The Most Highlighted Passages From Classic Books

Earlier this year, Amazon’s Kindle team revealed which passages are highlighted most frequently across all of their ebooks. Unsurprisingly, lines from Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy topped off the list of most-highlighted quotes, followed by passages from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The most-highlighted line isn’t particularly poetic. From Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire, it reads: “Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.”

And the most-highlighted books of all time? The Holy Bible, Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography and, you guessed it, The Hunger Games.

The New Republic writes that if our highlighting tendencies are reflective of our literary tastes, the soul of the American reader is looking awfully bleak. But does what we choose to highlight necessarily reflect our beliefs? There’s a slew of reasons to single out a section of a novel: perhaps its syntax made it noticeable, or its themes seem pop quiz-worthy.

Below are the most-highlighted passages from 13 classic novels, according to Amazon’s Kindle team:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

“He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent watching one’s feet.”

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

“The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv and Miniplenty.”

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

“Like Olympic medals and tennis trophies, all they signified was that the owner had done something of no benefit to anyone more capably than everyone else.”

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

“Vonnegut could not help looking back, despite the danger of being turned metaphorically into a pillar of salt, into an emblem of the death that comes to those who cannot let go of the past.”

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey

“But I remembered one thing: it wasn’t me that started acting deaf; it was people that first started acting like I was too dumb to hear or see or say anything at all.”

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

“When today fails to offer the justification for hope, tomorrow becomes the only grail worth pursuing.”


“Hand to hand is how it will be, a life and death fight against the fiend, and he whom death bears off shall submit to the judgement of the Lord.”

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

“But since I have a poet’s weakness for symbols, I am using this character also as a symbol; he is the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for.”

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

“is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.”

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you; and besides, the Bible bids us return good for evil.”

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer

“Those poems reflected the perplexed struggle for supremacy between the two grand elements of our language, which marked the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; a struggle intimately associated with the political relations between the conquering Normans and the subjugated Anglo-Saxons.”

Lady Gaga Takes Tel Aviv and Leaves Monsters Wanting More


After a controversial direct flight on a private jet with an entourage of 100 from Dubai, Lady Gaga arrived to Tel Aviv and headed directly for the Ritz Carlton where she stayed in the penthouse suite, following the lead of Justin Timberlake, the most recent pop superstar to perform in Israel. Over the summer, with Operation Protective Edge underway, scheduled acts Lana Del Rey and Neil Young canceled their performances as fighting with Gaza continued. Despite the potential danger, Gaga refused to cancel her show. The “ArtRave: The ArtPop Ball” sold just over 23,000 tickets and was held at Yarkon Park, an outdoor venue with the capacity to accommodate double the audience that attended the show on Saturday night.

Fans began to enter the park at 6 p.m. and patiently waited for the pop diva to take the stage. Starting about 15 minutes to 10 p.m., Gaga took the massive stage and delivered a non-stop performance of hit after hit. She proclaimed her love for Israel and its people throughout the show but didn’t deliver any controversial comments with reference to Gaza or the current ceasefire that most recently began. Having just performed in Dubai, with what had to have been a less provocative performance, Gaga didn’t hold back for her Israeli fans. At one point mid show, the outrageous performer did a costume change on stage, potentially showing a naked top half to the audience.


She preached self-love and acceptance and reminded fans to love and respect not only everyone else, but themselves, a gentle reminder of Gaga’s genuine love for her “little monsters.” During the piano solo performance of “Born This Way,” the singer asked the crowd to sing a verse and to her surprise, the audience continued on for several verses before she took over once again. The sex filled show paused for a moment to welcome special guest Tony Bennett to the stage so that the two superstars could sing together, an obvious promotion for their newest collaboration album. Some younger fans in Yarkon Park where left dumbfounded as to who Tony Bennett was, but quickly continued to jump and dance the moment Gaga’s electro music returned. For some others, especially mega fans who knew of the new duet album, having Bennett on stage for one song was a very special moment.


Although the actual stage show wasn’t as elaborate as some might have anticipated, the lights and sound, in addition to Gaga’s energy was enough to keep the crowd on their feet for the entire set. Security into the park was interestingly basic for a country known for having some of the best security in the world. It’s possible that although the entrance was perceived to be a simple process, Israeli police and military were in complete control of the situation. Tel Aviv is unlike any other city within Israel, known for being extremely liberal in a very conservative and religious country. Tel Aviv appears to continue to thrive as a bustling cosmopolitan city, unaffected by the most recent conflict in Gaza.


Lady Gaga’s setlist for her Tel Aviv performance follows:

artRAVE Intro
Venus intro
Just Dance
Poker Face
surprise guest appearance
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
(with Tony Bennett)
Do What U Want
Yoü And I
Born This Way
(Acoustic Version)
Jewels N’ Drugs
The Edge of Glory
(Acapella Snippet)
Sexxx Dreams
Bad Romance

All images were taken at the Tel Aviv performance on 9/13/2014 by David Duran.