Meghan Daum’s ‘The Unspeakable’ Is a Harrowing Tale of Generation X Growing Up

Some essayists, perhaps because you share demographics like age and background, end up occupying oddly intimate places in your life. Meghan Daum — the original New Yorker-approved, essayist voice of Generation X — is one of them. She’s felt like a big sister ever since I found a copy of My Misspent Youth, her 2001 essay collection, at a bookstore. My Misspent Youth was the announcement of a bright new voice in nonfiction, and Daum was able to look tough topics in the eye — the lies of a literary life in New York, her staggering amount of debt, what it’s like when a friend dies at too young of an age. She was warm and realistic and not afraid to seem like an asshole. … Read More

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Author Daniel Handler Apologizes For Racist Jokes, Donating (and Matching) $10K Plus to Nonprofit We Need Diverse Books

After Wednesday’s National Book Awards Ceremony was marred by author and emcee Daniel Handler’s racist jokes, the writer and artist,… Read More

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Watch the Badass Ursula K. LeGuin NBA Speech That People Are Calling “Show-Stealing” and “Prophetic”

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings,” Ursula K. LeGuin … Read More

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Relax: EDM Is Getting Its Comprehensive History Book

Michaelangelo Matos, the best-named music journalist of all time, is writing the first comprehensive book about electronic dance music… Read More

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National Book Awards Go to Louise Glück, Phil Klay, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Jacqueline Woodson

On Wednesday evening, Louise Glück, Phil Klay, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Jacqueline Woodson took home the National Book Award, one of… Read More

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50 Great Dark Books for the Dark Days of Winter

We’ve reached the time of year when the days seem impossibly short and the nights never ending. Good if you’re a vampire or like to go to sleep early, less exciting for the rest of us. So what is one to do with all this extra darkness? Well, read some dark books, of course. Because there’s nothing better to cut through the literal gloom than to curl up with some intellectual doom. All you need is a tiny light to see your book by. Read on for 50 gloriously dark novels to read during these dark days. After a while, you may even stop wishing for the light to… Read More

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Watch Toni Morrison Be Delightful, Wise, Everything Great on the ‘Colbert Report’

Toni Morrison, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author of Song of SolomonBeloved, The Bluest Eye, and so much more, appeared on… Read More

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Is Amanda Palmer’s ‘The Art of Asking’ Good For Artists?

The idea of reading Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help sounded faintly ridiculous — could I, too, learn the art of asking, just like Palmer, and maybe reach $1 million for my Kickstarter project? But as it turns out, Palmer’s book, an offshoot of her popular TED talk, “The Art of Asking,” isn’t really a how-to; it’s more along the lines of a memoir. Palmer figured out a strategy that works for her as an artist, and despite the fact that she’s undeniably divisive as a public persona, there is some wisdom in her ideas for artists and, arguably, women. … Read More

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‘Frank’ Screenwriter Peter Straughan to Pen ‘The Goldfinch’ Screenplay

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch was a shoo-in for a movie adaptation. It’s got art theft, it’s got terrorism, it’s got drugs, it’s got… Read More

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What ‘Mockingjay–Part 1′ Misses by Glossing Over Katniss’ Trauma

Throughout much of Mockingjay, the third novel in the Hunger Games series, the unraveling of Katniss Everdeen’s mind takes over the page. Even from the beginning, she strokes a pearl that Peeta found in the arena in Catching Fire and often repeats variations of her mantra: “My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in The Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Peeta was taken prisoner. He is thought to be dead. Most likely is dead. It is probably best if he is dead.” Later in the book, she plays a game with the recovered but mentally unstable Peeta, “real or not real?,” as his mind comes back from the brink. … Read More

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