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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

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

#2 In 2014: The Wake-Up Times Of Famous Authors

* 101 Books is out of office this week. But all week I am featuring the top 5 most popular NEW posts (by traffic) in 2014. I’ll return with new posts on January 5. 

You might remember my tirade against morning people a few months ago?

Okay, so it wasn’t really a tirade against anyone—the post was more of a defense of night owls. We’ve been taking a beating the last few years while the trend to praise the morning person as the model of success has gone into overdrive.

As a night owl, I got tired of hearing that I was a slacker, even though I bust my butt getting stuff done after 8 p.m. So I wrote that post.

Then, a few weeks ago, I saw this infographic—which beautifully illustrates everything I tried to articulate in that post.

Read more

The Ferguson Library Is A Light On A Hill

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last few months, you probably know that Ferguson, Missouri isn’t exactly the best place to be right now.

Rioting broke out in full force last week when a grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for his involvement in the death of Michael Brown. Because of the racial component, it’s an extremely volatile situation that has grown increasingly worse over the course of the year.

But some good news has come out of all that mess. Even though a lot of businesses and schools closed throughout the community, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library remains open. Last Monday, they tweeted: Read more

Lucky Jim Changed This Man’s Life

How often can you say a book changed your life?

This outstanding article by Joseph Schuster at The Millions illustrates how Lucky Jim changed his life. Lucky Jim? The story of a sad, beaten-up, self-deprecating assistant professor at a no-name college in England? Yep. Lucky Jim.

That just goes to show—when it comes to literary tastes, we all appreciate different flavors.

Schuster talks about his annual tradition of reading Lucky Jim in the fall—and what (or if) he expects to learn something from each reading. Many of you who do the same with a favorite novel will probably relate: Read more

The Nat Turner Story In 5 Minutes

Honestly guys, The Confessions of Nat Turner is taking me a lot longer to read than I would like.

That has nothing to do with the novel’s quality, but life has just been a little hectic lately. I hope to be able to review the novel next week.

In the meantime, I don’t have much to say today. So I’ll let this little 5-minute overly dramatic video from The History Channel do the talking.

This will give you a good overview of the true story upon which the novel is based. Read more

Can A White Author Get Inside a Black Character’s Head?

I tread lightly entering today’s topic, but it’s one that I can’t help but ask.

And it’s this exact topic that fueled a lot of the controversy surrounding William Styron when he won the Pulitzer for The Confessions of Nat Turner in 1968.

It’s simply this: What would an older, southern white man in the 1960s know about the mindset of a young black slave in the 1830s?

Remember, Styron is writing in the first person. The narrator IS Nat Turner, the leader of a slave rebellion. To write from that point of view had to be an unbelievably difficult task. He’s simply telling the story as an outside narrator, or even a Nick Carraway-style observer. Styron, as Nat, is the narrator.

Styron explained his thought process in a piece written by The Library of Congress: Read more

The Future Library: Why Didn’t I Think Of This?

A Scottish artist named Katie Paterson came up with the best idea ever.

Books, at least the traditional kind, need paper. And did you know paper comes from trees? How ’bout that?

With that in mind, Paterson developed a brilliant project.

Read more


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