she were waiting. I wanted to take her hand. I wanted to brush her cheek with my fingertips. I wanted to tell her that she was the first beautiful thing that I had seen in three years. The sight of her yawning to the back of her hand was enough to drive the breath from me. How I sometimes lost the sense of her words in the sweet fluting of her voice. I wanted to say that if she were with me then somehow nothing could ever be wrong for me again. In that breathless second I almost asked her. I felt the question boiling up from my chest. I remember drawing a breath then hesitating--what could I say? Come away with me? Stay with me? Come to the University? No. Sudden certainty tightened in my chest like a cold fist. What could I ask her? What could I offer? Nothing. Anything I said would sound foolish, a child's fantasy. I closed my mouth and looked across the water. Inches away, Denna did the same. I could feel the heat of her. She smelled like road dust, and honey, and the smell the air holds seconds before a heavy summer rain. Neither of us spoke. I closed my eyes. The closeness of her was the sweetest, sharpest thing I had ever known.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Where am I, or what? From what causes do I derive my existence, and to what condition shall I return? ... I am confounded with all these questions, and begin to fancy myself in the most deplorable condition imaginable, environed with the deepest darkness, and utterly deprived of the use of every member and faculty. Most fortunately it happens, that since Reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, Nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends. And when, after three or four hours' amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther.
David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
You've never heard of the Trickster King?" Puck asked, shocked. The girls shook their heads. "The Prince of Fairies? Robin Goodfellow? The Imp?" "Do you work for Santa?" Daphne asked. "I'm a fairy, not an elf!" Puck roared. "You really don't know who I am! Doesn't anyone read the classics anymore? Dozens of writers have warned about me. I'm in the most famous of all of William Shakespeare's plays." "I don't remember any Puck in Romeo and Juliet," Sabrina muttered, feeling a little amused at how the boy was reacting to his non-celebrity. "Besides Romeo and Juliet!" Puck shouted. "I'm the star of a Midsummer Night's Dream!" "Congratulation," Sabrina said flatly. "Never read it.
Michael Buckley (The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, #1))
Why are we bringing him along, again?" Will inquired, of the world in general as well as his sister. Cecily put her hands on her hips. "Why are you bringing Tessa?" "Because Tessa and I are going to be married," Will said, and Tessa smiled; the way that Will's little sister could ruffle his feathers like no one else was still amusing to her. "Well, Gabriel and I might well be married," Cecily said. "Someday." Gabriel made a choking noise, and turned an alarming shade of purple. Will threw up his hands. "You can't be married Cecily! You're only fifteen! When I get married, I'll be eighteen! An adult!" Cecily did not look impressed. "We may have a long engagement," she said. "But I cannot see why you are counseling me to marry a man my parents have never met." Will sputtered. "I am not counseling you to marry a man your parents have never met!" "Then we are in agreement. Gabriel must meet Mam and Dad.
Cassandra Clare
God afternoon," I said cheerfully, with an especially saccharine smile for the High Lord. He blinked at me, and both of the faerie men murmured their greetings as I took a seat across from Lucien, not my usual place facing Tamlin. I drank deeply from my goblet of water before piling food on my plate. I savored the tense silence as I consumed the meal before me. "You look . . . refreshed," Lucien observed with a glance at Tamlin. I shrugged. "Sleep well?" "Like a babe." I smiled as him and took another bite of food, and felt Lucien's eyes travel inexorably to my neck. "What is that bruise?" Lucien demanded. I pointed my fork to Tamlin. "Ask him, he did it." Lucien looked from Tamlin to me and then back again. "Why does Feyre have a bruise on her neck from you?" he asked with no small amount of amusement. "I bit her," Tamlin said, not pausing as he cut his steak. "We ran into each other in the hall after the Rite.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
When you took me from the witch trial at Cranesmuir--you said then that you would have died with me, you would have gone to the stake with me, had it come to that!" He grasped my hands, fixing me with a steady blue gaze. "Aye, I would," he said. "But I wasna carrying your child." The wind had frozen me; it was the cold that made me shake, I told myself. The cold that took my breath away. "You can't tell," I said, at last. "It's much too soon to be sure." He snorted briefly, and a tiny flicker of amusement lit his eyes. "And me a farmer, too! Sassenach, ye havena been a day late in your courses, in all the time since ye first took me to your bed. Ye havena bled now in forty-six days." "You bastard!" I said, outraged. "You counted! In the middle of a bloody war, you counted!" "Didn't you?" "No!" I hadn't; I had been much too afraid to acknowledge the possibility of the thing I had hoped and prayed for so long, come now so horribly too late. "Besides," I went on, trying still to deny the possibility, "that doesn't mean anything. Starvation could cause that; it often does." He lifted one brow, and cupped a broad hand gently beneath my breast. "Aye, you're thin enough; but scrawny as ye are, your breasts are full--and the nipples of them gone the color of Champagne grapes. You forget," he said, "I've seen ye so before. I have no doubt--and neither have you." I tried to fight down the waves of nausea--so easily attributable to fright and starvation--but I felt the small heaviness, suddenly burning in my womb. I bit my lip hard, but the sickness washed over me. Jamie let go of my hands, and stood before me, hands at his sides, stark in silhouette against the fading sky. "Claire," he said quietly. "Tomorrow I will die. This child...is all that will be left of me--ever. I ask ye, Claire--I beg you--see it safe.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
