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  • Brian Boone 5:00 pm on 2018/01/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , gone with the wind, , , , , , , ,   

    6 Classic Books That Almost Had Completely Different Titles 

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    Have you ever written a book? It’s very, very hard. Writers have to come up with thousands of perfect words and arrange them just so to create a thrilling and original narrative that also expresses their worldview via memorable and compelling characters. Doing all that requires a set of long-form expression skills, which is quite the opposite of coming up with a title—or encapsulating the entire novel into a handful of well-chosen words. A lot of writers can’t make a book and then also come up with a great title—the latter could and maybe should be up to editors and the marketing department. Here are some beloved classic novels whose authors nearly cursed with a terrible title. 

    Where the Wild Horses Are, by Maurice Sendak
    Where the Wild Things Are is a universally beloved childhood favorite. That’s probably because it’s a lot of fun, but also a little bit scary, and Maurice Sendak never coddles or placates the reader. The friendly monsters called “Wild Things” are so well and mysteriously named that its perplexing that Sendak only called the book what he did to solve a problem. He’d initially planned to write Where the Wild Horses Are. Except that when he sat down to illustrate, he had a really hard time drawing horses. Horses became “Things” and the book’s name changed, too.  

    Tomorrow is Another Day, by Margaret Mitchell
    Let’s get real: Gone with the Wind is a powerful, epic tale of war, love, self-respect, proto-feminism, and believing in onself…but it’s also a bit of a soap opera. As such, Margaret Mitchell nearly stuck her Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War novel with a number of soapy titles, such as Tote the Weary Load, Bugles Sang True, and Not in Our Stars. Still, the book almost went to print under the name Tomorrow is Another Day…even though that’s a total spoiler for the book’s moving final line. Ultimately Mitchell found the best title from “Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae,” a poem by 19th century French poet Ernest Dowson. 

    Something That Happened, by John Steinbeck
    John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is history’s second-best Great Depression novel, second only to Steinbeck’s The Grapes of WrathAs such, it’s a sad tale about desperate men doing desperate things, and Steinbeck reportedly wanted to make sure that the novel didn’t judge the characters one way or the other for the book’s violent conclusion. He tried to express that by going full objective journalism for the title, which is so nonjudgmental that it’s kind of hilarious. He changed his mind when he found some words that said the same thing, that humans are victims of fate, only more poetically. They were in a poem, in fact: Robert Burns’ “Of Mice and Men.” 

    The Last Man in Europe, by George Orwell
    Up until a few months before publication, Orwell was going to call, his novel about a future dystopian totalitarian state in which Big Brother was always watching The Last Man in Europe. At virtually the last minute, Orwell’s publishers asked him to come up something more commercial than what sounds like a book about the last human alive after a zombie apocalypse. His solution: the blunt, ominous far-off futuristic year in which the scary book took place: 1984.  

    Trimalchio in West Egg, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    F. Scott Fitzgerald suggested many high-fallutin’ titles for what ultimately became The Great Gatsby, his book about the rise and fall of the personification of the American Dream in the Jazz Age. Under the Red, White, and Blue was a little too on the nose, as was Gold-Hatted Gatsby. The High-Bounding Lover was just a little-too-1920s. Fitzgerald also really wanted to call his book Trimalchio in West Egg. The latter part reflects the book’s setting; the first part is a literary reference to Trimalchio, a character who enjoys life in obscene excess in the 1st century Roman book The Satyricon. 

    Panasonic, by Don DeLillo
    DeLillo’s meditation on modern life and its many pollutants was titled Panasonic reportedly up to the last round of galleys. But then the Matsushita Corporation, which controlled the trademark of the well-known consumer electronics company, wouldn’t grant permission. So White Noise it was.

    What working titles of classic books are you glad were ultimately revised?

    The post 6 Classic Books That Almost Had Completely Different Titles appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 3:00 pm on 2016/08/19 Permalink
    Tags: gone with the wind, , , who said that?   

    9 Quotes That are More Famous Than the Books They Came From 

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    Writing is a strange art form: the whole and the individual parts are equally important. The complete book is a discrete thing, but it can be broken down into characters, twists, and, of course, incredible lines—the sort of lines that make us swoon, lines we carry with us for the rest of our lives as sustenance and comfort, inspiration and warning. When an author has really done their job, individual lines can become even more famous than the actual book.

