Books

‘Infinite Jest,’ Recreated in Lego by an 11-Year-Old

This might be the best thing you’ll see on the internet all day. Earlier this year, English professor Kevin Griffith and his 11-year-old son Sebastian started Brickjest, a project in which they aimed to “translate” David Foster Wallace’s postmodernist classic Infinite Jest into Lego form. The final product has some 100 images, each of Lego scenes created by Sebastian based on his father’s descriptions. According to their website, the pair “first envisioned translating David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest into Lego after reading The Brick Bible, by Brendan Powell Smith. Wallace’s novel is probably the only contemporary text to offer a similar challenge to artists working in the medium of Lego.” Well, they certainly met the challenge. After the jump, check out a few of the best scenes, and then head on over to Brickjest to see the whole project. … 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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Daniel Kehlmann’s ‘F’ is Half Existential Puzzle, Half Family Farce

It’s not often you come across a novel like F. Written by German author Daniel Kehlmann and newly translated by Carol Brown Janeway for Pantheon, the book hits American shelves this week, and is likely to leave you scratching your head — but also deeply moved and existentially disturbed. The book even looks bizarre: so red, so squat, so spectacled. Its insides mostly live up to its outsides, although they are rather less cute and much less simple. … Read More

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Cool News: Lake Bell Is Currently Slated to Direct ‘The Emperor’s Children’ Adaptation

This news is exciting: Lake Bell, the writer/director of In a World… and a funny-lady actress who’s never quite got… Read More

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The ‘New Adult’ Genre Is Still Condescending and Pointless

The term “New Adult” has been kicking around for a while — since 2009 in fact, when St. Martin’s Press accidentally coined it in a call for manuscripts. Some champion it and some ignore it — and that latter reaction is the subject of an article this week in The Globe and Mail, which discusses how both traditional publishers and, particularly, booksellers are being slow to recognize New Adult (“or NA” — N/A?) as a genre. … Read More

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25 Must-Read Books For the Fall

Fall! It’s a time for picking apples, wearing plaid, watching the leaves change color, and catching up on the season’s most beguiling new book releases. Fall is when the big houses bring out the big names, from Lena Dunham’s hotly anticipated book of essays, Not That Kind of Girl, to new work from future predictors Stephen Johnson and Nicholas Carr, to stories from reliable geniuses like Marilynne Robinson and Denis Johnson. We pared down a list of a million fascinating looking books (Good luck, Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm. Better list next time, Christos Tsiolkas’s well received Barracuda. I see you, Charles Burns’ Sugar Skull) to a workable group of 25 of the fall season’s must-reads. Add them to your list, and dominate cocktail parties all season long. … Read More

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Let’s Not Start Blaming Books for Dangerous Behaviors

Recently, Salon reported on a study in the Journal of Women’s Health that found young adult women (ages 18-24) who had read Fifty Shades of Grey to be “more likely than non-readers to exhibit signs of eating disorders and to have relationships with verbally abusive partners.” They are also “at increased risk of engaging in binge drinking and having multiple sex partners.” Multiple sex partners! Young adult women? Well, gee, I never! … Read More

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Tim Howard has Written a Memoir

America’s very favorite goalie, the excellent, magic-handed Tim Howard, has written a memoir, which shall be entitled The Goalkeeper… Read More

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50 Essays Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person

It’s hard to be a person in the world today — or, really, any day, but today’s what we’ve got. Humans are striving creatures, and also empathetic ones, so most of us are always looking for an opportunity to improve ourselves, even in tiny, literary ways. We’ve already established that novels can make you a better person, but of course, novels also take you down a long winding road to get there. If you’re looking for a more direct shot to the heart, try an essay. After the jump, you’ll find 50 essays more or less guaranteed to make you a better person — or at least a better-read one — some recommended by notables of the literary and literary nonfiction world, some recommended by yours truly, incessant consumer of the written word. Don’t see the essay that changed your life? Please do add it to the list. … Read More

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