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Posts from the ‘Reposts’ Category

Revisiting “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”

Today’s kind of a lazy post, but it’s relevant.

Many critics, and even A.S. Byatt herself, have acknowledged Possession is a response to John Fowles’ 1969 novel, The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

So before we jump into Possession, I thought it might be worthwhile to revisit The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the story that provoked A.S. Byatt to write her novel in the first place.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman currently sits at #27 in my rankings of the first 68 books I’ve read from the Time list. Before I read the novel, I thought I wouldn’t like it—thinking of it as a Victorian romance. And it is partly that, but to dismiss it that easily does a great disservice to John Fowles. The man was excellent at his craft.

So instead of me babbling on and on about a book I read nearly three years ago, I thought I’d just repost that review here today. It’s been awhile, so just reading this review again reminded me of why I enjoyed The French Lieutenant’s Woman so much.

And, hopefully, Possession will prove to be as interesting.

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Repost: Want To Write A Classic Novel? Here’s How.

I’m taking my annual week-long summer hiatus this week, which means this is a “Best of 101 Books” week.  I’ll return live on Monday July 8.

Today’s post originally appeared on the blog on March 23, 2012.

Later this year, I’ll cross the halfway point of this somewhat epic journey. So far, I’ve loved the experience. More than just the reading and the writing, getting to discuss great books with you guys has been awesome.

Along the way, I’ve discovered some reoccurring themes in these novels. This isn’t groundbreaking stuff, you might have heard it before, but I thought I’d try and put my spin on what you need to include in the great novel you want to write some day.

So all you budding novelists out there, take heed. Make sure you include the following in your manuscript. Almost all the classics have at least a few of these:

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Repost: Behind The Curtain Of 101 Books

I’m taking my annual week-long summer hiatus this week, which means this is a “Best of 101 Books” week.  I’ll return live on Monday July 8.

Today’s post originally appeared on the blog on August 22, 2012.

I was looking at my About Me page recently and realized that it was pretty light on content. Not much there.

Honestly, that’s purposeful. When I started the blog, my goal was—and still is—to make 101 Books about the books, not me. This isn’t a personal blog. It’s a niche blog on a very specific subject.

Throughout, I might share a few tidbits about my life here and there, if it fits within the context of the post, but that’s about as far as I’ve gone.

Along the way, I try and spark discussion and maybe provide you with a little tidbit or interesting aspect of a novel that you never knew or thought about—something that I probably just learned myself.

All that said, there is a dude who writes this blog. That dude is me. Or is it me is that dude? Or maybe I am that dude. Yes that’s it.

So the blog’s grown and all that over the last two years, and I figure it’s only fair to let all of you who read this thing every day to at least know a little bit about me—more than the short sentence on the About Me page.

So, here goes.

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Repost: Book #15: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

I’m taking my annual week-long summer hiatus this week, which means this is a “Best of 101 Books” week.  I’ll return live on Monday July 8.

Today’s post originally appeared on the blog on April 4, 2011.

Unspeakable things happen in a labor and delivery room. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. With my eyes.

June 16, 2010 was the day my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world, a little boy. On that day, I was certain, absolutely certain, that I would never again–or at least until we have a second child–experience what it means to be a woman like that.  Lights. Voices. Blood. Fluids. Apparatuses. God only knows what else.

This whole giving birth thing is pretty intense, I thought.  I could never do that. Thank God for women.

So I thought I had pretty much experienced the essence of womanhood. But, oh no. Dear Lord, no. Thanks to Judy Blume’s epic tale, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, I learned that there’s much more to being a woman than childbirth.

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Repost: Diary of A Former Bookstore Worker

I’m taking my annual week-long summer hiatus this week, which means this is a “Best of 101 Books” week.  I’ll return live on Monday July 8.

Today’s post originally appeared on the blog on October 19, 2012.

A long, long time ago (12 years) in a land far, far away (Birmingham, Alabama) I worked at a Barnes & Noble.

This was during the glory days of the corporate bookstore, long before Amazon started dominating the market, the digital reader became popular, and half of the merchandise in bookstores became puppy calendars, board games, and Narnia figurines.

Oh, the good ole’ days.

And as a former bookstore worker, do I ever have some stories to tell. I worked part-time from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. From 7 to 9, before the store opened, I shelved books. From 9 to 11, I shelved books and helped customers find the latest Danielle Steele novel. God bless ‘em.

Some things I learned about working at a big bookstore:

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#1 in 2012

From Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, I’ll be recapping the top 5 posts from 2012 on 101 Books. 101 Books will return live on January 2nd, 2013!

Today’s post, “The Aurora Tragedy: When Life & Art Intersect,” was originally posted on July 25

The Top Post from 2012: The Aurora Tragedy: When Life & Art Intersect

I’ll do my best to keep today’s post on subject. To me, it makes sense how this relates to the theme of my blog. I hope it does to you too.

As I put together some of my last few posts about The Bridge of San Luis Rey over the weekend, a book that details the lives of people who fall to their deaths in the collapse of a rope bridge in Peru, I was reminded again about the randomness of tragedy.

Just last week, I posted about how this novel experienced a rebirth after September 11, when Tony Blair quoted a passage from the book during a memorial service for the victims of 9/11.

On the heels of the awful events in Aurora, Colorado last week, this novel seems relevant yet again.

In The Bridge, Thornton Wilder reminds us that any one of us could’ve been on that bridge, just like any one of us could have been watching Batman in that Aurora theater.

Wilder, through the main character Brother Juniper, attempts to explain the “why” of tragedy. Why were those 5 people on that bridge? What brought them all together at that moment? Why wasn’t it someone else?

Brother Juniper begins a process of going back through their lives, telling their stories, and trying to make sense of their deaths. It’s no surprise that a question of that magnitude doesn’t bring an answer that will satisfy everyone.

It’s a messy question with a messy answer—actually there is no real answer. I don’t think any human mind can ever understand why crap like this happens.

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#2 In 2012

From Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, I’ll be recapping the top 5 posts from 2012 on 101 Books. 101 Books will return live on January 2nd, 2013!

Today’s post, “7 Annoying Words That Should Die A Horrible Death,” was originally posted on March 2. 

#2 In 2012: 7 Annoying Words That Should Die A Horrible Death

Time Magazine recently released a list of 15 words that should die in 2012. The list included some rather annoying, trendy words and phrases from 2011—like baby bump, occupy (wait, wasn’t that Time’s word of the year?), bro (as in “bromance” and “bro date”), and sexting.

Those, indeed, are extremely annoying words. But I think I can do better. As an avid book reader, writer, and Twitterererer, I’d like to think I know a few things about words.

So, with a tip of the cap to our friends at Time, I present 7 trendy words or phrases that should die a miserable death in 2012. (Of note, this list is different from the words that make me cringe—which are time-honored words that have been auditory nuisances since they were first spoken).

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