Posts Tagged: literature

100 novels everyone should read – Telegraph

Another “books you should read” list, this time from the telegraph. The one’s I’ve read are crossed off. This is actually a pretty good list – mostly classics, and not a single Ayn Rand title on it. Source: Telegraph “100 novels everyone should read” The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and

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Word Count for Famous Novels (organized)

Word count for famous novels, in ascending order by number of words. Based on this list compiled by Nicole Humphrey Cook. (Thanks Nicole, and sorry for stealing; I wanted to see the list in order.) For average word counts based on genre, see this handy reference. Also, here’s another list I may swipe and add

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Oh darn – delicious links auto-publishing died

Shoot. My blogging crutch went away. For the past five or six years I’ve been using a little-known and not very well supported delicious links tool to auto-publish the links I’ve saved to my site. It was easy because I could hit a bookmarklet when I was on an interesting page and delicious would save

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links for 2010-12-13

The Women of World War I (tags: women wwi history gender feminism) 5. The History of Girls' School Stories reading notes. (tags: literature history women education)

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Tails and Tales

Tim O’Brian In The Atlantic – discussing the sources of creativity and how to tell a well-imagined story: My sons, Timmy and Tad–both fans of Winnie the Pooh–have taken lately to wearing tails. At our local Wal-Mart, and occasionally at church, the boys sport lengths of clothesline dangling from their trousers. They prowl the neighborhood

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links for 2010-04-05

The cult of busy « Scott Berkun I deliberately try not to fill my calendar. I choose not to say Yes to everything. For to do so would make me too busy, and I think, less effective at what my goals are. I always want to have some margin of my time in reserve, time

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links for 2010-02-20

Designing with Progressive Enhancement: Building the web that works for everyone. By Filament Group: Todd Parker, Patty Toland, Scott Jehl, Maggie Costello Wachs Designing with Progressive Enhancement is a practical guide that both explains the principles and benefits of progressive enhancement, and explores detailed examples to teach you how, where, and when to implement specific

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links for 2010-01-29

Twisted Drop Stitch Scarf Pattern « Kis*Knit Bookmarking because I needed this: "Create a twisted drop stitch: Insert needle into the stitch as if to knit. Instead of wrapping the yarn around the back needle to create a regular knit stitch, wrap yarn around both needles and then wrap around the back needle. Complete stitch

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links for 2009-11-02

Bobbs-Merrill Company – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (tags: education reading) 20th-Century American Bestsellers: House of a Thousand Candles information about the Indianapolis written novel. (tags: ideas Indiana novel MeredithNicholson) The House of a Thousand Candles (1936) – Overview – MSN Movies Synopsis of the movie, which seems much different to me than the book I

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Project Fill-in-the-Gaps

Project Fill-in-the-Gaps created by Moonrat on her blog Editorial Ass: fill in the gaps in your reading lists of classics and contemporary fiction. Make a list of 100 titles, give yourself 5 years to complete reading the list, and give yourself 25% “accident forgiveness” – consider the task accomplished if you achieve 75 titles in

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David Foster Wallace Dead at 46

Writer David Foster Wallace hung himself on Friday at the age of 46. That’s really awful. My heart goes out to his family. Would it be completely inappropriate to point out that he’s wearing my wool coat in this photo? I’m just saying.

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Book Review Catch-Up – Spring 2008

Boy, am I behind on recording what I’ve read. I’ve had this post in progress forever trying to summarize some of these books, and I kept tacking new titles onto the end. I finally stole enough free time to get it finished. The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman A literary history suspense novel, along the

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links for 2008-03-14

» wallpapers (tags: wallpaper) David Lanham : Hi Gloss (tags: wallpapers) Tubbypaws – papercraft ceiling cat! This is why I love the internets and the people that use them. People are awesome. (tags: papercraft lolcats) YouTube – Mr. Boddy Is Dead Yes, he is. And it’s your job to find who killed him. (tags: clue

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links for 2008-02-25

GOOD READ GAMES + It Was A Dark & Stormy Night Definitely want this, but can’t bring myself to spend the $50 right now. Cool board game for literature geeks (tags: games gamesBoard)

