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14 Quotes from Books Every Woman Should Read at Least Once

Add these to your reading list—then pass them along to your best girlfriends.

1 / 14
Cover of The Goldfinch by Donna TarttPhoto: Amazon.ca

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Favourite quote: “Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?”

2 / 14
Cover of Beloved by Toni MorrisonPhoto: Amazon.ca

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Favourite quote: “There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship’s, smooths and contains the rocker. It’s an inside kind—wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one’s own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.”

3 / 14
Cover of Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan DidionPhoto: Amazon.ca

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

Favourite quote: “One of the mixed blessings of being twenty and twenty-one and even twenty-three is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened before.”

4 / 14
Cover of The Color Purple by Alice WalkerPhoto: Amazon.ca

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Favourite quote: “A grown child is a dangerous thing.”

5 / 14
Cover of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichiePhoto: Amazon.ca

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Favourite quote: “If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place.”

6 / 14
Cover of The Help by Kathryn StockettPhoto: Amazon.ca

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Favourite quote: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

7 / 14
Cover of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty SmithPhoto: Amazon.ca

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Favourite quote: “’Dear God,’ she prayed, ‘let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry . . . have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere—be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.'”

8 / 14
Cover of The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathPhoto: Amazon.ca

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Favourite quote: “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

9 / 14
Cover of Bad Feminist by Roxane GayPhoto: Amazon.ca

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Favourite quote: “I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.”

10 / 14
Cover of Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth GilbertPhoto: Amazon.ca

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Favourite quote: “A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform.”

11 / 14
Cover of White Teeth by Zadie SmithPhoto: Amazon.ca

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Favourite quote: “Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.”

12 / 14
Cover of Wild by Cheryl StrayedPhoto: Amazon.ca

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Favourite quote: “It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”

13 / 14
Cover of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeePhoto: Amazon.ca

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Favourite quote: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

14 / 14
Cover of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouPhoto: Amazon.ca

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Favourite quote: “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”

Originally Published on Reader's Digest