Roald Dahl

Crotchety Roald Dahl Letter Rediscovered by British Journalist

We all know Roald Dahl as an unlikely giant of children’s literature, who wrote whimsically terrifying, age-inappropriate novels that probably haunted… Read More

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Must-Hear Audio Books Narrated by Pop Culture Favorites

“As a narrator, [Edward] Herrmann has presence, and his rich, patrician voice is unmistakable, but he never upstages the text, instead drawing in the listener with authority and calm assurance. He has a voice we love to listen to,” wrote AudioFile Magazine of the famed character actor who passed away earlier this week. Herrmann’s distinctive tones have elevated the art of the narrator. We’re looking at other famous faces who went behind the scenes to give life to the literature we love. … Read More

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50 of the Scariest Short Stories of All Time

It’s that time of year again, when the pumpkins come out, the fake cobwebs are hung and we feel that dormant urge to be chilled, thrilled and spooked to our bones. Get out your flashlights, because a scary story awaits — actually, make that fifty of them. Now, there’s more to scary stories than goblins, ghouls, blood and your general horror — here there be monsters of many kinds, existential and literal, extraordinary and everyday. And remember: like beauty, fear is in the bloody eye of the beholder. So whether you yearn for classic horror or literary fiction guaranteed to make your skin crawl, read on. If you dare! … Read More

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50 of the Greatest Characters in Literature

One of the things literature does better than almost any other medium is allow us to experience another person’s quality of mind, and sometimes even inhabit it. It follows, then, that every avid reader has a favorite literary character — whether they’re beloved for dastardly deeds, tough-girl antics, sex appeal, or a high snark quotient — and that there are many impossibly good ones out there. Click through to find 50 of the… Read More

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10 Truly Terrible Book Jacket Redesigns

UK’s Vintage Books released a set of six redesigned versions of novels from Jeanette Winterson’s backlist, created by Vintage’s senior designer. Now, while Vintage does often put out great designs, these are not great. They are bad. They are lazy and hard to look at and don’t reflect any of the beauty and complexity of Winterson’s prose, nor her ideas. It’s always unfortunate when books are redesigned and their covers end up worse, but it’s particularly bad when those books are beloved. Click through for a list of sadly terrible book cover redesigns to avoid on books that should be… Read More

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Should the Word ‘Slut’ Be in a Children’s Book in 2014?

Recently, the Australian supermarket chain Aldi removed Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes from its shelves in response to, as an Aldi spokeswoman put it, “comments by a limited number of concerned customers regarding the language used in this particular book.” According to The Guardian, the book was removed after at least one person commented on Aldi’s Facebook page about the book, saying it had “an unacceptable word in it for kids!!! Not ok!” Since apparently stores are now paying attention to what people say on their Facebook pages (it is the future, everyone), Aldi is now facing protest from people on both sides of the aisle. … Read More

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10 Dark, Creepy Children’s Books Every Kid Should Read

Amazon’s editors released their picks for “100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime” this week. While no one’s knocking Babar or Harry Potter, the list felt like it was missing some of our favorite strain of children’s lit: the creepy kind. Although a few notable exceptions — Coraline, Where the Wild Things Are — certainly raise the hair on young readers’ necks, we were nonetheless inspired to put together our favorite children’s lit that’s more macabre than Mr. Popper’s Penguins.… Read More

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50 Essential Novels for Foodies

‘Tis the season, as they say, to stuff your face. Thanksgiving, that hallowed day of highly caloric foods and oft-tempestuous family relations, is upon us. To celebrate — or just to escape the festivities for a while — why not nourish the foodie in you with some gourmand-friendly literature? Behold, a spread worthy of kings: 50 essential works of fiction to whet your appetite, and then satisfy it, and then satisfy it some… Read More

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The Greatest Monsters in Children’s Literature

Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are celebrated its 50th anniversary over the weekend. Sendak’s tale about a young boy whose imagination transports him to a land full of “wild things” was an early, rare portrait of the dark emotions children learn to cope with. “If I’ve done anything, I’ve had kids express themselves as they are, impolitely, lovingly… they don’t mean any harm. They just don’t know what the right way is,” Sendak said of the book in a 2004 interview. The many monsters in children’s literature have helped young readers face their fears, empowering them — and in some cases, frightening them to tears. Here are 13 of the greatest… Read More

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