Tuesday, October 21, 2014

26 Gorgeous Book Covers From Penguin's "Drop Cap" Series

Bibliographic beauty from Austen to Zafon.


Penguin Drop Caps are a series of 26 rainbow hued hardcover editions, each with a gorgeously illustrated "drop cap" letter by type designer Jessica Hische.


Penguin Drop Caps are a series of 26 rainbow hued hardcover editions, each with a gorgeously illustrated "drop cap" letter by type designer Jessica Hische .


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.


Penguin / Daniel Dalton / BuzzFeed


A collaboration between Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features classic works by 26 authors – one for each letter of the alphabet – from Jane Austen to Carlos Ruiz Zafon.


A collaboration between Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features classic works by 26 authors – one for each letter of the alphabet – from Jane Austen to Carlos Ruiz Zafon.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.


Penguin / Daniel Dalton / BuzzFeed


The result is a beautiful, unique set of books that you should probably add to the Christmas list of any bibliophile in your life.


The result is a beautiful, unique set of books that you should probably add to the Christmas list of any bibliophile in your life.


My Ántonia by Willa Cather.


Penguin / Daniel Dalton / BuzzFeed


Hische told BuzzFeed: "I started by reading each book. For the series, we worked on three or four titles at a time, which definitely was a time management challenge."


Hische told BuzzFeed: "I started by reading each book. For the series, we worked on three or four titles at a time, which definitely was a time management challenge."


Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.


Penguin / Daniel Dalton / BuzzFeed




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James Joyce's Secret Message On Page 627 Of "Finnegans Wake"

“Trust me on this: no regular people are going to finish this book.”


A humor essay by Simon Rich, author of Spoiled Brats.



Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed


In 1939, James Joyce published Finnegans Wake. Literary critics praised the 628 page experimental novel, calling it a "work of genius." Here is page 627, reprinted in its entirety:


…up and tightening down. Yes, you're changing, sonhusband, and you're turning, I can feel you, for a daughterwife from the hills again. Imlamaya. And she is coming. Swimming in my hindmoist. Diveltaking on me tail. Just a whisk brisk sly spry spink spank sprint of a thing theresomere, saultering…okay, that's enough. If you've made it through this many pages of this thing, then I can safely assume that you're a literary critic. Let me first just start off by saying how sorry I am for making you read this book. If it's any consolation, writing it has been an absolute nightmare.


This morning at breakfast, my wife said, "You know that Finnegan book is due today, right?"


I laughed and took a bite of toast.


"That's not due until the 30th!"


"It is the 30th she said.


I spat out my toast and had what I now understand was a panic attack. Sweat was pouring down my face and it was like I couldn't get enough air. This Finnegan thing was due in nine hours, and I hadn't even started.



I've been in my office ever since, shouting gibbering into this Dictaphone. I'm very exhausted (and I'm sure all you critics are too) so I'll try to make this as brief as possible: I am in serious financial trouble. I won't get into the specifics, but basically, if this book doesn't sell well, the dog track's going to take my house. So here's the deal: If you give this nonsensical book a rave review and call it a "work of genius," I will mail you two (2) homemade Irish sweaters. I'm sorry I can't offer you anything nicer, but like I said, I'm in a real hole here.


I know what you're thinking: "We're well respected literary critics. Why would we risk our reputations for a couple of sweaters? If a regular person finishes this book, and reads this page, it'll destroy our credibility."



Trust me on this: no regular people are going to finish this book. Maybe some people will say that they've finished it. But most people won't even get past the first sentence of this thing. I mean, the book is nonsense. Do you remember the end of chapter five, when I just listed dog breeds for fifty pages? There is no way any normal person could make it through something like that. And then there was the chapter where I just repeated the word Finnegan over and over again, using more and more exclamation points each time. I still can't believe I even did that. It's like I went crazy for a little while.



Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed




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This Is What Happens When An Author Tracks Down A Critic In Real Life

Kathleen Hale faced backlash on social media after admitting to tracking down a book blogger at her home address.


On Saturday, YA author Kathleen Hale published an essay on The Guardian about confronting "her number one online critic," and a social media storm of epic proportions erupted.


