Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bits and Pieces

I have a cab to the airport in an hour, and decided it would be more productive to stay up than try to sleep. So, here's what's been entertaining me:

- The American Book Review has compiled a list of the 100 best first lines from novels and the 100 best last lines from novels. The Catcher in the Rye made both lists, and although I liked the book a hell of a lot more when I was 16 than I do now, I have to admit, Salinger totally nails both the take-off and the landing on that book.

- The seven deadly words of book reviewing: I'm guilty of four of them, two in the past week.
UPDATE: Ha! But a great finger in the eye to Bob Harris's Paper Cuts post at CLEWS.

- A Sweet Valley High relaunch? Although I'm disturbed that the Wakefield twins' "perfect size 6" has been done over as a "perfect size 4" (since 6 is apparently no longer "perfect"), I have to say this for the SVH series: it saved my social life. By third grade, I was taller than my teachers. And then SVH taught me about fashion, and I learned that hunched over and awkward was no way to go through life. So, I grant them that.

- The always-up-for-a-challenge Carl has a great one this spring: Once Upon a Time 2, where participants agree to read at least one book from the fantastical subgenres of fantasy, mythology, folklore, or fairy tale... or all of the above, topped off with a June reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I may just do either way.

- I watched one season of American Idol before I realized that I vastly preferred letting others watch it for me. I used to swear by Ang's recaps, but she doesn't seem to be doing them this season. So instead, I enthusiastically recommend Keith's.

Have a lovely weekend -- more when I return from Birmingham.


Andi said...

I'm awful at remembering last lines--even of the novels I love--so that list was very informative and fun. I'll now have to re-read a boatload of novels to re-experience the last lines properly. Thanks! ;)

Ang said...

I wanted to do recaps this season, but I got busy early on, and... man, I hate this season. I think I may be burning out on American Idol. I watch it in fast-forward, and I can't make myself care. It's sad, really.

Keith's recaps are fantastic. I may read them instead of watching!

Sarah said...

Ooh, glorious. I really love first and last lines, for some reason. Thanks!

Tom said...

I love that Neuromancer made the best first lines list.

My favorite first line that didn't make the list is actually a Stephen King line -- "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." A close second, from A River Runs Through it -- "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing."

mary_m said...

Nice! I may try to put together my own favorite first and last lines list except, like Andi, I'm terrible at remembering them. Huck Finn definitely makes the favorite last lines list, though.

And Ang, it's not just you. I think that America as a whole may be burning out on AI