“Courage Is Calling” Quotes

I recently read “Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors The Brave” by Ryan Holiday. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book here.

“”Be scared. You can’t help that,” William Faulkner put it. “But don’t be afraid.”

It’s an essential distinction. A scare is a temporary rush of a feeling. That can be forgiven. Fear is a state of being, and to allow it to rule is a disgrace.” (14)

“It’s been said that leaders are dealers in hope, but in a more practical sense, they are also slayers of fear.” (17)

“There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbors will say,” Cyril Connolly once joked.” (20)

“You can’t let fear rule. Because there has never been a person who did something that mattered without pissing people off.” (22)

“There are always more of them before they are counted.”

The obstacles, the enemies, the critics – they are not as numerous as you think. It’s an illusion they want you to believe.” (24)

“The leader’s job is to think about the unthinkable.” (28)

“The only inexcusable offense for an officer is to be surprised. To say, I didn’t think that would happen.” (28) 

“The whole point is that it’s hard. The risk is a feature, not a bug.” (32)

“It’s not bad that this is happening to you. It’s good training.” (32)

“It’s when we imagine everything, when we catastrophize endlessly, that we are miserable and most afraid. When we focus on what we have to carry and do? We are too busy to worry, too busy working. “(36)

“No one can truly understand what it would be like to occupy a different time and place, with different assumptions, assumptions shared by everyone you’ve ever met and everything you’ve ever read.” (40)

“Xenophon said they could choose between two attitudes, one that said, “What is going to happen to me?” And the other that said, “What action am I going to take?”” (44)

“We like to think we can have an extraordinary life by making ordinary decisions, but it’s not true. It’s actually all the ordinary decisions – the safe ones, recommended by every expert, criticized by no one – that make us incredibly vulnerable in times of chaos and crisis.” (62)

“This independence, this fearlessness was the key to his greatness – as it is the key to most greatness.” (94)

“The world is asking you about your courage. Every minute of every day. Your enemies are asking you this question. Your obstacles are too. Because we need to know. Are you one of the cowards? Are you someone we can count on? Do you have what it takes?” (97)

“Seneca would say that he actually pitied people who have never experienced misfortune. “You have passed through life without an opponent,” he said. “No one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.”” (97)

“The Greek word for this kind of courage was parrhesia. It was the speaking of truth to power. It was refusing to buy the lie or to play it false.” (111)

“Socrates was the classic parrhesiastes, a man who said what others were afraid to say to the people they were afraid to say it to.” (111)

“George Marshall cut through with a command: “Gentleman, don’t fight the problem! Decide it!” (114)

“McCain learned from his mother to welcome difficulties as “elements of an interesting life.” (128)

“There is no one, William James said, more miserable than the person “in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” (129)

“You make a difference when you are brave. Because you make others brave in the process.” (139)

“It’s not my fault.” “It’s not my problem.” “Don’t blame me.” These are not phrases that can exist in your vocabulary. Not if you want to be great. Not unless you’re a coward.” (142)

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life,” Joan Didion observed, “is the source from which self-respect springs.” (142)

“General Erwin Rommel would write, “But one must differentiate between strategic or tactical boldness and a military gamble. A bold operatoin is one in which success is not a certainty but which in case of failure leaves one with sufficient forces in hand to cope with whatever situation may arise. A gamble, on the other hand, is an operation which can lead either to victory or to the complete destruction of one’s force. Situations can arise where even a gamble may be justified as, for instance, when in the normal course of events defeat is merely a matter of time, when the gaining of time is therefore pointless and the only chance lies in an operation of great risk.” (149)

“They will laugh at you. Losers have always gotten together in little groups and talked about winners.” (153)

“Reject the pessimistic view that we are at the mercy of forces beyond our control. Yes, you can do something. You must.” (164)

“Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence,” Gandhi said, “I would advise violence.” (168)

“The expression popular with self-defense instructors: Violence is rarely the answer – but when it is, it’s the only answer.” (168)

“The bodlness, the gamble, the sheer tenacity and determination? They might not be the most educated, they might not be the most wealthy, some of them might well be leaving mistakes and failures behind them, but immigrants are by definition exhibiting a virtue we all admire. Tired? Meek? These are indefatigable warriors. They are the descendants fo pioneers and explorers. Where would we be without this kind of courage? 

