This week, Threaded reminded us of one of our favorite moments in Joan Didion’s The White Album — when she lists her packing list, incredibly simple and yet so revealing. Lists, of course, are no rare thing in literature, and have many uses, from adding quirk to showing off knowledge, and have storied positions in classic texts like The Faerie Queene (so many different kinds of trees) and The Illiad (200+ lines of Greek chieftains). Inspired by Didion, we spent some time thinking about our favorite lists in literature, from short to impossibly long, from lists that catalogue items to those that follow the train of imagination. Click through to check out the literary lists we think are the funniest, most revealing, most interesting or flat out strangest, and if we’ve missed your own favorite, tell us about it in the comments. And yes, it does not escape us that this is a list of lists. Meta is the way we like it.
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Truly wonderful books have a habit of growing and changing years after they’ve been written, worming themselves into places you might not expect — our decisions, our aesthetic and cultural sense, and even, with the right kind of care, our physical world. Case in point: Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence, which opened in Istanbul last weekend, is an extensive museum (reportedly, he spent almost all of his 1.5 million Nobel Prize dollars on it) devoted to expanding on and complementing his recent novel, The Museum of Innocence. Since we can’t make it to Turkey to experience the place for ourselves, we’ve collected a few other amazing buildings born from books — whether inspired by particular novels, stories, or a writer’s entire oeuvre — to tide us over. Click through to see our gallery of real-life architecture inspired by literature from all over the world, and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite literary tribute in the comments.
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We don’t know about you, but as the weather gets nicer, we here at Flavorpill find ourselves staring out of our windows, peering longingly at the world beyond, wishing for a little adventure and travel. Yes, that annual springtime wanderlust is hitting, and it’s hitting hard. But since we have jobs and responsibilities and things, we have to tide ourselves over until we can escape to the country — or at least a far-off park with some good climbing trees. Thus, we have created this list of wanderlust-inspiring books, to read on a plane, on a train, or just in your bedroom with dreams of exploration. Click through to read our picks, and let us know which books make you want to set out on your own in the comments.
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We don’t know about you, but there’s something about winter, and particularly the holidays, that makes us crave fables and fairy tales — though whether it has to do with wanting to recapture the feeling of stories we heard in snug beds as children or whether it’s related to the communal family table, we’re not sure. Though it’s by no means a new trend, we feel that we’ve been seeing the advent of more and more fabulists following in the tradition of Aesop and La Fontaine — or maybe just writers who incorporate fables into their oeuvre. Indeed, today marks the release of the first English translation of Gianni Rodari’s wonderful Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto from Melville House, which will satisfy our cravings — at least for tonight. For tomorrow and the next day, click through to read our list of ten modern fabulists guaranteed to whisk you — and the whole family — away.
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Within literature’s greatest books lives another library of books, unpublished and unwritten, nested in other books, imagined by their authors and materialized only in the imaginations of their readers — a painfully vast body of potentially brilliant work that we’ll never get to hold in our hands. That’s not to say that every meta-book is a must-read; take for example The Dictionary of the Finnish Language by Caprinulge, which features in Aldous Huxley’s Chrome Yellow – completely unreal and yet completely not something we’d choose to leaf through. Similarly, the white-supremacist The Rise of the Colored Empires by Goddard, thought up by Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby is not all that high on our wish list. But then there are titles that, wholly made up, sound like they might be even more captivating than the books they live in. And it’s those that we never stop hoping will one day be in print. After the jump, peruse 16 titles we’d add to our bookshelves, if only we could.
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In these final, sweltering days of July, we find our intermittent vacation fantasies growing into full-blown obsessions. If you’re like us and still have a while to go before you can escape from your responsibilities (or if you can’t get away at all), you’ll need some kind of outlet for your daydreaming. That’s where this list comes in. We’ve rounded up ten books set in some of the world’s most desirable travel destinations, from Italy to California to Japan.
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Do you ever think about what your favorite novel would look like if it was published in another country, or even another time? Amazing art blog 50 Watts recently held a contest in which it asked its readers to design the Polish editions of their favorite books, whether contemporary or vintage. Since 50 Watts is chock full of Polish eye candy to begin with, we were confident from the jump that their design-minded denizens would come up with some wonderful stuff. And come up they did! Click through to see the recently announced winners and some of our other favorites from the contest, or get ready to overdose on more imagined book covers over at the site.
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Everyone loves a good cosmic event, and as earthlings, we are especially obsessed with our slimmer, sleeker neighbor, the moon. Tonight, the ‘Super Moon’ will appear in the sky, blowing the minds of black cats, werewolves and stargazers everywhere. We see the Super Moon when the moon gets full at the same time as its orbit brings it to its closest point to earth, a coincidence that only happens every twenty years or so, so it’s a pretty special night. And because we like to herald every natural event with nerdery (and assuming that no one is going to fall for the Great Moon Hoax again) we thought we’d celebrate by collecting a little late night reading list to prepare you for tonight’s moon-watching activities. Click through to bone up on your lunar literature with our essential Super Moon reading list, and let us know which of your favorite moon-based books we’ve missed.
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Last week, in an effort to ease your holiday shopping, we offered you our list of the 10 best books for non-readers. But what about books for readers? Even if you’re a class-A literary nerd, it can be hard to figure out what the other bookworms in your life would like best. To make matters worse, there’s no room for slacking — giving the perfect book to the perfect person shows just how well you know them and can also give them a little insight into you, so you want to make sure you do it right. To help you out, here are our suggestions — great books for Mom, Dad, your brothers and sisters, your best friend and your significant other — all guaranteed to… Read More
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As it has only been available since October, we weren’t too surprised we hadn’t spotted a copy of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 on the downtown 1 train; even though Farrar, Straus, and Giroux can boast of what se
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ems like unprecedented buzz for the title. We can’t think of a recent novel that has titillated the literary community this much, and this rapidly. It took Harry Potter and Twilight a few years to catch on, right? Bolaño’s popularity in the United States has gradually risen over the course of the past couple of years, but anticipation for 2666 mounted months before the release.
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