Confession: I compulsively take online quizzes.

March 21, 2007

The one I took today is related to the shocking Newsweek expose about Baby Boomers turning sixty. The part I couldn’t resist was the online quiz to see what I know about Boomer Lit–you know, the books we all grew up on, like Are You There, God, It’s Me, Margaret or Ribsy or Bright Lights, Big City. I didn’t ace it, but my score in the 81-90 range was respectable. So I didn’t know how many wives Norman Mailer has had, and I didn’t know which one he stabbed in the back, so sue me. Oh, and I can’t actually say I’ve read Steal This Book so I guessed wrong there. Dandelion Wine

Go take the quiz. Tell me how you did.

In my family, everyone reads and it’s been that way for generations. I actually have copies of two books that have belonged to four generations of women in my family–my grandmother, my mother, me and my daughter. The books? To Kill a Mockingbird, and Dandelion Wine. I actually sent Ray Bradbury a letter showing him where we’d all put our initials in our copy of Dandelion Wine, and bless him, the man wrote me back. Greetings from Ray

I find myself wondering who wrote that quiz.

I was a kid during the 60’s and 70’s, but I remember Five Smooth Stones, Leon Uris books, and a huge revival of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I read The Hobbit as a seventh grader living in Brussels, Belgium. I used to hide out in the school library, skipping class in order to finish. Funny how you recall where you were when you read a certain book, eh?

  • I agree with what Lisa said…I’m on the tail end of being a boomer, I would have done better if there were more Brady Bunch and Partridge Family (let’s not forget The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie) TV show questions, and my reading tended toward more of the classics–you know, Little Women, The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. I remember I first learned about sales tax when the $1.50 I saved didn’t cover the $1.49 cost of the Bobbsey Twins book I was trying to buy. How mortifying and crushing to find this out in the check-out line at Valu-Mart!

    My score on the quiz was an embarrassing 32%. I then succumbed to the “boomer’s carnal knowledge quiz” on which I scored a whopping 45%. Is that good or bad?!

    Thanks for the fun online quiz idea, Susan!

  • I got 61% which is actually higher than I expected LOL.

    A couple years ago I was quietly writing on my laptop in the corner of a Boy Scout meeting. A four year old sibling of one of the Scouts frequently ran over to see what I was doing and finally asked. When I told him I was writing a book he looked up at me with big eyes and said, “I know who you are, you’re Dr. Seuss!”

  • I was tempted to go low on the Cat in the Hat, but I got it correct because I freakishly can recite nearly the whole book, so most of the words are in my head.

    Dr Seuss is my muse. I should write a blog post about that …

  • OK, my mom got a 29% and half of those she guessed. Plus, she told me she never read Farenheit 251 (I know that’s spelled incorrectly). So, I told her she had to put it on her list.

    Strangely, we got many of the same ones in correct. She also is objecting to The Cat and the Hat question. She swears it was around 100 words (and she does hate to be wrong about Dr. Seuss who is one of her heroes). My mother is, indeed, incorrect.

    “The story is 1626 words in length and uses a vocabulary of only 236 unique words, of which 54 occur exactly once and 33 twice. Only a single word – another – has three syllables, while 14 have two and the remaining 221 are monosyllabic. The longest words are something and playthings.”

  • I was with 17% of folks who fell in the 51-60% with a 53% myself.

    In my defense, I’m not a baby boomer. My mom turned 59 this year. I should have her take the quiz. She’s not to up on popular culture, but she’s somewhat well-read. So, it’s a toss up.

    Surprisingly, I didn’t do well on any one particular subject matter. I got maybe half of the children’s lit questions. I had a few lucky guesses and a few that I knew from school. This is where it did help to be an English major.

    ~ april, feeling a young 31 today

  • Yeah, I’m still in my 40s so I was better on the children’s books references than on the 50s stuff. One reason I did pretty well is that we lived overseas for most of the 70s so I missed like a decade of TV and was forced to read anything and everything. Boy, did we ever whine about no TV, though. I actually learned quite a bit of Flemish by watching dubbed M.A.S.H. episodes.

  • Here I thought I was pretty smart. Right up until I took this test. Thanks, Susan! Of course, I’m at the bottom end of the age range for baby boomers and have a little ways to go before turning 60. That’s my excuse, anyway. My score was in the 31-40% range and that was mainly because I had a few lucky guesses.

    Still, I think I spent way too much time watching Lost in Space, The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family in the 60’s. As for reading, I gravitated more towards Charlotte’s Web, anything by Roald Dahl and all the Encylopedia Brown books by Donald Sobol.

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