This week, we read a great interview with Meg Wolitzer (whose just-released novel The Interestings is currently being enjoyed by more than one member of this office). “Men,” she says, “with very few exceptions, won’t read books about women.” Though not exactly a new idea, this pronouncement gains a little force by coming hot on the heels of GQ‘s “The New Canon: The 21 Books from the 21st Century Every Man Should Read,” which contains (you guessed it, drumroll please, etc.) three books written by women. Though we won’t disparage any of the books that made the list, we will offer our own — as an attempt to work towards ameliorating the problem laid out by Wolitzer and neatly exemplified by GQ. After all, though there are three books by women on their list, only the Munro could really be said to be primarily about them. After the jump, 21 books by and about women that we think every man should read. … Read More
Around this time last year, we gave you a list of a few of our all-time favorite short stories that were available to read online for free. By now, we expect that you’ve read them all, so we thought it was high time to collect a few more. After the jump, ten more short stories that you can read for free — on your phone on the train, while pretending to work, printed out with a cup of tea on the couch — all of them guaranteed to be great (and a few that were suggested by readers on our first go-around). But of course, the Internet abounds with these, so if you’ve a generous spirit, you could even add to our list in the comments. Happy reading. … Read More
Today would have been the 110th birthday of one of history’s sexiest women, Anaïs Nin. To honor her confessional and often erotic literary legacy, we suggest you spend the day reading something unabashedly sexy — but no, not Fifty Shades of Meek Girl Blushing. It wouldn’t be a tribute to Ms. Nin if it didn’t have any literary merit. After the jump, cuddle up to our picks for the ten sexiest literary works of all time — but as in all things romantic, it’s to each their own, so if these leave you cold, suggest your own favorite titillating reads in the comments. … Read More
Recently, we stumbled upon this list of “fun” books that every woman should read in her 20s — needless to say, if you’re even a casual visitor to this space, the books (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Bitches on a Budget) aren’t exactly the ones we’d choose. So, perhaps rather predictably, we decided to put together our own list instead. Now, don’t forget, these are books for women in their 20s — we assume you’ve already read as much Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott as you care to, we expect that you’ve already tackled To Kill a Mockingbird and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Jane Eyre. And though women should read all books about all kinds of things and by all kinds of authors, this list sort of necessarily skews towards both female writers and characters, given the topic of the day. Click through to check out our reading list — and since every woman should read more than 20 books in her 20s (hundreds, ladies!), add your own favorites in the comments. … Read More
Was it just us, or did the holidays totally sneak up on everyone this year? If you’re headed to a family gathering this weekend and scrambling for last-minute gifts for your relatives, don’t forget that you pretty much can’t go wrong with a good book. It’s all a matter of picking the right book for the right relative. Sound hard? Well not to worry, dearest procrastinators, we’ve got you covered. After the jump, read through our suggestions (and our second choices) for books for every member of your family. Let us know what you ended up choosing in the comments! … Read More
Year-end best-of book lists can be tough. After all, if you’re anything like us, you’re still catching up on the best books of 2010 — or 1910 — and only sneaking a few brand new hardcovers into the mix. So when sitting down to contemplate our collective year in reading, we decided to include everything, not just the new stuff. After the jump, your humble literary editor and a few other Flavorpill staffers expound on the best books we read this year — whether they be books that came out this year, or just the ones we finally (finally!) got around to reading. And inquiring minds want to know, dear readers, what was the best book you read this year? Let us know in the comments. … Read More
Ten years ago, Dave Eggers published the inaugural volume of his Best American Nonrequired Reading series, which has since attracted a devoted following of outside-the-box readers of all ages. It’s hard to believe the series that anthologized so many of our favorite pieces is already celebrating its tenth anniversary this month, but hey, time flies when you’re reading. Once again, Eggers and his team of student volunteers have outdone themselves, bringing together a compilation of irreverent lists, timely journalism, top short fiction, and graphic pieces representing the best of the year, kicking off with a love letter to the art of reading by Ray Bradbury, completed just weeks before his passing.
To celebrate ten years of the beloved anthology, we picked ten additional “nonrequired” reading selections that stood out to us in 2011 and beyond, all available for you to read online. While we didn’t envy Eggers and his team the task of choosing their twenty best, we embraced their idiosyncratic spirit by choosing the pieces that excited us most. This is in no way a comprehensive list, so be sure to share your favorite pieces that didn’t appear on any college syllabi or required reading lists in our comments section, and then check out The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 when it hits bookstores this Tuesday. … Read More
Tomorrow, Junot Díaz’s newest story collection, This is How You Lose Her, hits shelves, and we predict that everyone you know will be reading it by the weekend. Or at least they should be — this messy, vulgar set of tales about misadventures of the heart is filled with Díaz’s signature searing voice, loveable/despicable characters and so-true-it-hurts goodness. To celebrate Díaz’s new collection, we’ve put together a collection of a few more of our all-time favorite love stories, from the recent to the classic, and dealing with all kinds of that most complex emotion. Of course, this is not by all means a definitive list — we rejoice at how un-definitive it is, in fact — so please add your own favorite short stories on love in the comments. … Read More
Last weekend, Lena Dunham’s much talked about HBO show Girls aired its season finale, and though like everyone else, we had our quibbles with the program, we’re finding ourselves more than a little sorry that we don’t have a new episode to look forward to tonight. There’s nothing like it on television, so while we wait for the second season, we thought we’d indulge in a little Girls-esque reading to slake our lust for realistic female friendships, uncomfortable-but-brilliant sex scenes, and bitingly accurate portrayals of semi-lost 20-somethings. Click through to see our recommendations for books to fill the Girls-shaped hole in your life (or just in your Sundays), and if you feel inspired, feel free to add to our list in the comments. … Read More
You might know Diane Farr as agent Megan Reeves in the television series Numb3rs, but we prefer her in the FunnyOrDie skit, AssCastles. Farr recently released her “concept memoir,” titled, Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After, where she introduces her relationship with her Korean-American husband in order to explore how other couples and their families have dealt with miscegenation issues. Though the writing isn’t stellar, the fundamental premise is a good one, since we still very much live in a racist country, despite all the “post-race” discussions we all had following the 2008 presidential election.
With this in mind, we decided to run a list of 10 controversial couples in literature. We all know the forbidden romance between Romeo and Juliet and Heloise and Abelard, but what about other works of literature that feature transgressive love? The categories are as follows: Age difference, racial difference, star-crossing, class mixing, same-sex relationships, extramarital affairs, and our favorite: sibling love. … Read More