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Twilight

After complaining that I’m frustrated by my start and stop reading lately, I sat down with our next book club selection, Twilight, and finished it in less that 24 hours. Abiding by the first rule of book club, I won’t discuss the book, but obviously I blazed through it. (it’s about vampires, and I liked

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Recent Reading

It was about this time last year that I got behind in reviewing what I had read recently and gave up and simply posted a list of recent reads. Must be the time of year. I’ve definitely been having trouble getting through any book; I have tons of things half read, and I’m very frustrated

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kerouac

Louis Menand in the New Yorker, on kerouac… Kerouac credited the inspiration for the scroll to Cassady–specifically, to a long letter, supposedly around thirteen thousand words, that Cassady wrote over several days (he was on speed) in December, 1950. This is known as the “Joan letter,” because its ostensible subject is a girlfriend of Cassady’s

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Book Review Catch-Up

I’m way behind on writing little synopses of the books I’ve finished this year, so I’m consolidating this latest list. Looking back, this happened about this time of year last year, too. Must be a trend. Anyways, here’s what I read since whenever. Sword of the Guardian: A Legend of Ithyria (Legends of Ithyria) by

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Rejected Openings for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

From theonering.net One morning, when Harry Potter woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single wizard in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wand. The sky above Privet Drive was the color of television,

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Heir to the Glimmering World

I also can’t find enough time to write a synopsis of Heir to the Glimmering World – a book I picked up in Chicago last July and just finished reading, so again I’m going to cheat and give you the synopsis/review From Publishers Weekly instead: Ozick’s previous novel, The Puttermesser Papers, revolved around one quirky

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The Thirteenth Tale

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to write a synopsis of The Thirteenth Tale – (I’ve been meaning to since I finished this fun, enjoyable book three weeks ago!) so I’ll have to cheat and give you Amazon’s instead: Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield’s debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale.

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David Sedaris Exaggerates!

The New Republic comes out with a world-rocking revelation: David Sedaris embellishes his humorous non-fiction memoirs. Um, no shit, Sherlock. You needed to write an article to tell us this? He’s a humor writer. I sort of figured out he was gilding the lily on my own, thanks. As if any one person has that

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The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

A strange Victorian Steampunk novel that I enjoyed, despite it’s length and rather confusing cast of villains. Celeste Temple is a young English woman raised in the West Indies and residing in London awaiting a future wedding to her fiancé, Roger Bascombe. When he sends her a curt note breaking their engagement, she decides to

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The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime

A new series by the author of the bestselling “Tuesday Next” novels. A thoroughly enjoyable read; I polished it off in a weekend. Fforde’s novels are funny and full of literary cleverness. Jack Spratt is an likeable and entertaining protagonist and I look forward to reading the entire series. The Big Over Easy: A Nursery

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Georgette Heyer Novels and other Regency Historic Reading

Georgette Heyer Regency novels are some of my favorite guilty pleasures. I stumbled across Heyer when in junior high – which must have been about 1981 or so – and I was initially fascinated by the fact that several of her books had female characters that disguised themselves as men. At the time there were

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Water for Elephants

21-year-old Jacob Jankowski is studying veterinary medicine in 1931, in the depths of the Great Depression, when his parents are killed in an auto accident. Jacob discovers they had mortgaged their lives to fund his schooling, and he is now penniless. Reeling from grief, he walks away from his final exams and drops out of

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What I Read in 2006 (49 Titles)

2006 was the 10th year I’ve kept track of what I’ve read, and eventually a decade retrospective is in order, but not tonight.
This year’s tally of books is roughly what it was last year – 49 titles. With a several of them being silly easy things, of course, because we were quite busy and I haven’t had the time to read that I used to. This year I managed to write a bit about most books and my impressions, which is cool, because I’ve looked at my past lists sometimes drawn a complete blank at the title and wondered what the heck it was about.

