Imagine not only writing the story of your life and having it spend 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List but having a bona fide Hollywood star play you on the silver screen. This is the charmed life of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love who was played by Julia Roberts in a film by the same name in 2010.

Now happily married to the ‘love’ she found at the end of her spiritual odyssey, Gilbert’s follow up book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage was released in 2010. For most of us, there’s not even a remote possibility of packing up and embarking on a spiritual journey across Italy, India and Bali but that doesn’t mean that Gilbert’s wise words won’t strike a chord.

Read on for 9 Elizabeth Gilbert quotes that’ll inspire you to live a courageous life.

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 01

With an ugly divorce and a messy rebound love affair behind her what else could Gilbert do but flee?

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 02

Nothing wrong with optimism but a leopard never changes its spots and a man never changes the hand towel in the bathroom.

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 03

I have no idea who actually says these lines but I imagine they were said to Gilbert rather than said by Gilbert. Less wishbone, more backbone. I like it.

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 04

This happiness thing sounds like a hell of a lot of work.


Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 05

Choose your thoughts like you choose your clothes…black and shapeless then.

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 06

From Gilbert’s second memoir, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, this story is ongoing.

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 07

And living someone else’s life imperfectly? Don’t even bother. Be true to your innermost self.

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 08

This particular quote comes from a passage describing Gilbert’s visit to the August-um in Rome. While the Ancient Romans might not agree with Gilbert’s sentiments on ruin, people do say you’ve got to hit rock bottom before you can really make changes to your life.

Elizabeth Gilbert Courageous 09

Already done.

By his own admission Charles Bukowski was a dirty old man and a loner. More comfortable in the company of a bottle of whisky and a bar full of social misfits than surrounded by friends and family, Charles Bukowski often wrote about the benefits of walking this earth solo.

But stumbling around L.A. enjoying life on the fringes, Bukowski collected a wealth of material that he expertly crafted into a huge number of novels, poems and short stories.

Read on for 11 Charles Bukowski quotes that’ll make you embrace your inner loner.


1) Charles Bukowski on Liking Yourself



2) Charles Bukowski on the Circus of Mortality



3) Charles Bukowski on Ambition vs Laziness from Factotum



4) Charles Bukowski on Drinking to Make Something Happen from Women



5) Charles Bukowski on Confident Stupid People



6) Charles Bukowski Explains There are Worse Things Than Being Alone



7) Charles Bukowski on What Real Loneliness Is



8) Charles Bukowski on Pure Love in Love is a Dog From Hell



9) Charles Bukowski on Boring Damned People and Why You Should Avoid Them



10) Charles Bukowski on Love at Arm’s Length



11) Charles Bukowski on Why It’s Better to be a Loner



It’s bad enough when someone leaves but the period of time that follows someone leaving, months, years, a lifetime even, when all you can think about is the person that’s gone, that’s the tough bit. You may never stop missing someone but hopefully it’ll get easier and easier over time to miss them in a calm way, a sad way, yes, but a calm way where you finally accept that they’re really gone and feel glad that you knew them at all.

I’m not sure whether this will help or hinder your healing process, I have no qualifications in this area, but read on for 9 quotes about missing people that’ll break your heart.

Being in the same time zone isn’t always enough.

Do you think the moon gets sick of listening to the poetry of the lovelorn? Also – the sun and the moon, an item? Who knew?

Some of the best quotes I know about missing people come from Edna St. Vincent Millay. This one comes from a letter although who the letter was addressed to remains a mystery.

Taken from Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart, one of Murakami’s many wonderful novels that revolve around a character who inexplicably goes missing.

I’m not a very good swimmer but I can lie still and float.

Taken from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.

Mother Teresa worked her whole life trying to minimize the number of people in the world experiencing the poverty of loneliness while providing them with a bite to eat too.

Author of some of the most beautiful love poetry I’ve ever read, Pablo Neruda urges us to look back with a smile.

You may never be able to forget but you don’t need to, you just need to be able to live with it. Good luck.


Jack Kerouac reportedly wrote his seminal beat-generation travel manual On the Road in just three weeks on a single roll of paper. The writer spent the greater part of the forties fleeing back and forth across the United States looking for adventure and, helped along by bowls of pea soup and handfuls of Benzedrine, finally condensed his experiences into an epic stream-of-consciousness tale that the fine folks of the sixties counter-culture could really dig.

