I have probably used one or more quotes in all of my books. They are an effective way to make a point. This book by Elizabeth Knowles, a vastly experienced lexicographer (including editing four editions of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotes), explored why we use quotes, where they come from, how they are found, how they can be inaccurate or made up, and otherwise describes the undergarments all quotes wear.
It is not a book for entertainment, but knowledge; recommended only for those with a passion for words.
At the same time, she quotes some great ideas. Here are two favorites.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Not bad for Shakespeare in Macbeth.
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter
And when he cried, the little children died in the streets.
By Auden in Epitaph on a Tyrant.
Good writing is really good. That’s why I read these books.