Who would not want it infused into their economy and culture? Who can’t learn something form this in our own cushier, safer lives?” (171)

“Continuing to do the same thing in the same way in the same place over and over is not just insanity, but eventually a form of cowardice.” (172)

“It takes courage to look at the averages and say, “I am not average.” To say, “Somebody will be the exception and it may as well be me.” (180)

“Steve Jobs said, “One way to remember who you are, is to remember who your heroes are.” (183)

“Seneca’s father wrote, “You had a brave man for a grandfather. See to it that you are braver.” (184)

“You can’t let this period (of a valley) make you bitter. You have to make sure it makes you better.” (213)

“Jackie Robinson said, “a life is meaningless except for its impact on other lives.” (219)

“That’s who we were put here for anyway. Our duty was never just to be the best ourselves, but to help others ealize their best.” (221)

“De Gaulle reflected, “Character is above all the ability to disregard insults or abandonment by one’s own people. One must be willing to lose everything. There is no such thing as half a risk.” (240)

“No one is saying they can’t eventually beat you, only that surrender is a choice. Quitting on your cause – that’s on you.” (256)

“To give in to fear is to deny the talents and skills that got you where you are in the first place. It’s to deprive yourself of the agency you were given at birth.” (272)

Like the quotes? Buy the book here.

“World’s Great Negotiator” Quotes

I recently read “The Adventure of Herbie Cohen: World’s Great Negotiator” by Rich Cohen. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book here.

“He preaches engaged detachment, characterized as “caring, but not that much.”” (7)

“Time heals all wounds, right up to the moment it kills you.” (7)

“He was proving what would become a lifelong principle: most people are schmucks and will obey any type of authority, even if it’s just a nine-year-old in an orange sash.” (15)

“Power is based on perception; if you think you got it, you got it, even if you don’t got it.” (15)

“The glory of Carthage survives in a single story. That’s how history works. It’s not what happened, but what remains when everything else has been forgotten.” (17)

“Herbie has a rule. If you ask him a question, he will tell you the truth. If you ask again, you will again get the truth. But if you ask a third time, he will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear.” (19)

“Life is a game, and to win, you must consider other people as players with as much at stake as yourself; if not more. If you understand their motivations, you can control the action and free yourself from every variety of jam. Focus less on yourself and more on others. Everyone has something at stake. If you address that predicament, you can move anyone, even a junior high principal, from no to yes.” (22-23)

“Magna Para unintentionally taught Herbie that weakness can be strength, and ignorance, feigned or real, can be the best response to authority.” (33)

“In the real world you have to devise your strategy for the talent you actually have. Don’t bitch. Don’t complain. Just play the cards you’ve been dealt. (51)

“While her own parents were well-mannered and soft-spoken and worried what people would think, Morris and Esther were warm and profane.” (67)

“The Eisenstadts covered the mirrors and said Kaddish when Ellen accepted Herbert’s proposal. They considered it a mixed marriage, frowned upon by the community.” (67) 

“He said the key to his success was settling quickly rather than fighting, overpaying a little instead of going to court and overpaying a lot – negotiation.” (71)

“People loved him in Libertyville, and he loved them right back. He was a character, a small-town celebrity, the sort of oddball you went to with a problem.” (78)

“It was about making the other person feel respected, getting a good deal while letting the other guy feel he’d done the same. Win-win. “And it isn’t because I want to be a good person,” he’d explain. “It’s because I want to be effective. If the other guy walks away feeling bad about what happened, the deal is going to fall apart and you’re going to end up with nothing.” (78)

“Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, tugging at his hat and saying, ‘When you side with a man, you stay with him, and if you can’t do that, you’re like some animal. You’re finished. We’re finished. All of us.” (81)

“If you really want a house, you can’t speed the process by offering the asking price, because the seller will think he has set the price too low and back out.” (97)

“If you don’t remember a person’s name, ask them if they still live in the same place. Don’t ask them about their children, because maybe they have no children. And don’t ask them about their spouse, because maybe that person died. But if you ask them if they still live in the same place, then either they are still living in the same place and are amazed that you remember, or they’ve have moved and think it considerate of you to inquire.” (99)

