Graduation season is fast approaching, the time of the year when some of our favorite writers are tasked with summing up the wisdom to be accrued from the process of growing up in ten succinct minutes of witty truth. These days, a successful graduation speech has the very real chance of going viral, and then living forever as a book: from David Foster Wallace’s This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life to Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art, the best graduation speeches are finding a new life. This crop includes the brand-new Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders, a pretty-in-print encapsulation of his 2013 Syracuse Graduation speech. It’s reason enough to collect 30 of the best, wisest, and pithiest pieces of advice from the greatest writers to attempt the graduation …Read More
Few shows in television history have given their writers half as much fun as Matthew Weiner and his crew have with Mad Men. It’s why you always see so many reading lists for the show’s characters and compilations of all the books that have actually been featured on it: Mad Men is, at its heart, a very literary show, one whose influences are clear because its writers get to embed their favorite books into the story. Taking place in 1969, Season 7 is likely to cover world-changing events like the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, Woodstock, and the Manson Family murders (please hold your Megan death conspiracy theories), but the year was also filled with books that played a huge role in the cultural conversation of the time, and in some cases, had a lasting impact that can still be felt to this day. That’s why it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of these book covers on the final season of Mad Men.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate by getting yourself kissed today. Or, may we suggest finding a famous writer to smooch? In case you need a little inspiration (or just like to see writers making out), we’ve collected several adorable photos of famous authors in fond embraces, both vintage and quite recent.
Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ and 5 Other Unexpected Political Interpretations of Famous Books
Saul Alinsky, the community organizer and author of the book Rules for Radicals, was born on this day in 1909. If you haven’t been involved in political activism, you might recognize Alinsky’s name from the 2008 presidential election, when he was cited over and over as an influence on Barack Obama. A year later, it was reported that leaders in the Tea Party had also started using Alinsky’s book for their own organizational needs. Probably not what the author had in mind. But Alinsky’s isn’t the only book that has been used for political purposes they may not have been intended to serve; here are five others that have been interpreted in ways that range from inspiring to horrifying.
It caused an uproar upon its publication, but Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is considered by many to be her most famous work. She essentially conceived of The Hunger Games before it existed with her story about one village’s bizarre ritual, examining persecution, blind acceptance, and the parallels to her own life. Today is the author’s birthday. Inspired by “The Lottery’s” significance, we highlighted other controversial short stories, below. Feel free to add to our list with your personal favorites.
Everybody knows that a beer and a good book go quite well together — including the authors of said books. Since it’s October, everyone’s favorite month for beer (books are good any month of the year), indulge in a few of literature’s greatest quotes about the frothy stuff — from grand pronouncements to so-detailed-you-can-taste-it descriptions of the perfect …Read More
The air is getting crisper, the nights are getting longer, and All Hallow’s Eve draws near. You know what that means: it’s time to curl up with a book guaranteed to give you the shivers — or at least make you check the locks twice. Here, for your horrifying pleasure, are 50 of the scariest books ever written in the English language, whether horror, nonfiction, or speculative futures you never want to …Read More
Another year remembering the books that are mad, bad, and dangerous to know (we say this with a grin, of course) is coming to a close. Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read, while drawing attention to literature that has been challenged or banned. The number of books that have struggled against censorship is staggering, but there are also books about books that are considered a menace to society. Here are several of them. Leave us your picks, below.
People say it all the time: they’d love to get into science fiction or fantasy, but they’ve no idea where to start. If this is you (or if you’re one of those stubborn folks who looks snootily down on genre), listen up. Your trusty Flavorwire editors have a few suggestions for you — that is, a whole 50 sci-fi and fantasy novels that are well worth your time, whether you’re brand new to the concept of dragons and/or spaceships or a seasoned …Read More