Strength of Words

Strength of Words

This post is a little different than most of what I write. It’s a collection of other people’s words that have given me comfort, made me think or left me in awe last year.  I’ve loved reading since I first learned the skill, and often collect quotes and lessons from my favorite books. Tomorrow, April 28th, I am participating in the 11th annual Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon and using the event to continue raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for my half-marathon and marathon goals in 2018. (If you’d like to pledge a donation to support my readathon, you can do so at or a general donation can be made at

Since I’ll be spending as much time as I can tomorrow absorbed in other people’s stories and worlds, I thought it’d be fitting share my favorite lessons and quotes from a few of my favorite books that got me through the roller coaster that was 2017.  You can follow my readathon progress on my Instagram @owningthestory. Enjoy!

Lexicon by Max Berry

“We all want to be found.”

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

“Damaged doesn’t necessarily mean broken.”

“We can’t turn back time. But we can try to see things how they were, how they are. And we can try to learn from them, to make the tomorrows better.”

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Life isn’t about avoiding the suffering.

“Don’t you think saying goodbye to your child will make death more painful?” Wouldn’t it be great if it did?”

[This sentence leaves me speechless everytime I read it. What an incredible take on what the emotional pain of death might mean.]

12 Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn

“Even the hard years have some reason for celebration.”

Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

“Who are these people who think a book comes with a guarantee that they will like it?”

“No, the real difficulty of living alone is that no one cares if you are upset.”

“A question I’ve thought about a great deal is why it is so much easier to write about the things we dislike/hate/acknowledge to be flawed than the things we love.”

“The words you can’t find, you borrow.”
“We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone.”

“Why is any one book different from any other book? They are different, A.J. decides, because they are. We have to look inside many. We have to believe. We agree to be disappointed sometimes so that we can be exhilarated every now and again.”

“Someday, you may think of marrying. Pick someone who thinks you’re the only person in the room.”

“We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.”

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

“No matter how hard we try to ignore it, the mind always knows truth and wants clarity.”

“What you do to children matters. And they might never forget.”

It’s Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny

“Marry someone patient. Let’s face it, you’re not always a walk in the park. And when you throw a fit because you can’t find your keys and he says did you check your purse? and you say of course I checked my purse, do you think I’m a moron?? and then you really check your purse, and there are your keys, you want a person who will just shake his head and smile, and call you an idiot under his breath. But lovingly.”

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

“Sorry wastes time. You have to live your life like you’ll never be sorry. It’s easier just to do the right thing from the start so there’s nothing to apologize for.”

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

“Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster. That everyone’s life, no matter how unremarkable, has a moment when it will become extraordinary – a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen.”

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

“Don’t think you haven’t lived long enough to have a story to tell.”

Forward by Abby Wambach

“Strength is a full gamut. You’ve got to be strong from top to bottom, but you also have to raise your hand and say, “I’m feeling weak right now. I need some help.” There is true strength in being able to ask for help.”

“At a young age I learned that you own labels by defying them, and defy them by owning them. I know that the final word on me will be one that I choose.”

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

“You have to look at what you have right in front of you, at what it could be, and stop measuring it against what you’ve lost. I know this to be wise and true, just as I know that pretty much no one can do it.”

“Even under the best of circumstances, there’s just something so damn tragic about growing up.”

“It’s true. Somewhere inside us we are all the ages we have ever been. We’re the 3 year old who got bit by the dog. We’re the 6 year old our mother lost track of at the mall. We’re the 10 year old who get tickled till we wet our pants. We’re the 13 year old shy kid with zits. We’re the 16 year old no one asked to the prom, and so on. We walk around in the bodies of adults until someone presses the right button and summons up one of those kids.”

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

“Option A is not available. so let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”

“Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B.”

““grounded hope”—the understanding that if you take action you can make things better.”

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

“The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.”

“Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying “please” doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission.”

“how a person treats their waitress is a great indication of their character.”

“Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being. See what I just did there? I saved you thousands of dollars on self-help books. If you can surf your life rather than plant your feet, you will be happier.”

“Emotions are like passing storms, and you have to remind yourself that it won’t rain forever. You just have to sit down and watch it pour outside and then peek your head out when it looks dry.”

“Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works.”

If At Birth You Don’t Succeed by Zach Anner

“Laughing at somebody is just another way of dismissing them, but laughing with somebody is a bridge to understanding.”

Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

“And endings are always the beginnings of something else.”

“maybe that happens when you’ve been through a lot. all of your edges are worn off, like sea glass. either that, or you shatter.”

“It has been my experience that rewarding and heartbreaking often go hand in hand.”

Happy Reading!

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