    These nine quotes should be instantly familiar to you, but chances are, you’re not as familiar with the books that spawned them. Which, as we’ll see, isn’t always a bad thing.

    “It was a dark and stormy night.” (Paul Clifford, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton)
    Perhaps the most famous opening line in all literature is known, of course, for being terrible. Opinions differ (the line has its champions), but in general, Lytton’s main claim to fame is having composed the most purple line in a novel ever, despite the fact that almost no one has read or even heard of the novel which inspired it, 1830’s Paul Clifford. Coming in close second for Lytton’s claim to fame? “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” (The Picture of Dorian Grey, by Oscar Wilde)
    Oscar Wilde’s writing remains fresh and perfectly suited for the modern world, and yet people aren’t talking about his only published novel nearly as much as they should. While everyone is familiar with the basic outlines of the plot of The Picture of Dorian Grey, it is, like all of Wilde’s work, stuffed full of juicy quotes like this—quotes we’re all familiar with, even if we don’t know why.

    “Not all those who wander are lost.” (The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien)
    If you ask someone to identify this quote (as well as “All that is gold does not glitter,” from the same poem) they will likely guess wrong. This is because many folks who love Tolkien’s fantasy classic skip the poems and songs, and those who don’t love fantasy haven’t read it. Outside of fantasy fandom, it’s likely Tolkien’s most famous quote.

    “I wish I knew how to quit you.” (Brokeback Mountain, by Annie Proulx)
    Thanks to the success of the film version and the easy meme-ability of Jake Gyllenhal’s line reading, this quote is plenty famous and often applied in ironic ways, but plenty of people think of it as a line from a movie, and not a line from Proulx’s O’Henry Award-winning short story of the same name.

    “Stay Gold, Ponyboy.” (The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton)
    While most of the folks who use the line as a hip farewell got it from the classic young adult book about rival gangs of kids in 1960s Oklahoma, it’s become such a standard that lots of people use it without being fully conscious of its origins, much less having read the actual novel that spawned it—a situation that will no doubt get worse as time marches on.

    “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” (Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell)
    A quick way to tell if someone using this quote has read the book is whether they add the “Frankly” from Clark Gable’s line reading. In fact, almost everyone who uses this quote is actually quoting the film version, which has overshadowed the massively-successful novel in just about every way.

    “A drop in the bucket.” (The Bible)
    This quote, from Isaiah 40:15, 17, has become such a common expression that almost no one outside of bible study classes realizes where it came from. While certainly not the only quote from the bible that has become ubiquitous, it’s one of the most popular, as well as one of the easiest to separate from its context.

    “Get busy living or get busy dying.” (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, by Stephen King)
    Stephen King is a modern master of language, so it’s no surprise that he’s coined a few phrases (and even invented a word or two) that have become common parlance. Once again, many folks who know they’re quoting something when they use this phrase are thinking of the film adaptation instead of the novella that inspired it.

    “Why, then the world’s mine oyster.” (The Merry Wives of Windsor, by William Shakespeare)
    Shakespeare, seems to have more or less invented about 50 percent of the words and phrases we use today. But not all Shakespeare is created equal, and while The Merry Wives of Windsor is chock full of great lines, it’s widely considered a minor work, and isn’t often taught or referenced. The original quote is much more sinister than the modern version, as it implies violently taking what you want if it will not be given freely, but time has sanded off those rough edges.

  • Tara Sonin 3:00 pm on 2016/06/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , gone with the wind, , love on the big screen, , , ,   

    8 Romantic Movies Based on Novels to Add to Your Netflix-and-Chill Summer 

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    If you’re in the mood for some Netflix and Chill during these steamy summer months, you’ll love this list of movies based on romance novels! Add a few to your queue and snuggle in, just don’t forget to read the book first.

    The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks
    The Notebook has it all: Allie and Noah fell in love as teenagers only to be torn apart by class differences and familial obligations. They reunite years later for some much needed closure before Allie marries a successful man her parents approve of—and with whom she has fallen in love as well. If you haven’t seen this movie already, I don’t care what rock you’re living under; crawl out from beneath it, and bring your tissues.

