Notable Books of 2005 Quiz
In her 2004 book, Lynne Truss bemoaned grammatical and punctuation errors that pop up in headlines, on billboards, among other places. What pet peeve does she tackle in her 2005 book?
- The title of her book, Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door, sums it up perfectly. She blames much of today's rude behavior on technology, mostly cellphones and iPods. "It used to be just CIA agents with earpieces . . . who regarded all the little people as irrelevant scum. Now it's nearly everybody."
How many copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the series, were printed?
- This is by far the largest first printing of a book. It broke the record previously held by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which had a first printing of 6.4 million copies.
Which novel won the Man Booker Prize?
- In Banville's tale of nostalgia and loss, Max Morden, mourns his wife's death and looks back 50 years to the formative summer of his youth.
In the book Freakonomics, what does author Steven Levitt say is even more dangerous to children than guns?
- Levitt cites statistics that show one child drowns each year for every 11,000 residential pools in the U.S., yet one child dies each year for every 1 million guns that are in the country.
Film adaptations of the following bestsellers are now on the big screen except one. Which is it?
- You won't have to wait long for the film version of The Da Vinci Code. Ron Howard is directing the film, due out in 2006, and Tom Hanks is starring in it.
What's the name of the painting that's the subject of Jonathan Harr's The Lost Painting: The Search for a Caravaggio Masterpiece?
- Caravaggio painted the masterpiece in 1602, and it went missing for centuries. In 1992, Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer, discovered the work in a house owned by Jesuit priests.
Which novel won the 2005 National Book Award for Fiction?
- William Vollmann's 12th novel, a daunting 832 pages, looks at the moral questions confronted by Central Europe in the mid-1900s.
What's the name of Frank McCourt's new memoir, which completes his trilogy?
- McCourt's trilogy began with Angela's Ashes and was follow by 'Tis. His most recent installment focuses on the 30 years he spent teaching high school in New York City.
What is the subject of Joan Didion's new memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking?
- On December 30, 2003, Didion's husband, John Gregory Dunne, died of a massive heart attack in their home. Didion and Dunne, both writers, had worked together for about 40 years. Just five days before Dunne's death, their only daughter, Quintana, fell into a coma from pneumonia and septic shock. Quintana has since died.
Which novel is an updating of E.M. Forster's Howard's End?
- In the author's note, Smith says, "My largest structural debt should be obvious to any E.M. Forster fan; suffice it to say he gave me a classy old frame, which I covered with new material as best I could." Smith examines racism, class, academia, fidelity, and other hot-topic issues in her third novel.