J.R.R. Tolkien

Fictional Languages You Can Actually Learn Right Now

Language is the fabric of the world. In pop culture, invented languages bring fictional worlds to life, teaching us about their culture. Spoofing the ‘90s language program Muzzy, we spotted a Game of Thrones video parody that teaches children how to speak Dothraki (featured after the break). If you want to take things a step further and actually learn the language, there’s a tutorial for that. We found other language lessons online – all videos teaching fictional dialects inspired by pop culture favorites. Start speaking High Valyrian, Klingon, and more, below. … Read More

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The Greatest Monsters in Children’s Literature

Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are celebrated its 50th anniversary over the weekend. Sendak’s tale about a young boy whose imagination transports him to a land full of “wild things” was an early, rare portrait of the dark emotions children learn to cope with. “If I’ve done anything, I’ve had kids express themselves as they are, impolitely, lovingly… they don’t mean any harm. They just don’t know what the right way is,” Sendak said of the book in a 2004 interview. The many monsters in children’s literature have helped young readers face their fears, empowering them — and in some cases, frightening them to tears. Here are 13 of the greatest… Read More

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50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers

Maybe it’s a Pavlovian response to years of schooling, or that the brisk weather affords more hours inside, or something else entirely, but the fact is this: November seems like the time to take on the heftiest reading on your list. And let’s face the facts: some books are only for the toughest readers on the block, your Sylvester Stallones of literature, as it were. So for those of you who count yourself tough, here’s a list of books for you: some absurdly long, some notoriously difficult, some with intense or upsetting subject matter but blindingly brilliant prose, some packed into formations that require extra effort or mind expansion, and some that fit into none of those categories, but are definitely for tough girls (or guys)… Read More

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50 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels That Everyone Should Read

People say it all the time: they’d love to get into science fiction or fantasy, but they’ve no idea where to start. If this is you (or if you’re one of those stubborn folks who looks snootily down on genre), listen up. Your trusty Flavorwire editors have a few suggestions for you — that is, a whole 50 sci-fi and fantasy novels that are well worth your time, whether you’re brand new to the concept of dragons and/or spaceships or a seasoned… Read More

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10 Inexplicably Overlong Movies

Disney’s big-budget adaptation of The Lone Ranger bit the big one at the box office last weekend, taking in less than $50 million and ensuring a healthy loss for movie that cost at least five times that. Plenty of theories for its tanking have been bandied about, here and elsewhere: Depp’s star is falling, young audiences are unfamiliar with the character, Westerns are always a hard sell. But here’s one more thought: maybe it’s because word got around that The Lone Ranger ran a befuddlingly inflated 149 minutes, and viewers couldn’t imagine sitting through a summer action movie that was that goddamn long. But it’s not like The Lone Ranger is the sole offender — especially in recent years, more and more filmmakers are pushing their luck with bloated running times that test viewers’ patience and indicate producers and editors falling down on the… Read More

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The First 10 Works of Fiction You Should Read If You’ve Never Read a Book Before

Recently, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver told reporters that — while he has written more than 20 cookbooks — he had never read a whole book until recently, when he finished Suzanne Collins’s Hunter Games sequel, Catching Fire. Oliver said, “I’ve never read a book in my life, which I know sounds incredibly ignorant but I’m dyslexic and I get bored easily.” Fair enough. As a kind of thought experiment, Flavorwire has picked out the first ten books that an adult who is new to reading should pick up. Quibbles or further suggestions? Add them in the comments. … 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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10 of the Greatest Debut Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels

Today marks the release of Danie Ware’s debut novel Ecko Rising, a genre-bending SF-fantasy mash-up set in a futuristic, tech-crazed London. To celebrate the release, Flavorwire asked Ware to curate a list of some of her favorite science fiction and fantasy from debut novelists. After all, she is an expert. … Read More

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The Questionable Fates of Famous Authors’ Birthplaces

This week, we were surprised by the news that George Orwell’s Indian birthplace will be developed into a memorial. Why should that be so surprising, you ask? Well, because it’s not being turned into a memorial for George Orwell, but for the entirely deserving but somewhat more random Mahatma Gandhi. Though many authors’ birthplaces have been turned into museums or monuments to their lives, several have met with rather more questionable (and sometimes downright upsetting) fates. We investigate after the jump. … Read More

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Awe-Inspiring Music Based on Classic Fantasy Stories

Game of Thrones is back this week, and we’re celebrating its return by raising our pitchers of mead and embarking on a week-long feast of all things fantastic (which we mean, of course, in the traditional/geeky sense of “related to the fantasy genre”). Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper party without some music for the bards to play, so we’re commencing the week with a bumper selection of songs and albums inspired by classic fantasy stories. Join us as we put on our robe and wizard hat and set out on an epic quest to create the ultimate sword-and-sorcery playlist!
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