Mark Twain

20 Photos of Famous Authors in Awesome Costumes

Halloween is fast approaching, and if you’re the writerly (read: introverted, inside-cat) type, you may be experiencing some anxiety about dressing up in a costume and walking the streets. But take heart: some of your very favorite authors have been known to don a costume from time to time, too. So it must be cool, right? This slideshow is also appropriate for those itching to wear a literary costume this year but who have already worn out their Poe ravens and DFW bandannas: go meta and dress as one of your favorite authors in one of their costumes. Click through to see some amazing writers dressed to the… 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 Writing Tools of 20 Famous Authors

It’s no secret that writers can be quite particular about their writing tools. Some might call it an obsession or fetish, but the pens, pencils, notebooks, and other implements that authors have used to create their most famous works endlessly fascinates us. After reading an ode to the beloved Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencil, adored for its smooth, firm graphite, we had to find out more about the tools of the literary elite. Take notes, and save your pennies to purchase these writing instruments for… Read More

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50 of the Best Books You Haven’t Read by Authors You Already Love

Looking for something to read but don’t want to stray too far from the authors you know and love? Seeking undiscovered literary gems to talk about at dinner parties? Want to delve into the backlist of a certain Great American Author? Well, Flavorwire has got you covered. After all, sometimes, amazing books just get lost in the shuffle, whether it’s because they’re before their time, fall out of fashion, or their author has one blockbuster that blots out all the rest. Click through to check out 50 great under-appreciated, under-read, and overshadowed novels by 50 of your favorite… Read More

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Jane Austen’s Most Famous Trolls, Critics, and Doubters

Such is the modern state of affairs that if you successfully argue that they should put Jane Austen’s face on a British ten-pound note, you will find yourself subject to rape, bomb, and death threats on the Internet. That’s what happened in the last little while to a British feminist who took up the cause, and everyone who swiftly came to her defense. And now, as a result, we are looking at the inauguration of a Twitter “report abuse” button which pretty much everyone points out is going to be a mess to administer. It’s all very baffling. … Read More

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13 Author Quotes That Will Make You Hungry

After obsessing over her blog, we knew that Kate Christensen’s autobiography Blue Plate Special, told with a side of some of her most memorable meals, would be an enjoyable read. It’s one of those rare examples of a book that can make you happy, sad, and also really hungry for lapin á la cocotte, and it got us thinking about some other great writers’ pithiest and most appetizing thoughts on food. … Read More

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The First 10 Works of Fiction You Should Read If You’ve Never Read a Book Before

Recently, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver told reporters that — while he has written more than 20 cookbooks — he had never read a whole book until recently, when he finished Suzanne Collins’s Hunter Games sequel, Catching Fire. Oliver said, “I’ve never read a book in my life, which I know sounds incredibly ignorant but I’m dyslexic and I get bored easily.” Fair enough. As a kind of thought experiment, Flavorwire has picked out the first ten books that an adult who is new to reading should pick up. Quibbles or further suggestions? Add them in the comments. … Read More

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Lewis Carroll’s Letter to Alice Liddell and Other Artifacts From the NYPL’s Children’s Books Exhibition

Last Friday, an essential exhibit for book lovers and onetime children of all stripes opened at the New York Public Library: The ABC Of It: Why Children’s Books Matter. Within, you can find the copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that belonged to Alice Liddell, a recording of E.B. White reading from Charlotte’s Web, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s family copy of Mother Goose, complete with annotations on which sections were too scary for the children, the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals, and more delights. Take a look at some of the treasures the exhibit has to offer after the jump, and head on up to the NYPL to see the show in person before it closes next March. … Read More

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Fascinating Early-20th-Century Color Photos of Famous People

There are some historical figures who we always think of in black and white. After all, the world trucked on in monochrome, Pleasantville-style, until the middle of the 20th century, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, color photography dates back to the mid-1800s — the first three-color process photo was taken in 1855, but it wasn’t until 1907 that the first commercially viable method of color photography, Lumière Autochrome, was invented — and perhaps unsurprisingly, photographers jumped to take snapshots of their famous friends. Below, some notable characters, from Mark Twain to Auguste Rodin, whom we usually see in black and white, showing their true colors. … Read More

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