In fact that is why the lives of most women are so vaguely unsatisfactory. They are always doing secondary and menial things (that do not require all their gifts and ability) for others and never anything for themselves. Society and husbands praise them for it (when they get too miserable or have nervous breakdowns) though always a little perplexedly and half-heartedly and just to be consoling. The poor wives are reminded that that is just why wives are so splendid -- because they are so unselfish and self-sacrificing and that is the wonderful thing about them! But inwardly women know that something is wrong. They sense that if you are always doing something for others, like a servant or nurse, and never anything for yourself, you cannot do others any good. You make them physically more comfortable. But you cannot affect them spiritually in any way at all. For to teach, encourage, cheer up, console, amuse, stimulate or advise a husband or children or friends, you have to be something yourself. [...]"If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say; 'Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!' you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.
Brenda Ueland
You do not want to help us,” Will said to Magnus. “You do not want to position yourself as an enemy of Mortmain’s.” “Well, can you blame him?” Woolsey rose in a whirl of yellow silk. “What could you possibly have to offer that would make the risk worth it to him?” “I will give you anything,” said Tessa in a low voice that Will felt in his bones. “Anything at all, if you can help us help Jem.” Magnus gripped a handful of his black hair. “God, the two of you. I can make inquiries. Track down some of the more unusual shipping routes. Old Molly —” “I’ve been to her,” Will said. “Something’s frightened her so badly she won’t even crawl out of her grave.” Woolsey snorted. “And that doesn’t tell you anything, little Shadowhunter? Is it really worth all this, just to stretch your friend’s life out another few months, another year? He will die anyway. And the sooner he dies, the sooner you can have his fiancée, the one you’re in love with.” He cut his amused gaze toward Tessa. “Really you ought to be counting down the days till he expires with great eagerness.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I knew him instantly, even though he'd...changed. I think in a crowd of a million people, I would have recognized him. The connection between us would allow nothing else. And after being deprived of him for so long, I drank in every feature. The dark, chin-length hair, worn loose tonight and curling slightly around his face. The familiar set of lips, quirked now in an amused yet chilling smile. He even wore the duster he always wore, the long leather coat that could have come straight out of a cowboy movie. [...] The eyes. Oh God, the eyes. Even with that sickening red ring around his pupils, his eyes still reminded me of the Dimitri I'd known. The look in his eyes—the soulless, malicious gleam—that was nothing like him. But there was just enough resemblance to stir my heart, to overwhelm my senses and feelings. My stake was ready. All I had to do was keep swinging to make the kill. I had momentum on my side... But I couldn't. I just needed a few more seconds, a few more seconds to drink him in before I killed him. And that's when he spoke. "Roza." His voice had the same wonderful lowness, the same accent...it was just colder. "You forgot my first lesson: Don't hesitate.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I don't care," Kami informed him. "All you are to me are sex objects that I choose to imagine bashing together at random. Oh, there you go again, look at that, nothing but Lynburn skin as far as the mind's eye can see. Masculine groans fill the air, husky and-" "Stop it," Ash said in a faint voice. "That isn't fair." Behind them, Jared was laughing. Kami glanced back at him and caught his eye: for once, it made her smile, as if amusement could still travel back and forth like a spark between them. "Ash is right, this is totally unfair," Jared told her. "If you insist on this-" "Oh, I do," Kami assured him. "Then I insist on hooking up with Rusty instead of Ash. It's the least you can do." "Ugh," Ash protested. "You guys, stop." "She's making a point," Jared said blandly. "I recognize her right to do that. But considering the alternative, I want Rusty." Ash gave this some thought. "Okay, I'll have Rusty too." The sound of the door opening behind them made them all look up the stairs to where Rusty stood, with one eyebrow raised. "Don't fight, boys," he remarked mildly. "There's plenty of Rusty to go around.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2))