“Over time, he became less of a business guru than a comedian and a philosopher. He was for something – win-win negotiation. And he was also against something – life as a zero-sum game, meaning if you win, I lose. Herbie wouldn’t want to live that way even if it were true, but it wasn’t. He came to believe just the opposite: our fates are intertwined; the only way for me to win is for you to win, too.” (100)

“No matter the audience, his message was the same: stay detached, don’t become fixated on a particular outcome, care, but not that much. If you approach a negotiation as if it were a game, you’ll have more fun and be more successful. If you approach life as if it were a negotiation, you’ll care less, achieve more, and live longer.” (103)

“By ceding power, you gain power.” (105)

“When it comes to negotiating, you’d be better off acting like you know less, not more. In some cases, dumb is smarter than smart, and inarticulate is better than articulate.” (106)

“You want to train yourself to say, ‘I don’t know’ … ‘You lost me’ … ‘Could you repeat that?’ The most powerful words in business are ‘I don’t understand. Help me.” (106)

“He talked about the art of purchasing big-box items, like refrigerators. Trick one: ask when it goes on sale. Everything is always just about to go on sale. You’ll always get that price. Trick two: ask, “What if?” “What if I buy four refrigerators?” Trick three: point out a blemish on the floor model and ask for a blemish discount. If there is no blemish, create one.” (107)

“A master of telephone negotiation, he explained what to do when everything goes wrong on a call. ‘I’d never recommend hanging up on another person. That would be socially unacceptable. Hang up while you’re talking. How can you convincingly hang up on yourself? Simple. Say the equivalent of ‘Hey, I’m really glad you called. You know, I was just thinking about you yester–’ Click.” (107)

“He told us to go about our work in a methodical and even boring way, to conduct ourselves in the practice exam or scrimmage as if it were the real test or game; that way, when we got there, we’d feel as if we’d already been there a dozen times before. ‘Don’t do anything differently. Make the extraordinary ordinary. That’s the key.’” (113)

“He’d put everything he’d done and learned in that book. And it diminished him. You lose whatever you put on paper. He needed to acknowledge this loss with a dramatic gesture. He needed to put an exclamation point at the end of this chapter of his life.” (116)

“Don’t regard yourself as someone who wants to buy a refrigerator. Regard yourself as someone who wants to sell money. Money is the product that’s up for sale. The more people there are who want your money, the more your money will buy. How do you get people to bid for that money? You generate competition.” (117)

““I make a decision once.” And he’d made his decision about the book. In case of rejection, the only thing that would change was his opinion of the publishing house.” (120)

“A good book title should make a promise.” (123)

“Life is ninety-seven percent marketing. You’re better off with a mediocre product and a great salesman than with a masterpiece and an idiot to sell it.” (124)

“He went into every bookstore he could find, moved his book to the front, the top of the display, then signed every copy – he did this without being asked – beginning each inscription, “Congratulations. Merely by picking up this book, you have demonstrated your intelligence.” (125)

“Unlike other interviewers, Larry King did not care how he came across. He was willing to look silly, even ridiculous, in an attempt to get answers to the sorts of questions a regular person would ask.” (130)

“Herbie dealt with Ellen’s depression in creative ways, the most productive being travel. “If you’re unhappy here, go somewhere else.” He believed two days in a hotel with room service can fix almost anything.” (142)

“He considered the theater a key part of a complete education, a part of life’s curriculum in which his children, having been raised in the sticks, were dangerously deficient. In my first year after college, when I was living on Sixtieth Street in Manhattan, he offered to pay for a ticket to any show I wanted to see for a period of ten months. He called this the Herb Cohen Scholarship.” (146)

“She’d go over each detail again and again, trying to remember the exact wording, the exact moment. If she could just figure it out, she’d understand everything. ‘Sometimes there is nothing to figure out,’ said Herbie.” (148)

“If you work yourself to exhaustion, you won’t have the strength to worry.” (153)

“When people ask if he won or lost, I say “both.” He prevailed, but the process itself became the punishment.” (154)

“It’s funny. He built his book around a philosophy, which he boiled down to a gleaming phrase – “the key to life is to care, but not that much” – but even a cursory study of his behavior will show a man in a constant state of over-caring. You Can Negotiate Anything was a self-help book, and as anyone who has spent time around the authors of such books can tell you, those who write self-help are those most in need of self-help. Their work is a literary version of whistling past the graveyard, talking to themselves in the dark. Herbie’s favorite aphorism defines his behavior more accurately than anything he’s ever said about caring: “If you’re walking on thin ice, you might as well dance.”” (160)

