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Infographic: When Did Famous Authors Publish Their Breakthrough Novels?

This is a fascinating infographic that was sent my way.

The graphic shows the age at which dozens of famous authors wrote their first book, their first breakthrough book, in which years of life they published other books, and when they died.

It gives you a good idea of how prolific some writers are—to a fault, in some cases, I would say.

You can view the full infographic at BlinkBox Books by clicking on the image below.


Explore the careers of some of the world’s most successful authors. Click image to open interactive version (via Blinkbox Books).

Some thoughts: Read more

The Worst Quotes From V.S. Naipaul

A couple of weeks ago, I laid out some of V.S. Naipaul’s best quotes—of which there are many.

But many of us might know Naipaul from the long list of ridiculous, controversial things he’s said over the years. Seriously, some of this will make you do a double take.

Yep, V.S. Naipaul actually said this: Read more

What’s The Most Difficult Novel You’ve Read?

What’s the most difficult novel you’ve ever read?

With that question, I don’t mean the “book you hated most.”

I think you can like a book while simultaneously believing it to be a difficult read. For example, Infinite Jest was overwhelmingly difficult, but I thought it was worth the read. Read more

Let’s Try This Again…On Monday

Sorry for the sporadic posting this week, guys. I’ve actually had the flu, and I’ve been down for the count. Since we just came off Christmas break, I haven’t done a great job of working ahead on the blog.

I’m feeling much better now, but I’ve got to catch up on work and life. We’ll start back fresh on 101 Books on Monday.

I hope to be wrapping up A House for Mr. Biswas very soon.

See you all on Monday!

Do You Have Any Reading Goals This Year?

This year, I’d like to reach book #90 on the Time list.

Over the last few years, my pace has slowed, but 12 more books by the end of the year is a reasonable goal. That’s just one a month.

That’s it for me. I have some other career and writing goals. But when it comes to reading, I just want to finish the 90th book. At that pace, I’d probably wrap up the 101 Books project sometime in late 2016.

But that’s enough about me.  Read more

This Is My 1,000th Post.

So I just clicked on the “publish” button for the 1,000th time since I started 101 Books on August 30, 2010. (Here’s the first post.)

Other than waking up, breathing, and going to work, I don’t know if I’ve done anything else that many times over the last four-and-a-half years—much less something that requires my attention five days a week.

I’m not patting myself on the back here. Honestly, I’m just surprised. I genuinely can’t believe I’ve published 1,000 posts.  Read more

The Best Quotes From V.S. Naipaul

Although I’m really enjoying A House for Mr. Biswas, I haven’t had a lot of good things to say about V.S. Naipaul as a person (although his Nobel speech was pretty awesome).

But let’s face it–no matter what you or I think about him as a person, he’s an amazing writer, and he actually has a lot of amazing insight as well.

I try to talk about the good and the bad of each author and book I cover, even though it’s often slanted in one direction or the other. So, today, instead of focusing on the crappy things V.S. Naipaul has said (of which there are many, and of which I will talk about more), let’s focus on some of his more positive and insightful quotes.

I’ve scoured the bowels of the literary internet and determined the quotes below are some of my favorites from Naipaul. I pulled these from Good Reads and Brainy QuoteRead more

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