Read on for 9 quotes from Jack Kerouac that’ll make you want to hit the road.

It has been said that On The Road is partly a long, literary explanation, from Jack Kerouac to his new wife Joan Kerouac, of what exactly Jack got up to all those years he was travelling the United States.

There is never anywhere to go but everywhere so go already.

This quote keeps popping up again and again on Wordables but it’s so great we can’t help it.

If there is a word for this phenomenon, and I bet there is, it’ll turn up some day on this site.

So less reading – even if it is Kerouac – and more doing.

Although it does help when popular opinion holds that you are a genius.

Imagine your future child looking through your Instagram feed? *shudder*

Advice for life from Jack Kerouac.




The worlds created by Jules Verne in his revolutionary novels Around the World in Eighty Days and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea have inspired generations to see the world differently.

The ‘father of science fiction’, Jules Verne created alternative realities where fantastical technologies, that hadn’t yet been invented, made journeys to parts of the earth that were still inaccessible in the 19th century possible. Verne wrote his first novel aged 35 and went on to be the second most translated author on earth.

Read on for 9 quotes from Jules Verne that’ll stimulate your sense of adventure.



Irrefutable evidence that Jules Verne was in fact a cat-man.



Sound advice for life taken from The Mysterious Island.



Yet another great writer offering a plea from beyond the grave to open up more public libraries. Taken from Journey to the Center of the Earth.



Ever been asked, ‘why are you going there?’ Now you can answer, simply, ‘to see something new’. From Around the World in 80 Days.



Mother Nature is the final authority. Taken from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.



The truth is invariably stranger and more fantastical than fiction.



To make a truth omelet you’ve got to break a few scientific eggs. Or something like that. Taken from A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.



The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, said Franklin D. Roosevelt but I doubt very much he was ever hit by lightning.



The sea is the Living Infinite. Beautiful. Taken, of course, from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

In his 1954 book, The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley comes to the conclusion, with the help of a little mescalin, that love is the ultimate truth. His fans agreed and used this seminal text as inspiration for both intellectual enquiry and an abundance of acid trips.

An Englishman in L.A., Huxley is also known for his famous, dystopic novel Brave New World and a number of short stories, poems and travel essays. Read on for 9 quotes from Aldous Huxley that’ll help to cleanse your doors of perception.


Huxley luxuriating in the power of language through his character Helmhotz in Brave New World.

The shortest suicide note ever. Also from Brave New World.

Jim Morrison definitely thought so. A massive fan of Huxleys, Jim even named his band The Doors after the title of one of Huxley’s books. From Music at Night and Other Essays.

Always enthusiastic, always curious, Aldous Huxley reportedly took LSD on his deathbed.

Don’t we all. John ‘the savage’ claims the ultimate freedom; the freedom to suffer in Brave New World.

Huxley making a mockery of the bible quote, John 8, 32 ‘and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’ in Brave New World.

Because according to Einstein, ‘two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.’

From Brave Word Revisited. A long quote but one that had to be included for its chilling familiarity in the modern world.

And what might that be, Huxley? I guess I better read The Doors of

Timothy Leary was a psychology professor and researcher at Harvard University before deciding to turn on, tune in, drop out on his academic career to pursue controversial research into psychedelic drugs like LSD.


Convicted in 1966 for possession of a small amount of Marijuana, Timothy Leary was sentenced to 30 years in prison and over the course of his lifetime became familiar with almost thirty different American prisons. Despite this tussle with the law and being named by President Nixon as ‘the most dangerous man in America’, Timothy Leary managed to write a number of books and turned his hand to the entertainment industry in the 1980s. Whatever your opinion on the use of psychotropic drugs, Timothy Leary had a lot to say about life in America in the 20th century, equality and how to free your mind.


Read on for 9 Timothy Leary quotes that’ll make you want to turn on, tune in and drop out.


1) Timothy Leary giving the world my favorite quote about equality.


2) Timothy Leary’s top tip on how to stay young.


3) Timothy Leary being a BIG Beatles fan.


4) Timothy Leary on getting it on with the gifted.


5) Timothy Leary on the thin line between romance and madness.


6) Timothy Leary on rejecting the political, religious and educational authorities and thinking for yourself.


