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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

Kids Aren’t Reading–And That’s Their Parents’ Fault

Children don’t be reading, and that’s their parent’s fault.

I’m always leery when I hear “a new study says,” but for what it’s worth a new study says that one in four students agree with the statement “My parents don’t care if I spend any time reading.”

According to Acculturated, one in six boys said they had never been given a book as a present and one in five said they had never been to a bookstore. That’s nuts! Read more

Zadie Smith Hearts Jon Snow

You guys might know I’ve become a bit of a Game of Thrones fan boy. Can you believe that season 5 finale? Holy crap!

Anyway, while doing a little research on White Teeth author, Zadie Smith, I found this little nugget—which made me laugh, especially if you know my opinion on Virginia Woolf.

Smith recently wrote a short story called Escape from New York, so The New Yorker asked her which three people she’d take on a road trip with her.

She picked four. Her answer: Read more

You Can Own The House Where Fitzgerald Wrote Gatsby

In the housing market? Live near New York City? Have a spare $3.8 million?

If that’s you, then you could be the owner of the house where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby.

The Fitzgeralds rented the house, located in Great Neck just outside New York City, for two years in the early 1920s. He started writing the manuscript while living there and finished the novel when they moved to France.

The beautiful home has 7 bedrooms and 6.5 baths.

Can you imagine? Sitting under the same roof that Fitzgerald once wrote Gatsby? Well, for 3.8 million, you can do just that!

Anybody willing to loan me a little cash?

A few more photos of the house below. You can see all the photos over at Zillow.

Images via Zillow.

Memorable Lines From Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited is one of those novels that’s filled with memorable passages and witty one-liners.

One minute you’ll be reading a reflective passage from Charles Ryder, the narrator. The next you’ll be reading some witty one-liners from his alcoholic socialite friend, Sebastian.

The novel has so many good quotes that I thought I’d pull out a few and share with you guys today. Take a look:

“I should like to bury something precious in every place where I’ve been happy and then, when I’m old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.”

“Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all.”

“The trouble with modern education is you never know how ignorant people are. With anyone over fifty you can be fairly confident what’s been taught and what’s been left out. But these young people have such an intelligent, knowledgeable surface, and then the crust suddenly breaks and you look down into depths of confusion you didn’t know existed.”

“O God, make me good, but not yet.”

“[Change is] the only evidence of life.”

“No one could really hate a saint, could they? They can’t really hate God either. When they want to Hate Him and His saints they have to find something like themselves and pretends it’s God and hate that.”

I’m digging this novel.

I don’t think it’s going to be a top-10er in my rankings, but I believe, by the time I’ve finished reading it, I’ll be happy to recommend Brideshead Revisited.

Very curious to see where this one goes.

A Look Inside Castle Howard

What exactly is Castle Howard, you ask?

It’s the castle chosen to depict the Brideshead castle in both the mini-series and cinematic versions of Brideshead Revisited. And, as you can see, it’s beautiful.

The castle is located in North Yorkshire, England and has been the actual private residence of the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years.

Construction began in 1699 and took more than 100 years to complete, using the design by Sir John Vanbrugh. The entire estate covers 13,000 acres.  Read more

150-Year-Old Mark Twain Stories Uncovered

The Guardian reports today that scholars at the University of California-Berkeley have uncovered and authenticated a cache of 150-year-old Mark Twain stories.

According to The Guardian: Read more

The Early Drafts of Blood Meridian

I read Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian way, way back in 2011 when this blog probably had about 10 followers. The novel was my seventh read from the Time list.

To this day, I still say it’s one of the most memorable books I’ve read. McCarthy’s prose, and lack of punctuation, take a bit of getting used to, but his characters are incredible. The Judge, for example, is one of the most frightening characters in all of literature.

Recently, Texas State University purchased 98 boxes of notes from McCarthy’s archive for $2 million. Included in the collection are the first drafts of Blood Meridian from 1975.

Below is the opening page from one of the early drafts: Read more


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