Lists

October 24, 2013

The 10 Things I Learned From Gay Talese That Will Get Me a Job at The New York Times 5

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As a writer’s writer, Talese delivered these tips from a somewhat mythical place where pieces in magazines were paid for handsomely, weren’t due in one day, and were allowed to run at considerable lengths.

October 2, 2013

Popping the Question: A Survey of Literature’s Non-Traditional Marriage Proposals 3

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Some proposals are perhaps better forgotten. The following unromantic, bizarre, poorly delivered or conceived proposals elicit reactions less like Molly Bloom’s orgasmically affirmative “Yes I will yes I will yes!”.

September 20, 2013

Bubblegum Rewards: Ten Lessons Shared by Reality TV and Classic Literature 3

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Just when I’d pronounced myself lost to empty, mindless indulgence, I invented a game: matching reality programs with classic literature. After playing a few times on the couch (flat screen to my left, library shelf to my right), I’m now unable to watch reality shows without asking, “So, what book is this like?” Inevitably, I discover one lesson on how to live and another on how to write.

September 13, 2013

The Pleasure of Discursive Commentary: On the Paratext Novel and the Drunken Pornographer 5

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A friend once even showed me a porno with a commentary track. While the director offers her insights into the filming process, along with increasingly belligerent rants about her colleagues, she gets completely shit-faced. After about 30 minutes, she passes out, and for the rest of the movie, you can hear her snoring breezily in the background.

August 27, 2013

On The Pleasures and Solitudes of Quiet Books 24

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“Books are solitudes in which we meet,” Rebecca Solnit wrote. But before the meeting comes the solitude, the book as a private space that a reader steps into, and there are moments when escaping into a book is a bid for some measure of seclusion. If the solitude you crave at the moment is a quiet one, here’s a short reading list of quiet books that I’ve recently read and admired.

August 26, 2013

A Breaking Bad (and Beyond) Reading List 6

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The books on this list range from the personal to the mythological to the journalistic, and some intertwine all three. They all depict a world of stark contrasts. There is danger here.

July 9, 2013

The Bolaño Syllabus: A Final Reckoning 9

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What you need to read, what you might want to, and what you can pass over without losing sleep.

July 8, 2013

Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2013 Book Preview 18

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At 9,000 words strong and encompassing 86 titles, this is the only second-half 2013 book preview you will ever need.

June 13, 2013

Don’t Let the Story End: Five Spinoff Novels I’d Love to Read 10

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I’d love to read a novel narrated by Eloise’s mother. She’s a rich fuck-up, to be sure, maybe a functioning alcoholic with a penchant for Bloody Marys at breakfast and champagne every afternoon.

May 28, 2013

The Cookbook As Literature 10

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If you can read, you can cook—and if you can’t cook, you can always read cookbooks.