Everybody loves to dive into a pile of books that spin out an epic, immersive storyline. There’s nothing more satisfying than a trilogy or series with deep worldbuilding. But some book series could stand to be a bit shorter—and maybe also fewer books. Earlier today, we had an essay from Kim Stanley Robinson about the experience of taking his acclaimed Science in the Capital trilogy and condensing it to a single book volume—cutting out 300 pages in the process. But which book trilogy or series would you love to see the same thing happen to? Advertisement Please include a book cover, book trailer, or other piece of artwork for your chosen book. And please mention the title, the name of the author and why there might just be too much of a good thing there. Thanks! Top image: Sort of the obvious candidate, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. For all its many delights, this series is legendary for, shall we say, its extreme fecundity. Charlie Jane Anders is … [Read more...] about Which Epic Book Series Would Benefit From Being Shortened and Combined?
Sixty years after the French Nobel laureate Albert Camus died in a car crash at the age of 46, a new book is arguing that he was assassinated by KGB spies in retaliation for his anti-Soviet rhetoric. Italian author Giovanni Catelli first aired his theory in 2011, writing in the newspaper Corriere della Sera that he had discovered remarks in the diary of the celebrated Czech poet and translator Jan Zábrana that suggested Camus’s death had not been an accident. Now Catelli has expanded on his research in a book titled The Death of Camus. Camus died on 4 January 1960 when his publisher Michel Gallimard lost control of his car and it crashed into a tree. The author was killed instantly, with Gallimard dying a few days later. Three years earlier, the author of L’Étranger (The Outsider) and La Peste (The Plague) had won the Nobel prize for “illuminat[ing] the problems of the human conscience in our times”. “The accident seemed to have been caused by a … [Read more...] about New book claims Albert Camus was murdered by the KGB
I first came across 17th-century writer Margaret Cavendish in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own: “What a vision of loneliness and riot the thought of Margaret Cavendish brings to mind! As if some giant cucumber had spread itself all over the roses and carnations in the garden and choked them to death.” It’s a wonderfully peculiar description and I could never quite shake this image of a woman so apparently unruly Woolf felt it necessary to describe her as, essentially, a dick among the blooms. Woolf meant, I suppose, that Cavendish was too much: too eccentric, too ambitious, too undisciplined. Indeed, she was notorious for her outfits, her poor spelling and awkward behaviour, and, most egregiously, for demanding to be taken seriously as a writer and natural philosopher. She was the first woman ever invited to the Royal Society of London – and the last, for another 200 years. I began my novel about Cavendish a decade ago, but her refusal to deny … [Read more...] about Top 10 books about wild women
A Room of One’s Own is both a landmark in feminist thought and a rhetorical masterpiece, which started life as lectures to the literary societies of Newnham and Girton Colleges, Cambridge, in October 1928. It was then published by the Hogarth Press in 1929 in a revised and expanded edition that has never been out of print. Barely 40,000 words long, addressed to audiences of female students in the hothouse atmosphere of interwar creativity, this became an unforgettable and passionate assertion of women’s creative originality by one of the great writers of the 20th century. Ironically, she herself never favoured the term “feminist”. Virginia Woolf, no question, transformed the English literary landscape. But how, exactly? Was it through modernist innovation (Mrs Dalloway; To the Lighthouse)? Or flirting outrageously with historical fiction (Orlando)? Or in the provocative argument – in part a response to EM Forster’s Aspects of the Novel – of a … [Read more...] about The 100 best nonfiction books: No 45 – A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)
Photo: Vulture/Gary Gershoff/WireImage Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d bring with them to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is Camping and Girls creator Lena Dunham’s list. The new book from her publishing imprint, Enchantments, is out now. So, right now, books for me are all about comfort. That might seem like a true “duh,” but think about it: sometimes we read to learn, sometimes we read to get riled up, sometimes we read to ensnare a boy or master a new sex trick involving ice and cream (NOT ice cream). But right now, I read to feel the cozy waves of recognition-of-self and affirmation-of-human-goodness that can come from giving it to a book hard. Below, my current comfort favorites that are both deeply sweet and totally wild (cozy brain doesn’t mean lazy brain …). Conversations With Friends, by Sally Rooney I don’t respond well to being … [Read more...] about Lena Dunham’s 10 Favorite Books