Books

50 Great Novels About Madness

Not so much into March Madness? Well, perhaps you should look at it another way. March is the perfect month for reading books about madness — it is a transitional time, after all, possessed of both lion and lamb. Plus, you’ll have ample reading time, both outside and inside. The books herein, it should be noted, are those that deal with a kind of literary madness — obsession and absurdity and hallucination — not directly focusing on mental illness proper, whenever the two can be separated. So you won’t find The Bell Jar or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Yellow Wallpaper here, though those are all excellent… Read More

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James Patterson Donates 100,000 Copies of His New Book to Underfunded Schools

James Patterson has already shown his dedication to promoting literacy and reading among America’s youth by donating 1.25 million… Read More

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Joyce Carol Oates’ Joyless Critique of Literary Critics’ Joylessness

Yesterday, Joyce Carol Oates took to Twitter to admonish, in a familiar way, the supposedly gloom-stricken, anhedonic minds of literary critics. The idea, as usual, is that critics are parsimonious, even vindictive melancholics who are constitutionally incapable of setting aside Occam’s Razor in order to enjoy the pleasures of reading. Here is a sample: … Read More

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Carrie Brownstein’s Memoir, ‘Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl,’ Gets October Release Date

Sleater-Kinney’s (and subsequently Portlandias) Carrie Brownstein announced three years ago that she was working on a memoir. After all that time… Read More

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Unusual Library Collections Around the World

Imagine walking into the home of a recently deceased resident after getting a mysterious phone call about a massive collection of maps. That’s what happened to Glen Creason, the map librarian at Los Angeles Central Library and author of Los Angeles in Maps. Creason walked out of the home with boxes of historical maps and coveted city guides that instantly doubled the library’s collection. L.A.-based filmmaker Alec Ernest captured the story of Creason and an unknown map collector named John Feathers in a mesmerizing short film about the beauty and power of physical objects, and the strange passions people have for them. Ernest’s film inspired us to travel libraries around the world and explore their unique and sometimes bizarre collections. … Read More

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Marilynne Robinson and Claudia Rankine Take Home National Book Critics Circle Awards

The National Books Critics Circle — a group made up of, coincidentally, roughly 600 writers, critics, and bloggers… Read More

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Apple Likes to Watch: ‘Terms of Service’ Author Jacob Silverman on Internet Surveillance

With Apple’s “Spring Forward” preview this week, we got a glimpse of their latest and greatest innovation: the Apple Watch. While it’s a splashy product, it didn’t quite receive the typical “gamechanger” reviews with the Washington Post suggesting that “the Apple Watch should get dumber” to BuzzFeed’s litany of pieces on the pros (it can replace your FitBit and Jawbone, helping you get so fit, it’s going to change everything) and minuses (it sure can track your every move). It’s the last point that’s perhaps the most troubling. To get a clearer picture of what the Apple Watch means for the future of “wearable computing,” we talked to Jacob Silverman, the author of this month’s provocative and troubling Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection, set for release on March 17. … Read More

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Let’s Stop Telling Women They Can’t Love Misogynist Art

Norwegian journalist Ellen Sofie Lauritzen loves Philip Roth despite being a feminist, she writes at TPM’s The Slice today. She loves his deeply sexist characters, and the filthy things that come out of their mouths. She loves Lil Wayne and other misogynist MCs. Does this make her a bad feminist, or is there a feminist case for her taste? … Read More

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Carrie Brownstein Interviews Kim Gordon About Her New Memoir, ‘Girl in a Band’

Feminist icons and punk rock royalty Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth got together to… Read More

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