“Endings are sad because most lives seem only partially lived. You always have a feeling there was still more flavor in that gum. That was not the case with Esther. She got every bit of taste out of her piece.” (176)

“When she confronted him – “When are you going to finish your book?” he said, “Ninety-nine percent of deals close within an hour of the deadline.” When she protested – “You’ve already missed the deadline” – he said, “Then it wasn’t really the deadline, was it?”” (179)

“To my eye it looked silly and made us into a laughing stock. When I complained, he said, “They can laugh and we can win. To me, that’s a good trade.”” (179)

“Then told him what he had told his own father in the hospital: “You’ve done great.”

“No, I haven’t,” he said. “All I’ve ever done is what I think my father would have done.”

But maybe that’s all anyone has ever done.” (192)

“Being a productive person means believing you might live forever, that there is a point to all this work and suffering, that some of the achievements might survive, but for those who have leaned over and looked down, such belief becomes exceedingly difficult. To continue on as before, they have to forget what they’ve learned, which seems to take about a year.” (193)

“Everyone in this world believes they got a raw deal, were mistreated, could have made much more of themselves if they’d gotten a fair shake. But almost no one gets what Ellen got – a call telling them they are not crazy but had in fact been right all along.” (212)

“He admonished me, saying, “If you’d done better, you could’ve gone to Yale.”

“No,” I said. “If you’d done better, I could have gone to Yale.” (217)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book here.

“Story Of A Curse” Quotes

I recently read “The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse” by Rich Cohen. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book here.

“What you want is always out of reach. Sometimes it’s miles out of reach, sometimes you can almost touch it. If you do touch it, you will realize, after a week or two, that it’s not really what you want, that what you really want is still out of reach.” (3)

“Being a Cubs fan has created my cast of mind. I am not unhappy; I am fatalistic. I know how to live in the moment. I know how to enjoy what I can while I can because I know that disaster is coming.” (7)

“A Cubs fan will have a diminished life determined by low expectations. Look at me. I know I am going to succeed. Yo know why? Because I’m a Yankees fan. We win and expert to win. But a Cubs fan knows he will lose. He’s sitting there, waiting for it to happen. He’ll settle for less as a result. His team has taught him that all human endeavor ends in failure. That team will screw up your life.” (8)

“A good player is prized, but a good player with a great story is beloved.” (29)

“He had the good cheer and the infuriating wisdom of the self-made man.” (52)

“The Cubs faced the Tigers in the World Series. Asked to predict the outcome, the Chicago sportswriter Warren Brown said, “Neither team is good enough to win it.” (83)

“Yankee stadium, thought unsightly, was made beautiful by winning, whereas Wrigley Field, though beautiful, was disfigured by loss.” (95)

“You always have a choice. I choose to be hopeful.” (105)

“Whatever you look for [in life], you find. If you look for a curse, you’ll be cursed.” (127)

“I sat in a TV studio, staring at a black screen, listening on headphones as six guys in another studio called me an idiot. Which I am. I’d only suggest that everyone else is an idiot too. We’re all idiots.” (170)

“Gonzalez, a Gold Glove infielder who’d turned that play dozens of times, should have been the goat, but the fans had already fixed on one of their own – on themselves. It was self-hate, psychosis: They expected to lose, even needed to lose to make sense of their suffering. Because we blamed ourselves, because deep down we knew we deserved it, we needed a fan to take the blame for all fans – a scapegoat.” (172)

“You can read all the articles and books in the world, and it still won’t help you understand what you have to do to make a team better. Nothing prepares you for doing it but doing it. So I [Ricketts] came in with eyes open and tried to learn as much as I could in the first couple of years.” (182)

“You have to build a team that’s not just good enough to get to the postseason but good enough to get there again and again. Because once you’re in, it’s luck.” (183)

“Number one, he doesn’t have to be defensive because he’s had such success. Number two is, if you know why you make a decision, you can know which assumption fell through if it goes wrong. You can say, ‘This is what we assumed would happen, this is what actually happened.’” (185)

