Today is the first day of The Morning News‘s epic annual Tournament of Books, an excellent and wordy alternative (or supplement) to March Madness for all us literary types. To celebrate, we asked the ToB’s organizers — the venerable Rosecrans Baldwin, Kevin Guilfoile, John Warner, and Andrew Womack — to act as judges for a few imaginary literary match-ups. Because who doesn’t want to imagine the results of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky throwing down? After the jump, find out who would win in a fight — Mailer or Vidal, Hemingway or Faulkner, Dorothy Parker or anybody, and more. Don’t agree? Argue your literary hearts out in the comments, and then be sure to get in on the real-life highbrow smackdown here. … 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
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
With the endless buzz around HBO’s Girls – not to mention the backlash that’s still in full swing — popular culture has been consumed, over the past few weeks, with the debate over what an authentic depiction of young women’s lives would look like. While we’re of the opinion that it’s impossible for one work of art to represent this entire group, we agree that we could all stand to spend more time considering the experiences of those in our cohort whose existences are very different from our own. To that end, we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite books about young women, from the early 20th century through the present. Meet immigrants from all over the world, punk lesbians, debutantes, refugees in war-torn Nigeria, inspirational figures, and hot messes, after the jump. … Read More
Patrick Kingsley recently wrote in The Guardian about “poisonous literary feuds” and the peacemakers who could broker a truce. We ran a post on the subject last year, but thought we would do an international list of troublemakers this time around. We’d also like to honor the man who racked up the most hours feuding with his literary colleagues: Norman Mailer. Writers today generally aren’t as venomous toward each other (although maybe Colson Whitehead would disagree after his salivary encounter with Richard Ford). We have to agree with Mailer’s proclamation on The Dick Cavett Show: “I’m going to be the champ until one of you knocks me off.” … Read More
If you’re anything like us, then you’ve been harboring a healthy obsession with what might be called The Seattle Cannon for years, and you probably didn’t even realize it. Not only is Seattle one of the most literate cities in the US, it’s also home to a group of writers who have advanced America’s literary tradition, and considerably. Because the life of American letters is so often the subject of Flavorpill coverage, we are excited to announce our launch in Seattle. Be sure to tell all your friends from Washington to sign up for Flavorpill!
Starbucks is sponsoring our Seattle launch, and by way of a thank you (and in honor of their recent 40th anniversary), we’re running a retrospective of the city’s most noteworthy cultural contributions over the past four decades. Check out our final spotlight on Mary McCarthy, Jon Krakauer, and Tom Robbins after the jump. … Read More