Leo Tolstoy

Snow Reads Are the New Beach Reads: 26 Books to Get You Through Winter

Every year, around the time when mercury rises and the sun starts peeking out, we’re bombarded with countless articles on the best books to read at the beach — because, of course, reading in the sand and sunshine is a great deal more pleasurable than sitting outside with a novel in January. Yet winter is truly the best season to burrow deep into a great book. With that in mind, we asked an assortment of great authors, critics, and musicians to let us in on their favorite books they like to read this time of… Read More

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20 Famous Authors as Dolls

How best to prove your adoration of a particular writer? Make a doll in their likeness, of course. Or if you’re a little less than crafty, buy one. Or, you know, just look at them on the Internet. This last bit you can accomplish right now. Yes, your favorite authors have been immortalized as everything from action figures to wooden works of art to paper dolls to LEGO figurines, and you’ll find 20 of them after the jump. As an added bonus, many of them are buyable, so if you’re still looking to fill your favorite bookish friend’s holiday stocking, look no further. But be prepared for them to think you’re slightly creepy. … Read More

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Why Historical Fiction Works Better on Television Than in Literature

James McBride is having a great year, especially since taking home the National Book Award for his novel The Good Lord Bird last month. Up against heavyweights like Thomas Pynchon and critical darlings such as Rachel Kushner and George Saunders, the book, whose plot follows a 12-year-old slave after John Brown kills his master, was hailed as a surprise winner (although we weren’t that shocked). But many of the award’s past recipients (E.L. Doctrow’s 1986 novel World’s Fair, Charles Frazier’s 1997 winner Cold Mountain, Lily Tuck’s 2004 winner The News From Paraguay) are novels rooted in history, some of which fictionalize real-life characters and events.  … 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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10 Bizarre Literary Myths and Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories: they’re as fascinating as they are maddening. For every ridiculous idea that the stoner in your life insists on telling you about every time you see him/her, there’s another theory that sounds like it could just be true. Here at Flavorwire this week, we’re investigating conspiracy theories in pop culture: yes, it’s Conspiracy Theory Week! Don’t tell the Illuminati.

There are people who spend years trying to prove certain literary myths and conspiracy theories correct, but most never quite do it. Some of those theories are hilarious, a couple are totally pointless, others are impossible to prove right or wrong, while the most entertaining ones are borderline batshit insane. These are a few of our favorites. … Read More

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50 Works of Fiction in Translation That Every English Speaker Should Read

There’s an entire world of literature out there if you just look beyond what was written in your native tongue. Major works in other languages are being translated into English all the time, meaning that there’s no time like the present for you to enjoy books from places like Russia, Egypt, Mexico, and other nations around the globe. So if you’re looking to get your literary passport stamped, here are 50 destinations to start you… Read More

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Leo Tolstoy’s Top 5 Characters, Ranked

There are few writers whose legacies loom as large as the page counts of their most famous works; that’s why talking Leo Tolstoy can be almost as frightening as reading his works. Just uttering the titles of War and Peace or Anna Karenina can inspire traumatized flashbacks in those who encountered these behemoths before they were ready for them. But it’s not the length of his novels that inspire many to call Tolstoy not just one of the greatest writers ever, but the greatest writer ever; in large part, that’s due to his ability to write unforgettable characters. In celebration of his 185th birthday, here are his top five. … Read More

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7 Better-Than-Beach-Reads About Famous Writers

Though a great many literary novels have novelists as protagonists — e.g. Roth’s Nathan Zuckerman, or Chabon’s Grady Tripp, and that’s just for starters — much fewer explicitly take their inspiration from real-life writers. Or at least, they didn’t until recently, partly because of a certain stigma that has always attached to biography and biographers, the idea that they are people who sort through other people’s garbage in search of a crucial piece of mail. This is gossip, a lot of novelists complain, not literature. … Read More

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Callie Wright’s Favorite Messed-Up Literary Families

Callie Wright’s Love All is the story of the Obermeyer family, the secrets they keep from each other, and the secrets they don’t want outsiders to find out about. We liked Wright’s debut so much, we asked her about her other favorite messed up families in literature. Read Wright on her top five after the jump. … Read More

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10 Truly Horrible Beach Reads

I love Alissa Nutting’s Tampa (I really do), but I can’t extend that praise to whoever is responsible for the fuzzy black cover that feels like the shorn underbelly of a Muppet, collects random bits of fuzz, and also begs the hot summer sun to just beat down if taken outside. Either this most impractical summer book cover is some hoax perpetrated by a great prankster in the publisher’s art department or somebody forgot to mention that the book was coming out in July, because Tampa is a total anti-beach read. With that in mind, I’m in no way trying to discourage you from reading it or any of the other books on this list — I just suggest you do it in the comfort of your own home.  … Read More

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