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Posts tagged ‘jonathan franzen’

6 Things That Suck About Reading

I love books. You love books.

But let’s be honest, some aspects of books and reading suck. They just do.

I’ve told you about my some of my issues in my bookish pet peeves series. The items in this list today haven’t quite reached “pet peeves” status, but they may be getting pretty close—so you could see them again in that series!

Here are few things that irk me, because we all love a good list of irksome things heading into the weekend.

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9 Ways To Say Jonathan Franzen Is Sassy

My favorite punctuation is the question mark. I’m a curious, research-oriented kind of guy, so it fits.

My least favorite? The exclamation point. I hate them. Up until recently, I never used exclamation points in my writing. But I’ve recently started scattering them around every now and then to be ironic or to actually show a small amount of forced enthusiasm. I also don’t mind using them in casual writing.

When it comes to punctuation in the English language, here’s what I find interesting–and what must be a nightmare for non-native speakers. You can write the exact same thing and, by using different punctuation, change the meaning a dozen times.

Here’s what I mean.  Let’s say you want to make a comment about Jonathan Franzen’s vivacious personality. You might say:

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5 Famous Authors & Their Controversies

If there’s one thing literary types like, it’s a good controversy.

Don’t let the literary world fool you—they may snub their nose at celebrity gossip, but replace “Paris Hilton” with “Jonathan Franzen,” and suddenly their ears perk up.

I find it interesting that, out of the first 43 books I’ve read and researched from the Time list, the large majority of the novels—or at least the authors—have been through some type of small controversy at some point.

Noticing that trend, I put together some of the more memorable “controversies” or rumors—some of which still linger today.

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Stuff Jonathan Franzen Hates

Jonathan Franzen is an excellent writer. I loved the modern feel of The Corrections, and his 10 writing rules have generated a ton of traffic for this blog.

But let’s be honest: The guy comes off as a curmudgeon. He seems like an old grizzly curmudgeon who hates rainbows and doesn’t smile.

Franzen has been open about his disdain for ebooks (yeah, I’m not an ebook guy, but I’m not mean about it). He also hates Twitter and Facebook. All of this has been in the news again recently, when Franzen said this about Twitter (via The Guardian):

“Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose…It’s hard to cite facts or create an argument in 140 characters …It’s the ultimate irresponsible medium. People I care about are readers … particularly serious readers and writers, these are my people. And we do not like to yak about ourselves.”

The beauty of Twitter? People–obviously not Franzen’s “people”– immediately began poking at him, suggesting other things that Jonathan Franzen also hates because it seems like he hates a lot of things.

So that’s what today’s post is about. We know he hates Kindle, Facebook, and Twitter. What else does the curmudgeonish Jonathan Franzen hate?

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The Corrections: Coming To A TV Near You

Let’s hope HBO can do justice to Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, which has begun casting for an upcoming HBO series.

According to Franzen, Chris Cooper and Dianne West have been cast as the Lambert parents, and casting continues for the role of the kids. A few years ago, names like Tim Robbins, Brad Pitt, and Cate Blanchett were mentioned as possible actors in a potential movie. But those guys are probably too old these days. And now Entertainment Weekly says Ewan McGregor has been cast as Chip.

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Repost: Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules of Writing

This week, we bring you “101 Books’ Greatest Hits.” Today’s post was freshly pressed at WordPress on March 15, 2011 and has, by far, more page views and comments than any other post on this blog. Many of you might have found this blog because of this post. Here’s the original post. 101 Books will return live on Monday, July 11. 


Last week, I posted about George Orwell’s rules for writing, so while I’m finishing book #12: The Corrections I thought this would be a great opportunity to check out what Jonathan Franzen has to say on the subject.

This list came from The Guardian:

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Do Book Trailers Work?

Book trailers are all the rage these days.

It makes sense, I guess. The publishing industry takes a nod from the movie industry and uses short, one-to-two minute videos as a marketing tool.

But does it really work?

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