    The End of the Affairby Graham Green
    One of my favorite historical novels was turned into a film starring Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes. The story starts at the end: two years ago, Sarah ended her affair with writer Maurice, for reasons he never understood and could never forgive. The movie takes you back in time as you learn how Maurice and Sarah met, fell in love, and what led to Sarah’s decision to leave him, all the while watching Maurice become entrenched in jealousy, trying to find a way back into Sarah’s heart.

    Cruel Intentions (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, by Piere Choderlos)
    Les Liaisons Dangereuses was written by Piere Choderlos de Laclos in 1782—in France. But thanks to movie magic, this film (retitled Cruel Intentions) is set among Manhattan’s teen elite in the 90’s. Kathryn and Sebastian are step-siblings, and despite their mutual appreciation for the lustier things in life, have never slept with one another. Kathryn bets Sebastian that because of his bad boy rep he’ll never be able to win the heart (and body) of Annette, a new girl at their school who is a self-proclaimed virgin until marriage. If he does win, though, his real prize will be her. Of course, Sebastian falls for Annette and the results are catastrophic. (They’re making a TV show sequel to the movie, so once that comes out, you’ll know where to find me.)

    Gone With the Windby Margaret Mitchell
    The most romantic movie of all time may not have been on your to-watch list before, because I get it: who want to watch a movie that’s so long there’s an actual intermission in it? But hear me out: Gone with the Wind is the most swoonworthy romance there is, about a girl who thinks she can find the things she wants by manipulating the men around her…until she eventually realizes that she will only be happy once she is honest with herself. This movie will remind you that there once was a time before technology—the scenery is as beautiful as the kiss scenes!

    Eat, Pray, Loveby Elizabeth Gilbert
    Okay, technically this isn’t a romance novel, but hear me out: who says a romance can’t be about a woman falling in love with herself? The bestselling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert in which she quits her job, quits her marriage, and decides to find herself by eating, praying, and eventually, loving her way through the world, stars Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. The romance doesn’t pick up until the last third of the movie, but nothing after the words Javier Bardem should be necessary to convince you, so I’ll just end with them: Javier. Bardem.

    Jane Eyreby Charlotte Brontë
    Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska star in this adaptation of Jane Eyre, a novel by Charlotte Brontë about an orphan girl who, after becoming a governess, finds herself falling in love with a wealthy and mysterious man. Michael Fassbender could have chemistry with literally a brick wall or a fake sunflower plant or me, if asked politely, so do yourself a favor and watch him clench his jaw a lot in this movie.

    The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
    We’ve got a couple of tragic romances on this list, so here’s one that you know going in ends in a Happily Ever After! While technically not a “romance novel”, The Princess Bride tells the love story of Buttercup, “the most beautiful girl in the world”, and Wesley, her family’s stable boy. Buttercup and Wesley fall in love, but he leaves to find his fortune and be deserving of her—and dies in the process. Buttercup becomes engaged to the terrible king Humperdnik, lives in misery, and is even kidnapped by a rival kingdom! She is rescued by a man in black who eventually reveals himself to be her true love, Wesley! Equipped with a cast of hilarious characters, The Princess Bride is the best movie to watch when you’re feeling even a little bit blue.

    A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks
    Every millennial kid sobbed buckets at this movie when it first came out, and possibly hasn’t seen it since, it’s so heartbreaking. But the love story between bad boy Landon and Christian good girl Jamie is worth the re-watch; it’s one of those films that withstands the test of time. Landon meets Jamie while being forced to participate in the school play—because of his bad behavior, it’s that or expulsion. Over time, he finds himself drawn to Jamie, who warns him not to fall in love with her. By then, of course, it’s already too late for them both: Landon leaves his old life and friends behind to be with her, and when Jamie reveals a devastating secret to him, they cling to one another despite all hope being lost. Mandy Moore is a gem in this movie, and if you’ve never slow danced to “Only Hope” while all your friends looked on in jealousy, then you haven’t lived.

    What film adaptations of romance novels do you love?

  • John Bardinelli 5:15 pm on 2014/12/05 Permalink
    Tags: gone with the wind, one-hit wonders, , , the leopard, , ,   

    5 Authors Who Only Wrote One Novel 

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    the-catcher-in-the-rye-cover-56ad87b65e91ecee30641f4d60fda347It’s easy to write something bad and then never look at it again. Thousands of people did it just last month—it’s called NaNoWriMo. But to write an acclaimed, world-changing novel and then put down your pen forever? That takes a special kind of writer.

