Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Wasn't in the Cards

1) Alas, last night I was privy to something that hasn't happened since 1967. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Red Sox. Oh well, it is still fun because I get to relive the moments from the glorious 2004 post-season. I will say, though, that the Cardinals seemed to want it more.

2) Yes, the title of this post is meant to be mocking of the often atrocious puns that many a sports editor saddle on stories.

3) I was thinking last night that Tom Brady has never lost the last game of the year as a starter. Obviously, he has won the superbowl in three of his four years with the Patriots. In 2002, he won the last game of the season at Miami, putting the Pats at 9-7 and keeping the playoff hopes alive (though the Jets snaked their way in). In his two years as a starter at Michigan, he won the Citrus and Orange bowls. So, basically, Tom has not known what it is like to end the season with a loss since possibly high school (if ever). I don't know what this means, but I think that is kind of cool.

4) I've been holding off on putting up my choice for the #2 book on my list of "5 best written books" for a while, because I made a goof. I accidentally put "novel" as the requirement, yet went ahead and mentally put my slot at number two for "the book so well written that it makes uninteresting or thick material easily understood" on my outline of the five books. Oops. I was planning on writing about "Revising Prose" by Richard Lanham, because it is the only book I have ever read about editing (and I've read about six or seven, unfortunately) that has made me laugh out loud. The guy just knows how to keep everything simple, while attacking his material with a sense of humor while slamming his point across effectively. I only ever knock the book because I don't always adhere to his advice. Anyway, it is a great book, and I highly recommend it because it is interesting, funny, and useful. Besides, what other book about editing encourages the editor to root out the violence inherent in a sentence (who is kicking who?) while advocating premarital sex? I quote, "Premarital sex satisfies! Obviously!". Fabulous book.

However, I think since it is not a novel, I need to come up with a new #5 on the list, and slide Choke to #4, American Psycho to #3, and Slaughterhouse 5 to #2. I'm going to need some time to think about it, as I have not decided on my criteria for the spot (best poetic writing style? Greatest 1st person character? Most intriguing scenes?). I'm tempted to just throw one out there about On the Road, Catcher in the Rye, or The Great Gatsby, but I set out to make a list of books that not everyone had to read in high school. I wanted to make a list of reads for you, my faithful reader (actually, there might be two of you now...), that is both intriguing and full of books to put on your "to read" list. I wanted Slaughterhouse 5 to be the most famous of them by far. So I need some time to think about the book that would have been ranked #2 (but now will be the new #5).

5) However, I am prepared to go forward with my #1 book. As stated above, I don't want to just inundate you with classics that everyone admits is well written, but I can't have a list of the 5 best written novels without having something by Hemingway on here. While I will spare you The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and A Farewell to Arms, I would recommend reading each of those. However, I think a book that is often unfairly excluded from Hemingway's pantheon is To Have and Have Not. The novel itself is semi-autobiographical of his days in Cuba. The main character is an American ex-patriot who is also a smuggler. There are several contrasts to the way of life there and in the developed world, as well as the line some people must toe to survive. Written in Hemingway's simplistic yet rich descriptive text of his other great novels, the book pulses with imagery and emotion. A great read.


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