Books

Overanalyzing Cary Elwes’ New ‘Princess Bride’ Book for Traces of Shade

The Dread Pirate Roberts, aka Westley the farm boy, aka dreamboat Cary Elwes, the very first crush of probably a whole generation of girls (myself included), has a new book out called As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride. It is a charming, funny memoir, filled with the then-23-year-old’s reminiscences of just what it was like to make a classic and to go drinking with Andre the Giant. It’s also a really “nice” book, characterized by sweet, “we were all friends” memories, to the point that it’s hard not to muck around for the subtext: Who was Elwes in love with? Who did he kind of, sort of hate? It’s time to break down the veiled shade in every bit of this family fun. … Read More

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10 Mind-Altering Philosophy Books from 2014

Philosophy books often don’t get their due. They’re usually long, often badly written, frequently pompous and annoying, and sometimes even poorly edited. But 2014 has been a hallmark year for works of philosophy that can genuinely impact your life (even in the immediate future) without becoming self-help nonsense. These books deal try to change what is possible in politics, sex, feminism, art, and more. … Read More

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50 of the Greatest Debut Novels Since 1950

For a reader, there’s something magical about picking up a first novel — that promise of discovery, the possibility of finding a new writer whose work you can love for years to come, the likelihood of semi-autobiography for you to mull over. The debut is even more important for the writer — after all, you only get one first impression. Luckily, there are a lot of fantastic first impressions to be had. Click through for some of the greatest first novels written since 1950 — some that sparked great careers, some that are still the writers’ best work, and some that remain free-standing.… Read More

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Ernest Hemingway Rewrites ‘Esquire’s’ Profile of Penelope Cruz, Sexiest Woman Alive

Madrid is a noble city because bulls die an honest death in the arena there. After people go to the seaside, the plazas empty. The remaining men drink white wine as the blood of the bulls spills on the sand. The wine is cold and every man is sad. … Read More

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Nell Zink’s ‘The Wallcreeper’ Is the Debut Novel of the Year

It opens with a wallcreeper — a small, beautiful, and territorial bird found in Eurasia — and a miscarriage. It ends with death and muted self-actualization. In between, there is (a lot) of adulterous sex, the repeated buildup and breakdown of a marriage, eco-terrorism, and a waterfall of observations about contemporary social and romantic life wrapped in an excruciating wit that suggests its author, Nell Zink, is anything but a novice. The Wallcreeper, in fact, is the best debut novel of the year by an American author, and it should be read and discussed by anyone who cares about young life in the 21st century. … Read More

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28 Feminist Writers Recommend Books Every Man Should Read

The leaves turn, the air gets colder, and a publication devoted to men makes a list of “80 Books Every Man Should Read” that has just one female writer on it. It’s just one slight in a list that’s slanted towards the great white male literary perspective that’s so common these days. Instead of getting mad, we here at Flavorwire wanted to counter that vibe by asking our favorite feminist writers what they think “every man should read.” The results were funny, smart, and a true reflection of the complex lives that we all… Read More

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10 Plague Novels That Will Not Help You Deal With the Ebola Virus

So, if we’re to believe David Miliband, head of an International Rescue Committee meant to prevent a full-on outbreak of the Ebola virus, we’re now at an “absolute tipping point” that could lead to “widespread disaster.” Great. With that in mind, here are ten classic novels where the unthinkable — life-slaying pandemic and endless pain — is thought, recorded, and written about at length. These novels will not help you deal with an outbreak of the Ebola virus, but they do pose a lot of interesting existential questions about pestilential doom. … Read More

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Trolled by the Swedish Academy: Patrick Modiano’s Nobel Prize in Literature

This morning readers across America sighed with boredom and mild irritation as the Swedish Academy announced the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. Who? Patrick Modiano, a Frenchman who is definitely not J. M. G. Le Clézio or Michel Houellebecq. At first, I felt like I had been trolled by the Academy. If the winner was going to be a “surprise,” why not pick a younger writer? Kipling was only 42 when he won. Or, even better, why not award the Nobel to a writer on the basis of a single work? Hemingway won solely because of The Old Man and the Sea. Or just give it to Adonis already. … Read More

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Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig Make Out in Trailer for Roth Adaptation, ‘The Humbling’

Now that you’ve been sufficiently click-baited (but not deceptively: the mouths of Gerwig and Pacino do, indeed, commingle in… Read More

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‘Alice + Freda Forever’s’ Alexis Coe on a Shocking, Forgotten Case of Teenage Lesbian Murder

Karen Abbott, the author of the new Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, and Alexis Coe, the author of Alice + Freda Forever, feel like historian soulmates: both women have done wonderful jobs in their respective books, two of fall’s best, reviving hidden stories of groundbreaking women from the 1800s (even if there’s a 30-year difference). Both books are immaculately researched and enticingly written, the sort that you’ll stay up all night reading with a flashlight under the covers. Coe previously interviewed Abbott for The Toast (where she is a columnist), so we wanted to see what would happen if Abbott interviewed Coe. Click through to read the resulting interview. … Read More

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