John Steinbeck

50 Incredible Novels Under 200 Pages

Springtime can make even the most devoted of readers a little bit antsy. After all, there are flowers to smell, puddles to jump in, fresh love to kindle. You still want to have a novel in your pocket — just maybe one that doesn’t require quite so epic an attention span. Never fear: after the jump, you will find 50 incredible novels under 200 pages (editions vary, of course, so there’s a little leeway) that are suitable for this or any… Read More

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50 Novels Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person

It’s a new year, and resolutions are flying left and right. Here’s one that’s always on everyone’s mind, beginning of the year or no: how to be a better person. Well, since science keeps proving that reading literary fiction accomplishes that very fact, why not attack a novel in order to spruce up your heart and mind? Click through for 50 novels to make you kinder, cleverer, more productive, and a whole lot more open to the experience of… Read More

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12 Vintage Advertisements Starring Famous Authors

Nowadays, you aren’t likely to find a famous novelist shilling for their favorite brand — for one thing, most writers just aren’t as recognizable as your average actor, and for another, well, they’re artists. But it wasn’t always that way: quite a few writers have appeared in advertisements over the years, even lending their own words to support a product. Yep, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck: both sellouts. We kid, we kid. After the jump, check out a few famous writers selling everything from alcohol to… well, it’s mostly alcohol. Have a favorite vintage literary ad we’ve missed? Link to it in the comments! … Read More

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8 Famous Authors on Government Incompetence

No matter the era, no matter which side you are on, and no matter where you live, the government will find ways to break your heart. Obviously the entire American federal government shutting down is an extreme case, one with massive ramifications, and that, quite frankly, makes us look really stupid to the rest of the world. … Read More

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35 Great Travel Books That Will Take You Around the World Without a Plane Ticket

Travel writing is a glamorous but difficult genre. To a reader it’s an easy sell: you get to go to fantastic places and see unusual things without spending the money. But for a writer, getting your tone right can be tricky. The speaker’s narration of the exotic wonders of the place they’re visiting can quickly turn condescending and even racist. Only the most skilled writers can toe the line. Like, you know, Steinbeck. In this list, I’ve observed the following parameters: no recent blockbusters, as many of the world’s regions as one could possibly fit, and steering away from the older, 19th-century popular travel books unless there was something particularly remarkable about… Read More

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The Books Flavorwire Staffers Read Too Early

Earlier this week, writer Matthue Roth published My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs, a collection of Kafka stories re-told for children. This is a brilliant idea, since anyone exposed to Kafka at a young age is likely to grow up stranger and better — even if it’s only a form of Kafka. Here at the Flavorwire office, the book sparked a few conversations about age-appropriate reading, and more than one story about a great book read too early. Some of us still have the scars. After the jump, check out the literary regrets of a selection of staffers who read the classics much too early, and then let us know which non-age-appropriate read still haunts you in the comments. … Read More

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The Fascinating Stories Behind Classic Book Titles

A book title can make a big difference. After all, as much as our mothers warned us against it, as humans we can never seem to help ourselves from judging books by their covers. And some book titles — whether we’ve read the attendant books or not — are just burned into our brains, ushered in by the collective consciousness. But how did they come to be? After the jump, a few of the fascinating stories behind the titles of classic books, sprung from poems, paintings, and saloon bathroom stalls. Hey, inspiration can come from anywhere. … Read More

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Richard Tuttle’s Incredible One-of-a-Kind Bindings for Classic Books

Put away that e-reader and take a peek at the incredible book cover art of Richard Tuttle. Tuttle, whose work was recently featured at Book Patrol, creates one-of-a-kind bindings for classic novels, interpreting the stories as beautiful, often cheeky sculptures. Tuttle explains: “I make literary artifacts. They are designed to pull books down off the shelf and display them in the salon, gallery or home as if they were works of art, which, of course, they are. Whether binding books with leather, paper, paint, wood, and found artifacts or building sculptures to encase the volumes, I seek to find a perspective that shouts out a piece of the essence of the literary work. I try to put myself in the author’s or character’s mind to say something about the time it was written in; the attitude that is explored and expressed; the magic that makes it a work of art.” Most of these unique editions are available (for a pretty penny) at Franklin Books. Even if you don’t have the cash, you can ogle them to your heart’s content after the jump. … Read More

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Clever Posters Chart the Colors in Famous Novels

What colors are the insides of your favorite novels? Well, sure, the off-white of a book page — but what about the worlds they create? In artist Jaz Parkinson‘s color charts project, he has created graphic signatures of novels’ visual content, building mini rainbows that correspond to classic works. Needless to say, there’s a lot of red (blood) and white (milk) in A Clockwork Orange, and miles of black in McCarthy’s The Road. … Read More

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