Posts Categorized: 40 books before 40

First Lines: The Jungle Book(s)

If you think that you know all about The Jungle Book because you saw the Disney film when you were young, you might as well forget about it. Sure, Rudyard Kipling’s novel and it’s sequel The Second Jungle Book feature the adventures of the feral boy Mowgli, but the movie took large liberties with the… Read more »

First Lines: Tom Sawyer / Huckleberry Finn

Once upon a bye, there was a mischievous boy named Tom Sawyer, who was always getting into trouble, getting off on danger. Like that time when he conned all the boys in town to paint aunt Polly’s fence, while making a sizable profit. Or what about that time when he and his friends went to… Read more »

First Lines: Die Leiden des jungen Werther

In a 1975 review, Gerrit Komrij characterizes Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werther as that novel about a lovestruck zealot that blows himself to bits because the object of his affection has been engaged elsewhere. And that sums it up pretty well: young Werther meets Lotte, and falls truly, madly, deeply in love with her…. Read more »

First Lines: The Mists of Avalon

Marian Bradley Zimmer’s The Mists of Avalon re-imagines the legendary tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Only, it doesn’t focus on Arthur and his knights. No, in this version, it’s the womenfolk who play the lead. While in most versions of the Arthurian lore women like Gwenhwyfar, Morgaine/Morgan le Fey… Read more »