Christopher Hitchens

The All-Time Greatest Ayn Rand Takedowns

Over the weekend, Salon published an excerpt from Chris Kluwe’s forthcoming Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies, in which the author succinctly explains the problem (as he sees it) with Rand’s worldview, as manifested in John Galt. If you’re even an occasional visitor to this space, you probably know how Flavorwire feels about the creator of Objectivism. So without further ado, a collection of some of the greatest Ayn Rand takedowns in recent memory. … Read More

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15 Books That Would Make Great Last-Minute Father’s Day Gifts

Attention all slackers and ungrateful children — or, er, everyone who just hasn’t gotten around to picking up a present for their dad in advance this Father’s Day (hint: it’s Sunday). No matter what camp you’re in, Flavorwire is here to help, with a list of great books that came out in the last year that any dad is sure to like. Plus, they’re super easy to wrap. To spread the love, share the books your own dad has enjoyed in the comments. … Read More

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Required Reading List: Ron Swanson

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten,” Ralph Waldo Emerson famously quipped, “even so, they have made me.” In this bi-weekly series, Flavorwire plays professor to some of everyone’s favorite pop culture characters, assigning reading lists tailored to their temperaments or — in some cases — designed to make them into slightly better people. After all, even fictional characters can have their lives changed by books. Or so we imagine. This week, in advance of Father’s Day, a few recommendations for dad-of-your-dreams (and, apparently, father-to-be) Ron Swanson. … Read More

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Classic Books Annotated by Famous Authors

Readers come in two editions: those who write in their books, and those who don’t. No matter which you are on your own time, there’s great pleasure to be found in paging through marked-up copies of other people’s books — particularly when the original owners were famous writers themselves. Whether scribbled or printed, snide or appreciative, an author’s annotations give equal insight into the book and the reader, and double as yet another reason to buy physical books. Click through to see the marginalia in the books of a few great… Read More

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10 Famous Writers on How to Drink

This week, we read a fascinating essay by famed journalist H.L. Mencken, also known as the Sage of Baltimore, entitled “How to Drink Like a Gentleman: The Things to Do and the Things Not To, as Learned in 30 Years’ Extensive Research.” Needless to say, we learned quite a bit, and, eager for more advice on life’s finer things from literary types, we’ve collected a few quotes from famous writers on how to drink. Pick up some tips after the jump, and if we’ve missed your favorite missive, add it to our list in the comments. … Read More

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The 25 Greatest Essay Collections of All Time

This week marks the release of Aleksandar Hemon’s excellent book of personal essays, The Book of My Lives, which we loved, and which we’re convinced deserves a place in the literary canon. To that end, we were inspired to put together our list of the greatest essay collections of all time, from the classic to the contemporary, from the personal to the critical. In making our choices, we’ve steered away from posthumous omnibuses and multi-author compilations, and given what might be undue weight to our favorite writers (as one does). Click through to see our nominations for the 25 greatest essay collections of all… Read More

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12 Great Videos of Famous Authors Giving Advice to Aspiring Writers

We could all use a little advice — especially the aspiring writers among us. Inspired by a delightful (and actually sincere-seeming!) video from John Hodgman that surfaced last week, we’ve rounded up a collection of videos of famous authors, from Anne Rice to Martin Amis, doling out wisdom essential for readers and writers alike. Set aside the next hour to get a healthy dose of writerly inspiration, and link us to any videos we missed in the comments! … Read More

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10 of the Most Divisive Authors in Recent History

Recently, we stumbled upon an article over at Open Letters Monthly that asked, “Is Cormac McCarthy a Terrible Writer?” The author, Rohan Maitzen, discusses McCarthy’s particular prose style in The Road, which has been celebrated by some and roundly reviled by others. We’ve always been interested in the idea that many of the greatest writers also seem to have the most detractors, so to explore further, we’ve rounded up a few of the most divisive authors in recent… Read More

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Martin Amis on Reading, Writing, and What It’s Like Inside Nabokov’s House

Last night, Martin Amis — the recent Brooklyn transplant, notorious firebrand, and king of “the new unpleasantness” — came to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the season’s first installment of the great reading and conversation program Eat, Drink and Be Literary. The controversial Amis showed up in a surprisingly cheery tie, and, while being interviewed by New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman, spoke eloquently about his work and the state of fiction, constantly evoking as many of the gods of literature as he could, from Dickens to Nabokov to Sebald. After the jump, we’ve reproduced a few of Amis’ best literary invocations and ideas about the state of writing and reading from the event. Click through to hear a little wisdom from a modern master. … Read More

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Martin Amis on Reading, Writing, and What It's Like Inside Nabokov's House

Last night, Martin Amis — the recent Brooklyn transplant, notorious firebrand, and king of “the new unpleasantness” — came to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the season’s first installment of the great reading and conversation program Eat, Drink and Be Literary. The controversial Amis showed up in a surprisingly cheery tie, and, while being interviewed by New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman, spoke eloquently about his work and the state of fiction, constantly evoking as many of the gods of literature as he could, from Dickens to Nabokov to Sebald. After the jump, we’ve reproduced a few of Amis’ best literary invocations and ideas about the state of writing and reading from the event. Click through to hear a little wisdom from a modern master. … Read More

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