We’ve reached the time of year when the days seem impossibly short and the nights never ending. Good if you’re a vampire or like to go to sleep early, less exciting for the rest of us. So what is one to do with all this extra darkness? Well, read some dark books, of course. Because there’s nothing better to cut through the literal gloom than to curl up with some intellectual doom. All you need is a tiny light to see your book by. Read on for 50 gloriously dark novels to read during these dark days. After a while, you may even stop wishing for the light to… Read More
Picture it: teenage Mary Shelley was on a vacation getaway, with her husband Percy and some of his rambunctious poet friends, like that rogue Lord Byron… and out of the group of legends, it’s Shelley herself who arguably published the greatest work of all at the ridiculous age of 30: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a book that has penetrated our human consciousness. In honor of Shelley’s birthday this month, here’s a list of 25 other writers who created heartbreakingly beautiful work before they could get a discount on a rental… Read More
Springtime can make even the most devoted of readers a little bit antsy. After all, there are flowers to smell, puddles to jump in, fresh love to kindle. You still want to have a novel in your pocket — just maybe one that doesn’t require quite so epic an attention span. Never fear: after the jump, you will find 50 incredible novels under 200 pages (editions vary, of course, so there’s a little leeway) that are suitable for this or any… Read More
The American South has long been seen as the focus of the country’s Civil Rights Movement, carrying with it the stigma of poverty, racism, and anti-intellectualism. Yet the region has also produced a disproportionate number of intellectuals, poets, and writers, possibly because of the complicated and layered identities each Southerner holds within him- or herself. The South has begotten some of our nation’s most important authors, including prize winners like William Styron, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Ralph Ellison, Harper Lee, and that titan of American letters, William Faulkner. These 50 novels are a reminder that the South cannot be defined solely by its failings; it is also responsible for shaping the minds of countless thinkers who offered to American literature essential insights about not only their region but the world at… Read More
Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate by getting yourself kissed today. Or, may we suggest finding a famous writer to smooch? In case you need a little inspiration (or just like to see writers making out), we’ve collected several adorable photos of famous authors in fond embraces, both vintage and quite recent.
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It’s a new year, and resolutions are flying left and right. Here’s one that’s always on everyone’s mind, beginning of the year or no: how to be a better person. Well, since science keeps proving that reading literary fiction accomplishes that very fact, why not attack a novel in order to spruce up your heart and mind? Click through for 50 novels to make you kinder, cleverer, more productive, and a whole lot more open to the experience of… Read More
Looking for something to read but don’t want to stray too far from the authors you know and love? Seeking undiscovered literary gems to talk about at dinner parties? Want to delve into the backlist of a certain Great American Author? Well, Flavorwire has got you covered. After all, sometimes, amazing books just get lost in the shuffle, whether it’s because they’re before their time, fall out of fashion, or their author has one blockbuster that blots out all the rest. Click through to check out 50 great under-appreciated, under-read, and overshadowed novels by 50 of your favorite… Read More
This weekend, the Guardian ran an excerpt from a new book by the writer and critic Olivia Laing called The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink. The book will not be out in the United States until December, but the excerpt was a hit on social media. Writers, depression, addiction: these are magical elements for public legacies. Scott Fitzgerald wouldn’t be recognizable without the drink, nor Hemingway. Both of them appear in Laing’s narrative, along with Tennessee Williams, John Cheever, John Berryman, and Raymond Carver. It sounds fascinating, and I can’t wait to read it.
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This week, we read about a study, recently published in PLOS ONE, in which researchers found that “the emotional content of published English has been steadily decreasing over the past century, with the exception of words associated with fear, an emotion which has resurged over the past decades.” Well, we don’t doubt it. But that’s not to say that literature has lost any of its power to elicit emotions. To prove it, we’ve selected ten books that make us cry every time — and not always because they’re sad, but because they elicit some kind of strong internal reaction that, well, ends in tears. Read through our picks after the jump, and since everyone has different triggers, let us know which books are guaranteed to make you cry in the comments.
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Whether they be bad boys (or bad girls), dirty old men or just legendary party animals, there’s no denying that the literary set knows how to get down. From dance parties to book parties to whatever’s going on in that car, writers are adept at letting off steam, and so this year, we thought we’d get a little New Year’s celebration inspiration from a few of our favorite authors. And hey, if you’re still trying to figure out your signature cocktail at this late hour, you can model that on your favorite writer too. After the jump, raise a glass with everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Rita Dove to Nora Ephron. Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody.
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