Posts Categorized: 40 books before 40

First Lines: The Great Gatsby

The only inhabitant of West Egg not to enjoy Jay Gatsby’s legendary parties is Jay Gatsby. The one girl he seeks to impress with them is already married. Glamorous, dangerous, hopeful and desperately in love, Gatsby’s naive dreams can only lead to destruction. Don’t worry that this back cover blurb gives away the ending. The… Read more »

First Lines: Brave New World

As a story, there’s not much to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: the characters are uninteresting at best, and the plot is merely there to hang theories on. As a novel of ideas, Brave New World is much more interesting. Huxley describes a society where everything that faintly resembles individualism has been abolished in favor… Read more »

Eerste zinnen: De uitvreter / Titaantjes

Een lijstje maken met veertig boeken om voor je veertigste verjaardag te lezen klinkt makkelijker dan het is. Nu heb ik het geluk dat ik nog geen veertig ben, dat scheelt minimaal de helft, maar dan nog: ik vond het een pokkenwerk. De richtlijnen die ik mezelf opgelegd waren eenvoudig: 1) geen werk van auteurs… Read more »

First Lines: Neuromancer

William Gibson’s Neuromancer tells the story of a washed up hacker, who’s been given a second chance. Now he has to hack into a staggeringly advanced Artificial Intelligence. Whether he succeeds is completely besides the point. (Spoiler: he does.) This book kicked off cyberpunk, an entire new branch of Science Fiction.* It also brought the… Read more »

First Lines: The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style is a short style guide for writing clear and understandable English. Or at least, that is what it might have been once. Sure, some of it’s advice is usable today, but since the publication of the first edition in 1918, the English language has evolved in such a way that you… Read more »