    The 5 authors below became famous after publishing a single novel. Some of them toiled away on short stories or novellas before and after their big release, but after that one big book, they called it quits as novelists, destined to remain one-hit wonders of the literary world.

    The Leopard, by Giuseppe di Lampedusa
    The Sicilian-born Lampedusa was a man who preferred solitude over the company of others. His sister died of diphtheria at a young age, leaving him an only child with a cold and detached father. He joined the army when he was older and ended up fighting in World War I, eventually landing in a POW camp. After his escape he returned to Sicily to study foreign literature, get married, travel with his mother, and become an otherwise ordinary human being.

    It wasn’t until he was in his late 50s that Lampedusa finished writing The Leopard, a novel that chronicled the changes in Sicilian life during Italian unification. He submitted it to two publishers but was rejected both times. A year later he was diagnosed with lung cancer, a disease that took his life in the summer of 1957. The Leopard finally saw the light of day almost a year after Lampedusa’s death. It quickly became the best-selling novel in Italian history and is still considered one of the most important works of modern literature, but its posthumous publication means we’ll never know if Lampedusa could have written anything half as good again.

    Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts
    Gregory David Roberts has led an interesting life. The Australian author is a convicted bank robber, a prison escapee, and a former heroin addict. After his marriage ended and he lost custody of his daughter, he became something of a white collar criminal who only robbed institutions that had adequate insurance. He even wore a suit and said “please” and “thank you” when pulling off a heist. Something of a Robin Hood figure, perhaps, if Robin Hood used the money he stole to buy drugs.

    After serving his prison sentence, Roberts finished writing Shantaram, a novel set in Mumbai that’s partially based on his own life. The book was released in 2003 and has been praised for its deep characterization and vivid depiction of the lives and peoples of India. It is actually the second in a planned series of four, but none of the other pieces of the quartet have been seen, despite publication dates being announced on several occasions.

    Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
    Maybe you don’t know her name, but you definitely know her book. Gone with the Wind was first published in 1936 and sold for the high price of $3, or about $51 in today’s money. By the end of the year it would sell nearly a million copies and receive praise from critics left and right. Mitchell went on to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the next year. As of 2010, over 30 million copies of Gone with the Wind have been printed around the world. So, yeah, Mitchell definitely wrote something worth reading.

    Here’s the sweetest part of the story: Mitchell refused to write a sequel to Gone with the Wind, and she wanted no part in the movie adaptation, either. When you do things right you do them right, you know? Her estate eventually authorized two sequels after her death, Scarlett and Rhett Butler’s People, but naturally they didn’t make a splash anywhere as large as the original.

    To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Harper Lee always had a strong interest in English literature. During her college years she wrote a number of short stories and eventually secured in agent in 1956. Her very next piece was the original manuscript for To Kill a Mockingbird. It read more like a collection of stories than a unified narrative, so for the next two and a half years she worked with an editor to turn it into the novel we still write book reports about today.

    Lee is notoriously reclusive and declines nearly every interview and speech request that comes her way. Many suspect she’s secretly working on another book, which is possibly the least dramatic but most tantalizing conspiracy theory I’ve heard in months. After To Kill a Mockingbird’s release, Lee was reported to have started writing a second book, The Long Goodbye. She eventually shelved it for unknown reasons. Then, Lee started on a non-fiction book about a serial murderer in Alabama, but that, too, was filed away.

    Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Salinger threatens to break the “one book” rule simply because he wrote so much during his life. Prior to the 1951 release of Catcher in the Rye, he published nearly two dozen short stories in various publications, including The New Yorker. When his controversial novel hit the shelves, he suddenly found himself the subject of public scrutiny and dialed back his writing, only releasing a handful of stories over the next few years. A number of his short stories, novellas and story collections are still read today, but nothing he wrote ever eclipsed Catcher. 

    What’s your favorite one-hit literary wonder?

