A few quotes from my favorite books read in 2013

“We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget.”
― Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

“It’s the reason we say “pork” and “beef” instead of “pig” and “cow.” Dissection and surgical instruction, like meat-eating, require a carefully maintained set of illusions and denial.”
― Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

“Why do you wear a mask and hood?”
I think everybody will in the near future,” was the man in black’s reply. “They’re terribly comfortable.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

“You seem a decent fellow,” Inigo said. “I hate to kill you.”
“You seem a decent fellow,” answered the man in black. “I hate to die.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

“One must drop all presuppositions and dogmas and rules – for there only lead to stalemate or disaster; one must cease to regard all patients as replicas, and honor each one with individual reactions and propensities; and, in this way, with the patient as one’s equal, one’s co-explorer, not one’s puppet, one may find therapeutic ways which are better than other ways, tactics which can be modified as occasion requires.”
― Oliver Sacks, Awakenings

“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
― Elie Wiesel, Night

“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.”
― Elie Wiesel, Night

“There is not love of life without despair about life.”
― Albert Camus, The Stranger

“If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self—himself—he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it.”
― Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm

“I don’t care if I pass your test, I don’t care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won’t let you beat me unfairly – I’ll beat you unfairly first. – Ender ”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“Unless, of course, there’s no such thing as chance;…in which case, we should either-optimistically-get up and cheer, because if everything is planned in advance, then we all have a meaning and are spared the terror of knowing ourselves to be random, without a why; or else, of course, we might-as pessimists-give up right here and now, understanding the futility of thought decision action, since nothing we think makes any difference anyway, things will be as they will. Where, then, is optimism? In fate or in chaos?”
― Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children

“I admit it: above all things, I fear absurdity.”
― Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children