Words of Wisdom from Real-Life Book Families

Posted by Hayley on July 17, 2017
You can't choose your family, but you can drop in on someone else's. Next time you need advice or inspiration, no need to settle for what your relatives have to offer—your "book relatives" can be there for you, too.

We rounded up the best words of wisdom from some of Goodreads members' favorite family memoirs. Take a look and then share the quotes that resonate with you in the comments.


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"You can't learn about living unless you live. You can't live unless you take a chance; and your living is limited by the chances you take."

from On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family
by Lisa See


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"You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace."

from Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt


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"'Things usually work out in the end.'
'What if they don't?'
'That just means you haven't come to the end yet.'"


from The Glass Castle: A Memoir
by Jeannette Walls


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"Things aren't 'weird,' they are just 'different,' and 'different' isn't bad."

from Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son
by Lori Duron


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"I have never bought into the idea that blood is thicker than water. Love and respect are meant to be earned from our children, our spouses, our families, and our friends."

from Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
by Raquel Cepeda


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"There is often grace in silence. But there is always power in understanding."

from The Grace of Silence: A Memoir
by Michelle Norris


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"Sure the world breeds monsters, but kindness grows just as wild..."

from The Liars' Club
by Mary Karr


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"All we need is a book… Don't panic, hit 'em with a book."

from My Family and Other Animals
by Gerarld Durrell




What's the best advice you've received from a book? Share it with us in the comments! And check out our guide to the best family memoirs here.




Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Alexander Incredible story!! Looking forward to the movie.


message 2: by Trisha (new)

Trisha White "Every man's island, Jean Louise, every man's watchman is his conscience."
Go Set a Watchman


message 3: by Caroline (new)

Caroline " The Past is a foreign country,they do things differently there."
The Go- Between by L P Hartley.


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