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Sunday Salon and Weekly Geekery

October 12, 2008

Thanks for all of the time management advice! I think I just hit bottom on Friday, and since then I’ve been much calmer. I think I’ve figured out a way to find a good balance, and I’m just going to remind myself that the next two years won’t determine my entire life. ;)

First, a short Sunday Salon. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have any time to read this week (well, except for listening to The Last Juror as I fall asleep each night…), but then last night I felt a little bit of a cold coming on so rather than go to a party, I decided to stay in and read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It was pretty much as wonderful as I expected!!! There were a couple things that disappointed me, but I can’t talk about it without giving away key plot points, and I understand why Gaiman went with those events. I haven’t read The Jungle Book, which I bet would make the reading experience that much richer! But I think The Graveyard Book will be my new go-to when people ask where they should start with Gaiman…it’s written for an older audience than Coraline and I think it really captures what’s so wonderful about his writing.

Now on to Weekly Geeks! I’m not going to have time to go around and try to collect all 100 quotes, but I thought I’d post the ones I know in case it helps anyone. :) The challenge is to identify first lines from novels, fyi.

Call me Ishmael.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

1984 by George Orwell

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

I am an invisible man.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.

The Trial by Franz Kafka

You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.

If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

124 was spiteful.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Mother died today.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

It was a pleasure to burn.

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

You better not never tell nobody but God.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.”

Satanic Verses by

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

23 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2008 3:32 pm

    Wow, great job! Let’s see if I can help you out at all…

    #27 is Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
    #38 (right after Mrs. Dalloway) is Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut
    #44 is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

    Now to steal all of yours! Mwhahaha…

  2. October 12, 2008 4:01 pm

    You did great! I can’t help you too much but:
    #48 The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway
    #51 Elmer Gantry, Sinclair Lewis

  3. October 12, 2008 7:45 pm

    Thanks for your help! I’m trying to keep the list updated on my blog with everyone’s contributions.

    Glad you’re feeling calmer today…good luck with settling into your routine.

  4. October 12, 2008 9:19 pm

    I love the list of first quotes…going to check out if I know any different ones from the ones already listed.

  5. October 13, 2008 1:16 am

    “But I think The Graveyard Book will be my new go-to when people ask where they should start with Gaiman…it’s written for an older audience than Coraline and I think it really captures what’s so wonderful about his writing.”

    Yes, I completely agree! The Graveyard Book would be a great starting point. I really love Coraline, but (for me) this one has more depth, while still being a fun and accessible and gripping story.

  6. October 13, 2008 4:57 am

    I haven’t read any Gaiman yet. I may follow your advice and start with Graveyard book if/when I get to him!

  7. October 13, 2008 7:51 am

    I too just finished the Graveyard Book and really liked it. I know it would be cheating, but I wish I had my book with me at work — Novel Openers. I love stuff like this!

  8. October 13, 2008 9:36 am

    I’m impressed with how many of those you knew off the top of your head. Not surprised, but impressed!

    I can’t wait to get to The Graveyard Book!

  9. October 13, 2008 9:37 am

    #23 is The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

  10. October 13, 2008 2:32 pm

    Glad to hear time management is getting easier for you—that’s one dilemma I don’t think I’ll ever have totally worked out!

  11. October 13, 2008 4:07 pm

    You and your amazing memory! :)

  12. October 13, 2008 8:58 pm

    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling less overwhelmed (more whelmed?).

    Also glad to hear The Graveyard Book is a winner! I think I’m going to try to snatch it from my friend Susan when she’s done. Yay!

  13. October 14, 2008 5:28 am

    I’m going to put The Graveyard Book on my list to be my 2nd Gaiman read. Thank you. Very impressive on the first sentences!

  14. October 16, 2008 9:10 am

    Satanic verses- Salman Rushdie. But I know that you know that, so I think maybe it was an error.

    Glad to hear that you are holding up ok! How are you loving the coast? We will be up there this summer to visit family and kick around town with the kiddos. I cant wait for the break!

  15. October 17, 2008 7:35 pm

    Good luck managing school and everything else–it can all be very stressful! It sounds like you are fitting in some pleasure reading, so that’s a good thing! Are you on fall break this weekend? The students here have Monday and Tuesday off (I wish the employees did, too–I could use a break as well!).

  16. October 18, 2008 7:28 am

    I’m just reading Coraline now! for the first time. Then I have Graveyard Book to read tomorrow! I’m planning a Neil Gaiman post, so I will remember yours and link to it :-) and see? we knew you would be fine – but isn’t the support fun? and the new ‘friend’ :-) that has me smiling more than anything!!!

  17. October 20, 2008 8:15 pm

    I just read both Coraline and The Graveyard Book – so very, very good!!! What were you disappointed in? I loved Graveyard Book – and Coraline is one great heroine in a very scary book. I haven’t read Jungle Book either, but you don’t have to, to love Graveyard Book. At I don’t think I am missing very much!!

  18. October 23, 2008 3:22 am

    Eva: I have this really dumb question. Although i am a software engineer (but i have never worked in html), i wanted to know how you get these boxes with colored background, like places where you have written the first lines. I might figure it our after a littel googling, but I don’t have the patience. Please help!!!

  19. October 23, 2008 4:53 am

    Ah…I got it. Is it blockquote? I tries it and it gives similar results, except it does not give any background color. But anywayz yay….

  20. October 25, 2008 12:30 pm

    I am so glad that you enjoyed this. I too think it is a good book to recommend to people to try out Gaiman. I haven’t read Jungle Book either but I do have a desire to now to see just what in it inspired Gaiman when writing The Graveyard Book.

  21. October 30, 2008 1:07 pm

    Miss youuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!

  22. October 30, 2008 7:16 pm

    Hey Eva – Hope everything is going well! I miss seeing you around…

  23. October 31, 2008 7:48 am

    Eva – hope you are ok and just busy with school. Miss reading your brilliant contributions!

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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