Books

Adorable Photos of Happy Dogs Riding in Cars

What makes Dogs in Cars such a perfect book is that it delivers on exactly what it promises: photos of dogs in cars. Captured by photographer Lara Jo Regan, Dogs in Cars features over 100 dogs — more than half of them rescues — being utterly adorable as they cruise around California in both modern and vintage cars. It’s impossible not to smile when you see a happy dog sticking his head out of a car window. This exclusive gallery from the book, which is out November 3, captures that feeling. … Read More

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5 Small Publishers Who Are Changing the Face of the Industry

The publishing industry is changing (and fast). But while many of us gawk at the shadow deals and vicious feuds between Amazon and the Big Five publishers — events that really seem to drive publishing into an unpredictable future — these small publishers and outlets are slyly changing the industry for the better. Not content with simply publishing great writing, these innovators challenge both how and where you can find literature in 2014 and beyond. … Read More

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10 Creepy and Haunting Poems About Ghosts, Madness, and Fairy Abductions

With Halloween coming up and spookiness in the air, it seemed like a good time to share ten of the most haunting, uncanny, and unsettling poems — that are also the most beautiful. … Read More

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In Praise of Literary Failure

I’ll be honest: I’m baffled by the contemporary mania for the slogan “fail better.” Sure, in context, I appreciate Samuel Beckett’s famous line, but I can’t shake the notion that it comes from a piece called Worstward Ho. “Ever tried,” he writes, “Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” The way it’s often used today, “fail better” implies that we’re lurching and stumbling, toddler-like, toward a better world. But the speaker in Beckett’s fiction isn’t moving toward success; he’s moving worstward. If we take the Oxford English Dictionary’s first-order definition of failure as a “lack of success,” we can appreciate that to fail better is to screw up more drastically, more spectacularly than ever before. To “fail better” is to lurch and stumble ever closer to the abyss. … Read More

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Discover Wonder Woman’s Queer, Kinky Feminist History in Jill Lepore’s ‘The Secret History of Wonder Woman’

In Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, the noted author of many crucial books (including Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin), Harvard professor, and New Yorker staff writer turns her eye to some secret identities that we never knew about: the cultural history and personal arcana that led to Wonder Woman, the best super heroine in comics. … Read More

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Shocker! Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Doesn’t Meditate That Much

Elizabeth Gilbert, you minx! After writing a gigundo bestseller (and so many other great books, too) about your… Read More

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‘Tinseltown,’ ‘Classic Hollywood,’ and the Secret, Sexy History of Movie Scandals

“To the boys and the girls of the land these mock heroes and heroines have been pictured and painted, for box office purposes, as the living symbol of all the virtues,” Ed Roberts wrote in 1922. “Privately they have lived, and are still living, lives of wild debauchery.” Roberts, a former editor of the movie magazine Photoplay, wrote those words in the introduction of The Sins of Hollywood: An Exposé of Movie Vice, a slender volume that cast a decidedly more cynical eye on the stars of Tinseltown than the worshipful periodical where he’d previously worked. Cataloging and detailing the gossipy whispers surrounding such figures as Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Rudolph Valentino, and Mabel Normand, Sins was aimed squarely at a public starving for dirty details, imagining their silver-screen faves drifting through Hollywood’s wild gin riots and cocaine soirees and outrageous orgies, readers simultaneously tsk-tsking their indulgences and living vicariously through them. … Read More

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Talking Shit About Hemingway and Thoreau With The Toast Founder and ‘Texts From Jane Eyre’ Author Mallory Ortberg

To appropriately describe the power of Texts From Jane Eyre and Other Conversations With Your Favorite Literary Characters, the debut book by Mallory Ortberg — the funniest writer on the Internet and the co-creator of the wonderful website The Toast — it seems best to list the places where I laughed while reading it: on the subway, laughing hard enough that the L train glared at me; in bed with a wicked case of insomnia (my chortling woke up my husband); at the Flavorwire office, where we all fought over who got to read the book first. … Read More

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Shake It Off With These Adorable Photos of Puppies in Motion

Carli Davidson’s Shake Puppies is a shot of pure joy in book form, an adorable work of art where puppies are captured in motion in front of bright, colorful backgrounds. Is there really much more to say? It’s really, really cute, and I’m into this trend of happy, bright dog photos. Our exclusive gallery of shots from the book, available now, might just make your day. … Read More

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No, BuzzFeed-Style Scholarship Won’t Save (or Help) the Academy

Yesterday morning, the Chronicle of Higher Education called attention to BuzzAdemia, a new project spearheaded by Mark Marino, an associate professor of writing at the University of Southern California. With BuzzAdemia, Marino wants to “shake up” academic publishing by disseminating “scholarly arguments” on sites like Reddit, Gawker, and BuzzFeed (hence the name). Marino adds that his dream for the project is for readers to “get locked in a click-bait loop of scholarly arguments, rather than articles about Disney princesses and what to do in your 20s.” … Read More

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