Books

10 Fictional Assassinations of Real People

Honestly, I have no idea why two fictional assassinations of real people are causing controversy at the same time. First it was author Hilary Mantel’s short story “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” (see below). Next, as you probably know, The Interview — about the fictional assassination of Kim Jong-un — drew the ire of some hackers somewhere, and the result has been a maelstrom of insanity and AutoCorrect the likes of which Hollywood has never seen. … Read More

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In Praise of Fact-checking

The media has been making plenty of apologies lately, for articles that caused a splash and, just as quickly, were exposed as fraudulent. First, it was Rolling Stone‘s exposé about rape on college campuses, and now it’s New York Magazine’s tiny feature on the 17-year-old Stuyvesant High School student who claimed to have made $72 million in the stock market. Turns out the kid made it all up. … Read More

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J.K. Rowling: There Was a Jewish Wizard at Hogwarts

Hanukkah happened at Hogwarts, according a fan Q+A on Twitter with J.K. Rowling last night. Rowling introduced us to Anthony Goldstein,… Read More

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Poison, Pubes and Pubs: Links You Need To See

Poison–readily available in traditional domestic settings and requiring little brute force to use effectively–has long been considered a woman’s weapon. While most poisonings are committed by men–only 39.5 percent are committed by the fairer sex–if a woman kills, she’s most likely to have used poison as her method. At The Hairpin, Meredith Haggerty wrote a piece detailing some of history’s most famous–and horrifying–female poisoners, including Lucrezia Borgia (who was said to possess a ring filled with poison that she’d use at parties), pictured above. … Read More

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R.I.P. Norman Bridwell, the Author of ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’

Kids everywhere lost a friend today. 86-year-old Norman Bridwell passed away on Friday in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He… Read More

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Are You an Adult Who Reads YA Novels? Congratulations, You Saved Publishing in 2014

We won’t have the full picture until sometime in 2015, but as it stands right now, book publishing had a profitable year in 2014. In the face of constant fighting between the Big 5 publishers and Amazon, book sales are up across all categories by 4.9 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP). … Read More

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Mark Whitaker Still Doesn’t Get How He Screwed Up His Cosby Biography

When the powers-that-be at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the Graduate Center of City University of New York put together last night’s discussion of “The Biography of African-American Comedy,” it seemed a relatively uncontroversial event. With two biographies of noted African-American comedians slated for fall release, they’d put together a panel of authors and experts, share some insights, and have a few laughs. “Oh joy, what fun this will be,” Levy Center director Gary Giddins recalled thinking in his intro to the event, which prompted knowing chuckles in the audience, as one of those biographies became quite controversial indeed: Mark Whitaker’s Cosby, which came under harsh criticism for failing to even mention the rape accusations that have dominated headlines over the past few weeks (and reemerged partially due to their exclusion from Whitaker’s book). To his credit, Whitaker kept the commitment and appeared on the panel, seemed legitimately contrite and regretful, and still clearly has no idea what he actually did wrong. … Read More

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