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?” “Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it. “Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.” “You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.” Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?” “Shut up.” “That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?” “She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.” “So what are we doing?” “Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.” Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?” “How do you feel about a puppy?” Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.” I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.” “Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?” “I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.” “A what?” “Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.” Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.” “What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.” “It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.” “So does America … minus the crapping.” Shepley wasn’t amused. “I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.” “You can’t keep it from barking.” “Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.” Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?” My brows pulled together. “Quit it.” His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…” I grinned with victory. “…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.” I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!” “Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it. I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day. “I like her,” I said through my teeth. Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.” “You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?” Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.” “I like her, okay?” “Not good enough.” “I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?” “For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
All right, then,” she snapped, “do as you please! Perhaps afterward we could manage a coherent discussion.” Twisting beneath him, she flopped onto her stomach. Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?” “I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.” Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?” “Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over her shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask, “Isn’t it?” His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?” “No, but I’ve read about it.” Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?” “Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals and-” She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement. Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing. “Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all—” She broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me? Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m . . . I’m not laughing at you.” “You are!” “No I’m not. It’s just . . .” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels . . .” “Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
I am a book. Sheaves pressed from the pulp of oaks and pines a natural sawdust made dingy from purses, dusty from shelves. Steamy and anxious, abused and misused, kissed and cried over, smeared, yellowed, and torn, loved, hated, scorned. I am a book. I am a book that remembers, days when I stood proud in good company When the children came, I leapt into their arms, when the women came, they cradled me against their soft breasts, when the men came, they held me like a lover, and I smelled the sweet smell of cigars and brandy as we sat together in leather chairs, next to pool tables, on porch swings, in rocking chairs, my words hanging in the air like bright gems, dangling, then forgotten, I crumbled, dust to dust. I am a tale of woe and secrets, a book brand-new, sprung from the loins of ancient fathers clothed in tweed, born of mothers in lands of heather and coal soot. A family too close to see the blood on its hands, too dear to suffering, to poison, to cold steel and revenge, deaf to the screams of mortal wounding, amused at decay and torment, a family bred in the dankest swamp of human desires. I am a tale of woe and secrets, I am a mystery. I am intrigue, anxiety, fear, I tangle in the night with madmen, spend my days cloaked in black, hiding from myself, from dark angels, from the evil that lurks within and the evil we cannot lurk without. I am words of adventure, of faraway places where no one knows my tongue, of curious cultures in small, back alleys, mean streets, the crumbling house in each of us. I am primordial fear, the great unknown, I am life everlasting. I touch you and you shiver, I blow in your ear and you follow me, down foggy lanes, into places you've never seen, to see things no one should see, to be someone you could only hope to be. I ride the winds of imagination on a black-and-white horse, to find the truth inside of me, to cure the ills inside of you, to take one passenger at a time over that tall mountain, across that lonely plain to a place you've never been where the world stops for just one minute and everything is right. I am a mystery. -Rides a Black and White Horse
Lise McClendon
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low. But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected. So it goes. The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again: Oh, boy–they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch _that_ time! And that thought had a brother: “There are right people to lynch.” Who? People not well connected. So it goes. The visitor from outer space made a gift to the Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels. So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn’t possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was. And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.” “Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.” He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.” She hadn’t thought she was curious. It hadn’t been an option, after all. Not being able to kiss someone was a lot like being poor. She tried not to dwell on the things she couldn’t have. But now— “Okay,” she said. “What?” “I said