Books

Goodreads Doesn’t Care If You Read the Book You Reviewed

In the Goodreads entry for Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love For New York, the recent anthology edited by Sari Botton — and a sequel to last fall’s zeitgeist-claiming Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York — there are 60 ratings. These shake out like your average online book ratings, with the spread ending up like this: 16 people gave it five stars, 9 gave it four, 7 gave it three, 2 gave it two, and 26 people gave it one star.

Cue the record scratch. One star? Forty-three percent of people giving this apparently benign book one star? … Read More

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A Brief History of Jon Stewart’s Side Projects

This week marks the release of Rosewater, Jon Stewart’s flawed but interesting feature filmmaking debut. As a serious-minded political thriller, it’s a bit of a departure for Stewart, who is primarily known as a talk-show host and stand-up comic — but his CV is more diverse than you might think. We took a look back at a few of his lesser-known (or, in some cases, all but forgotten) side projects. … Read More

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10 Literary Misquotations You Can Buy Right Now

It all started with the T-shirt below, which exhibits a feminist appropriation of an Ayn Rand quote. Big news! Détournement! Or is it? It seems that the original phrasing was twisted a little — edited, if you will — into the form you see on the shirt. The words on the shirt, in other words, are not the words in the book. The quotation on the T-shirt is a misquotation.

But any curmudgeon can hurl a list of misquotations at the reading public. Instead, we’ve decided to gather a list of items featuring misquotations that you can buy right now, just in time to round out your misquotation wardrobe or library this holiday season. … Read More

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Philip Roth Novel ‘Indignation’ to Be Adapted into Film Directed by James Schamus

The former head of Focus Features, James Schamus, will make his directorial debut with Indignation. The film is based on… Read More

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The Secret Truce in the Literary Genre Wars

Should young-adult, science fiction, and fantasy novels be considered works of literature? Is The Hunger Games a work of art? Does anyone care? Over the last couple of years, a handful of authors have pitched their tents in the no man’s land between “genre fiction” and “pure literature.” But the more intense the genre wars become, the more difficult it is to understand what it’s all about. Is it a question of what we should read? Is it a critical discussion about what counts as “literary quality” writing? Or is it a war of words over which books should be published? … Read More

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50 Novels Featuring Famous Authors as Characters

With not one, but two novels featuring Jane Austen, one featuring the ghost of Dorothy Parker, and a third about Virginia Woolf and her sister hitting shelves soon, it seemed like a good time to survey the entire “writer-as-character” category of novels. Who are the most popular fictionalized writers? It’s no surprise to see a ton of Shakespeares, Dickenses, and Brontës scampering with pens through the pages of other peoples’ novels. But a graphic-novel Susan Sontag? Cranky Robert Frost? Witty Alexander Pope? These are some of the delights we uncovered for your reading… Read More

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Bad Sex In Fiction Nominees: Murakami, Cunningham, Richard Flanagan

The world’s most dreaded, and awkward, literary prize has released its shortlist.

And as always, nominees for The Literary Review… Read More

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Children’s Book ‘You Have to Fucking Eat’ Read by Bryan Cranston

The long-awaited sequel to Adam Mansbach’s Go the Fuck to Sleep, a “children’s book for adults,” famously read aloud by… Read More

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Debut Novelist Sean Michaels Wins Scotiabank Giller Prize, Speaks Out Against Misogyny

The most unexpected—and welcome!—winner of the literary awards season so far is Sean Michaels, who last night won… Read More

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