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Book Review – Rough Magicke

Author John Houghton sets his novel Rough Magicke in northwest Indiana, in the fictional county of Annandale originally created by classic Hoosier author Meredith Nicholson in the novel The House of a Thousand Candles – the locale corresponds pretty closely to the city of Culver, Indiana, a town nestled in around Lake Maxinkuckee, south of

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Book Review: Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl This is my favorite of the year, and will probably make the list of of my favorite books ever. I’m not sure I can do it justice in reviewing it, but I hope I can do a bit better than Publishers Weekly, whom I’m going to quote

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Books I’ve Read Recently

Company: A Novel by Max Barry Amazon Description: “With broad strokes, Barry once again satirizes corporate America in his third caustic novel (after Jennifer Government). This time, he takes aim at the perennial corporate crime of turning people into cogs in a machine. Recent b-school grad Stephen Jones, a fresh-faced new hire at a Seattle-based

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Books I’ve read Recently

Garden Accents: Simple-To-Build Projects to Enhance Your Yard or Garden (How-to Gardening) Quite a few interesting building projects for hardscaping your garden. I read this over while drawing up plans for our flowerbeds. Pit of Vipers (Nancy Drew (All New) Girl Detective) #18 by Carolyn Keene There are 21 books out now in this all

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Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things: How to Turn a Penny into a Radio, Make a Flood Alarm with an Aspirin, Change by Cy Tymony ISBN: 0740738593 NON-FICTION – A small guide to how to MacGyvver yourself out of situations using objects you may have with you. I checked the book out from the library, so

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Short Book Reviews

How Nancy Jackson Married Kate Wilson and Other Tales of Rebellious Girls and Daring Young Women by Mark Twain and John R. Cooley Library Journal: “A dozen minor Twain pieces to show how Twain used some of his slight fictions to idealize his daughters Clara and Suzy Clemens as romantic, rebellious, and daring adolescents in

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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald I first read this book when I was still a kid — either in junior high or high school, and I don’t remember caring too much for it, and feeling impatient to ge to the end. We read it again for our book club, and I’m very glad

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More Gatsby

“Self-control!” Repeated Tom incredulously. “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out. . . . Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they’ll throw everything overboard and

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Gatsby Quotes

He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.

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Progress Report

So far this year, I’ve read 30 books, and many of them have been pretty light reading. I guess I’m quite a bit behind Bush. At this point, I’ve pretty much abandoned my New Years Reading List and gone off on wild tangents, which seems to be a commentary on my life in general somehow.

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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe Description from Amazon.com: Not since Moby-Dick… No, not since Treasure Island… Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a sea saga to rival The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, featuring the greatest sea-faring hero of all time, the immortal Pirate Captain,

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On Bullshit

On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt A small, funny book I picked up at the library after the author was interviewed on the Daily Show – it’s a scholarly inquiry on the definition of “bullshit.” From the Amazon.com description: “More pertinent is Frankfurt’s focus on intentions–the practice of bullshit, rather than its end result. Bullshitting,

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Sundown Towns

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen I threw in the towel and bailed on reading this book in depth, which I’ve resolved not to feel bad about. I did skim a lot of it though. I’m a HUGE fan of sociologist Loewen’s books, and this one is good, but

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Don’t I know you?

Don’t I know you? by Karen Shepard FICTION – A mystery/thriller set in 1976 Manhattan about a woman, Gina Engel, who is murdered in her own apartment and discovered by her 12-year-old son Stephen. He narrates the first part of the story as he deals with his grief and tries to piece together anything he

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No Place to Hide

No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society By Robert O’Harrow, Jr. NON-FICTION – Washington Post reporter Robert O’Harrow, Jr. delves into the world of data-collection and surveillance, and puts together a frightening and disheartening portrait of who is gathering personal information about you and why. I started to compile a

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“Cloud Atlas” and “The Whole World Over”

I haven’t much time to write a coherent review of each of these books, so I’m going to crib from Amazon to describe the plots. Sorry for that…. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell “… Mitchell’s third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives…. this latest foray relies

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Mini Book Reviews

I, Robot Isaac Asimov The classic sci-fi set of short stories by Asimov about Robots and their relationship to man. Asmimov sets out the famous “Three Laws of Robotics” that have influenced much science fiction writing since the stories were originally published in the 1940’s in sci-fi magazines, and then collected in this book published

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Social Networking for Bookworms

The Wall Street Journal writes about a new social networking site called LibraryThing.com — for people to create catalogs of their books. Similar to software like Booxter or Delicious Library, you record all of your books in a cataloging data set. But in this case the database is stored online, and is shared with other

