Books in Common NW is delighted to welcome writer and grammarian Geraldine Woods, in conversation with a special guest, to share her newest book 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way.
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In 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way, master teacher Geraldine Woods unpacks powerful examples of what she prefers to define as “the smallest element differentiating one writer’s style from another’s, a literary universe in a grain of sand.” And that universe is very large: the hundreds of memorable sentences gathered here come from sources as wide-ranging as Edith Wharton and Yogi Berra, Toni Morrison and Yoda, T. S. Eliot and Groucho Marx.
Culled from fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, song lyrics, speeches, and even ads, these exemplary sentences are celebrated for the distinctive features—whether of structure, diction, connection/comparison, sound, or extremes—that underlie their beauty, resonance, and creativity. With dry humor and an infectious enjoyment that makes her own sentences a pleasure to read, Woods shows us the craft that goes into the construction of a memorable sentence. Each chapter finishes with an enticing array of exercises for those who want to test their skill at a particular one of the featured twenty-five techniques, such as onomatopoeia (in the Sound section) or parallelism (in the Structure section).
This is a book that will be treasured by word nerds and language enthusiasts, writers who want to hone their craft, literature lovers, and readers of everything from song lyrics and speeches to novels and poetry.
More about Geraldine Woods: Geraldine Woods has taught and tutored every level of English from 5th grade through AP for more than four decades. She makes snarky comments on grammar and usage in her blog, www.grammarianinthecity.com. She is the author of more than 50 books, most recently, 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way (Norton, 2020). She loves her family, the Yankees, and New York City.