The Nobel Committee has announced its pick for the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature, and the winner is Patrick Modiano. Not familiar with the French novelist? You’re not alone; Modiano’s celebrity is far more modest than that of fellow candidate Haruki Murakami, as well as last year’s winner, Alice Munro. Yet he is referred to by the Swedish Academy as “the Marcel Proust of our time.”
…and the reviewers who actually read them.
1. People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It
There are actually quite a few Goodreads reviews of this one, and it seems to generate love-hate (but mostly hate) reactions:
Anita Dalton rated it 1 of 5 stars
Unusual beliefs make the world more interesting. But there are times when bad, bad writing combine with bad, dangerous information, and I am left with nothing but snark. If Penn Jillette read this book, he would s#@* blood.
Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Anyone with an open mind should explore the pages of this non-fiction journey. It’ll make you think about things that you wouldn’t naturally consider. I loaned this to a co-worker and haven’t seen it since!
Maybe the spirits took it?
2. How to Avoid Huge Ships
The kicker with this one is that it’s labeled as the “Second Edition.” It’s hard to imagine what the first edition might have left out. Unsurprisingly, Poets & Writers hailed it as the “worst book ever” back in 2011, despite its $131 price tag and huge underground following. They also rounded up some of its snarkiest Amazon reviews, which are well worth a read:
Reads like a whodunnit!, December 21, 2010
I bought How to Avoid Huge Ships as a companion to Captain Trimmer’s other excellent books: How to Avoid a Train, and How to Avoid the Empire State Building. These books are fast paced, well written and the hard won knowledge found in them is as inspirational as it is informational. After reading them I haven’t been hit by anything bigger than a diesel bus. Thanks, captain!
Read this book before going on vacation and I couldn’t find my cruise liner in the port. Vacation ruined.
Love it or hate it, Bloomsday is the annual day of celebration for James Joyce’s polarizing novel Ulysses. It takes place on June 16th each year, to mark the first day of the protagonist Leopold Bloom’s journey across Dublin.
To mark the occasion some Joyce fans follow the tradition of reading the novel in Edwardian garb—though Marilyn Monroe did it back in 1955 in decidedly modern attire… her bathing suit.
Nowadays, though, celebrations can consist of two weeks of lectures, film screenings and readings surrounding the novel that the majority of people (at least all the sane ones) find impossible to read. And while to these readers, including yours truly, suffering through lectures on Ulysses is a punishment only slightly worse than actually reading a chapter of Ulysses (and very marginally better than suffering the fate of Prince Oberyn vs The Mountain), in Vanity Fair’s opinion, Bloomsday has become a “travesty” for another reason: Continue Reading ›
Well, no. That title probably goes to this…
However, it is possibly the worst cover of a classic novel ever published.
(Wait, are you saying Henry James’ 1891 novel The Turn of the Screw isn’t actually about screws?!)
No. It’s not about screws.
We’ll let you be the judge: here are quite possibly the worst covers for classics ever.
At eNotes we’ve been working on a special addition, not only to our own website but to thousands of pages across the web. Presenting our Calendar of Literary Facts, now available to be published on your own site or blog with the code that we’ve created! See how it works on eNotes below, then read on to find out how you can bring this engaging calendar to your homepage.
Celebrated Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez died today at the age of 87 after a recent hospitalization for multiple infections. His death comes two years after it was reported he was suffering from dementia.
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
― Gabriel García Márquez
In his extroadinary lifetime Márquez received widespread acclaim for his novels and short stories, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. One Hundred Years in particular became incredibly popular, selling more than 50 million copies worldwide in over 25 languages. With his works Márquez stood as an ambassador for Latin American literature, and the father of magical realism.
When he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, he dedicated his lecture to the spirit of Latin America, and revealed to the world its inextricable ties to his particular writing style:
We have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.
Márquez is survived by his wife Mercedes and his two sons. He died at home in Mexico City. His memoirs remain unfinished.
Gabriel García Márquez Biography at eNotes
Works of Gabriel García Márquez:
and more found here.
Instagrammers rejoice: at last you can celebrate your passion for nail art and dystopian literature with Glitterfingersss’ tutorial to “burned paper nails”! We think it’s totally Fahrenheit 451 and right on point for festival season—book festival season, that is. Check it out below.
Read on for the 9-step tutorial. It’s actually easier than it looks!