1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See quotes

All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr



This is the best novel I’ve read in a long time. That’s not to say I haven’t read many good novels over the last few years. All the Light We Cannot See is that good. I’ve read a lot of good novels in recent years and this is the best that I’ve read. It was excellent, from beginning to end. I worry if I say anymore I will somehow sully the beauty of the book. 


“How do you ever know for certain that you are doing the right thing?”


“It’s embarrassingly plain how inadequate language is.”


“Isn’t life a kind of corruption? A child is born, and the world sets in upon it. Taking things from it, stuffing things into it.”


“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”


“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”


“I am only alive because I have not yet died.”


“When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”


“It strikes Werner just then as wondrously futile to build splendid buildings, to make music, to sing songs, to print huge books full of colorful birds in the face of the seismic, engulfing indifference of the world – what pretensions humans have!”


“Stones are just stones and rain is just rain and misfortune is just bad luck.”


“Is it right,” Jutta says, “to do something only because everyone else is doing it?”


“The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”


“[The ocean] is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties. It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.”


“Why else do any of this if not to become who we want to be?”


“Every outcome has its cause, and every predicament has its solution.”



Sticky Books are those that you just can’t get out of your head. They stick with you long after you have put the book down and have moved on to something else. These are some of my Sticky Books. I don’t enjoy reviewing books myself. I find I am either full of far too much praise for the book because I know how difficult it can be to write a book, or I am far too negative about a book because, well, I guess I was just in a bad mood. So instead of reviews, I have pulled some of my favorite quotes from each Sticky Book.


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