Everyone could use a bit of advice now and then. But what if you’re the type who eschews all human contact and prefers to converse only with characters in your books? Well, er, then even they might not be able to help you. All kidding aside, as any avid reader will know, many of the great works of literature are filled with wisdom, which you could do worse than to take to heart — especially in these back-to-school weeks, a time when a little extra advice can always help. Here, you’ll find a few nuggets of humanhood as doled out by literary (read: fictional!) characters who know a thing or …Read More
Back-to-school time is upon us, and for many, that means reading for pleasure will give way to burning through that syllabus. Classrooms, especially high school classrooms (college classes are becoming so weird and specific nowadays that you could read just about anything in them), suffer from the “classic effect” — which is exactly what it sounds like. Not that there’s anything wrong with literary classics, and they definitely should be read, but there’s so much more out there. And when you consider the fact that one-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives — well, it would be nice if they had a little more to go on than The Great Gatsby. After the jump, find a selection of books you’ll (probably) never read in high school, but should still read, and add your own favorite anti-schoolbooks to the list in the comments.
New York Times readers might have noted with interest the byline on the paper’s review of Haruki Murakami’s new book — it was written by none other than Patti Smith. This is perhaps not as surprising as it might first appear, because Smith hasn’t been averse to issuing an opinion over the years, and she’s written non-fiction throughout her career, most notably in the 1970s. Her writings have covered a fascinating range of subject matter. If you’re interested in delving further into her criticism, there’s an essential reading list just one click …Read More
It’s August? Isn’t the eighth month on the calendar supposed to be a hot wasteland for new books coming out? Isn’t the entire publishing industry at the beach, with one big “On vacation — back September 1st” sign showing up in automatic-response emails, much to the chagrin of brave book critics and bloggers everywhere? Maybe it used to be that way, but with a new Haruki Murakami novel, Roxane Gay’s collection of essays, and several other books you’ll be hearing about for a long time to come, this August is one to look forward …Read More
Fabulism, it seems, is having a moment — although whether it’s truly a trend is up for debate. Some might say it’s been right there, purring along, all this time, while others might blink and wonder what you’re talking about. Such is always the case with magic. But whether you’re a newbie or an old hat, there are always new corners of the fantastic to discover. So, here you’ll find 50 excellent novels and short story collections by fabulists, fantasists, and fairy-tale-tellers, literary books that incorporate the irreal, the surreal, and the …Read More
Thanks to BuzzFeed’s entertaining roundup, we’ve discovered Mindy Kaling’s college comic strip, Badly Drawn Girl. A shrewd look at the facts of coed life, from frat bros to dining hall food, it’s a peek at what Kaling’s comic sensibilities were like long before she wound up in The Office‘s writers’ room. Other cultural notables have had their fair share of cool college projects, too. We took the liberty of looking up what some of our favorite famous people were up to while they were still living in dorm rooms.
Everybody knows that a beer and a good book go quite well together — including the authors of said books. Since it’s October, everyone’s favorite month for beer (books are good any month of the year), indulge in a few of literature’s greatest quotes about the frothy stuff — from grand pronouncements to so-detailed-you-can-taste-it descriptions of the perfect …Read More