“It helps explain why Theo was able to defeat not one but two historic curses. Because what’s a curse? It’s a story. How do you change a story? You write a better one.” (187)

“You are busy making sure next year’s team has a chance. It means lack of long-term planning, focus on the short term, focus on the optics. The Red Sox were like that too: always focused on the next day’s sports section. It’s hard to execute any sort of plan when the focus is on everything except what defines a healthy baseball operation.” (188)

“IF you have a chance to win the World Series but don’t take that final step because it doesn’t add up, that’s bullshit and not fair. If you don’t make that investment, that can put dents in trust and wreck the culture that you’ve been so careful to build. We went around and asked a lot of our players. They all wanted to go for it.” (213)

Like the quotes? Buy the book here.

“Machers and Rockers” Quotes

I recently read “Machers and Rockers: Chess Records and the Business of Rock & Roll” by Rich Cohen. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book here.

“Chickagou” is an Indian word that means “the place with the bad smell.” (26)

“Leonard saw them not as artists – artists are a dime a dozen – but something infinitely more rare and illusive: a market. A legion of transplants who felt lost in the frozen North, who wanted a taste and comfort from home and would pay for it. Anyone can spot an artist; only a genius can spot a market where others have seen only a horde.” (33)

“Herzl’s dream of Zionism, which, he said, would be a success only when “Jewish police are chasing Jewish criminals.” (34)

“The Arons had the company and the experience, but Leonard had access to the talent. In other words, a great musical empire grew out of the old immigrant sensibility: Schmucko! Why do for others what you can do for yourself? If you spend a buck, make sure you get back a buck and a half!” (47)

“And yes, it’s funny, how this Polish immigrant, this kid who did not even learn English until he was in school, winds up at a company called Aristocrat. But that’s America: no past, no pedigree, the great ones give birth to themselves.” (63)

“To be discovered is to be authentic; to search for fame is to be phony. So goes the logic of the aficionado. When it comes to the Blues, I have my own rule: if an artist believes what he is signing, he is authentic; if he does not believe what he is singing, even if he thinks it the prettiest idea in the world, he is not authentic.” (94)

“Chicago is one of the places where the Jewish character and the American character bleed into one, this rootlessness, this urge to roam: how can you tell you are moving if the scenery doesn’t change?” (96)

“Leonard was no genius. He did not dazzle into the big score. He instead had to work for it, fake it, steal it, copy it, shuffle and fight. He was smart and tough in the way of the hard worker, the long-distance runner, the gambler who wins on stamina. In business, and probably in art too, such men have the advantage over the genius, who depends on the great big nothing, a fluky, unpredictable freak. One day it’s there and one day it’s gone back to whatever nowhere it came from, and you are like the card sharp who bets on instinct when his luck runs out, with no way to fake your way back into the game. But for the hard worker, it is a fake from the beginning, and so he’s developed a million tricks and bluffs to get through.” (99)

“Joe Smith told me, ‘Assume the human brain is made of chips like a computer. And those chips govern behavior. Well, these musicians can take a sheet of paper and put notes on it and go into a studio and translate it into music and perform that music in front of millions. We can’t do that. They got chips we don’t. But to make room for those chips, other chips fall out. Sanity, reason, logic, gratitude. Anything like that is gone. So if you understand they are not like you and I, then you’re okay.’” (124)

“The executives feel superior to artists, but also envious – of the freedom, the talent, the lifestyle, the girls, girls, girls, the sprees, the benders, the crowds.” (124)

“Asked by a nephew why, when he had accomplished so much and was already quite wealthy, he continued to strive, spoke the words that best get at his soul. “It’s not the money, it’s the game.”” (138)

All right, kid, you got something to show me, come inside. This is the quality that kept Leonard in the game long after most of the old-time record men had bailed: a never-ending-willingness to hear the kid from the street. To be impressed, to be amazed.” (159)

“Past forty, most music executives lose patience, discover their fathers were right, and so turn the gut-check decisions over to an army of kids, new eyes, new ears, explaining, to anyone who might ask, It’s a young man’s game. After hearing a demo, such men turn to one of these kids and ask, Do I like it? But Leonard never lost touch with the street, never moved to an office in the Loop. Even in the roughest years of city life, his door was open to anyone who had a new slant on the old script.” (160)

“Only once in a very great while does someone actually create something new. The rest of us, even the most brilliant, spend our time just working out the implications.” (160)

“Leonard knew it was time to get out – it’s what made him a great businessman. He had seen a market where others had seen only a horde, and now he could see a mob where others continued to see a market.” (187)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book here.

