Posts Categorized: 40 books before 40

First Lines: If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is very meta and a very post-modern novel. Or so I’m told. It’s a book about books: about reading them, and about writing them. While I was compiling my list of 40 books to read before my 40th birthday I was searching for the ‘classics’, books… Read more »

First Lines: Het achterhuis

The reason why I put Anne Frank’s diary on my list of forty books to read before my fortieth birthday is quite simple: it’s probably the most important Dutch book from the last century. As such, there’s absolutely nothing left to be said about it. It is what it is: the diary of a young,… Read more »

First Lines: The Hero with a Thousand Faces

The monomyth or hero’s journey is the pattern that underlies most, if not all, myths, folk and/or fairy tales that have been told since the dawn of mankind, and was first described in The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. It goes a little bit like this: a hero ventures forth from the… Read more »

First Lines: The Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield. With his goddamn red hunting cap. He kills me. He really does. But I felt sorry as hell for him too. I really did. Not because he’s just a sixteen year old boy. And not because he’s some kinda phony, complaining about other people being phonies or anything. I’m not saying that. But… Read more »

Eerste zinnen: De avonden

Op de lijst van de 40 boeken die ik voor mijn 40e verjaardag gelezen wil hebben konden een aantal klassiekers uit de Nederlandse litaratuur niet ontbreken. Opvallend is wel dat ik verhaaltechnisch vooralsnog weinig plezier aan die categorie beleef. Niet dat De avonden een slecht boek is. ‘t Is eerder dat een beschrijving van een… Read more »