Trust your nose, but make sure it's pointing in the right direction.

Dislike required energy and a good memory for slights; geniality was so much less demanding, and at the end of the day felt better too.

The ordinary you, the you that has to go to work every morning, the you that has to run a household, pay bills, do all of those things--that you is somehow changed into an exciting, artistic, fully alive you. That's what Paris does.

Families come in different ways... sometimes they are given to you, but sometimes you find them yourself, unexpectedly, as you go through life.

The Okavango Delta is an astonishing sight: the great Okavango River, rather than flow towards the sea, flows inland, into the sands of the Kalahari.

There is a difference between a challenge and a burden. One is something you can carry on your shoulders easily enough—the other is something, a big sack, that bends you double.

When you don't talk about something, then something will talk about itself for you.

Loving others, she thought, is the good thing we do in our lives.

You can't have a cohesive society without a shared culture.

Because laughs never die away entirely, said Jamie. At least, if you believe in Marconi.

That is important, said Mma Makutsi from behind her desk. One does not want a lady who talks too much.

To be cut down to size is good for all of us, but particularly so for those who forget how transient are our cultures and institutions, how pointless and cruel our divisions, how vain our claims to special status for our practices and beliefs above those of others.

There are some people who start off knowing very little about the world and end up years later knowing even less. Never underestimate the capacity of the human mind for ignorance. Mr. Woodhouse found this very amusing.

The language of Cat's generation was far harder than that of her own, and more pithily correct: in their terms, he was a hunk. But why, she wondered, should anybody actually want a hunk, when non-hunks were so much more interesting?

She had always believed that people who were nasty or unkind to others were only like that because there was something wrong in their lives, and that people who had something wrong in their lives were not to be despised or hated, but were to be pitied. So.

That is how marriages take place. If you left it up to men, they would never get there. Nobody would be married. You have to remind men to get married.

A kind word, a word of encouragement or admiration, could shift the heaviest, most recalcitrant baggage.

Daughters could survive a powerful mother, but boys found it almost impossible. Such boys were often severely damaged and spent the rest of their lives running away from their mothers, or from anybody who remotely reminded them of their mothers; either that, or they became their mothers, in a desperate, misguided act of psychological self defence.

People punish themselves—sometimes for years. But it's not always necessary. Forgiveness allows everybody to start again, not to be burdened with a whole lot of old business.

In bed that night, in the darkness, with the illuminated dial of her alarm clock glowing from the bedside table, she asked herself whether one could force oneself to like somebody, or whether one could merely create the conditions for affection to come into existence and hope that it did, spontaneously.

She had a great respect for books herself, and she wished that she had read more. One could never read enough. Never.

Small ones too, Mma Sometimes big problems are really tiny ones when you look at them in the right way.

Lions walk on four legs," observed Mma Makutsi. "Was this man walking on four legs? That can be a big giveaway, Mma.

We put on our walls what we think is beautiful or inspiring, and if others think that it is manufactured or shallow, then they need not have it on their walls.

Yet she was determined that when she married she would not forget who she was and who her people were. She would not affect any airs.

They are dazzled by all the money that they are being offered. That is what money does, Mma Ramotswe—you must have seen that. Sometime we need to look the other way when people put money in front of our noses. We have to look at the other things we can see so the money doesn't hide them.

As a writer, you have to realize that people want to like the characters, so you have to be careful to keep them involved.

But she realised that this was what anxiety was like—it knew no rhyme or reason; just as a fear of the dark cannot be assuaged by the pointing out that there was nothing there, anxiety could be without foundation.

Or would Hell be an endless loop of boy bands or rap? Either would be torture.

Such was human progress; and to think that they were even talking now about filing papers in something called the Cloud. She was not sure how good an idea that would be in a country like Botswana, where the skies were always clear and empty, but that did not seem to be too much of an issue.

You can go through life and make new friends every year—every month practically—but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.

Men, she thought, were odd about their clothes: they liked to wear the same things until they became defeated and threadbare.

Let's not have a sniffle, let's have a jolly good cry And always remember, the longer you live, the sooner you jolly well die.

We do not like those who are completely available, who make themselves over to us entirely. They crowd us out. They make us feel uneasy.

If you have enemies, then your biggest enemy is yourself. Do you know that, Mma?

Everything, it seemed to Mma Ramotswe, had a waiting list—except the government taxman and the call, when it came, to leave this world. You could not argue with the agents of either of these: you paid, and you went. But I am just on the waiting list...No, there is no waiting list for these things...

But you cannot expect every writer to dwell on human suffering. I think my books do deal with grave issues. People who say they are too positive probably haven't read them.

Yes, wisdom: that was something that came to everybody, although it came in varying quantities and at different times.

In such a way is freedom of thought lost... By small cuts. By small acts of disapproval. By a thousand discouragements of spirit.

Botswana is actually very peaceful. It's democratic. It never was in debt. They've been fortunate, they've had diamonds.

All our human endeavours are like that, she reflected, and it is only because we are too ignorant to realize it, or are too forgetful to remember it, that we have the confidence to build something that is meant to last.

Like ageism and sexism, lookism was everywhere, resulting in the good-looking getting the best jobs, winning all the plaudits, being let off the most parking tickets by soft-hearted traffic wardens; being generally favoured.

People caused harm to others because they were of malevolent disposition, that was shear human wickedness. something that has always existed and always would.Some people it seemed derived pleasure from inflicting suffering on others...

Never be put off by rudeness, Mma, she whispered. It is the rude person who is rude, not you.

Insincerity had never come easily to her, but good manners required it on occasion, even if a superhuman effort was needed.

What we have, we all must lose—that applied to everything, even to that which we thought we had the greatest right. We were tenants of this earth—nothing more.

Lists, she thought, are the stories of our lives; they give a picture of who we are and what we do every day.

Music and art and philosophy are ultimately based on the premise that this man on his tractor, and these pigs, and the swarms of bees that fertilise the crops, will all continue to do what they do.

I think people in Botswana are pleased that my books paint a positive picture of their lives and portray the country as being very special. They've made a great success of their country, and the people are fed up with the constant reporting of only the problems and poverty of the continent. They welcome something which puts the positive side.