John Steinbeck

10 of the Worst Jobs in Literature

Gainfully employed denizens of the modern world: happy Labor Day. While you’re celebrating the American labor movement by taking a day off of whatever job you complain about most of the time, why not indulge in a little literature — particularly literature that reminds you just how good you have it when you are in the office? After the jump, you’ll find ten of the absolute worst jobs ever committed to fiction. Check them out, and go back to work tomorrow with a happy heart. … Read More

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Loving Letters from Famous Fathers to Their Children

Happy Father’s Day to you and yours. We’re honoring dear old dad by looking at a collection of letters from famous fathers to their children. They’re an intimate glance at the personal lives of renowned figures as family men. Lovingly composed, these beautiful missives are inspirational, full of joy, and a wonderful source of advice. … Read More

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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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