7) Timothy Leary on the importance of a good ending.


8) Timothy Leary at his most optimistic in Chaos & Cyber Culture.


9) The ultimate Timothy Leary quote, sadly truncated. You aren’t like them, are you?



Everybody knows the name Mother Teresa. Not because she was on TV or grotesquely wealthy or had 2 million twitter followers but simply because she was good.


A Catholic nun Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia and was of Albanian descent. She got the call at the age of 12 on a pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna in Letnice and decisively swiped right, took the call and became a nun at the age of 18. Working for years in a girls’ school in Calcutta, Mother Teresa received her ‘call within a call’, dedicating her whole life to caring for the less fortunate in society, even receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for her work.


One of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, Mother Teresa was humble to the end. On her death bed she said, “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”




The definitive Mother Teresa quote.


Every little act of kindness counts.


I hope the big guy turned out to be real after all and turned up when Mother Teresa arrived and asked her just that.

You can’t exactly get out of buying Christmas or Birthday gifts with it but your smile is a gift you can give over and over, every day. Until your cheeks start to hurt.



I really like the practicality and common sense of this. Happy parents = happy children = happy world.


And I bet Mother Teresa didn’t even know about Tinder.

I honestly can’t remember what silence sounds like.

It’s easy to talk yourself out of doing good things because it seems like it doesn’t make a difference but it does. Everything does.

While I don’t think we should all go around grinning like second-hand car salesmen, I do think Mother Teresa had a point. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t cost anything and it can really make someone’s day. Give it a try.

The word poetry comes from the ancient Greek work poieo which means ‘I create’ and if you consult the dictionary on what poetry is you’ll get something dry and cold like ‘an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content.’ Good to know but I think we can do way better than that.

Read on for 9 writers who settle once and for all what poetry really is.

For Edgar Allen Poe, poetry is pure passion.

For Charles Bukowski, poetry is the last ditch attempt at meaning. The end game when all else seems lost.

For Gustave Flaubert, poetry is everything, every cell, every particle, every microbe on this earth.

For Jack Kerouac, poetry is a form of communication far superior to talking on the telephone.

For Kahil Gibran, poetry is a record of our emptiness, scrawled on trees that were once themselves poems written by the earth on the sky.

For Charles Baudelaire, poetry is intoxication, like wine and like virtue, you can never have too much of it.

For W.H. Auden, poetry is confusion made crystal-clear.

For Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poetry is spray paint on the brick wall of your heart.

For Robert Frost, poetry is the missing parts, the should-haves, the could-haves, the never-dids.


There’s a reason Holden Caulfield is one of the most iconic characters in literary history – the dude spoke sense. At just sixteen years old Caulfield sees straight through the ‘phonies’ of the world and rejects a life of reading from the script, embarking on an experiment into free will over the course of a memorable weekend in Manhattan.

Although The Catcher in the Rye was the real success of J.D. Salinger’s remarkably short career we haven’t just quoted Holden Caulfield, Franny and Zooey, Salinger’s first novel gets a look in too.

Read on for 11 quotes from J.D. Salinger that make perfect sense.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 01

The exact nature of Mr. Antolini’s relationship with Holden is complex, as is everything else in Holden’s life but he offers beautiful insight into learning from the trials of others.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 02

A bit of insight into Holden Caulfield’s self-image issues or a sarcastic reference to how he views other people’s opinion of him? Who knows.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 03

Franny Glass here, managing to put down every single person she knows.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 04

For many people Salinger’s description of a really great book perfectly sums up A Catcher in the Rye. Salinger was notoriously reclusive though, perhaps as a result of all of those phone calls.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 05

The passage that gives The Catcher in the Rye its name. There are a million different interpretations so spend a moment revelling in the imagery and decide which one you like best.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 06

Like Camus’ The Outsider, The Catcher in the Rye is full of references to social expectations and the penalty for not playing by the rules.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 07

You must remember poor Holden is only sixteen. He’s got a lot to learn.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 08

Anyone care to disagree? No, didn’t think so.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 09

More wisdom from Holden’s teacher, Mr. Antolini.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 10

I don’t think Holden Caulfield would have dug 21st century culture what with all the digital remastering, remixing and rehashing that goes on. Just make something new why don’t you.


JD Salinger Perfect Sense 11

Me too, Holden. Me too.