Allibeth Simpson

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J.K. Rowling releasing new Harry Potter short stories for the holidays

Author J.K. Rowling plans to release a selection of new Harry Potter stories she's written as an early Christmas present to her fans, official Harry Potter website Pottermore reports.<p>"Christmas is coming early to Pottermore," according to the Pottermore Facebook post. "Starting Friday, December 12, …

Popular Plotted vs. Literary Thematic Stories: Margaret Atwood vs. Alice Munro—Part I

One of the most troublesome problems I face in trying to come up with meaningful suggestions about reading short stories is the question of whether a …

The 50 Best Independent Fiction and Poetry Books of 2014

2014 will go down as a landmark year in independent literature, chiefly because a few longstanding “trends” or “developments” are hardening into …

Books

6 Reasons Why Long Distance Train Travel Is Worth It

Taking a long-distance train is not the fastest mode of transportation, but it’s certainly much more relaxing than being crammed into flying metal tube with 150 of your closest friends. As long as you’re not in a hurry, it’s a great way to unplug, de-stress and maybe even meet some new friends. …

Christmas Books 2014: best fiction to read

Forget Amis, McEwan and the Booker winner — these are the best novels of 2014<p>Somewhere in the middle of Ali Smith’s delightfully fizzy novel <b>How To Be Both</b> (Hamish Hamilton, £16.99), the teenage protagonist interrupts her viewing of a film to “howl out loud like a wolf at its crapness”. I’ve …

Books

Jennifer Lawrence, Pop Star? Her Hunger Games Song Is a Top 40 Hit

Is there anything Jennifer Lawrence can’t do?<p>The actress, who at 24 already has an Oscar under her belt, is moving more toward Grammy territory with …

Two-sentence Thanksgiving fiction: New stories from Mona Simpson, Megan Abbott, Lydia Millet, Rebecca Makkai and many more

45 tiny, new stories from top writers, just two sentences and one rule: Include “thanks” in an interesting way<p>She was to have been home hours ago, having snuck from the house wearing only slippersocks to pick up the chestnuts and a jar of bayleaves without moths, leaving twelve relatives (including …

Best books of 2014

Publishers have their faults but they do not forget anniversaries. This year in books, accordingly, was always going to have an elegiac tone, so …

Book review: ‘Shark,’ by Will Self: Postmodern novel in a psychiatric community

In a 2012 Guardian profile around the publication of “Umbrella” — the first book in a planned trilogy that includes the recently released “Shark” — British novelist Will Self said, “I don’t really write for readers.” He expressed impatience with naturalistic fiction. “I just find it dull,” he said. …

Can I Convince Comedy Snobs to Stick With SNL? And Do Guys Like Outlander? Your Pressing TV Questions, Answered

<i>Welcome back to Stay Tuned, Vulture's TV advice column. Each Wednesday, Margaret Lyons answers your questions about your various TV triumphs and</i> …

9 writers on the inspiring books that shaped them

There are books that stay with you during important times in your life. A great book can get you through a bad breakup or a bad high school (though, …

Tequila 101

The ritual looked simple enough: Lick the back of your hand, sprinkle salt on it, lick the salt, knock back a jigger of distilled cactus juice, and suck a lime wedge. Trouble is, those things tended to get mixed up: lime preceded salt, tequila followed, everything dribbling from my chin as the …

Oddball USB stick offers infinite iPhone storage

Slo-mo videos have become my favorite new thing to shoot with the iPhone 6 Plus now that Apple added the ability to spit out gorgeous vids at 240 FPS, but my slo-mo addiction comes at a heavy cost: storage space.<p>The best smartphone camera in the world doesn’t mean jack if your 16GB iPhone can’t …

Portable

The Whisky Extravaganza: Old Favorites, Rare Malts and Mystery Drams

There are a lot of whisky events out there, patronized by a lot of people who, when confronted with a room full of alcohol, simply forget the meaning of the word restraint. These people can often be found in the restrooms about an hour into said events, returning their bounty in singular form to …

Travel Nirvana: 22 Tips to Bring the Joy Back to Air Travel

<i>Can you really get to heaven in economy class? Photo: LatinFlyer.com</i><p>Yeah, I know. Air travel isn't fun. And nearly every traveler loves to complain about it. I already did so with my earlier post, "The 7 Most Annoying Things that Airlines & Airports Do in Latin America," for which I got a lot of …

Burberry's Holiday Ad Is Four Minutes Of Smiling, Romeo Beckham Cuteness

Romeo, oh Romeo. You are swiftly becoming our favorite member of the Beckham clan.<p>The pint-sized "fashion-lover"stars in yet <i>another</i> new Burberry campaign, and this time there's a super cute video that goes along with it.<p>"From London With Love" is the UK-based brand's four minute, theatrical …

Benedict Cumberbatch Describes How He Would Play a Love Scene as Sherlock

"I'd know exactly how to please a woman"<p>When an <i>Elle UK</i> interviewer suggested <b>Benedict</b> <b>Cumberbatch</b>'s BBC version of Sherlock Holmes would be a "terrible …

What a Republican Senate Would Mean for World Politics

On Tuesday, when tens of millions of US voters go to the polls, they are very likely to deliver a US Senate majority to the Republican Party.<p>Six years into the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama and four years after the midterm elections that delivered control of the US House of …

Making Sense of It: 7 Greatest Absurdist Movies Ever

<i>Editor's Note: Brock Clarke is the author of</i> An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England<i>, which was a national bestseller, and the</i> …

I Attempted to Train My Waist With a Corset

In the past couple of months, both Kim and Khloé Kardashian Instagrammed pictures of themselves (I am not going to say the word <i>selfie</i> now that there …

Journalism May Be Common Core’s New English

Click the image to see all the stories in our series<p>When Common Core State Standards appeared in 2010, after more than two years of development, high …

In Defense of Male Aggression: What Liberals Get Wrong About Football

<b>I decided to quit the football team</b> in August 1986, right before the start of the ninth grade. I was a little bigger than most boys my age, but …

6 Things to Avoid Saying or Doing in the Presence of Friends Without Kids

I was at a mixed picnic this past weekend. And by mixed, I mean that there were people at said picnic both with kids and without. (Although admittedly the number of guests without kids was small, as we parents know how hard it is to get our childfree friends to give up a weekend day to come hang …

What Do You Really Mean When You Say ‘Basic Bitch’?

Over the past year, we have arrived at an odd cultural and lexicographical moment: To dress “normal” is the height of chic, yet to call someone …

Hitler Was a Meth Head

A new documentary from Britain’s Channel 4, based on a “47-page wartime dossier compiled by American Military Intelligence,” contains a startling …

Who Is Su

Four years ago, inside a classroom at Montgomery community college outside Washington, D.C., Susan Meck—who goes by Su and who was then, technically, …

Teen’s Violent Rape Shared on Snapchat

The mother of a 16-year-old Massachusetts girl says her daughter’s brutal rape was recorded and posted to the photo- and video-sharing app …

Gym Days Are Drunk Days

Fact: Exercise makes beer taste better. And no doubt because of this, on the days people exercise, they tend to drink more, too, finds a new paper …