Books

I, Robot: What Nicholas Carr’s ‘The Class Cage’ Teaches Us About Our Robot Future

There’s a small indie film that came out a couple of years ago, Robot and Frank, which features Frank Langella as “Frank,” an aging, elderly retiree with a case of dementia whose worried kids hire a live-in nurse for his day-to-day life. But in this case, the live-in nurse is a robot. It’s a smart, well made small film, ostensibly cute on the surface (“Robot” and Frank, a former cat burglar, rob a house together!), but it has a lot to say about aging, friendship, and how we’re going to deal with technology in the future. … Read More

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10 Must-Read Books For October

It’s the spookiest month of the year, so it’s the perfect time to get some fresh new reading material to keep you warm. October has a mix of big releases by big authors you should pay attention to every time out, National Book Award longlist entries that are worth a glance, and a mix of wild stories that are perfect fall… Read More

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Why ‘Gone Girl’ Readers Will Be Surprised — and Satisfied — by David Fincher’s Adaptation

There is always apprehension attached to book-to-film adaptations, a wary uneasiness that only increases when the source material is such a well-written, genuinely thrilling, and viciously brilliant novel like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. It doesn’t matter that the directing duties are placed in the very capable hands of David Fincher or that the screenplay was written by Flynn herself. Adaptations still go wrong when everything seems to be in place. Gone Girl is the rare exception. The film pulls off an impressive, double-duty feat: Gone Girl is not only a strong, faithful adaptation of the novel, but it also makes the story feel wholly original again, even if you’ve already read it. (This post is very spoiler-heavy, so proceed with caution.) … Read More

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Why Anti-Vaxxers Are Violating the Social Contract: 5 Ideas From Eula Biss’ ‘On Immunity’

In On Immunity: An Inoculation, essayist Eula Biss explores the topic of vaccination against disease and takes it beyond the one-note pro-and-anti Jenny McCarthy-style arguments of, “If I vaccinate my child, then they will end up autistic.” Biss, who’s proven herself to be an endlessly searching intellect, a writer who can be fairly compared to Joan Didion in such previous works as The Balloonists and the extraordinary Notes From No Man’s Land: American Essays, writes a social history of “vaccinations,” showing the roots and stories of vaccination and why they work as part of the human contract. … Read More

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The Difference Between Lena Dunham and Aziz Ansari’s Million-Dollar Book Deals

Hey, remember when Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned’ (now a book that you can touch with your own hands), was first announced to the media in late 2012? Headlines like “Lena Dunham has a memoir” and “Lena Dunham’s memoir is going to auction $1 million as a minimum” were the source of quite a few slings and arrows in the press.

Dunham’s memoir sold for an advance of $3.7 million, a price that was par for the course in the context of the slew of celebrity memoirs that hits bookstores each month — just a year later, Parks and Recreation‘s Aziz Ansari, sold his currently untitled book, described as a look at “modern romance,” for $3.5 million. I was reminded of this when writing about Not That Kind of Girl earlier, and I thought that Dunham’s and Anzari’s advances were worth some comparison. … Read More

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2014 Kirkus Prize Finalists Announced

Hey! It’s a book prize that actually offers a significant amount of money to the recipients, and the list of… Read More

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Flavorwire Roundtable: Is Lena Dunham a Voice of a Generation in ‘Not That Kind of Girl’?

We are living through a golden age of the female-comedian memoir. Stoked by Chelsea Handler’s consistently bestselling memoirs about drinking and sex, the genre became a full-on trend with Tina Fey’s Bossypants in 2011. The latest example is Not That Kind of Girl, the debut book by Girls creator, writer, director, and lead actress Lena Dunham. Notable for garnering a $3.7 million advance and much attendant outrage, it’s filled with essays about the 28-year-old artist’s life so far, with subjects ranging from childhood to boys to work. So, beyond the hype, is Not That Kind of Girl any good? And is Dunham the voice of our generation — or a voice of a? Four Flavorwire staffers have four different… Read More

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Joanna Newsom Will Narrate ‘Inherent Vice’ as “Earth Goddess”-Like Character

Finally, Joanna Newsom makes an appearance after her marriage to Adam Samberg—but not, unfortunately, with a new album; rather,… Read More

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What It Means to Be “Wanted” : Saeed Jones on His Book ‘Prelude to Bruise’

“Thank you Max, for that maaaarvelous introduction,” seethes Bette Midler circa 1993, from inside Saeed Jones’s Twitter account. In fact, tonight, it seems he’s been live-tweeting Hocus Pocus. I’m oscillating between this amusing distraction and lines from his new book, Prelude to Bruise, like, “If I ever strangled sparrows/it was only because I dreamed/of better songs.” If this is how poetry works these days, then I’m all for it — Yeats might have been interested in the occult, but I don’t believe he ever wrote about Kathy Najimy’s witchcraft. … Read More

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