Page 69 Test Applied by 100th Author

The Campaign for the American Reader blog has been conducting an interesting experiment over the last few months. Marshal Zeringue, executive director of the project, has been asking authors from various fields to apply the page 69 test to their most recent book. Today’s entry, from William Easterly, author of The White Man’s Burden, was the 100th of these tests thus applied for the blog. Authors who’ve tested their books have included Danielle Trussoni (Falling Through the Earth), Anne Perry (A Christmas Secret), Nicholas Lemann (Redemption), Anne Frasier (Pale Immortal), Robert Vitalis (America’s Kingdom), Bill Crider (A Mammoth Murder), Adam Langer (The Washington Story), Duane Swierczynski (The Wheelman) and even me (for Calculated Loss).

Predictably, when dealing with this many authors of such varied books, the results have sometimes been surprising, sometimes astonishing and sometimes just plain fun. All, however, have been interesting and have shed light on the process of writing and creating.

It’s been no surprise that the Campaign for the American Reader blog should hatch such an entertaining and enlightening project. In the blog’s introduction, Zeringue writes, “The goal of this blog is to inspire more people to spend more time reading books. I’ll try to do that by shining a little light on books that I like and think others might find worthy of their time and attention.”

Zeringue has only recently started having authors apply the page 69 test to their own books and sharing the results on the blog. My biggest concern at this point is that the results be archived together somewhere. (A Web site developing from a blog, perhaps. Or maybe — what a thought! — how about a book?)

At present, to my knowledge there is presently no such archive available. However, you can see the growing list at the end of the posting for William Easterly’s page 69 test.

The Campaign for the American Reader blog is here.

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