"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
— Emily Dickinson
"Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?"
— Haruki Murakami
"What was this compulsive need to be lovable? They both had it, were driven by it, bound by it. They would even sacrifice each other for the sake of it. But she sensed they were afflicted differently. He wanted to preserve his worthiness in the eyes of other people. It was because of losing his parents; it had to be. Parents were the only ones obligated to love you; from the rest of the world you had to earn it. And what about her? Whose love did she so compulsively doubt? She knew without thinking. From her earliest memory she had perceived the chasm between how she looked and how she felt. She knew whose love she doubted. It wasn’t her parents’ and it wasn’t her friends’. It was her own."
— Ann Brashares
"I wanted to tell the book thief many things about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race – that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant. None of those things, however, came out of my mouth. All I was able to do was turn to her and tell her the only truth I truly know. I said it to the book thief and I say it now to you. I am haunted by humans."
— Markus Zusak