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Mini Book Reviews

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak A great exploration of the history of the popular girl detective novels and the women who wrote them. I learned a couple of surprising things — that Nancy Drew was far and away the most popular of the Stratmeyer Syndicate’s kid book

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Books I’ve Read Recently

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus I enjoyed this light, comic novel as a easy summer reading book. I have to admit being frustrated by the level to which “Nanny” — the young female protagonist — put up with the crap of the Manhattan family that hired her to take care of

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Mini Book Reviews

I’m currently making my way through a couple of bigger books — The Watchmen (Absolute Edition) by Alan Moore, and A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster. But in between I’ve read a couple of shorter, fun books. The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island by Weta Workshop An

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Books that caught my eye

Stephanie and I went to the bookstore last night so she could use a gift certificate she received, and I wrote down a bunch of interesting books that I intend to either buy, check out from the library, or investigate further at some point in the future. Let me know if you’ve read any of

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Books to Read Before You Die

The British librarian’s organization — “Museum, Libraries and Archives Council” — has put together a List of Books to Read Before You Die. I have a pretty good start on the list. Of the ones I haven’t read yet, I have four on my bookshelves at home, so I’ll probably get to them someday. To

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Stakeout on Millennium Drive

I hate throwing in the towel on books. I feel guilty if I can’t get through one, and I will struggle to the end of even the most difficult stuff. And I wanted to like Stakeout on Millennium Drive; I really did. It is, after all, a book set in Indianapolis, by a native writer,

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Photoshop Hacks: Choose Your Own Adventure Novels

My brother Todd had a ton of the Choose Your Own Adventure novels (the early version of video games). Check out Something Awful’s photoshop contest for “Rejected CYOA Books.” My favorites are “Don’t Bother, You Die In Most of the Endings Anyway” and “Everyone Wants to Touch My Giant Snake and Jewels.” Also: “Shrödinger’s Cat.

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“The Kiterunner” does not contain “pornography”

Some (idiot moron) parents in Lawrence Township schools are objecting to the book “The Kiterunner” being assigned in class, because they claim there is a scene that is “pornographic” in it. The Kiterunner is a story of children living in contemporary Afghanistan, and is a wonderful, amazing book. It is, unfortunately, fairly true to life,

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Quad Cities Censorship

This is an interesting article in the Quad City Times, about a book called “The Misfits” that was banned at the elementary school level in the Quad Cities. “I knew I had all of those signs of being gay, and I couldn’t make sense of it,” said Howe, who wrote “The Misfits,” a book about

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Scaling Down

I borrowed the book “Scaling Down” (by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker) from my girlfriend Stephanie, because we’re both attempting to sort through the things we own and uh, scale down. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to merge households, and for two people who both own two-story, multi-bedroom homes packed with stuff,

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Stranger In a Strange Land

This is a book club, book, so of course I have to abide by the first and second rules of book club and not talk about it before we meet. But I have to write about it soon, or I’m going to forget details of what I wanted to say about it. So, book club

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Superhero Reading List

To my Amazon Wish List, I just added: How To Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion by Daniel H. Wilson The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book by Robert Hamburger The Government Manual for New Superheroes

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100 Best First Lines from Novels

According to the American Book Review: 1. Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851) 2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813) 3. A screaming comes across the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

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Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 (Best Lesbian Erotica Series)

Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 (Best Lesbian Erotica Series) by Tristan Taormino, Eileen Myles This was better than most lesbian erotica books I’ve read, I have to say. I’m normally not a huge fan of the genre because it’s often so badly written that I can’t suspend my disbelief long enough to go for the ride.

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Which Edward Gorey Book Are You?

The GashlyCrumb Tinies – You have a terribly wickedsense of humour and people are drawn to yourwit. Children beware of the thin, pale manwith the black umbrella! Which Edward Gorey Book Are You? brought to you by Quizilla

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A Feast For Crows: worth the wait

I finished up reading George R. R. Martin’s long-awaited fourth fantasy novel A Feast for Crows today. I’m dying to find out what happens next. The fifth book (A Dance of Dragons) in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series is due out sometime this year, and if it does drop (Martin is notorious for

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A Feast for Crows: starting the book

I started reading one of the books I bought with my Barnes and Noble gift cards, A Feast for Crows this week. It’s the fourth book in the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. I really enjoy this series because it turns many of the tired fantasy cliches

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What I Read in 2005 (51 Titles)

I’m going to change around a bit how I record the books I’ve read. This coming year, I’ll log titles by doing a short blog entry about them, instead of doing a running list as I have in years past.