okay.” He blushed. Or rather, because he was dead, he became normal colored. “Uh.” He propped himself on an elbow. “Well.” She unburied her face from the pillow. “Just, like—” He leaned toward her. Blue felt a thrill for a half a second. No, more like a quarter second. Because after that she felt the too-firm pucker of his tense lips. His mouth mashed her lips until it met teeth. The entire thing was at once slimy and ticklish and hilarious. They both gasped an embarrassed laugh. Noah said, “Bah!” Blue considered wiping her mouth, but felt that would be rude. It was all fairly underwhelming. She said, “Well.” “Wait,” Noah replied, “waitwaitwait.” He pulled one of Blue’s hairs out of his mouth. “I wasn’t ready.” He shook out his hands as if Blue’s lips were a sporting event and cramping was a very real possibility. “Go,” Blue said. This time they only got within a breath of each other’s lips when they both began to laugh. She closed the distance and was rewarded with another kiss that felt a lot like kissing a dishwasher. “I’m doing something wrong?” she suggested. “Sometimes it’s better with tongue,” he replied dubiously. They regarded each other. Blue squinted, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” “Hey!” he protested. “It’s weird for me, ‘cause it’s you.” “Well, it’s weird for me because it’s you.” “We can stop.” “Maybe we should.” Noah pushed himself up farther on his elbow and gazed at the ceiling vaguely. Finally, he dropped his eyes back to her. “You’ve seen, like, movies. Of kisses, right? Your lips need to be, like, wanting to be kissed.” Blue touched her mouth. “What are they doing now?” “Like, bracing themselves.” She pursed and unpursed her lips. She saw his point. “So imagine one of those,” Noah suggested. She sighed and sifted through her memories until she found one that would do. It wasn’t a movie kiss, however. It was the kiss the dreaming tree had showed her in Cabeswater. Her first and only kiss with Gansey, right before he died. She thought about his nice mouth when he smiled. About his pleasant eyes when he laughed. She closed her eyes. Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will fight one another and hurt one another and maim one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done. And even if you avoid warfare and violent death, little boy, what else do you think life has in store for you? You have already seen what it is capable of doing. It took your mother from you, drained her of health and beauty, and then cast her aside like the withered, rotten husk of a fruit. It will take others from you too, mark me. Those whom you care about--lovers, children--will fall by the wayside, and your love will not be enough to save them. Your health will fail you. You will become old and sick. Your limbs will ache, your eyesight will fade, and your skin will grow lined and aged. There will be pains deep within that no doctor will be able to cure. Diseases will find a warm, moist place inside you and there they will breed, spreading through your system, corrupting it cell by cell until you pray for the doctors to let you die, to put you out of your misery, but they will not. Instead you will linger on, with no one to hold your hand or soothe your brow, as Death comes and beckons you into his darkness. The life you left behind you is no life at all. Here, you can be king, and I will allow you to age with dignity and without pain, and when the time comes for you to die, I will send you gently to sleep and you will awaken in the paradise of your choosing, for each man dreams his own heaven.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
In America, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it is certainly useful to have a few when a pollster shows up. But these are opinions of a quite different roder from eighteenth- or nineteenth-century opinions. It is probably more accurate to call them emotions rather than opinions, which would account for the fact that they change from week to week, as the pollsters tell us. What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of 'being informed' by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. I am using this world almost in the precise sense in which it is used by spies in the CIA or KGB. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information--misplace, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information--information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing. In saying this, I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of their world. I mean to say that when news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing. Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it." Hmm. He was almost being funny. "So...about what you said...," he started tentatively. "Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes. He laughed once. "The part about me being good..." "Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress. "I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far." My head snapped up. How could he think that? "Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more." He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face. "Thank you," he finally said. "Anytime." Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony. "Huh?" "Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly. I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world. "he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice. "Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times. "Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you." I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon." "I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity. "I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting. "No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))