Posts Categorized: 40 books before 40

First Lines: To Kill a Mockingbird

After reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I cannot disagree with its status as a Important Novel One Should Read™. The story of how lawyer Atticus Finch tries to help a black man in America’s south in the 1930’s, as seen through the eyes of his six year old daughter is just that… Read more »

First Lines: Lof der Zotheid

One of the ideas behind my 40 books before 40 project was for me to challenge myself. To read something outside of my comfort zone. With Desiderius Erasmus’ Morias Enkomion, id est Stultitiae laus, commonly translated as In Praise of Folly or Lof der Zotheid in Dutch, I hit that squarely on the head. Written… Read more »

First Lines: De donkere kamer van Damokles

W.F. Hermans’s De donkere kamer van Damokles is a bona-fide Ductch literary classic. As I somehow managed to avoid it in highschool, I put it on my list of 40 books to read before my 40th birthday. With this one, it’s twenty-six down, fourteen to go, with roughly five years left. It’s World War II,… Read more »

First Lines: Waiting for Godot

It is common knowledge that in Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot nothing happens. Twice. One evening, two vagrant men meet on a country road near a tree. They’re both waiting for a man named Godot. They pass the time. Two other men pass by. Godot sends word that he won’t be coming tonight, but… Read more »

First Lines: Dracula

Given the fact that I’m supposedly this big vampire aficionado—which, coincidentally, I’m actually not—not having read Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic vampire story Dracula was a glaring sin of omission that needed attention. But that’s what my List of 40 Books to Read Before My 40th Birthday is for. Oh, sure, I’ve seen the movie. Once…. Read more »