Literature etc

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Why I stopped using bookmarks

If you read this way, you won’t need them either<p>Have you ever found yourself flipping back a few pages in a book, trying to get a sense of what you …

Authors

28 books Bill Gates thinks everyone should read

While Bill Gates has a schedule that's planned down to the minute, the entrepreneur-turned-billionaire-humanitarian still gobbles up about a book a week.<p>Aside from a handful of novels, they're mostly nonfiction books covering his and his foundation's broad range of interests. A lot of them are …

Books

10 Books for Country Goths

I was born and raised in a small, rural farm town, and was a queer punky goth teenager. So, I know what it’s like to simultaneously feel right at …

Books

Could The Handmaid's Tale Actually Happen?

We’re a long way from Gilead, praise be, but pollution can hurt fertility.<p>The handmaids—if they had been allowed to write in Margaret Atwood’s dystopia—would not have much to write home about. As the book and popular Hulu show portray, the lives of fertile, low-status women in <i>T</i><i>he</i> <i>Handmaid’s Tale</i> …

Handmaid's Tale

Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man

Who are we when we, to borrow Hannah Arendt’s enduring words, “are together with no one but ourselves”? However much we might exert ourselves on learning to stop letting others define us, the definitions continue to be hurled at us — definitions predicated on who we should be in relation to some …

Mr. Rochester is a Creep: A List

I love the disturb-factor in classic literature. Once you’re out of the classroom, much fun can be had by viewing an older book with a contemporary …

The Many Ways in Which We Are Wrong About Jane Austen

We’re going to be seeing a lot more of Jane Austen. 2017 is the bicentenary of her tragically early death at the age of 41. And by way of …

The Differences Between The Handmaid's Tale Book and Show

The new Hulu television series <i>The Handmaid's Tale</i> remains in many ways faithful to Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel. Both the show and the book tell …

Literature

A reading list for fans of S-Town

• <i>My Name is Lucy Barton</i> by Elizabeth Strout – This short, haunting book is the story of a woman, Lucy Barton, who grew up in deep poverty in a small, …

Pride and Prejudice and progress: the best second novels of all time

Debuts hog the publishing limelight, but a glance back at some great books, from Jane Austen to James Joyce, shows that we shouldn’t neglect sophomores<p>A lifetime goes into your first novel. A deadline fuels your second. Much as the “difficult second album” is a product of the modern music industry, …

5 Psychological Thrillers That Aren't Formulaic

This is a guest post from Rabeea, a Karachi-based book critic presently writing for Chicago Review of Books, Wales Art Review, Storgy, Brooklyn Mag …

Books

Five Books That Tell the Monster’s Story

Monsters fascinate. There’s something in the shadows that you don’t understand, can’t quite make out the shape of—something that can eat you. …

Books

Blue Belle: Femininity, Fashion and a ‘Tale as Old as Time’

Let’s state the obvious right up front: <i>Beauty and the Beast</i> is a Disney film. What this means is that it follows a long history of formulaic …

The number of books you’ll read before you die, charted

Every good bibliophile lives in a hamster wheel of literary pressure: There have always been, and will always be, more great books to read than there is time to read them. Not just in the workaday sense—the job stuff, family stuff, and “ooh a new episode of <i>The Americans</i>” stuff that gets in the way …

Barnes & Noble

The 9 Best Books About Womanhood

It's lit<p>Women's History Month is nearly over, but the experience of being a woman is something that never ends—it literally lasts a lifetime. At this current time, women seem to be the biggest threat to society (at least as far as the government is concerned). Instead of dwelling on this dark …

64 Of Your Favorite Horror Novels

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by John Darnielle’s <i>Universal Harvester</i>, a <i>New York Times</i> bestseller. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.<p>It’s …

Books

Which Dystopian Novel Got It Right: Orwell’s ‘1984’ or Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’?

In Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. This week, Charles McGrath and Siddhartha Deb debate which classic dystopian vision rings truest at the beginning of 2017: George Orwell’s “1984” or Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”<p><b>By Charles McGrath</b><p><i>Was Orwell right after all?</i> …

Literature

Tinkers and Tailors: Three Books Look to the Biomedical Frontier

<b>THE GENE MACHINE</b><b><br>How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids — and the Kids We Have</b><br>By Bonnie Rochman<br>272 pp. Scientific American/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $26.<p><b>THE BODY BUILDERS</b><b><br>Inside the Science of the Engineered Human</b><br>By Adam Piore<br>376 pp. Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers. $26.99.<p><b>TO BE A</b> …

Genetics

Margaret Atwood on What ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Means in the Age of Trump

In the spring of 1984 I began to write a novel that was not initially called “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I wrote in longhand, mostly on yellow legal notepads, then transcribed my almost illegible scrawlings using a huge German-keyboard manual typewriter I’d rented.<p>The keyboard was German because I was …

Literature

The Mysteriousness of Marriage

CEREBRAL FEMALE NARRATORS traveling alone, contemplating their lives and marriages against the backdrop of a foreign land, are not an unfamiliar …

Books

Remembering Gabriel Garcia Marquez, icon of magic realism | Culture | DW.COM | 06.03.2017

Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of Latin America's most widely acclaimed authors, died in 2014. He would have turned 90 on March 6 this …

Literature

Ursula K. Le Guin Talks Nonfiction

David Naimon, host of “Between the Covers” on Portland, Oregon’s KBOO 90.7 FM, spoke recently with Ursula K. Le Guin about her collection of …

9 overrated classics and what you should read instead

I still have nightmares about trying to read "Moby Dick" for a college literature class. Seriously, that book is my great whale.<p>Despite many (many!) attempts to read it, I still haven't been able to get through it all. Consequently, I believe it is one of the most overrated classic books I have …

Literature

5 Ways the 'Little House on the Prairie' Books Stretched the Truth

There’s nothing weirder than learning that one of your favorite stories didn’t really happen that way. For the thousands of devoted fans of the <i>Little</i> …

Portrait of 'real' Mr Darcy unlikely to set 21st century hearts aflutter

Experts believe Jane Austen’s ideal Darcy would bear little comparison to the one played by Colin Firth in BBC’s 1995 series<p>A dispiriting portrait of the “real” Mr Darcy, showing Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice hero as a pale, slope-shouldered, weedy character, thin of mouth and chin with his …

The survey that should scare the shit out of anyone in TV

A friend of mine in advertising (let’s call him Don Draper) turned me on to this rather startling survey, conducted by the Katz Television Group. …

TV

Sorry, But Speed Reading Won’t Help You Read More

The late Nora Ephron famously felt badly about her neck, but that’s minor compared to how people feel about their reading. We think everyone else …

On the Use of Sensitivity Readers in Publishing

In the past few years, authors concerned about the accuracy of their cultural representations have started using a new tool. Sensitivity reading, or …

Publishing

10 Great Westerns You've Never Read

Andrew Hilleman, author of the thrilling new western "World, Chase Me Down," picks 10 diamonds in the rough.