|Hans Sloane: "Get yer dadgum crumpet off my First Folio."|
These are some recent I-wish-I-wrote-that bits from around the web. The articles the quotes are pulled from are all well worth a read.
- “It’s slightly embarrassing to have to admit that the best book you read all year was Anna Karenina. It’s a bit like saying that you’ve been listening to an album called Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club by these Beatles kids out of Liverpool and that, yes, you can confidently reveal that they were definitely onto something.” - Mark O’Connell at The Millions
O’Connell’s best-of-the-year wrap-up includes modern fiction too, so don’t worry: he’s not stuck in the classics --just plenty well-balanced.
- “Waiter! I think we’re done here.” - David Daley at Salon.com
Harper’s magazine’s newest book reviewer is none other than Larry McMurtry, but Daley is sure that the writer is no Zadie Smith (Harper’s former critic.) Daley gives a blow-by-blow of McMurtry’s first column that wittily takes apart “the worst new book critic in America.”
- “The way I see it, if your hero can't be played by Harry Dean Stanton, you're on the wrong track.” - User comment at The Guardian
The UK’s Guardian ran a useful feature in which well-known crime writers recommended their own favorite crime writers. Some of the best recommendations --as well as commentary like the quote above from user name Henrylloydmoon-- are found in the comments section.
- “The story ends on page 339 but doesn't stop until page 343.” - K.C. Shaw at Skunk Cat Book Reviews
Prolific writer (and reader) K.C. Shaw reviews books across a dizzying array of genres (YA, mystery, fantasy --ratkeeping?), and with a refreshing degree of straight-to-the-point honesty. From another review: “Brock scratches his beard so much in this one that I wondered if he had a skin condition, or fleas.”
- “Did Sloane realize the peril his collection might be in, if left open to the slings and arrows of outrageous baked goods?” - Beth Dunn at Wonders & Marvels
This absolutely delightful piece on how a buttered muffin may have (seriously) inspired the founding of the British Museum is a perfect blending of humor and history. Beth Dunn has both an enviable writing style and a firm grasp on reality.
Note: As this is the first installment of Quotable, a few of the articles have been languishing on my desktop for a time. While they’re all still wonderfully relevant, the next batch should be much more fresh.
Give these quotable folks a visit, and let me know what you think. Comments welcome.