“A Gentleman in Moscow” Quotes

I recently read “A Gentleman In Moscow” by Amor Towles. Here’s the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book.

“A king fortifies himself with a castle,” observed the Count, “a gentleman with a desk.” (12)

“The Countess expressed a measure of sympathy: “There is nothing pleasant to be said about losing,” she began, “and the Obolensky boy is a pill. But, Sasha, my dear, why on earth would you give him the satisfaction?” (14)

“Imaging what might happen if one’s circumstances were different was the only sure route to madness.” (20)

“A man must master his circumstances or otherwise be mastered by them.” (28)

“Yes, exile was as old as mankind. But the Russians were the first people to master the notion of sending a man into exile at home.”  (164)

“As early as the eighteen century, the Tsars stopped kicking their enemies out of the country, opting instead to send them to Siberia. Why? Because they had determined that to exile a man from Russia as God had exiled Adam from Eden was insufficient as punishment; for in another country, a man might immerse himself in his labors, build a house, raise a family. That is, he might begin his life anew.

But when you exile a man into his own country, there is no beginning anew. For the exile at home – whether he be sent to Siberia or subject to the Minus Six – the love for his country will not become vague or shrouded by the mists of time. In fact, because we have evolved as species to pay the utmost attention to that which is just beyond our reach, these men are likely to dwell on the splendors of Moscow more than any Muscovite who is at liberty to enjoy them.” (164)

“History is the business of identifying momentous events from the comfort of a high-back chair.” (173)

“Like the Freemasons, the Confederacy of the Humbled is a closeknit brotherhood whose members travel with no outward markings, but two know each other at a glance. For having fallen suddenly from grace, those in the Confederacy share a certain perspective. Knowing beauty, influence, fame, and privilege to be borrowed rather than bestowed, they are not easily impressed. They are not quick to envy or take offense. They certainly do not scour the papers in search of their own names. They remain committed to living among their peers, but they greet adulation with caution, ambition with sympathy, and condescension with an inward smile.” 

“Quite simply, the Count’s father had believed that while a man should attend closely to life, he should not attend too closely to the clock. A student of both the Stoics and Montagne, the Count’s father believed that our Creator had set aside the morning hours for industry. That is, if a man woke no later than six, engaged in a light repast, and then applied himself without interruption, by the hour of noon he should have accomplished a full day’s labor.

Thus in his father’s view, the toll of twelve was a moment of reckoning. When the noon bell sounded, the diligent man could take pride in having made good use of the morning and sit down to his lunch with a clear conscience. But when it sounded for the frivolous man – the man who had squandered his morning in  ed, or on breakfast with three papers, or on idle chatter in the sitting room – he had no choice but to ask for his Lord’s forgiveness.” (244-245)

“There is not a single country in the civilized world where less attention is paid to philosophy than in the United States.” (259)

“I suppose a room is the summation of all that has happened inside it.”

“Yes, I think it is,” agreed the Count. “And though I’m not exactly sure what has come of all the intermingling in this particular room, I am fairly certain that the world has been a better place because of it.” (331)

“One must make ends meet, or meet one’s end.” (333)

“I’ll tell you what is convenient. To sleep until noon an have someone bring you your breakfast on a tray. To cancel an appointment at the very last minute. To keep a carriage waiting at the door of one party, so that on a moment’s notice it can whisk you away to another. To sidestep marriage in your youth and put off having children altogether. These are the greatest of conveniences, Anushka – and at one time, I had them all. But in the end, it has been the inconvenience that have mattered to me most.” (352)

“Fifteen years younger, they would not have been asleep. Having stumbled back from a late dinner in the Arbat at which they had ordered two bottles of wine, they would now be in each other’s arms. Fifteen years older, they would be tossing and turning, getting up twice a night to visit the loo. But at forty? They had enough appetite to eat well, rough temperance to drink in moderation, and enough wisdom to celebrate the absence of their children by getting a good night’s sleep.” (429)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book here.

Verified by ExactMetrics