Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing by Ben Blatt

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Read Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing Online Free - What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? How can we judge a book by its cover?

Data meet literature in this playful and informative look at our favorite authors and their masterpieces. There’s a famous piece of writing advice—offered by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and myriad writers in between—not to use -ly adverbs like “quickly” or “fitfully.” It sounds like solid advice, but can we actually test it? If we were to count all the -ly adverbs these authors used in their careers, do they follow their own advice compared to other celebrated authors? What’s more, do great books in general—the classics and the bestsellers—share this trait?

In Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve, statistician and journalist Ben Blatt brings big data to the literary canon, exploring the wealth of fun findings that remain hidden in the works of the world’s greatest writers. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and starts asking the questions that have intrigued curious word nerds and book lovers for generations: What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Do men and women write differently? Are bestsellers getting dumber over time? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? What makes a great opening sentence? How can we judge a book by its cover? And which writerly advice is worth following or ignoring?

Title : Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1501105388
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Jennifer rated it ★★★★★

March 24, 2017

I am obsessed. I was browsing the literary criticism/essays shelves at Barnes & Noble, as one does, when I happened upon this treasure. It was one of those soul-meets-book moments. Like, I had no idea I wanted this book to exist, but once I saw it I knew I had actually been waiting for it my...

Peter rated it ★★★★★

May 28, 2017

Statistics and novels are like peanut butter in chocolate. They go well together but you would never know till someone tried it. This book takes data mining techniques to great and popular works of literature and finds some really interesting patterns. You will find that Hemingway was right to av...

Kathleen rated it ★★★★★

March 16, 2017

This book, which uses data analysis to look at literature, is utterly fascinating and also very funny in places, like the chapter about cliches, which made me start laughing out loud in a crowded subway car. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer.

Louise rated it ★★★☆☆

August 25, 2017

Now that computers have demonstrated how the words of everyday life differ from words of academia and have produced corpi of words and phrases and from books, speeches and even overheard conversations, it was only a matter of time for a popular work exploring word and sentence patterns in literat...

Briana rated it ★★★★☆

April 02, 2017

In his author bio, Ben Blatt refers to himself as a "data journalist," but the type of work he does in Nabokov's Favorite Word is Mauve reminds me of some of the tasks that scholars and graduate students are working on in the digital humanities. The anecdote that Blatt opens with, explaining how...

Michael rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 24, 2017

This is a gimmick book. Is it really a surprise that, by these metrics, the worst writers include the authors of Twilight, Fifty-Shades of Grey, and Dan Brown? Or that the the reading level for the NYT bestseller list has slid precipitously in the last 50 years? Ot that James Patterson uses the m...

SoLe rated it ★★★★☆

July 07, 2017

Ove sam se knjige dočepala u pravom trenutku. Počela sam je čitati malo prije nego što sam krenula na seminar o statističkoj obradi lingvističkih podataka i bilo mi je beskrajno zanimljivo listati strane i strane zanimljivih pristupa knjigama, pisanju i piscima kojima je zajednička težnja ka spoj...

Christian rated it ★★★★☆

April 15, 2017

Cool look into the big data of writing. A fun romp.

Bryan rated it ★★★☆☆

May 11, 2017

What can digital technology add to the humanities? The digital humanities field has emerged as a robust academic answer to this question (and I once got into a shouting match with Stanley Fish about it). Ben Blatt's Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve is a very quick and accessible introduction to so...

Justin rated it ★★★★★

April 04, 2017

I learned so much about novels and authors throughout this entire book. Normally not a fan of nonfiction, I couldn't stop talking about this book and recommending it to everyone. It may be nerd lit but it's well worth a read if you're interested in books about books/classic literature.

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