Books

What’s Behind Our Obsession With Novels About Prep Schools and Elite Colleges?

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When I received a review copy of a forthcoming book about post-college female friendship called Bennington Girls Are Easy, I immediately grabbed it for my summer reading pile, and even considered vaulting it ahead of many other similar-seeming books about young women. The title immediately called to mind alumna Donna Tartt’s The Secret History — her masterpiece about the aesthetic pursuit of evil at a Bennington-like institutions — and I salivated.
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John Malkovich Reads Vonnegut’s ‘Breakfast of Champions’

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Audible has released a John Malkovich-narrated audio book of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. In the meta-fiction novel, Vonnegut’s reoccurring sci-fi writer character Kilgore Trout meets with car salesman Dwayne Hoover, who believes Trout’s work to be non-fiction. The work alleges that its reader is the only human with free will (i.e. not a robot), and Hoover — who’s going mad — takes the message to heart, allowing his newfound solipsism to fuel his violent impulses.
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The 15 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year So Far

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From a personal examination of the modern definition of spinsterhood to an exploration of the internet’s dark and secret places, literary and journalistic nonfiction has gone to incredibly varied places this first half of the year. Here are the books that have stood out as we reach the half-year mark, all fueled by obsession and reflection, the hallmarks of the …Read More

25 Great Literary Series to Replace Your TV Habit This Summer

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Summertime is upon us: sticky subway rides, backyard barbecues, and a general lack of solid television. You should be outside anyway! I know, hilarious. But instead of binge-watching something old on Netflix, why not binge-read a great book series? You’ll get all the enjoyment of sticking with characters for hours and hours, through complicated, folding plots, and you can make it so Hugh Dancy plays every role (what do books look like in your mind?). Plus, you know, you can totally read these outside. Here are 25 awesome literary series to read this …Read More

Christian Grey Has Been Pegged and Other Tidbits from E.L. James’ New ‘Fifty Shades’ Novel

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It’s a difficult task to describe E.L. James’ alternate-point-of-view Fifty Shades of Grey in a straightforward manner. After all, Grey tells the exact same story as Fifty Shades of Grey, but with Christian as the narrator. So that means Anastasia’s inner goddess is gone, as are all the “holy cow!”s. They have been replaced by an occasional “Hell.” Or “fuck.” Or “good girl.” Which is what Christian’s inner, um, Adonis, I guess, has to say for himself. Yet the major sex scenes are the same, except you know, with the perspectives reversed — and the lengthy email exchanges and contract negotiations are almost exactly the same. It’s a heady concoction of derivative trash, derivative porn, and self-plagiarism (just kidding, I swear!), which demands a review in seven parts, in several genres.
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