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Posts from the ‘Reposts’ Category

#1 In 2014: The Harvard Library Owns Books Bound With Human Skin

* 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. 

Some creepy stuff’s going on over at the Harvard Library, or at least it was in 2006 when this article was originally written.

According to The Harvard Crimson Magazine, at least three rare, extremely old books were bound by human skin. Yep. Human skin.

The three books—about medieval law, Roman poetry, and French philosophy, respectively—date back to as early as 1605.

Here’s the skinny on the medieval law book: Read 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.

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#3 In 2014: What Does It Mean To Be “Well Read?”

* 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. 

Someone recently told me I was “well read,” which I find interesting. The whole reason I started 101 Books was because I felt like I wasn’t “well read” enough, whatever that means.

So now that I’ve read nearly 70 books in four years, am I well read all of the sudden?

Seriously? That’s all it takes–70 books in four years?

According to Google, 129 million books have been published in the history of the history. 129 million!

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#4 In 2014: Harry Potter Readers Are Stupid

* 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. 

Harry Potter readers are stupid?

So says A.S. Byatt, author of Possession. I’m paraphrasing.

The more I read about A.S. Byatt, the less likeable she seems.

Last week, we talked about her dismissiveness of bloggers and social media. This week, let’s talk about how much she dislikes Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. How fun!

Byatt comes across as the quintessential book snob. The complex, fantastical world of Harry Potter isn’t good enough for her. J.K. Rowling is just a simpleton, parroting old clichés.

This comes from an op-ed Byatt wrote for the New York Times in 2003.

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#5 In 2014: This Terrible Book Cover Deserves Its Own Post

* 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. 

Let’s take a closer look at this highly unusual cover. Read more

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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