Junot Diaz

50 Books That Define the Past Five Years in Literature

Five years ago this month saw the publication of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 in English. The book topped almost every year-end list and signaled a shift in literary tastes, creating larger audiences for works in translation, historical storylines, and narrative complexity. Between the uncertain future of the publishing industry, the rise of indie presses, new literary magazines, and the Internet and ereaders, the years that followed were bittersweet for the book industry but also a unique and fruitful time for readers. The following 50 books provide several clues as to why that is, and also give a glimpse into the future of… Read More

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12 Coming-of-Age Novels That Are Better Than ‘Catcher in the Rye’

I hate Catcher in the Rye: a novel about a privileged Upper East Side kid who doesn’t like exclusive prep schools and has a fun day at various hotels and ice skating rinks while figuring his relatively easy life out.

If you are the son of a billionaire hedge fund manager, then perhaps Catcher in the Rye is the perfect coming of age novel for you. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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The New York Public Library’s 7 Best Fall Programs, Ranked

Everybody loves going to the New York Public Library’s “Live from the NYPL” events. There’s something inherently attractive about watching Jonathan Franzen don a head-mic and awkwardly question Don DeLillo about his writing habits. But let’s face it: you’re not going to make it to every event this season. Work will get in the way. So you have to prioritize, and here are the seven events I’d suggest begging, borrowing, stealing, and if absolutely necessary, small acts of violence (against insects only) to attend. … Read More

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The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read, 1963-2013

The thing about reading is this: it takes a long time. There are innumerable books in the world, and many more good ones than can be read by any mortal in a lifetime. It’s hard to choose — especially if you’re a slow reader. So, to go along with the list of the best albums from 1963-2013, here you will find a single must-read book from each of the last 50… Read More

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20 Highbrow Books to Read on the Beach This Summer

For even the most seasoned of book nerds, a trip to the beach can raise some difficult questions. After all, you don’t want to waste your precious vacation minutes reading something you’ll forget by the time your suntan fades, but a beach towel is also (probably) not the ideal location to tackle Ulysses. With this weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, Flavorwire has you covered with a list of twenty decidedly highbrow but still totally beach-appropriate… Read More

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33 Wonderful Fan-Designed Covers for Famous Novels

Here at Flavorwire, we’re suckers for a great book cover — even if that book cover never actually made it into production. After all, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that sometimes the best book covers come from those designing without the constraints of publicity departments or authorial preferences. To that end, after the jump you will find a collection of unofficial book covers for famous works — created by students, career designers, or mysterious people on the Internet — that we totally love. Publishing houses, take note: we would buy these if ever we saw them in the pulpy flesh. Did we miss your favorite (or your own)? Link us to more literary design goodness in the comments. … Read More

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Judging 2012 Book Covers: US vs. UK

While paging through the Guardian‘s gallery of the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist earlier this week, we were struck by how different many of the nominees’ covers are from the American ones we know and (sometimes) love. Of course we knew this already, but we were newly inspired to take a look at some of 2012′s best books, and judge them by their covers, both at home and abroad. A disclaimer: your literary editor has little in the way of formal design education, but is instead approaching these as a voracious reader and picker-upper of pretty things in bookstores. … Read More

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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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Stereotyping You by Your Favorite Book of 2012

It’s December, and you know what that means: it’s time for everyone — from your mom to your coworkers to every media outlet under the sun — to tell you what their favorite book was this year. There’s no escaping it, but at least you can use the information to totally stereotype whoever’s talking to you (or turn the lens on yourself). Click through to read our (tongue-in-cheek, mind you) breakdown of what your favorite book of the year says about you, and in case you were wondering, our pick is on here too, and hey, we can cop to it. … Read More

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