It’s hard out there for a teenager. It’s even kind of hard out there for those of us who used to be teenagers — especially in these back-to-school months, when the nostalgia comes creeping up like those floods we used to wear and never, ever should again. But you know who was probably even stranger than you in high school? Your favorite cultural icon. Or maybe not — as is only to be expected, some had joyful (and/or prank-filled) teenage years, some suffered tragedies, some were completely weird, some were popular, and some deserve our respect for even getting through. Click through to read 50 cultural icons on their teenage… Read More
Just what is a cult novel? Well, like so many literary terms, the edges blur whenever you try to look right at them, but in the end, you sort of know one when you read one. Sometimes a cult novel is one that the critics panned but the fans love, or sometimes it’s one that both readers and critics love, but a certain contingent of readers really love. Any book with a squadron of rabid fans swearing that it changed their lives quickly seems cultish. Cult novels often come from the fringes, they often represent countercultural perspectives, they often experiment with form. Here are 50 of the… Read More
Long dismissed as a less serious art form, graphic novels have finally started to gain more mainstream credibility over the last 20 years. There are many, many excellent examples out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, start here! The world of the graphic novel is one that spans a wide range of authors, artists, styles, and subject matter, and this primer covers all the… Read More
Carson Mell’s Saguaro may well be the best originally self-published title to come out this year. Thanks to the folks at Electric Literature, the book finally has a more traditional publisher, and is available now for your reading pleasure.
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Let’s face it: the coffee table book is not just a book; it’s an item designed to indicate the relative level of sophistication of its owner. It’s a fetish object which ideally turns the sophistication dial up to “high.” Displaying coffee table books is, thus, essentially an invitation to people to judge you. A lot of people go wrong there, in my opinion. So here are 50 books that should be populating your coffee table instead of the latest collection of Vanity Fair‘s photo… Read More
The thing about reading is this: it takes a long time. There are innumerable books in the world, and many more good ones than can be read by any mortal in a lifetime. It’s hard to choose — especially if you’re a slow reader. So, to go along with the list of the best albums from 1963-2013, here you will find a single must-read book from each of the last 50… Read More
Comic book properties are constantly being licensed in the entertainment world, but some of the most interesting transformations are still happening in print. Artists, designers, filmmakers, and writers are pushing the boundaries of the medium by exploring the structural characteristics of comic books, narrative innovations, the dynamic integration of word and image, and complex subjects. We took a look at 10 different experimental comics, inspired by a tactile book for the blind that we spotted on Co.Design (featured after the jump). See how a once niche product has gradually shifted to an experimental medium.
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Recently, we polled book jacket designers on their favorite book covers of the year, and we were dazzled by what they came up with. But Peter Mendelsund (who happens to be one of our very favorites) had a bit more to say on the subject than we could fit into our other roundup. Here we give you his full report on the state of book jacket design (and his favorites of the year!)
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If you’re a reader, you understand. For the holidays, all you want is a stack of books, so sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to get for your less literary-minded loved ones. Well, you can still give them books. But you have to choose carefully. Just as we did last year, this holiday season we’ve put together a helpful guide of new books that even your most prose-averse friends will love — whether they admit it to you or not. Click through to check out the gift guide, and let us know what you’re giving the nonreaders on your list in the comments.
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December means a lot of things. Our normally latent shopping gene starts itching like crazy, mint-flavored coffee starts sounding like a good idea, and every single media outlet (ourselves included) puts up their “best of” everything lists. Well, ’tis the season. In an effort to distill all those year’s end book round-ups — and let’s face it, be a little meta — we looked at 16 lists from 14 media organizations and counted up the books that tickled the most critics this year. Turns out, they had quite a few differing opinions — on those 16 lists alone, we noted more than 150 unique titles — but also agreed across the board on a few knock-outs. After the jump, feast your eyes on the most popular books of the 2012 best book list season — and let us know if you agree with consensus or think the world’s gone mad in the comments.
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