Books

10 Must-Read Books for August

It’s August? Isn’t the eighth month on the calendar supposed to be a hot wasteland for new books coming out? Isn’t the entire publishing industry at the beach, with one big “On vacation — back September 1st” sign showing up in automatic-response emails, much to the chagrin of brave book critics and bloggers everywhere? Maybe it used to be that way, but with a new Haruki Murakami novel, Roxane Gay’s collection of essays, and several other books you’ll be hearing about for a long time to come, this August is one to look forward… Read More

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‘The Believer’ Goes Bi-Monthly

The Believer, the popular literary magazine under the McSweeney’s publishing umbrella, is going to start publishing bi-monthly beginning in January… Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Eating Along With Nora Ephron

Food in Nora Ephron’s writing and filmmaking is nearly impossible to sum up in a short essay, as the love of food, pleasure, and the senses infused a great deal of Ephron’s work. As they say in Julie & Julia: “You can never have too much butter.” What’s admirable about it is that Nora was singular: I wonder, in all honestly, whether a woman writing today writing about food in the way that Ephron did would generally be shunted to the side as only a food writer, doyenne of the feminine and frilly. Ephron had it all — she was a serious writer and she took on topics that could be dismissed as frilly with her formidable intelligence. … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: ‘The Memory Garden’ Author Mary Rickert on Witchcraft, Abortion, Genre Fiction, and Feminism

Mary Rickert’s The Memory Garden, which reviewers are calling “a breathtaking masterpiece” and “genuinely uplifting,” is unlike any novel I’ve ever read. It’s a domestic drama that’s also a fantasy novel, a feminist statement in the most anti-Sheryl Sandberg way imaginable: instead of leaning in to traditional (and traditionally male-dominated) forms of experimental writing, The Memory Garden stays in the realm of herbal remedies, witchcraft, gardens, and other historically scorned feminine arenas, while retaining a high-minded literary tone: both precise and challenging. I enjoyed The Flamethrowers, with its cool tone and motorbike-riding heroine, but to me this novel is the anti-Flamethrowers. And that’s great, because it thrills me to no end that writers are creating “feminist lit” in such divergent, equally provocative ways. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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5 Great James Wolcott Pieces You Can Read Online

As much as we like to talk about how little book awards matter, sometimes an entirely deserving writer wins one and we just have to take a moment to appreciate the appreciation. Such is the case with James Wolcott taking home the PEN/Diamonstein­-Spielvogel Award for the art of the essay with his collection, Critical Mass. Honoring that book is a celebration of Wolcott, who for years has been one of America’s finest cultural critics, and no matter how little you care about literary awards, that’s a very fine thing indeed. … Read More

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10 Dark, Creepy Children’s Books Every Kid Should Read

Amazon’s editors released their picks for “100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime” this week. While no one’s knocking Babar or Harry Potter, the list felt like it was missing some of our favorite strain of children’s lit: the creepy kind. Although a few notable exceptions — Coraline, Where the Wild Things Are — certainly raise the hair on young readers’ necks, we were nonetheless inspired to put together our favorite children’s lit that’s more macabre than Mr. Popper’s Penguins.… Read More

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5 Great Midwestern Novels You May Have Missed

We’ve talked about how great the Midwest is for writers today, but from Hemingway’s Michigan to Bellow’s Chicago and Cather’s Nebraska, the region has always provided readers with plenty of great literature over the years. Since this week marks the birthday of Indiana’s own Booth Tarkington, we thought of a few novels from the region that you may have overlooked, and should consider placing on your bookshelf alongside Augie March and Sister Carrie. … Read More

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You Get What You Pay For: The Unfortunate Publication of Three New J.D. Salinger Stories

As we mentioned briefly yesterday, small publisher Devault-Graves realized that the rights to three J.D. Salinger stories from the 1940s — “The Young Folks,” “Go See Eddie” and “Once a Week Won’t Kill You” — were up for grabs, so the publisher pulled off an unlikely literary coup, and purchased the rights to publish them. It’s a bold move, one that will surely net some bucks for a publisher whose stated mission is “converting backlisted books into ebooks through two imprints.” The only problem is that the stories themselves aren’t very good. … Read More

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Stephen Colbert, Lena Dunham — Yes, Even James Franco — and the Era of Celebrity as Bookseller

I wrote a post a few years ago about Jewel’s 1998 bestselling book of poetry, A Night Without Armor. The book, while undeniably terrible, has probably sold more copies in one year than the bestselling books of poetry from the last five years combined. What does that tell you? For one, it says that with all the great poetry out there, the general public has really bad taste. But it also speaks volumes about the fact that a celebrity name attached to a book — whether they wrote it or not — sells copies. And although there was probably no study as to how much extra time customers stood in the poetry aisle, browsing the other titles, and possibly buying them, lured there because of A Night Without Armor, I have to believe at least a few young minds were drawn to poetry because of that book. Because, let’s face it: we all have to start somewhere, and that somewhere usually sucks. … Read More

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