Ten opening lines and not a "dark and stormy night" among them? Sheesh, they don't write them like they used to. Thank goodness. The first pages of the books that made up The Christian Science Monitor's 10 Best Fiction Books of 2011 grab readers and propel them forward. They're set in a room, a taxi, a memory; they dip into childhood, nature and death; they are grabbers. Do you recognize the following opening lines?
Hooray for childhoods! Without them, we'd have so much less to complain about as adults. And by adults, I'm referring to the only important folks in our world today: You, me, and celebrities. As you and I work on our multi-volume memoirs – you are writing one, yes? – perhaps we can learn a thing from the early lives of the stars. Luckily, several Hollywood types looked back upon their awkward younger days in books published in 2011. Can you match these memories and memoirs?
The stock market is a roller coaster, rising and falling hundreds of points, sometimes in a single day. If it's stressful for investors, it wreaks emotional havoc on the traders who work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. As photographers have discovered over the years, the daily story of the stock market can be encapsulated in a single trader's face. Can you tell the market's performance based on the expressions of these traders? Take our 10-question stock market quiz:
Your bird is defrosting, your electric carving knife is charged up, and you've located your pants with the expandable waistband. But how much do you really know about the face-stuffing, football-watching, afternoon-napping, politics-avoiding, gratitude-expressing extravaganza that is Turkey Day? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.
Every year, specifically on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when major hostilities of World War I were formally ended, Americans pay tribute to all veterans – living and dead – who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. On this Veterans Day – 11/11/11 – test your knowledge of America's former service members.
After decades of inactivity, the US Supreme Court in 2008 began a major reexamination of the scope of the right to keep and bear arms, an issue that has long ignited passionate debate and prompted powerful political lobbying. How well do you understand this constitutional evolution? Take our quiz to test your knowledge.
Nobody is more of a coaching institution than Penn State’s Joe Paterno, who is in his 46th year as the school’s head football coach, and his 62nd year on the football coaching staff altogether. His 408 coaching victories place him in a tie for the most in the major-college ranks with the late Eddie Robinson of Grambling, with a handful of games still left to play this season. To find out if you really know Joe, take this quiz:
Do appearances matter? Sometimes. In the 1960 John F. Kennedy-Richard Nixon debate, those who watched on TV said Kennedy won. Those who heard it on the radio, said Nixon won, according to one study. Sen. John Edwards' $400 haircuts became campaign fodder in 2007, as did a $2,500 coiffure bill among Hillary Clinton's campaign expenses in 2008. What do you think, did these US politicians get their money's worth – and can you identify them?
To his supporters, Mitt Romney is an adaptable pragmatist with the potential to appeal to a broad electorate. To his critics, the former Massachusetts governor is a political chameleon, a man willing to say anything to win an election. Almost everyone agrees that Romney is an experienced manager with a history of turning around failing organizations. Can he do the same for the United States? How much do you know about the man who is affectionately known as the Stormin' Mormon? Take our quiz to find out.