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Before Very Nobility

In the contemporary world, we think of politeness as surface behavior, like frosting - it's sweet and attractive and finishes off the cake. But 19th century nobility and the enlightened thinkers and stoics before them viewed manners in a very different way. To them, manners are an outward expression of an inward struggle.

- Amor Towles

Through Social Class

I prefer to put myself in an environment that's further afield and look through the eyes of someone who differs from me in age, ethnicity, gender, and/or social class. I think a little displacement makes me a sharper observer.

- Amor Towles

Want Nostalgia Admirable

Of course, you wouldn't want to re-create the era of aristocracy; it was a totally unfair era. The finer aspects of it were admirable, and so there's nostalgia for that: the behavior, the values, the cultural sensitivities.

- Amor Towles

Very Bay Area Boulevard

One restaurant I visit without fail, whenever I'm in the Bay Area, is the Boulevard at 1 Mission Street, a few strides from the waterfront. It has excellent food and wine very much in the modern California style, but I go there less for any one dish than for the pleasure of dining with the restaurant's chefs.

- Amor Towles

More About Tell

What can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli.

- Amor Towles

Which Read Given

I had read Harold Bloom's 'Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?' Late in his life, having read everything, Bloom asked which books had given him wisdom. I had just read a bunch of contemporary novels that had no wisdom for me.

- Amor Towles

Having Woman Grandmother

My grandmother, who was simultaneously a woman of manners and verve, fended off marriage proposals until she was 30 because she was having too much fun to settle down.

- Amor Towles

Love Survive Russian

As awful as the crimes of Stalinism were, the vast majority of the Russian population was trying to survive, to love, to have a sense of purpose.

- Amor Towles

Been Fiction Kid

I've been writing fiction since I was a kid. From the age of 15 to 25, I probably wrote more than 50 short stories, one of which was published in 'The Paris Review' in 1989.

- Amor Towles

Which Art Been

My personal challenge as an artist has been having a day job which is intellectually satisfying and fun - and thus can easily supplant the desire to make art.

- Amor Towles

Hidden 1930s Civility

While I began writing 'Rules of Civility' in 2006, the genesis of the book dates back to the early 1990s, when I happened upon a copy of 'Many Are Called,' the collection of portraits that Walker Evans took on the New York City subways in the late 1930s with a hidden camera.

- Amor Towles

Purpose Hammered Elements

All the historical elements should feel organic to the story but not hammered down to serve a purpose.

- Amor Towles

Deserve Very Nature

By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration but our reconsideration.

- Amor Towles

About Feet Instrument

Growing up, I didn't come from a musical family. Neither of my parents played an instrument, sang out loud, or listened to the radio with frequency. The record collection in the living room was only about 2 feet long - and that included 4 solid inches of Neil Diamond and Herb Alpert.

- Amor Towles

Came Revelation Boston

To a bookish boy in a Boston suburb in the mid-1970s, the lyrics of Cole Porter came as something of a revelation.

- Amor Towles

Imagined Dad Boston

Dad has worked as a banker at the same firm in Boston, living in the same suburban neighborhood for over 50 years. Later in life, when I got out of graduate school and imagined myself living the life of a writer like Hemingway or Kerouac, his practical self inevitably encouraged me to get a steady a job and raise a family, just like he did.

- Amor Towles

Always Thought Inside

I always thought I was a writer on the inside, but after a few years of not writing, you can't make that claim anymore.

- Amor Towles

Think Some I Think

I think that, every individual you invent in narrative work, you have to have some root in who that person is. That may be an aspect of yourself; it may be an aspect of something that you like, that you don't like. It may be an aspect that you wish you had. Maybe something you admire in another person.

- Amor Towles

Study Aspects Russian

We study, as Americans, the extreme aspects of repression under the Stalinist era. We're focused on them. The vast majority of Russian citizens, it was a much softer type of being disconcerted.

- Amor Towles

Been Lot Student

As both a student of history and a man devoted to living in the present, I admit that I do not spend a lot of time imagining how things might otherwise have been. But I do like to think there is a difference between being resigned to a situation and reconciled to it.

- Amor Towles

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Studio Romantic Being

Being in the studio is a really romantic time.

- Alison Krauss

Career Being Tupac

I wanna thank Biggie Smalls, Redman, Jadakiss, Tupac and Michael Jackson for being my theme music throughout my career.

- Allen Iverson

Caught Finally Being

I didn't take constructive criticism the way I should have. When I finally caught up to that, that's when I went to being the MVP.

- Allen Iverson

Being Everything All-Star

Being an All-Star is everything.

- Allen Iverson

Sometimes I Write Minutes

I guess what people forget sometimes is that when I write songs, I write them sometimes in about 20 minutes.

- Alanis Morissette

Mind Peace Minutes

Peace of mind for five minutes, that's what I crave.

- Alanis Morissette

Making Still Minutes

I try to sit still for about 15 minutes each morning without making lists or running in overdrive.

- Alex Guarnaschelli

Small Minutes Desert

Yeruham's small. You walk five minutes, and you're in the desert.

- Alexander Gould

Going Hours Minutes

I'm a believer in the nap. I don't care what it is. 15 minutes. Five hours. If you know someone's going to come back and come to work.

- Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Always Minutes Compliments

I make it a rule always to believe compliments implicitly for five minutes, and to simmer gently for twenty more.

- Alice James

Sky Being Failed

I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn't fall down.

- Allen Neuharth

Me Being Being Funny

Being funny is everything to me.

- Allison Jones

Which About Being

One of the great things about being an actor is it serves a short attention span, which is something I have.

- Allison Mack

Being Minutes 60 Minutes

I totally remember that: being 25 and unemployed and trying to stretch each cappuccino for 60 minutes.

- Amor Towles

Play Minutes 60 Minutes

I'm teaming up with Quaker and PLAY 60 to encourage kids to eat right, stay active and do something outside for at least 60 minutes a day.

- Andrew Luck

Through TV 60 Minutes

On TV at night, I DVR lots of programs - I use it more like a magazine rack flipping through shows than actually watching them in full. 'Charlie Rose,' 'Meet the Press,' '60 Minutes' are musts for me. I also DVR 'NBC's Nightly News' and 'The Chris Matthews Show' on Sunday.

- Andrew Ross Sorkin

Big Week 60 Minutes

I really feel like 'True Blood' is a big, giant slice of cake for the audience every week; it's offering people 60 minutes of sometimes thought-provoking entertainment. If you're gonna give an Emmy out, you should probably give it to the audience of 'True Blood.'

- Chris Bauer

Before Read 60 Minutes

Starting in the third grade, my dad had me read the 'Denver Post.' I had to discuss two articles with him before dinner, and we would also watch '60 Minutes' together.

- Dana Perino

Sure Minutes 60 Minutes

We must make sure that there is recess and P.E. class in every school, getting kids outside for 60 minutes, every day.

- Darell Hammond

Commercial 60 Minutes

During Ronald Reagan's administration, '60 Minutes' ran a segment about the difference between Reagan's rhetoric and Reagan's actions. The show thought it had produced a hard-hitting piece; Reagan's team called up '60 Minutes' to thank them for the 15-minute commercial.

- David Shields

Like Play Minutes

I do like to play people I wouldn't want to spend five minutes in a room with.

- Michaela Watkins