Five Top Nonfiction Books 2017: Selected Quotes

Below are selected quotes from five top nonfiction books of 2017 (from various “best” lists):

Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B. Sheryl Sandberg

Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity—and we can build it. It isn’t about having a backbone. It’s about strengthening the muscles around our backbone. Sheryl Sandberg

We plant the seeds of resilience in the ways we process negative events. After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization—the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness—the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever. Sheryl Sandberg

One of the most important things I’ve learned is how deeply you can keep loving someone after they die. You may not be able to hold them or talk to them, and you may even date or love someone else, but you can still love them every bit as much. Playwright Robert Woodruff Anderson captured it perfectly: “Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship.” Sheryl Sandberg

All over the world, there is cultural pressure to conceal negative emotions. In China and Japan, the ideal emotional state is calm and composed. In the United States, we like excitement (OMG!) and enthusiasm (LOL!). As psychologist David Caruso observes, “American culture demands that the answer to the question ‘How are you?’ is not just ‘Good.’… We need to be ‘Awesome.’” Caruso adds, “There’s this relentless drive to mask the expression of our true underlying feelings.” Admitting that you’re having a rough time is “almost inappropriate.” Sheryl Sandberg

Modern life seems set up so that we can avoid loneliness at all costs, but maybe it’s worthwhile to face it occasionally. The further we push aloneness away, the less we are able to cope with it, and the more terrifying it gets. Some philosophers believe that loneliness is the only true feeling there is. Michael Finkel

As a woman, as a fat woman, I am not supposed to take up space. And yet, as a feminist, I am encouraged to believe I can take up space. I live in a contradictory space where I should try to take up space but not too much of it, and not in the wrong way, where the wrong way is any way where my body is concerned. Roxane Gay

It is a powerful lie to equate thinness with self-worth. Roxane Gay

There is no cowardice in removing yourself from a wildly unhealthy and unwinnable situation…You don’t have to be available to everyone. You can stop. Scaachi Koul

The great irony of growing up is that it’s often once you leave your parents’ home that you understand them the most. You get less angry; they get less anxious. Scaachi Koul

Kindness toward others and radical kindness to ourselves buy us a shot at a warm and generous heart, which is the greatest prize of all. Anne Lamott

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