Jess Walter

The Books That Made the Most ‘Best Of 2012′ Book Lists

December means a lot of things. Our normally latent shopping gene starts itching like crazy, mint-flavored coffee starts sounding like a good idea, and every single media outlet (ourselves included) puts up their “best of” everything lists. Well, ’tis the season. In an effort to distill all those year’s end book round-ups — and let’s face it, be a little meta — we looked at 16 lists from 14 media organizations and counted up the books that tickled the most critics this year. Turns out, they had quite a few differing opinions — on those 16 lists alone, we noted more than 150 unique titles — but also agreed across the board on a few knock-outs. After the jump, feast your eyes on the most popular books of the 2012 best book list season — and let us know if you agree with consensus or think the world’s gone mad in the comments. … Read More

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The Future of American Fiction: An Interview with Emma Straub

If you haven’t noticed, we spend a lot of time thinking about literature here in the Flavorpill offices, digging through its past, weighing its current state, and imagining its future. Take a look at our bookshelves and you’ll find us reading everything from Nobel Prize winners to age-old classics to paperbacks printed at the bookstore down the street. Call it Chick-Lit, Hysterical Realism, Ethnic-Lit, or Translit — if it’s good fiction, we’ll be talking about it. So this summer, we launched The Future of American Fiction: a weekly interview series expanding on that endless conversation about books we love, and yes, the direction of American fiction, from the people who’d know. Each Tuesday we’ve brought you a short interview with one of the writers we think is instrumental in defining that direction.

For our very last installation of our Future of American Fiction Series, we talked to Emma Straub, who knocked our socks off with last year’s short story collection Other People We Married, and has only separated us from those aforementioned socks further in her delightful new novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, an affecting, decades-spanning epic of a small-town girl’s escape to Hollywood, which hits bookstores September 4th. A true multi-talented modern author, she also happens to be a bookseller, a journalist, a designer, a charming Twitter presence and the sometime merch girl for the Magnetic Fields. So, you know, top that. Read on as we talk to Emma about e-readers, niceness, and her drawerfuls of unpublished novels. … Read More

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10 New Must-Reads for June

It’s finally the first month of summer (whether it’s officially summer yet or not), which to us means lots of new excuses to hang out and read — look, it’s something you can do outside that doesn’t involve exercise and socializing, and sometimes that’s just the ticket. Plus, with all those extra hours of sunlight, you’re out of reasons not to spend at least a couple with your nose in a novel. Whatever your poison — biography, blockbuster fiction, graphic novels, or tales about the end of the world — we’ve got the perfect book to be your companion through the long days and warm nights. Click through to check out the books we’re most excited about this month, and let us know which ones you can’t wait to read in the comments. … Read More

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