Edith Wharton

50 Incredible Novels Under 200 Pages

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

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25 Books That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About New York

Although the middle of the country is our best hope for the future of American literature, it’s impossible to deny that New York City has inspired some of our greatest writers and books. A few of them, like the ones listed here, do an especially excellent job of summing up the experience of living in this wonderful, crazy, and always-changing city. These 25 books, no matter when they came out, explore themes that will surely resonate with those of us who make our home in the five boroughs, and provide a snapshot of life here for those who… Read More

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‘The Broken Road’ and 6 Other Books That Will Take You on Great Adventures

For those of us who live in cities where we follow miles of concrete to find any sort of adventure, books and stories where the author sets out without a map or heads to faraway places always have an added allure. I’ve been thinking about this since reading about the passing of the journalist Matthew Power in Uganda. As the writer Tom Bissell pointed out in a Facebook tribute post to Power, “If you travel, you must trust. Openness is not gullibility. A willingness to be vulnerable does not endanger you,” and that’s what made Power one of the best when it came to documenting his experiences in faraway places. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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50 Sexy Books to Get You in the Mood (for Valentine’s Day)

As Valentine’s Day (not to mention yet another cold night) approaches, you may find yourself in the mood for love. But what if you don’t? Never fear, because all you have to do is pick up a book. Yes, reading is sexy — especially when you’re reading one of these books, which range from literary fiction (with, ahem, some notable scenes) to famously romantic plays to “highbrow academia porn” to real literary erotica.… Read More

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A Visit to the Cemetery Where Edith Wharton Buried Her Beloved Dogs

The last time I visited The Mount was in early autumn, as the leaves began to fall to the ground — which, considering its location in the middle of New England, might be the best time of the year to visit the place Edith Wharton (who was born on this day in 1862) called home. I’d been to the estate in New Lenox, Massachusetts a few times before, and was familiar with its nods to Tudor-era, French, and Italian architecture, the perfectly kept grasses, flowers that had a few weeks left in them, and the spirits that Wharton said haunted the premises. I  knew abut Wharton’s obsession with creating and decorating a beautiful home, read her work and wrote enough about it that another visit to the place where she once lived might qualify me as a bit of an Edith Wharton obsessive, except I did have a mission in mind on this particular visit: I wanted to see her pet cemetery. … Read More

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8 Money-Soaked Tales of Wall Street Excess

Just a few years removed from the worst economic crisis to hit the United States since the Great Depression, we’re suddenly in the midst of a newfound cultural fascination with the fat cats on Wall Street, and their excesses of bacchanalian proportions. We’re still arguing about The Wolf of Wall Street a month after its release, and the recent news that the Goldman Sachs elevator-gossip Twitter account, @GSElevator, has sold a book to Simon & Schuster is further proof that while we might despise the traders making untold millions, we’re still really interested in hearing their tales of excess. The forthcoming book and Scorsese’s film are the latest chapters in a long history of famous (and notorious) accounts of Wall Street. Here are some of the best examples. … Read More

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50 Novels Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person

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

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What Would Edith Wharton Think of Our Modern Home Decor Tastes?

One hundred sixteen years ago today, Edith Wharton published her first book. It wasn’t a novel, or a collection of short stories, but rather a treatise on The Decoration of Houses. Written with an architect she’d use in the decoration of her own houses, the book proved immensely popular and has been periodically reprinted. Wharton wasn’t exactly a minimalist, but she preferred simplicity and functionality in design to ornamentation. A lot of her views on those subjects pop up in subsequent novels, where she sometimes comments on the decor of a character’s home. Things have changed since Wharton’s time in the furniture industry, in terms of aesthetics, so we decided to take a bunch of her best and most authoritative lines from the first chapter of the book — “Rooms in General” — and juxtapose them with rooms as styled by those current experts in home decor, catalog stylists. The results were… mixed. Have a look for yourself. … Read More

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12 Must-Read Collections of Famous Authors’ Letters

Letters of Note, the popular website that publishes exactly what its name implies, has finally put out a book filled with letters sent by everyone from Virginia Woolf to Nick Cave to Jack the Ripper. Not too surprisingly, that collection is also titled Letters of Note.

What might draw us to these letters is the fact that we just don’t send physical mail as much as we used to. Email correspondences are locked behind passwords, and no great thinkers have offered up the contents of their inbox to be published in a book (yet…). Letters of Note, both the site and this new collection, is a throwback of sorts, but the letters it publishes also help us understand famous people we are interested in, and give us a different way of looking into their thoughts. … Read More

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