Happy New Year! Now get to work. Everyone loves a good resolution at this time of year, but in three weeks’ time? Whole different story. So what to do when your resolve is flagging and you need a little reminder of the shiny new self you promised past you? Well, you might try and take some inspiration from a good book. After all, the worst that can happen is that you’ll have gotten some quality literature under your belt, right? Here, you’ll find book prescriptions for ten worthy resolutions, from getting healthier to learning new skills to reading more poetry. Yes. You’re… Read More
This week saw the release of Ben Lerner’s 10:04, which, beside being a truly remarkable book, happens to feature a hilarious scene of masturbation. Despite the fact that it has been dubbed by some “literature’s last taboo,” the onanist impulse crops up more than you’d think in novels, and often makes for some great — or at least greatly amusing — writing. After the jump, a few favorites from literature both classic and contemporary for you to giggle over.
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Back-to-school time is upon us, and for many, that means reading for pleasure will give way to burning through that syllabus. Classrooms, especially high school classrooms (college classes are becoming so weird and specific nowadays that you could read just about anything in them), suffer from the “classic effect” — which is exactly what it sounds like. Not that there’s anything wrong with literary classics, and they definitely should be read, but there’s so much more out there. And when you consider the fact that one-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives — well, it would be nice if they had a little more to go on than The Great Gatsby. After the jump, find a selection of books you’ll (probably) never read in high school, but should still read, and add your own favorite anti-schoolbooks to the list in the comments.
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Not to get too philosophical, but it’s hard to define what is truly funny. Is it something that has you falling on the floor laughing or something that has you chuckling inside while also pondering the absurdity of the human condition? What’s important is that humor works as a device that can make you laugh with reckless abandon, but also ponder this strange situation we call life. Not everything that’s funny has to start off with “Knock knock,” and these 25 books offer an opportunity to see how writers have used humor in different ways, to often-brilliant… Read More
Short stories are deceptive. We’re led to believe that smaller and shorter means faster and easier to pull off, yet any fiction writer worth their salt will tell you that trying to cram an entire story into a few pages is no easy task, and writing a truly great short story takes far more time than some might imagine. Think about that, and multiply it by however many stories the authors of the following exemplary collections have written to fill their books in a year when major media outlets started to take note of the fact that we are indeed living through a truly great time for the short story.
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For even the most seasoned of book nerds, a trip to the beach can raise some difficult questions. After all, you don’t want to waste your precious vacation minutes reading something you’ll forget by the time your suntan fades, but a beach towel is also (probably) not the ideal location to tackle Ulysses. With this weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, Flavorwire has you covered with a list of twenty decidedly highbrow but still totally beach-appropriate… Read More
This week, while reading an exceptional mini-profile of Sam Lipsyte over at Vulture, we came across a delightful photo of the author performing with his punk band of 20-odd years ago. Inspired, we set to searching out the long-forgotten (or relatively recent) photos of more of our favorite authors and their bands. After the jump, check out our roundup of famous authors rocking out onstage.
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If it’s anything, March is a month of transition — that liminal space between February’s harsh cold shoulder and April’s underhanded promise of spring. So why not weather the awkward weeks reading? Luckily, this March boasts a spectacular spate of new books, from essential reissues of forgotten classics to sparkling debut novels to new forms from modern masters. Click through for ten of our must-reads for the month… Read More
Though we’re sure he’s no slouch himself, Adam Wilson sure knows a thing or two about the intricacies of slackerdom. His debut novel Flatscreen, which hit shelves this week, is the hilarious story of professional slacker Eli Schwartz — perpetually stoned, uncomfortably doughy, cheerfully lewd — who is forced to face up to certain facts of life (and required to put on pants) when his (parents’) home is purchased by an aging, sex-addicted ex-TV star in a wheelchair. As you might imagine, hijinks ensue, most of which are relatively unflattering to our friend Eli, but he manages to slouch and whine his way towards a satisfying conclusion. Since he’s the expert, we asked Wilson to tell us about his all-time favorite literary slacker novels — click through to check out his (also very funny) list, and then be sure to tell us about your own preferred misanthropic reads in the comments!
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