[Editor's note: It's Labor Day, so your devoted Flavorwire team is taking a break. To keep you entertained, we're leaving you with our most popular features of the summer months. This post originally ran June 15th.] We’ve always wondered how many people read specific books to seem cool — and how many people deftly sidestep talking about the books that perhaps cast them in a less-than-flattering light. Recently, we were tickled by an edition of Ask the Paris Review, wherein the always-delightful Sadie Stein answered the question “What’s a book I should read to make girls think I’m smart in a hot way?” by polling her friends and colleagues. The answers, of course, varied widely, proving that it sort of depends on the girl.
Though it’s good to know what to do to seem appealing to the opposite sex, it’s also good to know what not to do — that is, to know which books might send a potential mate running for the hills should they be spotted on your nightstand or peeking out from your back pocket. In the interest of seeing the full picture, we asked both men and women of various sexual orientations to share the books that they think render their devotees totally undateable. So click through to see which titles you should avoid like the plague — or at least hide in a desk drawer somewhere when you’re entertaining — and don’t forget to pitch in with the books that would make you cut and run in the comments.
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What do J.D. Salinger’s most famous novel and Hollywood movie-style pyrotechnics have in common? Not much outside of sheer joy in doing harm to personal property. Nowhere is that connection clearer than in photographer and Brighton University student Jody Daunton’s recent series, which captures some truly epic automobile explosions, and is prefaced with the following quote from The Catcher in the Rye: “Take most people, they’re crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they’re always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car they start thinking about trading it in for one that’s even newer. I don’t even like old cars. I mean they don’t even interest me. I’d rather have a goddamn horse. A horse is at least human for God’s sake.” Click through to see some of our favorite shots from the series, which we discovered via Fubiz, and visit Daunton’s website to see more of his work.
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Today marks the 61st anniversary of J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, a novel that introduced us to the most beloved/hated embodiment of disaffected youth in all of literature — and quite possibly pop culture as a whole. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up ten things that Holden Caulfield hates. We could have taken the easy way out and just said all of humanity, but that wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining. And besides, nothing makes you feel more grateful about the fact that you’re not a self-destructive, angst-ridden teenager (anymore) than reminding yourself exactly why Holden Caulfield loathes Jesus’ Disciples.
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The connection between literature and food is a long and storied one. After all, literature is reflection of or commentary on life, and food is what sustains that life, so it’s no wonder that we think they’re meant to be together. Or maybe we’re just trying to support our snacking-and-reading habit. Either way, we love this photo series from the aptly-named graphic designer Dinah Fried, entitled Fictitious Dishes, wherein Fried recreates the famous meals from some of our favorite classic novels. And man, does that clam chowder look good — maybe we finally understand why Melville spent a whole chapter talking about it.
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Special footwear for lit-geeks? Yes please. Yesterday’s edition of Shelf Awareness pointed us towards some sweet sneakers inspired by the art and text of literary classics like Slaughterhouse Five, The Catcher in the Rye, Romeo and Juliet and more, in a growing collection based on “fantastic books everyone should read before they die.” It’s a great idea, and hyper-nerdy in the best of ways, but a little hit-or-miss in its execution. For example, we adore the cream-colored Catcher kicks, but “Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death” is perhaps not the line we’d choose to have on our Romeo and Juliet-themed shoes if we had our druthers. All in all though, we think they’re pretty cool, and if we see anyone on the street wearing these sneakers paired with one of these, we will straight up hug them. That’s a promise. Click through to see some of the literary-themed sneaks, and if you too want to proclaim your stellar literary taste to the world, and possibly get a hug from us, be sure to pick up a pair over at Zazzle.
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If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Welcome to the first installment of a new feature on Flavorwire, where we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero.
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What does Holden Caulfield mean to you? With his creator’s death yesterday, intense discussion of just how influential J.D. Salinger’s idealist protagonist was in shaping the mindset of the millions who devoured The Catcher in the Rye is inevitable. Without a doubt, some of this influence seeped into the music world, so we’ve compiled a quick playlist of tracks that are both explicitly and subtly inspired by the novel. You may be surprised at who felt the Caulfield connection enough to include it in song.
Considering source material that’s this iconic, it’s a safe bet we missed a few (or more) here, so let us know which other songs you see as directly inspired by Salinger’s classic in the comments.
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Earlier this summer, famous reclusive and former author J.D. Salinger sued to stop publication of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, an authorized “sequel” to his classic The Catcher in the Rye. And who can blame him? His aging protagonist, Holden Caulfield now is “dazed and confused, and has a weak bladder.” But what might have happened to Caulfield if Salinger hadn’t abandoned New York publishing in favor of the New Hampshire woods? Would Caulfield drop out like his literary creator? Perhaps. But given his teenage drinking, it’s more likely that he’s living it up Jay McInerney-style in New York.… Read More
Variety reports that Don’t You Forget About Me, the documentary with the central question of “What ever happened to John Hughes?”, has been picked up by Alliance Films of Montreal. In what must be a bittersweet turn of events for director Matt Austin-Sadowski, it took the late filmmaker‘s sudden death last week for the project to finally gain attention, and now, a distributor.
The documentary is only one of several nostalgic remembrances of Hughes that have come to light recently. One blogger wrote about being pen pals with Hughes as a high schooler. In the Wall Street Journal, Jovi Juan looked back on Sixteen Candles, which was filmed next-door to the house he grew up in. It’s not surprising that so many people had personal connections to Hughes, a man whose stock-in-trade was not the dastardly machinations that pass for high school drama on Gossip Girl, but old-fashioned high school… Read More
1. Regardless of how it does at the box office, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is already a social media blockbuster. [via Mashable]
2. Banned or not, why that Catcher in the Rye sequel never stood a chance with readers. [via Slate]
3. Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say… Read More