On Saturday, YA author Kathleen Hale published an essay on The Guardian about confronting "her number one online critic," and a social media storm of epic proportions erupted.


Twitter: @HaleKathleen


In the article, called "Am I Being Catfished?", Hale describes how she obsessed over a book blogger named Blythe Harris who had given her book, No One Else Can Have You, a one-star review.


In the article, called "Am I Being Catfished?", Hale describes how she obsessed over a book blogger named Blythe Harris who had given her book, No One Else Can Have You , a one-star review.


After paying for an online background check, Hale allegedly discovered the blogger had lied about her name, age, occupation and photos. Hale goes on to explain how she obtained Harris' alleged home address from an online book club, confirmed it with an unnamed publisher, hired a car and went to the blogger's house to confront her, before backing out on her doorstep.


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Monday, October 20, 2014

17 Oddball Portraits Of Your Favorite Comedians

In Funny Business , photographer Seth Olenick captures 200 of the comedy world’s best— and then lets them write the captions. BuzzFeed gets a look inside.


John Oliver


John Oliver


"While usually reserved creatures, there is no more spectacular sight in the natural world than a British person flying through the air in a defensive body position."


Seth Olenick


Jane Lynch


Jane Lynch


"Caught me! Yes I'm smoking weed from the world's largest bong."


Seth Olenick


Key and Peele


Key and Peele


"When we work together, everything comes out alright."


Seth Olenick


Zach Galifianakis


Zach Galifianakis


"I come from a long line of taggers. My great-great-grandaddy was the first tagger to tag The Parthenon."


Seth Olenick




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The Intimate Act Of Writing A Novel

David Cronenberg talks hand tattoos, Stephen King, writing fantastic sex scenes, and being an author who loves the internet.



Myrna Suarez.


The night before meeting David Cronenberg, a man for whom the phrase "in the flesh" was made, I watched his 1986 remake of The Fly. Elements in the 71-year-old filmmaker's first novel, Consumed (Scribner, 2014), had given me flashbacks to the body-horror classic, the way its images itched my veins as if instilling some poisonous truths, and though I didn't always agree with these truths—truths about hubris, intellectual greed, the contagion of fame, and our Pandora-like relationship to the future—I also couldn't unlearn them. Halfway through the movie, the leading femme's ex-boyfriend turns to say, with the cartoonishly waspy sarcasm so endemic to boyfriends of the period, "Thank you for making my most paranoid fantasies come true."


Personally, and without any sarcasm, I have the same thanks for Cronenberg himself. A real living visionary, he's spent 40-some years lending credence and magic to our wildest fears and irrational desires. His allegories are dark as a city sewer, but never grim.


"People think, because of my films, that I had a terrible childhood," says Cronenberg, grinning, "but it was lovely." His bedside command of sickening material is, to me, evidence of a steady mind. I was alone on a post-season tourist island that night when I rewatched The Fly, and I was also completely safe, a feeling I wouldn't have had with Lars Von Trier, or David Lynch, or another director to whom Cronenberg can reasonably be compared.


As with Von Trier's early oeuvre, Hollywood is frenemy number one in the pre-studio movies of Cronenberg, who was born in Toronto a little after the Depression and never left. Technology is frenemy number two. "I love having the latest new device," he tells me, and maybe he loves it so possessively he wants to scare the rest of us away? Pregnancy, a hostile invasion, is another recurring shock. Games aren't fun until someone gets hurt; insects reveal alien life to be closer than we had imagined; no man is safe from becoming machine. Though Scanners (1981) and Videodrome (1983) turned the director into an overnight legend, the cool, eroticized violence of Crash (1996) made him a pariah in Canada, a critical lightning rod at Cannes, and a man whom Martin Scorsese was allegedly afraid to meet.