  • BN Editors 4:30 pm on 2014/06/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , a thousand splended suns, animal dreams, , , , , , gone with the wind, , harry potter and the deathly hallows, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , sandman slim, , still life with woodpecker, , , the fellowship of the ring, , the glass menagerie, the mysteries of pittsburgh, , the things they carried, the watsons go to birmingham 1963, ,   

    43 Great Quotes From Literature We Forgot to Mention 

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    TKAMLast week we collected 10 of our favorite lines in literature, but it appears we have forgotten some. Embarrassing! To those of you who weighed in on your own favorites in the comments: thank you. They were fun to read. And here they are!

    “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” —The Princess Bride (Sharon F.)

    “It is a truth universally that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” —Pride and Prejudice (Shelley H.)

    “Have a biscuit, Potter.” —Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Megan B.)

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” —A Tale of Two Cities (Mary Ellen R.)

    “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” —Gone With the Wind (Michelle C.)

    “Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.” —Brave New World (Amber D.)

    “By the time we arrived, as evening was approaching, I felt as sore as a rock must feel when the waterfall has pounded on it all day long.” —Memoirs of a Geisha (Sunny H.)

    “Neighbours bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbour. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good luck pennies, and our lives.” —To Kill a Mockingbird (Shirisha T.)

    “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” —The Gunslinger (Rob B.)

    “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit em, but remember that it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” —To Kill a Mockingbird (Kristy E.)

    “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” —The Great Gatsby (Caitlyn S.)

    “I think of my life as a kind of music, not always good music but still having form and melody.”—East of Eden (Jessica H.)

    “Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.” —The Outsiders (Laura M.)

    “And in that moment, like a swift intake of breath, the rain came.” —Other Voices, Other Rooms (Madalaine B.)

    “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents!” —Little Women (Peggy C.)

    “When the day shall come that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’—you’ll ken it was because I didn’t have time.” —The Fiery Cross (Sharon T.)

    “Hey, boo.” —To Kill a Mockingbird (Theresa M.)

    “I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents.” –East of Eden (JA R.)

    “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!” —Horton Hatches the Egg (Carlie B.)

    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” —The Fellowship of the Ring (Mel F.)

    “Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” —Gone with the Wind (Carla M.)

    “If this typewriter can’t do it, then f@#$ it, it can’t be done. —Still Life with Woodpecker (Dan E.)

    “Sometimes you have to keep on steppin’.”—The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 (Mary D.)

    “There are few people whom I really love and still fewer of whom I think well.” —Pride and Prejudice (Pauline S.)

    “Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.” The Things They Carried (Kristy C.)

    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” –Anna Karenina (JA R.)

    “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” —Slaughterhouse-Five (Heather R.)

    “Marley was dead as a doornail.” —A Christmas Carol (Colleen D.)

    “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aurelio Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon that his father took him to discover ice.” —One Hundred Years of Solitude (Janice S.)

    “What fresh hell is this?” —Jane Eyre (Katie D.)

    “Heart like shale. What you need is a good fracking.” —MaddAddam (Anna L.)

    “Always.” —Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Aimee U.)

    “Everything’s profound when there’s guns and zombies.” —Sandman Slim (Caroline R.)

    “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.” —The Bell Jar (Veronica F.)

    “For one last time, Miriam does as she is told.” —A Thousand Splendid Suns (Barbara W.)

    “And that’s all we are Jefferson, all of us on this earth, a piece of drifting wood. Until we—each of us, individually—decide to become something else. I am still that piece of drifting wood, and those out there are no better. But you can be better.” —A Lesson Before Dying (Emily K.)

    “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” —The Fault in Our Stars (Jen P.)

    “‘Nobody run off with her,’ Roscoe said. ‘She just run off with herself, I guess.’” —Lonesome Dove (Cindy A.)

    “At the beginning of the summer I had lunch with my father, the gangster, who was in town for the weekend to transact some of his vague business.” —The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Arthur M.)

    “What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive.” —Animal Dreams (Liz M.)

    “He was dancing, dancing. He says he’ll never die.” —Blood Meridian (Reed M.)

    “We’re all damaged, somehow.” —A Great and Terrible Beauty (Caitlin P.)

    “He’s more myself than I am.” —Wuthering Heights (Cortina W.)

    “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” —The Princess Bride, Betty D.

    “You know it don’t take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin, Laura. But who in hell ever got himself out of one without removing one nail?” —The Glass Menagerie (chelseyam)

    What great literary quotations did we STILL forget?

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