"That the thing about a human life--there's no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed." p.52(So true.)
"Generally speaking, thought, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one."(I think it depends on to which people you compare the Americans. Compare to the Koreans, Americans are decadent pleasure seekers. Just my opinion.)
"And the question now for me is, What are my choices to be? What do I believe that I deserve in this life? Where can I accept sacrifice, and where can I not?" p.83(Some truism from the self-help paradigm can still be useful. My only problem is that I honestly do not believe we can think ourselves as deserving much in life. We can only want.)
"What's Rome's word?" I asked(Fun.)
"SEX," he announced.
[The discussion goes on about Vatican's word being "POWER," New York, "achieve," LA, "success," Stockholm, "conform," Naples, "fight." p.103-104
"...the appreciation of pleasure can be an anchor of one's humanity." p. 115(Personally, I would replace "pleasure" with "beauty" in this sentence.)
By the way, I got at least one good recommendation on a pizzeria out of this book: Pizzeria da Michele. [EDIT: S and I tried this place out. It was unbelievably good. Although, we had to wait for two hours for a pizza.]