Virginia Woolf

London’s “Books About Town” Turns Iconic Literary Works Into Public Art

As of yesterday, the citizens of London can take a breather on one of 50 “Books About Town,” a collaboration between the National Literacy Trust and public art organization Wild in Art. Each book-shaped bench is decorated with an artist’s rendition of works such as Alex Rider and War Horse, running the gamut from contemporary subway reads to longtime favorites. Click through for a sampling of our favorites, including tributes to Charles Darwin and Bridget Jones. … Read More

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Susan Hashtag, Oh No She Didion’t, and Other Punny Illustrations of Cultural Icons

Catherine Pearson’s Vaguely Important People series offers irreverent twists on subjects most would consider very important: from W.B. Yeats to Susan Sontag, Pearson tweaks art museum and college bookshelf staples into playful, pun-laden illustrations. Considering Sontag’s views on photography, we don’t imagine she’d be too happy with her portrait as a selfie-taking hashtag addict, but along with “DJ W.B. Beatz” and “Jane Birkinstock,” she’s certainly in good company. All of Pearson’s prints are available for purchase here; click through for a look at a sampling of her VIPs. … Read More

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All Hail the bell hooks Creepline: 15 Pithy Kiss-Offs From Famous Feminists

In case you haven’t heard of the latest great tool for 21st-century women, there’s now a phone number that will respond to calls or texts with bell hooks quotes. Which makes it absolutely perfect as a fake number to hand out to creeps when you don’t feel safe politely declining their advances. Drop some feminist knowledge on their asses, huzzah! … Read More

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20 Great Biographies of Famous Authors

There’s always something exciting about reading a literary figure’s memoir, learning the details of their personal life (those they’re willing to share, anyway) and getting a glimpse into their creative process. But it’s perhaps more illuminating to read an outsider’s account of a literary great, assembled from years of reporting and sifting through private papers. A literary biography might not be as sensational as, say, the life story of a doomed Hollywood starlet (although certainly a fair number of novelists, playwrights, and poets have lived turbulent lives), but they do offer a complete picture that shatters the fourth walls of our favorite writers’ work. Here’s a collection of great bios that accomplish just… Read More

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Absurd Urban Dictionary Definitions of Famous Authors

You probably know Urban Dictionary as the place where parental types lurk and where the English language goes to die. As crass as the definitions are, they’re occasionally accurate — especially in the case of these famous authors. Urban Dictionary users have a crude way of getting right to the point, which is where the humor in these definitions of iconic literary figures shines bright. They’re not exactly factual, but we can’t argue that Poe’s life sucked, that Franz Kafka needs his own rock opera, or that Vonnegut is deserving of much worship. Presented without comment, and with grammatical/spelling errors intact, see how Urban Dictionary defines your favorite writers, below. … Read More

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25 Books Every Writer Should Read

The hard work, the MFA vs. NYC debate, the negativity, the importance of a good Twitter account, the parties you have to go to, the readings you have to do, the people you should meet, the agents you need to impress — amid all the different ways writers have found to obsess over what it takes to be successful, we sometimes forget the most important thing of all: great writers need to be great readers. Of course, you can’t read everything, but once you’ve moved past the totally obvious titles, consider adding these 25 books to your TBR… Read More

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50 Incredible Novels Under 200 Pages

Springtime can make even the most devoted of readers a little bit antsy. After all, there are flowers to smell, puddles to jump in, fresh love to kindle. You still want to have a novel in your pocket — just maybe one that doesn’t require quite so epic an attention span. Never fear: after the jump, you will find 50 incredible novels under 200 pages (editions vary, of course, so there’s a little leeway) that are suitable for this or any… Read More

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50 Sexy Books to Get You in the Mood (for Valentine’s Day)

As Valentine’s Day (not to mention yet another cold night) approaches, you may find yourself in the mood for love. But what if you don’t? Never fear, because all you have to do is pick up a book. Yes, reading is sexy — especially when you’re reading one of these books, which range from literary fiction (with, ahem, some notable scenes) to famously romantic plays to “highbrow academia porn” to real literary erotica.… Read More

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10 Cold Weather Book and Music Pairings for Deep Thinkers

Reading a book while listening to music that relies heavily on a singer is a difficult challenge, as the lyrics that are being crooned or screamed into your ears (or both, if you’re going through Nick Cave’s discography) could interfere with your ability to soak up every word on the page. But let’s say you really want to listen to Nick Cave while you’re reading. What works best if you want to really concentrate on a book while listening to music? In honor of the current cold snap, which may well be keeping you inside with your paperback and vinyl libraries, we present a second round of suggestions. … Read More

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50 Novels Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person

It’s a new year, and resolutions are flying left and right. Here’s one that’s always on everyone’s mind, beginning of the year or no: how to be a better person. Well, since science keeps proving that reading literary fiction accomplishes that very fact, why not attack a novel in order to spruce up your heart and mind? Click through for 50 novels to make you kinder, cleverer, more productive, and a whole lot more open to the experience of… Read More

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