19 January 2007

Making the classics sound good

We start Friday with a short quiz.

Q1. Who is Jonathan Yardley? *
a. That guy who edits the NYT crossword puzzles
b. That guy who reviews books in the Post
c. That other guy who reviews books in the Post; choice "b" clearly refers to Michael Dirda or Ron Charles
d. That guy who does the funny quizzes on the radio

If you picked "c" good for you.

In addition to reviewing new books, Yardley also from time to time reviews old books to talk about why they are good.

You can find his second reading column archives here.

Word Nerd read his review of Ernest Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" and thought maybe, just maybe, she'd have to read this one. Hemingway is not one of the classics authors that Word Nerd ever wanted to pick up ever again after high school, having to read 100 pages of a guy chasing around a big fish. ... yes, she knows, that book is really about grace under pressure... Nevertheless, Yardley's review of "Feast" makes her at least interested where she wouldn't be before.

He recently took on "The Great Gatsby" and had this to say about it:
If from all of our country's books I could have only one, "The Great Gatsby" would be it.
Word Nerd whole-heartedly agrees on his pronouncement about Gatsby. She did, after all, name her feline roommate after Fitzgerald's dubious character.

What books that you read, perhaps in school, deserve a second look?

* Bonus points for identifying the person who belongs to answers "a" and "d."

1 comment:

Roxann said...

I don't know about D, but A OBVIOUSLY is Will Shortz... who doesn't know him!! (said like someone who did many many crosswords to stay awake during lectures in vet school.... hm...)