C.S. Lewis

10 YA Books That Scarred Us For Life

Today is the 73rd birthday of YA staple Gary Paulsen, the author of over 200 novels, including Brian’s Saga (read: Hatchet and its ensuing sequels).  Hatchet is one of those books it seems like just about everyone we know has read, and just about everyone we know (ahem, including us) was at least a little bit scarred by it — or at the very least, picked up some important survival skills. So as a tribute to the author of this ubiquitous novel, and for a fun trip down memory lane, we’ve compiled a list of YA books that gave us some serious emotional wounds that we may or may not still be nursing a little bit. Click through to check out our list of YA books that totally scarred us for life, and let us know which ones still keep you up at night in the comments. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds In Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we found out that LOLCats will be on TV. We declared that Bone Pugz ‘N Harmony is our new favorite act. We thoroughly enjoyed the best Toddlers & Tiaras quotes ever. We got dating advice from Dickens. We took a Google Street… Read More

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The 10 Best Authors of Children's Literature

Today, we’re wishing the legendary children’s book author Lois Lowry a very happy 75th birthday! One of our all-time favorite authors of children’s literature, Lowry published her first kids book in 1977, and has since penned over 30 more. To celebrate Lowry’s birthday, we’ve put together a list of the all-time best authors of children’s literature written in English, from the contemporary to the classic, from the wildly magical to the wittily familiar. Here, we’re defining “children’s literature” as being novels aimed at the 9 to 13 set, a little bit young for YA proper, but well into the chapter book stage and getting ready for more meaty fare. After all, there’s no better way to prepare a child for a life of creativity and curiosity than to give them a bunch of great books during their formative years. Or at least we think so. Click through to read our list — and since we wanted to make this list three times over (but you’ve gotta stop somewhere), be sure to chime in with your own favorites in the comments! … Read More

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Magical Thinking: Our 10 Favorite Memoirs of Loss

Yesterday saw the release of Joan Didion’s newest memoir, Blue Nights. Didion is the master of the memoir, but more specifically, she is the master of the genre of the memoir of loss, of teaching us something through her exquisitely rendered grief, of sharing her family and heart. The book got us to thinking about other wonderful examples of memoirs in this genre, which just seems to get more and more popular, despite its inherent sadness, so we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorites. Click through to see our list of our ten favorite memoirs about loss, and let us know your own favorites in the comments. … Read More

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Lev Grossman’s 10 Must-Read Fantasy Novels

Yesterday in The New York Times Book Review, David Orr wrote, “Fantasy of any kind tells us that the world we know is not the only one, nor the most enduring — and that truth can be anything but an escape or comfort.” And yet, magical realism and fantasy have been creeping into our book lists with ever-increasing frequency. For this reason, we asked Lev Grossman to curate a group of his favorite fantasy novels. Grossman is the author of The Magicians and Codex, and is the book critic for TIME magazine. He has also written for The New York Times, The Believer, The Village Voice, Salon, and Wired, among other publications, and his latest novel, The Magician King, is out now. … Read More

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10 Real-Life Places That Inspired Literary Classics

Earlier this week, we read about plans to turn Moat Brae, the Georgian townhouse in Scotland that inspired JM Barrie’s Peter Pan into a center for children’s literature, which we think sounds like a wonderful idea. It also doesn’t hurt that Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley is the primary advocate and fundraiser behind the project. But more importantly, the project got us thinking about all the real-life places that have inspired some of our favorite works of literature. We’re not talking big cities like New York and LA and their numerous pleasures, which figure in thousands of books, but houses and moors, caves and farmlands hidden away in authors’ hometowns or childhood vacation spots. Of course, some of the mythology of inspiration is always guesswork, but we can’t deny that we feel a little literary tingle when we look at these places. Click through to see our list of ten real life places that inspired literary classics, and let us know any we’ve missed in the comments! … Read More

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Famous, Retold Stories in Literature

Besides being an accomplished pediatrician, Chris Adrian was named one of the New Yorker‘s “20 Under 40″ fiction writers last summer, and is also is pursuing a master’s degree at Harvard’s Divinity School, in case you thought he was a slouch. An excerpt from his novel is available here. We’re celebrating today’s release of The Great Night with ten of our favorite retold stories. Some of the following plots are lifted from ancient myths, while others come from relatively new novels. All have put a new spin on familiar tales, but have been able to make them their own. So read on, readers, and tell us what we’ve missed. … Read More

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What Your Favorite Kids Book Then Says About You Now

Everyone had a favorite book as a kid – you know, that tattered old thing you carried from room to room and made you parents read out loud to you over and over again, the one that you quoted until you were, um, a little too old to be doing so. We know our lives were shaped in part by the literature we loved as children, so inspired by this recent list of books every child should read, we got to thinking about what your favorite kids book back then might say about you now that you’re all grown up. Click through for our predictions, and do your best to take it with the grain of salt we intend – don’t worry, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory lovers, we’re not really accusing you of advocating slavery. Be sure to add to the fun and make up your own in the comments!

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Fictional Feasts: Mouth-Watering Moments of Literary Gastronomy

Watch Man Vs. Food before bed and you go to sleep craving French dipped sandwiches and face-sized burgers with cheese injected into the middle of the meat. (Adam Richman, what a charmer.) Certain scenes from fiction can get your belly growling, too. When food is done right in writing, you experience it with all your senses and strange cravings are inspired. Below, some of the most memorable food moments in fiction. … Read More

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An Exploration of Literary Tattoos [NSFW]

The world of literary tattoos is surprisingly large, yet it remains relatively niche. Sure, there was Shelly Jackson’s SKIN project about five years back, but otherwise it’s fairly infrequent that we hear about the two worlds intersecting. That’s why when Penguin announced Penguin Ink, their re-covering of several classic (or modern classic) novels with cover art from leading tattoo artists (including the now epically badass-looking Bridget Jones’ Diary,) it whet our appetite for more book/tatt intersection. Thanks to online communities like Bookworms With Ink and Contrariwise (as well as good old Flickr), we were able to not just satiate but gorge on skin ink of the bookish variety both good… and bad. We had a few caveats: no Harry Potter, no Twilight, and no Alice In Wonderland. Every single one of those has been done to death. Some of our favorites both highbrow and lowbrow (as well as a few very NSFW) after the cut. … Read More

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