Here is how the books break down by decade of publication:
Here are the authors who landed multiple titles on the list:
And finally, here is how things break down across geo-political boundaries*:
"LOST Magazine has now published hundreds of accomplished and emerging writers over its 41 issues, and this winter marks the sixth anniversary of its first issue. LOST wouldn't have been what it is without your readership. And though I'm not sure I ever thought I'd write this email--LOST is now ready to be what it's been all about.We're publishing one final issue this fall, themed LAST LOST, and we're featuring our ten most viewed (and two least-viewed) pieces from our run."
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
-Leo Tolstoy, from Anna Karenina
and some nice aphorisms about books, reading and writing:“…dawn poured over Rambla de Santa Monica in a wreath of liquid copper.”
“…a story is a letter the author writes to himself, to tell himself things he would be unable to discover otherwise.”
“…few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later- no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget-we will return.”
1 Kurt Vonnegut
2 Victor Hugo
3 Jack Kerouac
4 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
5 Vladimir Nabokov
6 Mark Twain
7 Ernest Heminway
8 George Orwell
9 James Joyce
10 William Faulkner
11 Wallace Stegner
12 Aldous Huxley
14 Edgar Allan Poe
15 Franz Kafka
17 John Steinbeck
18 Joseph Conrad
19 F Scott Fitzgerald
20 Charles Dickens
The first line of a novel is so embedded with purpose and prose that it leaves some writers seeming omnipotent, while it leaves others pleading for recognition.
With that being said, I hereby deem every Friday to be “First Line Friday” where we’ll look deep into my favorite first lines of all time.
Let’s start with perhaps the most powerful first line of a novel I have ever perused:
Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur.
But that’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez for you. Genius.
“It seems to me that all is ended. But some of my readers will perhaps desire to know what the different persons of who we have just been talking are now doing. We will ask nothing better than to satisfy them.”He then goes on to relate a few sentences for each of the principal characters, some humorous, others sentimental. Here’s a smattering:
“The princess is dead, and forgotten from the day of her death.”“Nicholas Petrovitch has been chosen justice of the peace, and fulfils his duties with greatest zeal; he traverses unceasingly the district assigned to him, makes long speeches, for he thinks that the peasant needs to be well “argued with,” that is, that it is necessary to repeat the same thing to him, to satiety; and yet, to tell the truth, he does not succeed in fully satisfying either the enlightened gentlemen who discuss “emancipation” at one time with affectation, at another with melancholy, or the unlearned masters who openly curse this unfortunate “emuncipation.” Both find him too tame.“Do not let us forget Peter. He has become quite stupid and more inflated with importance than ever; but that has not prevented him from making quite an advantageous marriage; he has married the daughter of a gardener of the city, who preferred him to two other suitors, because they had no watch, while he possessed not only a watch,- but even varnished boots!”