Sunday, February 7, 2010

Page Turners

Pick a page, any page. 

I just conducted an experiment. I chose these memoirs, and looked at page 20, selecting a line or two on that page.  I then scrambled the books, and tried to match the quote to the right book.  See what you can come up with.

Books Titles:

Marcel Proust, Swann's Way

Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Julia Child, My Life in France

Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes

1.  "I've also been asked what I was doing in bed with a Republican. And in order to demonstrate my loyalty to the Democratic party, I tell people that I may have slept with a Republican, but I actually had sex with a Democratic senator."

2. "We went to a little place in Saint-Germain where the food was fine, although nothing compared with La Couronne (the standard by which I would now measure every eatery), and disappointigly packed with tourists."

3. (note that the paragraph starts on the previous page. I'm selecting a line in the middle)
             "Even the simple act which we describe as 'seeing someone we know' is to some extent and intellectual process. We pack the physical outline of the person we see with all the notions we have already formed about him..."

4.  " And from every adult he spoke to he got the same response:
'You best talk to your daughter, Mr.Dunham. White girls don't play
 with coloreds in this town.' "

5."I thought I had fallen to bits before, but now (in harmony with the apparent collapse of the entire world) my life really turned to smash. I wince now to think of what I imposed on David during those months we lived together, right after 9/11 and my separation from my husband."

6.  "The apartment is empty and I wander between the two rooms, the bedroom and the kitchen. My father is looking for a job, and my mother is at the hospital with Malachy. I wish I had something to eat but there is nothing in the icebox but cabbage leaves floating in the melted ice."


Polly said...

I love this kind of experiments! I'm pretty sure number 2 is Julia Child's book, number 3 is Swann's Way, number 4 is Barak Obama's and number 5 is Eat, Pray, Love. That's because I've read those. I'm guessing number 1 is Wishful Drinking and number 6 is Angela's Ashes (which I really should read one day...) Am I right?

Brian Miller said...

ack...i am terrible at this...but at least i hav a few to read yet...

Helen said...

I think Polly is right about all of them. I've read four of these fine books. What fun!

RNSANE said...

I haven't read even one of them, Rosaria...I am woefully behind on books. I have several on tape, that seems to be the only way I do them these days!

Eva Gallant said...

I plead ignorance...haven't read any of them.

Susan said...

Nice idea to check out all the page 20s. It's actually possible to guess correctly without reading them. Osmosis from the world.

ds said...

I've only read three of these, but I think Polly is right. Fun experiment--and great quotes!

becky at abbeystyle said...

1. Carrie Fisher
2. Julia Child
3. Marcel Proust
4. Obama
5. Elizabeth
6. Frank McCourt

How'd I do? I've not read any of these memoirs so these are guesses based on what I think I know about their writers.

Reya Mellicker said...

Very cool that you've read all these memoirs, since you are writing your own.

In the end, all we really have is our own stories, each so unique, and yet each so similar. Beautiful!

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

I love memoirs!
So here goes:
1. Fisher
2. Child
3. Proust
4. Obama
5. Gilbert
6. Frank

I am unsure of my answers on #3 and #6. The line...""Even the simple act which we describe as 'seeing someone we know' is to some extent and intellectual process....." sounds like Proust.

I am not familiar with the works of Frank but the quote you selected matches the title of the book.

Okay please tell me I am correct! :-)

lakeviewer said...

Please note:
I can guarantee that you only have to know the writers, not the work. If you only know a few of these, you can play the elimination game.

i.e. Think of how Obama speaks. Now, how he would recount his childhood. There.

I'm sure you can identify Child's as well from contextual clues.

Fisher is the writer of the movie, Postcards from the Edge, starring Merrill Streep.

Proust is a memoirist par excellence.

And Gilbert,she'll show up by default.

There. Try again.

Good luck.

p.s. try it yourself with other books in the same genre.

p.p.s I could patent this and support my efforts to travel around the world. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Oooo, I have no idea... mental note to read more!

Journaling Woman said...

I don't know. This is very interesting, though.

lakeviewer said...

Great: Polly, Becky, Girl f.c.b.s. and ds. You are all correct and BRILLIANT!

Here are the answers:
1. Fisher
2. Child
3. Proust
4. Obama
5. Gilbert
6. McCourt


Poetikat said...

Carrie Fisher,
Julia Child,
Marcel Proust,
Barack Obama,
Elizabeth Gilbert
and Frank McCourt.

Fun exercise, Lakeviewer! Thanks!

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

Oh yes!
I love this game :-)

kanishk said...

I've read four of these fine books. What fun!

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