Alice doesn't seem to mind because she's laughing too, and biting her lip, all doe-eyed, and tossing her freshly washed hair, and Norton tosses his lovely, glossy hair back, and she tosses her hair in return, and he tosses his, and she tosses hers, and it;s like some mating ritual on a wildlife program.

David Nicholls

David Nicholls

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: British

Some suggestions for you :

Sympathy for the spinster. I'm perfectly content, thank you. And I refuse to be defined by my boyfriend. Or lack of. Once you decide not to worry about that stuff anymore, dating and relationships and love and all that, it's like you're free to get on with real life.

Where can we live but days?

She no longer think that a situation could be made better by writing a poem about it.

May cause drowsiness.' - the most beautiful words in the English language. Once it was 'do you have a t-shirt I can borrow?' Now it's 'may cause drowsiness.

Time to tidy up your life. Time to start again.

I think probably I'm quite sentimental; I like big emotional stories, I like being moved by things, but I think I'm very embarrassed by sentiment. I'm very embarrassed by corniness.

Be good. Do something good.

Whenever I hear Edith Piaf sing Non, je ne regrette rien—which is more often than I'd like, now that I'm at university—I can't help thinking, What the hell is she talking about? I regret pretty much everything.

We can just hang out and walk and read and talk and stuff.

To be honest, I don't think you deserved her, but I don't think any of us deserved her really. She was always going to be the smartest, kindest, funniest, loyalest person we would ever meet, and the fact of her not being here well it just isn't right.

I still find it absurdly difficult to concentrate on a novel if there's a phone or computer to hand; I have taken to locking them outside the room like noisy pets.

She could see the words Calvin Klein against the brown hair on the small of his back and it occurred to her that this was probably not at all what Calvin Klein had in mind.

I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference. You know, actually change something.

She was discovering once again that reading and writing were not the same — you couldn't just soak it up then squeeze it out again.