Haruki Murakami

10 Great Books Starring Cats

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

Looking for something that’s kind of like a cat video, but a little more literary? Writers have long been inspired by their pets, and particularly, it seems, by their cats. It’s not surprising then that our feline friends figure prominently in some great books, from Russian classics to YA masterpieces to that one book everyone has definitely read. After the jump, find ten of the greatest books starring kitties of every persuasion. Is this list missing your favorite? Add it in the comments. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a cultural pick-me-up to get you through the rest of this week? The Flavorwire team has you covered, with our list of favorite cultural things we’ve enjoyed in the past seven days to keep us–and hopefull you–culturally stimulated. Tell us what you’ve enjoyed in the comments below, and treat yourself to some engaging artistic and intellectual fare. … Read More

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Your Favorite Authors’ Favorite Musicians

Here at Flavorwire of late, we’ve been looking at what some of our favorite creative types have appreciated in the work of their peers — our favorite actors’ favorite actors, etc. We do like a bit of genre cross-pollination, though, so we thought we’d extend the remit of the idea across genre lines, starting with some of our favorite authors discussing the work of the musicians who inspire, excite, or just generally impress… Read More

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Murakami Favored to Win This Year’s Nobel Prize in Literature

If you’re a passionate reader who enjoys placing the odd bet on major book prizes (or hyper-analyzing speculation on who’s going to win), then you’ll be interested to hear that the British gambling site Ladbrokes has set its odds for this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Of the 210 nominated writers,… Read More

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Contemporary Authors as Adjectives

Today marks the release of George Orwell’s Diaries, the influential writer’s personal writings from the years 1931 to 1949, published for the first time in the United States. Orwell is one of those writers who is so infused in our collective imagination and culture that his name has become its own adjective: “Orwellian” is used to describe a totalitarian government or situation similar to the one in 1984. Like Kafka, whose “Kafkaesque,” has come to mean not only “like Kafka’s writing” but also the more disconnected “marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity,” Orwell’s namesake will probably continue to evolve, becoming a term one understands even without reading a word of his writing. But what about more modern writers? After the jump, we’ve speculated on a few (tongue-in-cheek, mind you) definitions for the adjective-ized versions of contemporary authors — sure, some of their names don’t exactly lend themselves to common adjectival endings, but that’s okay. The English language is ever evolving. And in that spirit, we challenge you to play our game and make up your own in the comments! … Read More

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Our 10 Favorite Manic Pixie Dream Girls in Literature

Oh, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She just won’t go away, will she? The romantic dramedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opens in theaters tomorrow, and it seems to be only the newest incarnation of an age-old cinematic trend of young, whimsical women redeeming somewhat depressed and uncertain men with their quirky wiles. But though you know her as Zooey Deschanel, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is also a literary figure, identified by her charming left-of-center personality, her pronounced (and sometimes left-of-center) beauty, and her function as a usually rather flat character who serves to lead the male protagonist into self-discovery before disappearing (or dying). Click through to read about a few of our favorites, and then look at this Manic Pixie Dream Squirrel for extra credit. … Read More

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Play Haruki Murakami Bingo on this Gorgeous Bingo Board

We don’t usually go in for bingo unless we’re hanging out with our grandmothers (in which case, it’s the best), but we must say that this awesome Haruki Murakami themed bingo board, drawn by Grant Snider over at Incidental Comics, would have us pulling out the chips — not to mention re-reading the entire Murakami canon. Snider, who writes that he has read all of Murakami’s twelve novels and three short story collections, as well as his memoir, is totally spot on with his choices (cats, so many cats) and looking at this comic is giving us wonderfully Murakami-esque deja vu feelings. If you’re a cut-and-paste kind of person, Snider’s comic will appear in print today in the New York Times Book Review, and for true fan boys and girls, it’s also available as a poster. … Read More

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Contemporary Authors We Think We’ll Still Be Reading in 100 Years

Earlier this week, we read a fascinating article over at The New Yorker that asked the question, “why is literary fame so unpredictable?” Apparently, in 1929, the readers of The Manchester Guardian were asked to vote on the authors they thought would still be read widely in 2029, and their top choice was John Galsworthy, who — though he won the Nobel Prize for The Forsyte Saga in 1932 — is now relatively unknown, or at least not very popular. The article goes on to discuss the difficulty in making predictions of literary prestige over long periods of time, noting a couple things that might give clues (a staunch but small readership of fellow authors, for one). While we concur that this kind of thing often rests on chance, fashion and unforeseeable future circumstance, we thought we’d take a stab at rounding up a few of the contemporary (read: living) authors we think we might still be reading in 100 years. Click through to see our predictions, and let us know your own in the comments. … Read More

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The Official Flavorpill Bookshelf: May Staff Reading Picks

We don’t think we’re congratulating ourselves too much if we consider our office a bookish one. But what’s the fun in being bookish if you can’t share what novels are keeping you up at night, get suggestions from other literature nerds, and gossip about what’s next on your reading list? That’s why we’ve embarked on a monthly mission to share our virtual staff bookshelf with you (you can see past bookshelves here and here), so you can check out what books are on our minds and chime in with your own. Click through to check out our aggregated staff bookshelf, and read what a few members of the Flavorpill family have to say about their reading lists, and then let us know what’s in your own read/reading/to read piles in the comments! … Read More

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The Most Cryptic Titles in Literature (And What They Mean)

This week, Laurent Binet’s HHhH, which we can safely say is blessed with one of the strangest titles we’ve ever encountered, hit shelves. Inspired by the sheer weirdness of the title (we’ll explain what it means later), we’ve compiled a list of some of the most cryptic book titles in literature, from the confusingly short to the numerically based to the grammatically incomprehensible. We’ve left out children’s books, of course — as we’re sure you’re aware, the nonsense words and silly symbols gracing their covers just are too many to count. Click through to check out our list, and if we’ve missed your own favorite cryptic title, let us know in the comments. … Read More

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