Books

What Do This Year’s Wildly Disparate National Book Award Longlists Mean?

If you like awards, this week has been super-fun, between the MacArthur “Genius” Grants (shout out Alison Bechdel!) and the National Book Awards’ longlists in the young adult fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction categories. … Read More

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The Greatest Ray Bradbury Adaptations

This week marked the birthday of visionary science fiction icon Ray Bradbury. He was dubbed the “Poet of the Pulps” in 1953 for his lyrical style, which lent creditability to a genre that often struggled for legitimacy. With over 600 short stories and 27 novels to his credit, Bradbury’s works have always attracted filmmakers and producers looking for descriptive, emotional, and engaging narratives. We’ve highlighted just a few of our favorites, but feel free to share your own picks, below. … Read More

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Miniature Paintings Enshrined in Vintage Books

Joseph DeCamillis, who we first learned about on Beautiful/Decay, transforms vintage books into works of art by inserting miniature copper oil paintings into their covers. But his altered books are more than just two-dimensional pictures. DeCamillis collages other materials and personal writings with the paintings that play off the cover text, creating new narratives. Combining DeCamillis’ talent with his love of collecting and literature, the paintings are created with brushes that have three hairs or less. They are the size of a postage stamp. Once completed, DeCamillis seals the books shut forever. “Enshrining the miniatures in altered books establishes them as icons,” he writes on his website. The highway imagery is inspired by DeCamillis’ time living on the road in an old motor home. See more of DeCamillis’ whimsical book paintings in our gallery. … Read More

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Conjoined Twins in Pop Culture

Earlier this week, actress Sarah Paulson teased a photo of her character for the upcoming carnival-set installment of American Horror Story, subtitled Freak Show. She’ll star as conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot in the series. Set in Jupiter, Florida at one of the last remaining freak shows of the 1950s, the struggling outsiders are forced to contend with the “evil forces” who do not understand them. It’s fantastic news for fans of the outrageous series (but somewhat bitter for those who wish Daniel Knauf’s Carnivàle was still on the air). Twins of all types have fascinated audiences for centuries, from the mythological figures of history to the vaudeville acts of the 1920s. But there’s something about conjoined twins that remains mysterious and potent for pop culture narratives. Their bodies are meshed, but their stories are unique. Here are eight instances of conjoined twins in pop culture that mesmerized and entertained. … Read More

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Refresh Your Library: Better Summer Reads

Presented by Starbucks

Longer summer days mean more time for reading. In a season of highlights, it’s tough to trim the list, but we’ve rounded up our favorite new books that should absolutely be in your beach bag this summer. After you refresh your library/e-reader, check out our Ultimate Summer Guides for awesome things to do in LA & NYC (if you can pull your nose out of these books). … Read More

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Dazzling 19th-Century French Book Advertisements

A popular figure in France’s social scene, and a successful poet and playwright, Victor Hugo spent nearly 20 years planning and composing Les Misérables. It received lukewarm reviews, but the book became a commercial success after its first printing in 1862.

The excitement the novel generated leading up to its publication was unprecedented. Advertisements displayed around the city of Paris introduced passersby to the characters struggling to start anew amid the 1832 June Rebellion in the City of Light. It was a bona fide media frenzy well before the age of the Internet. … Read More

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10 Snug and Stylish Ways to Cozy Up With a Good Book

We don’t need an excuse to cozy up with a good book and get lost for a while. After spotting a set of fun and comfy pillows inspired by literary classics, featured after the jump, we went searching for the most stylish and snuggle-worthy ways to read. Bookmark these comfortable, literary furniture pieces and design objects for those moments when you’re ready to be whisked away for a weekend of books and bliss. … Read More

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Fabulous Photos of New York City Dogs Dressed in Couture

Yes, Virginia, there are glamorous parties (sorry, “pawties”) for dogs — and “puptials” and “barkmitzvahs.” What’s a fabulous New York City pooch supposed to wear to these events? Why, doggie couture, of course. Photographer Paul Nathan captured the canine couture scene in the Big Apple and rubbed elbows (and pampered paws) with fashion-minded New Yorkers and their fur children — all decked out in custom designs. Those pups, owners, and couturiers found their way into Nathan’s book, Couture Dogs of New York, which we first learned about on Co.Design. Catch a preview of Nathan’s work in our gallery. … Read More

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Artists Pay Tribute to the Work of Stephen King in Exhibition ‘King for a Day’

With fifty novels, hundreds of short stories, and dozens of film adaptations to his credit, author Stephen King is a force to be reckoned with. The horror scribe has crafted his own unique universe, where striking characters are confronted with strange and terrible things. Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles is paying tribute to the writer through April 6. The exhibition King for a Day, which we learned about on Laughing Squid, presents work inspired by the author’s books and films. A portion of the proceeds will benefit King’s charity of choice, the Haven Foundation — an organization that provides grants to freelance writers and artists experiencing career-threatening emergencies. Preview the work from King for a Day in our gallery, and visit the Hero Complex website for more information. … Read More

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