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Monday Tally: Harry Potter and Books for a Quarter Life Crisis

monday-tag-150px Monday Tally is a weekly link round-up of some of my favorite posts discovered over the week. If you have suggestions for Monday Tally, please e-mail sophisticated [dot] dorkiness [at] gmail [dot] com. Enjoy!

Quote and Photo of the Day

What makes a book great, a so-called classic, it its quality of always being modern, of its author though he be long dead, continuing to speak to each new generation.

— Lawrence Clark Powell (thanks to Melanie at The Indextrious Reader for sharing this quote on Twitter).

Another link out for the photo, this time to the New York Times’ awesome sketch of what people were reading on the No. 6 train between Astor Place and 125th Street a few weeks ago.

Classics for the Common People

A couple of weeks ago now, the New Republic posted a pretty scathing critique of Oprah and her book club, specifically upset about the fact that Oprah chose two Charles Dickens novels without – gasp! – having ever read Dickens before.

I found the entire piece snide, and a perfect example of why people end up afraid to read classics – because people like this author tell them that classics are too hard or that they can’t be understood without a more serious guide than Oprah. The article also calls out people for reading classics through the lens of, “What can this teach me about myself?” which is patently absurd. One reasons classics are classics because they have themes that speak through generations, so reading in that vein is completely acceptable.

I could go on, but Ron Hogan over at Beatrice pretty well sums up my disgust in a more articulate manner than I can manage this morning.

Talking About Books

Bitch magazine has a great piece about the female characters in Harry Potter, who are all as awesome or even more awesome than Harry himself.

Jacket Copy has a list of 29 literary films for the holidays. I have a lot of new options for my Netflix queue.

Favorite Best of 2010 Book Lists

A list of lists, how meta! First up, NPR has been doing a ton of best of 2010 books lists, and I’ve really enjoyed most of them. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Author Danielle Evans (Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self) recommended some of her best reads of 2010 for The Millions, which included the excellent The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and the equally great A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

Some Smiles for After the Holidays

I will say again, Linda Holmes at NPR’s MonkeySee blog is one of my favorite bloggers out there. Her recent list of 50 Wonderful Things from 2010 is just full of things that will inevitably make you smile.

I know Christmas is over, but I just love this video from the Belfast Giants hockey team singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

This story from boston.com is really moving. I won’t tell you what it’s about, just go read it.

I love stories about people with odd obsessions. The New York Times has a profile of a physicist who has changed the way we look at urban planning by plotting cities using mathematics.

Books for My TBR

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kristin December 27, 2010, 11:25 am

    In the list of literary movies, I have to say that Ghost World is one of my favorite movies, but it is also one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen — I highly recommend it, but just prepared to be a bit sad after it.

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 4:05 pm

      Kristin: Good to know – that one is going on my Netflix queue right now.

  • Lu December 27, 2010, 12:20 pm

    Thanks for that link to the article by Ron Hogan, because I was pretty irate about that article at New Republic.

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 4:07 pm

      Lu: What a ridiculous article, right? I’m glad Ron Hogan wrote an articulate response, because I certainly wasn’t able to.

  • Amy December 27, 2010, 9:16 pm

    Oh I better check out those quarter life crisis books… because I’ll be there in a little over a week 🙂 Great list of links!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 4:07 pm

      Amy: Happy birthday, soon!

  • diana mack December 28, 2010, 9:46 am

    ok thanks forthe story from boston.com
    i am crying and hopefully will carry a grateful heart for awhile longer

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 4:08 pm

      diana: Yes, I agree. That was such a nice story to read.

  • Aths December 29, 2010, 3:01 pm

    I’m with you on the classics thing – I get really annoyed when people start bashing classics AND those who read classics. Lately, I’ve come across many such criticisms.

    I enjoyed the HP article! Really spot on!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 4:09 pm

      Aths: The Oprah one was the only classics bashing I’ve read recently, but it was absurd.

  • Christy (A Good Stopping Point) January 5, 2011, 5:06 pm

    The boston.com story was really sweet. Thanks for sharing it. Also those hockey players singing the Christmas song was cute.

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:49 pm

      Christy: I loved both of those things — they made me smile, which is what I like to be doing around the holidays.