FIRST LINES FROM NEW BOOKS OUT TODAY: NOVEMBER 26, 2012
"Opera is a type of theatre in which most or all of the characters sing most or all of the time. In that very obvious sense it is not realistic, and has, through most of its 400-year history, often been thought exotic and strange. What’s more, it is almost always ridiculously expensive to stage and to attend. At no time in history has society at large managed to sustain easily opera’s outrageous cost."
A History of Opera by Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker
"For the inhabitants of Oahu, there was nothing unusual in being jerked out of sleep by guns and bombs and low-flying aircraft. The island was crowded with military bases and live-firing drills were commonplace."
Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 by Ian W. Toll
"In endless variations and permutations, jokes about Howard Cosell’s outsized ego and nonstop verbosity proliferated during much of his lifetime. It may be surprising to those who were not alive then, or were too young to know, but his presence so dominated popular American culture that it was virtually impossible not to know who he was."
Howard Cosell: The Man, The Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports by Mark Ribowsky