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New Yorker Article on P. L. Travers

New Yorker article discusses how much author P. L. Travers dislike the movie version of her Mary Poppins book, even though it made her rich. In examining some details about Travers’ life, it become evident that the movie seems to have an opposite message from the one she may have intended.

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Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book

I heard this report first that a student from UMass Dartmouth had received a visit from the Department of Homeland Security after reserving a copy of Mao Tse-Tung’s “Little Red Book” of quotes through inter-library loan. My initial impulse was to buy a copy of the book to see what would happen. Thankfully, I didn’t,

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Time’s 100 Best Novels 1923-present

Bil asked the question: how many of Time’s list of 100 Best Novels have you read? 41 of them. Most of them in high school or college English classes. When I read the list I was disappointed at what was missing and some of the crap they included. These people can’t tell me they actually

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Cheese, Peas and Chocolate Pudding

Original publication “Cheese, Peas and Chocolate Pudding”, by Betty Van Witsen, Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine, Copyright 1955, Bank Street College of Education. Subsequently published in Believe and Make-Believe (Sheldon Basic Reading Series) When I was in second grade, the following story was in my school reader, (which I’ve since discovered was called “Believe and Make-Believe (Sheldon

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I finished reading the new Harry Potter book last night. Throughout the book I had a notion in my head of the answers to two of the mysteries; who the half-blood prince is, and who dies in the book (don’t yell at me about spoilers; the death is commonly known!).

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Trivial Pursuit: Book Lover’s Edition

The Book Lover’s Edition is played very similarly to the regular editions of Trivial Pursuit; the goal is to collect pieces of pie representing different categories of questions, and then to land directly on the center of the board to answer a final question in the category chosen for you by your opponents. Unlike other

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Mad Tea Party

From Alice in Wonderland: The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” “Come, we shall have some fun now!” thought Alice. “I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles.–I believe I can guess that,” she added aloud. “Do you mean that you think

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Random House Modern Library Catalog

“The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennet Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern

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The Library of America

History and Mission Statement (from LOA web site, 3/99): “The Library of America was founded in 1979 to undertake a historic endeavor: to help preserve the nation’s cultural heritage by publishing America’s best and most significant writing in durable and authoritative editions.” “The idea for The Library of America was first discussed some thirty years

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Everyman’s Library

“Everyman’s Library, founded in 1906 and relaunched in 1991 [by Alfred E. Knopf, a division of Random House], aims to offer the most complete library in the English language of the world’s classics. Each volume is printed in a classic typeface on acid-free, cream-wove paper with a sewn full cloth binding.” This is the March

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Writer’s Paradise

Author Unknown A writer dies and due to a bureaucratic snafu in the the afterworld, she is allowed to choose her own fate: heaven or hell for all eternity. Being a very shrewd dead person, she asks St. Peter for a tour of both. The first stop is hell where she sees rows and rows

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Random House Modern Library Readers’ 100 Best Novels

In response to their list of 100 best novels, the Modern library let the readers respond with their favorite books. This list was derived from an online user poll conducted on the Modern Library web site from July 20 to October 20, 1998, during which 217,520 votes were cast. **Note from Steph: Consider the first

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Random House Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels

In 1998 the Modern Library, a division of Random House, New York, released this list of ‘the 100 best novels written in the English language and published since 1900.’ The jurors were Daniel J. Boorstin, A.S. Byatt, Christopher Cerf, Shelby Foote, Vartan Gregorian, Edmund Morris, John Richardson, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., William Styron, and Gore Vidal.

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Literary Terms I Like

From Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia Accismus Irony involving insincere modesty Aesthetic distance A term that describes the ability to objectify experience in art and present it as independent from its maker. Argus-eyed Jealously watchful Beatrice Dante’s symbol of Spiritual inspiration Bell, book and candle Used in the ceremony of excommunication. Berserker Wild, warlike being, possesed of

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