Staff Confessions: Our Favorite Guilty Pleasure Reads

We all try to read books that enlighten us, teach us something about the world, or give us insights we might otherwise have missed. We think it’s important to read great literature and culturally important works. But let’s be honest: we also want to read books that entertain the crap out of us. And sure, we may judge other people on what they read — whether it’s books that could have us running for the hills or sidling up with our sexiest face on — but that doesn’t mean we’re saints ourselves. Just like anyone else, we indulge in guilty pleasure reading: books we know are about as good for us as an enormous chocolate sundae, but also equally delicious. Click through to see some of our most treasured lowbrow treats, and then if you feel emboldened, admit to your own guilty pleasure reads in the comments. … Read More

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A Collection of Incredibly Gorgeous Comic Book Art

This week saw the release of Batman: Death by Design, a much-anticipated collaboration between graphic designer and author Chip Kidd and illustrator Dave Taylor that is being hailed everywhere for its gorgeous art (which as far as we’re concerned, totally makes up for the slightly weak story). Inspired by this new interpretation of a ubiquitous and oft-recreated figure, we put together a small collection of some of the most beautiful comic book art in recent memory, both covers and interior work, for your perusal. Click through to feast your eyes on a few gorgeous comics, and make sure to point us to your favorite graphic beauties in the comments. … Read More

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Bookish Brands: 25 Pieces of Awesome Literary Street Art

Graffiti artists aren’t particularly known for their bookishness. After all, when you spend your nights out on the street as a graphic art vigilante, you’re missing important time that could be spent snuggled up in bed with a book. So after we saw this spectacular Isaac Asimov portrait, we decided to go hunting for graffiti with a distinct literary bent — and in fact, the world abounds with bookish street art, from portraits of favorite authors to stenciled and scribbled quotes to representations of beloved characters. Click through to see twenty five of our favorite finds, from the reverent to the blatantly mocking, and let us know which author’s likeness you’d most like to stencil onto the walls of your city in the comments — or get out there and contribute to our collection. … Read More

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15 Great Works of Literature-Inspired Nail Art

Earlier this week, we discovered a set of lovely golden Lord of the Rings-inspired nails over at io9, and we have to admit that we’ve been daydreaming about our perfect literary dream manicures ever since. After all, we’ve already gushed over (and failed at trying to replicate) these awesome Twin Peaks nails, so it’s only fair we give a little love to the literary side of fingernail-based super-fandom. Because if you’re serious about being a literary nerd, why not extend your love of books to the very tools that let you turn the pages and proclaim your great taste in reading material to the world all at once? Click through to get inspired by a few of our favorite works of literary nail art, and let us know which books you’re dying to have at your fingertips in the comments! … Read More

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James Franco Asks What Will Happen to Live-Action Actors

Back in September, James Franco scored his first The Paris Review byline with a piece that introduced the magazine’s highbrow readership to River, his Gus Van Sant-blessed cut of My Own Private Idaho. In the months since, he has reviewed Restless (an indie love story directed by Van Sant) and written a piece juxtaposing The… Read More

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Kid Literary Characters and Their Grown-Up Counterparts

We recently discovered something we didn’t know about the Steig Larsson books — that he modeled his introverted computer hacker protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, on childhood favorite Pippi Longstocking. When delivering his Millenium series to his publisher, Larsson wrote, “My point of departure was what Pippi Longstocking would be like as an adult. Would she be called a sociopath because she looked upon society in a different way and has no social competence?” Well maybe, but we have to agree with Slate‘s analysis that cheery, delightfully odd Pippi Longstocking is not a believable younger version of the tough-as-nails Lisbeth Salander. Nevertheless, the idea got us to thinking about other literary legacies, and whether any of our favorite young characters might have grown up into other, older literary figures that we know and love. Click through to check out the pairs that we came up with, and let us know who you think would grow up to be who in the comments. … Read More

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A Brief Guide to Fictional Languages in Literature

This week, we were treated to a great article on the creation of the Dothraki language, as it is spoken in the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. Inspired by this new insight into the culture of Khal Drogo, we decided to take the opportunity to look into some other interesting fictional languages, from complete universes with many dialects to what amounts to English augmented by very creative slang. Before you rise up in righteous fury, this is only a guide to languages either solely or originally conceived of in books, so nerd-favorites Na’vi and Klingon are excluded — but you’ve already heard too much about them anyway. Click through to read our brief guide to fictional languages in literature, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorites in the comments. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. It’s official: Shooting on Skyfall, the 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise, begins on Monday. Joining Daniel Craig for the Sam Mendes-helmed project (which it should be noted, will not connect with Craig’s previous two Bond films, plot-wise): Academy Award winner Javier Bardem, who was previously cast as the villain — although it’s… Read More

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Literary Matchmaking: Characters Who Would Date in Real Life

Today marks the release of Jeffrey Eugenides’s third novel, The Marriage Plot, a modern take on Victorian matchmaking novels and the women who love them. We adored the book, and all its protagonist’s Jane Austen talk, coupled with her own love triangle, got us to thinking about pulling an Emma and trying a little literary matchmaking of our own. We’ve already taken a stab at guessing which literary characters would be best friends in real life, but of course, when love is involved, the stakes are a little higher. Click through to check out the literary characters we think would totally fall for each other if they met in real life, and let us know your own ideas for star-crossed lovers in the comments. … Read More

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10 Style Icons of the Comic Book World

Comic book characters tend to embody the most petrifying of fashion nightmares, from wearing underwear as outerwear to donning full-body, technicolor spandex suits in broad daylight. Since life within the panels of a comic book tends to be only slightly less sartorially inspiring than being stuck in an ’80s workout video, we think residents of Gotham and Radiant City deserve an extra-hard pat on the back when they bust out runway-worthy looks. Browse our look book of the graphic world’s trendiest style icons after the jump. … Read More

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