Readersforum's Blog

February 8, 2013

The 10 Most Notorious Parts of Famous Books

bolanoBy Gabe Habash

A little controversy goes a long way in the book world, where tweets from prestigious publishers resembling Kanye West lyrics cause people to flip out. In the case of the books below, notoriety and controversy have added an extra facet to their reputations, propelling discussion and (in some instances) fierce debate that involved censorship. Here are our picks for the most infamous passages of famous books. Some spoilers follow.

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January 24, 2013

The 10 Most Anticipated Book Adaptations of 2013

hunger-1-0114By Gabe Habash

In our 2012 Most Anticipated Book Adaptations article, we picked The Great Gatsby for the #4 slot. Since the writing of that article, the calendar has changed to 2013 and The Great Gatsby still hasn’t come out. And even though it’s supposed to release in May of this year, we’re going to give its spot this year to a new movie, because we don’t do repeats at PWxyz. It’s just a rule, plus we needed to make room for all of the YAey adaptations this year, because you can never have too much teens-in-peril with supernatural garnish. So here are the 10 movies from books we hope are at least somewhat sort of partially worth the hype.

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January 7, 2013

PW Staff: Our Favorite Books We Read in 2012

AmisPW has already named its Best Books of 2012, but since readers rarely get to see the faces behind the scenes, we thought we’d let our staff share the best book they read in 2012, because deep down, we’re all just book nerds. Here are our staff picks.

 

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December 18, 2012

10 Songs Inspired by Books

PerfumeBy Gabe Habash

Fun fact: “Tea in the Sahara” by The Police is a reference to The Sheltering Sky, specifically the chapter in the book (titled “Tea in the Sahara”) in which Port is told of three dancers who wish to have tea in the desert, but end up dead from the heat. Here are 11 other book-song connections a little less obvious than The Grapes of Wrath and “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”

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December 3, 2012

7 Writers Who Died Young

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , — Henry Greeff @ 4:25 pm

thomas-chatterton-1-sizedBy Gabe Habash
Though death and authors is a well-covered topic on PWxyz , we haven’t given due attention to the writers that left an enduring mark on literature without living a full life. In the cases where the writers knew of their impending deaths, it’s worth considering how much that knowledge informed their work, while in the cases of an unexpected death, we can only wonder how much more these writers could’ve accomplished with a longer life.

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November 9, 2012

Who Has the Better Book Covers: U.S. or U.K.?

Filed under: Publishers — Tags: , , , , , — Henry Greeff @ 6:55 am

By Gabe Habash

During a stop at Dublin’s Hodges Figgis, I was struck by two things as an American reader. One: most U.K. paperbacks have cheap binding. Two: the covers of most books on the other side of the Atlantic differ drastically from what we see in the States. With the exception of Penguin Classics and a few other publishers that are in both markets, a trip through a U.K. bookstore is an altogether different experience.

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October 5, 2012

The 10 Most Mentioned Songs in Books

By Gabe Habash

There are a lot of cool things you can discover on Small Demons, a website that acts as a book content web, connecting what artists write about. For example, you can look at The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and see all the people, places, music, movies, TV/radio, books, food/drink, magazines, events, vehicles, and weapons mentioned in the book. Click on any of those things, say…Planet of the Apes (mentioned on page 301), and see that that movie was also mentioned in Trainspotting and The Rules of Attraction, among other books.

You can also use the site to find the most commonly referenced songs in literature. Here’s the top 10, with some choice quotes for each song.

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September 16, 2012

9 Unfinished Novels by Great Writers

By Gabe Habash

Here’s something interesting: basically every writer has an unfinished novel.

An incomplete list:

Here’s something interesting: basically every writer has an unfinished novel.

An incomplete list: Truman Capote, Jack London, Kafka, Stendhal, Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Vladimir Nabokov, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Karl Marx.

And while all those authors have compelling reasons for why they never ended up publishing (most involved death), below we’ve picked 9 unfinished novels with especially great stories for why they never made it to print.

And while all those authors have compelling reasons for why they never ended up publishing (most involved death), below we’ve picked 9 unfinished novels with especially great stories for why they never made it to print.

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September 13, 2012

The Worst Book Ever Is ‘What Are These Strawberries Doing on My Nipples? … I Need Them for the Fruit Salad!’

By Gabe Habash

Oh, dear friends, it’s been a while since we last entered these hallowed halls of plunging mediocrity. So long that there is dust on How To Avoid Huge Ships. Cobwebs on Dildo Cay. Mold on Microwave for One. Some other sign of disuse on Moon People. But back into the Worst Book Ever Castle we must go, because there is a new book to add to the gallery. We must do our duty and place it where it belongs, for the circle must be closed.

What Are These Strawberries Doing on My Nipples? … I Need Them for the Fruit Salad! isn’t just notable because it has both an exclamation point and a question mark in it–what you’ll discover upon digging deeper within it is a tale of vast sadness and infinite strangeness.

It all begins with Vanessa Feltz, the book’s author and owner of one of the oddest Wikipedia pages you’ll ever see.

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August 27, 2012

Every Word I Learned from ‘Infinite Jest’

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , , — Henry Greeff @ 6:07 am

  By Gabe Habash

That picture above is an index of page numbers with words I didn’t know in Infinite Jest. So basically, I just added more information to a whopping book of information. I’d be curious to know how many of these words you guys know, and whether other readers of IJ kept a similar list. One of the pleasures of reading the book for me was keeping this list and discovering that such varied bits of existence had such specific words to name them. Looking through a copy of Both Flesh and Not, which has Wallace’s essays separated by two pages of his vocab words, brought back a pretty warm memory of how much fun it was to read IJ‘s sentences.

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