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
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 each recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed the most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More
Last Friday, Jessica Roake over at Slate lamented the fall of Holden Caulfield in the esteem of modern teenagers — “The problem is that Catcher in the Rye is no longer a book for cool high school students,” she writes. “Catcher in the Rye is a book for cool high school teachers.” A host of factors have added to the books current lack of cool, the most important probably being its ubiquitousness on modern high school syllabi — how can something truly feel underground, transformative, if your teachers are assigning it?
“The perfect teenage book should feel like it’s being passed around secretly, its message too raw and powerful for adults to understand,” Roake explains. “It should inspire highlighting and ponderous margin notes that embarrass you 20 years later. Most of all, it should feel like it’s speaking directly to you, and only you, even if everyone else in your class is working on the same essay question.” We totally concur, and after the jump, we’ve put forward ten novels that we think might just have the chops to replace our beloved Catcher in our collective teenage imaginations. But then again, maybe nothing will ever replace it. Click through to check out our list, and if you don’t see your favorite, add and argue in the comments. … Read More
This week, Nell Freudenberger’s second novel, The Newlyweds hit shelves, and we’d say we’re pretty excited. The book itself is great, but the reappearance of the author reminded us of her past as a new kid on the block, part of that cyclical surge of young, attractive authors that always seem to take a lot of heat, especially from critics and other writers. After all, it’s not every author who is judged in the headlines to be “too young, too pretty, too successful,” but we like to think that with her newest novel, Freudenberger has pushed past that stigma to be taken a bit more seriously, and perhaps enjoyed with a little less jealousy. Others of her good looking brethren have done the same — or have fallen off the face of the planet. Click through to see our round up of a few authors that have been criticized, ridiculed, or simply condescended to for their looks or age, and how they’ve fared since. And no, we’re not going to get into the whole Franzen/Wharton thing. … Read More
What to give the baby that has everything (including a song on the Billboard chart)? Not one to go handing out $7,000 pink Swarovski-crystal bathtubs to newborns like some aunties we could name, excellent gift-giver Oprah reportedly gave Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s brand new baby girl, “a trunk full of children’s books” for the occasion of her birth. Exactly which books are contained within? We may never know. Since we try to follow Oprah’s lead in all parts of our lives, we got to thinking about what books we would give little Blue for a life as American royalty. With those genes she’s got, we basically expect her to immediately become a full-on child prodigy, so we haven’t limited ourselves to children’s books, but imagined a starter bookshelf that will have her discovering new things at least until high school. Click through to read our gift list for Blue Ivy, and let us know what books you might give the celebrity baby in the comments. … Read More
The Museum of Broken Relationships is just what it purports to be: a place where one can donate or discard objects that remind you of your former paramour. If you’re in London these next few weeks, we suggest you head over to the Tristan Bates Theatre before September 4 to see the exhibition in person. As it says on the website: “Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection.” Scroll through our gallery to see real objects that have been sent to the museum, as well as stories which relate to the items in question (in a few cases, with some additional help from us), and if you’re feeling inspired, click here to send in your own item. What are some objects from past relationships you’ve kept, dear readers? Kindly tell us in the comments section below. … Read More
There are many writers, editors, and publishers featured in True Prep, Lisa Birnbach’s follow-up to the original blue blood Bible, 1980′s The Official Preppy Handbook. In a chapter entitled “The True Pantheon,” Birnbach sets her laurel wreath around the privileged heads of Ben Bradlee, Alfred A. Knopf, Paul Rudnick, Eric Segal, and even Dr. Seuss. And, bien sûr, John Updike, Edith Wharton, and F. Scott Fitzgerald also get their dues. But who are the preppy writers of Generations X and Y? Who will carry on the gin-soaked torch of those gone before? Here’s a partial list of prep-schoolers, Ivy Leaguers, and dapper literati who are turning out some of the most exciting American fiction on the current lit scene. … Read More