Two decades later, David Cronenberg is one of the least controversial figures in the culture. In person, he is comforting to talk to because he is so like his work: curious, obsessive, old-fashioned and anti-nostalgic, with a simple way of articulating that which confounds. He is genuinely weird and erudite; he struggles to entertain. Cronenberg has long since declined to be either an auteur or a sell-out, having shrugged off his cultishness in the '80s while simultaneously turning down movies like Top Gun and Star Wars. Instead, he chose to make accessible the stories that interest him specifically—no matter how schlocky or how cerebral. That a Cronenberg movie will always lose money at the box office, but that it isn't for lack of wanting to make a hit, is what keeps him so easily beloved. (Populism without profit is the Canadian-platonic ideal.)


While his 17th feature, Maps to the Stars (2015), plays to light adoration on the festival circuit, his novel—a professorial thriller that takes two journalists and lovers inside a rabbit warren of rare disease, erotic cannibalism, French academic intrigue, and the schemes of an unlikely dictator—is being taken seriously as a literary experience. Already dreaming his next three books, Cronenberg recently spent a day or two in New York, meeting his readers at libraries and events. He also met me, at the offices of his publisher, to talk about horror as reality, growing up in libraries, and the secret to excellent sex scenes, plus: why he might be the anti-Jonathan Franzen of novelists.



Scribner / Via books.simonandschuster.com


Sarah Nicole Prickett: How are you?


David Cronenberg: I'm really good.


SNP: I've seen you before—of course without you seeing me—in Toronto, several years ago, in a conversation with Stephen King. And I was watching an old interview you gave for The Dead Zone, in which you said in passing, on your way to an unrelated answer, that you and King had the same idea of horror. So I was wondering: what was that idea?


DC: Well, I don't really think about the genre of horror much. Obviously there are horrific elements in this novel, but I've never really meditated on horror. I haven't made what I would call a horror film for a long long time.


To me, the question of genre is a marketing question, it's not a creative question. When I was writing this novel, I totally wasn't a) thinking about any work that I had done before, including my early films, and b) contemplating genre, because as I say it doesn't really help me creatively. The process of writing the novel was as pure as it could be, which is to say—every time I make a movie, it literally is as if it's the first movie I've ever made. Same with the novel. I had an interviewer recently say "was your novel influenced by your early films?" And I said, you've got it backwards! My movies don't influence me, I created them.


SNP: Didn't you also want to be a writer before you became a filmmaker?


DC: Yes, I aspired to be a novelist. My father was a writer, and writing seemed like a very natural thing for me to do. [Pause while I find the recording app on a second iPhone.] Do you want to start again?


SNP: No, it's okay. I'm already recording on my iPhone, only I think it might die, and I want to feel safer. I'm trying to find the voice memo application, but nothing looks… you know, on an unfamiliar iPhone, it's like being in someone else's bedroom.


DC: Exactly. And it's a new iPhone Six.


SNP: It's a very Cronenbergian thing, because it anthromorphizes the device, the way these iPhone Sixes bend under heat—have you heard?


DC: They don't. That's an urban myth.


SNP: Really? But I liked it so much!


DC: Well, I'm sorry, but it's a complete lie. Apple sold 14 million phones and nine people complained that in their skinny jeans, under the force of their thighs, sitting for 18 hours or something, the iPhone got bent a little bit. It has nothing to do with the heat.


SNP: Are you an Apple fan? Everyone in Consumed uses Apple—and/or Nikon.


DC: I am. I have ordered an iPhone Six Plus, so it's coming from China and I'm tracking it like any nerd maniac.


SNP: The notion of an "embedded journalist" is very connotatively creepy, like a tick in the skin. Embedded journalists show up in The Fly, which I watched last night, and again in Consumed. More than any of the horror stuff, I found that relationship between writer and subject to be the novel's meta narrative.


DC: It's very interesting terrain, and it has shifted, of course, because of social media, which allows potentially billions of people to have access to anything you post, without any kind of filter sometimes, whereas in the past, any story required some form of mediation, even if it was just a sleazy magazine. Now, if you find something sensational—and I'm noticing, are those actual tattoos on your fingers?


SNP: Oh, yeah.


DC: Because Bruce Wagner, the writer of the book I adapted for Maps to the Stars, actually got a hand tattoo of the streets that are in the movie. It's shocking to look at, because it's so skeletal and stark.




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"A Series Of Unfortunate Events" For New Yorkers

The world is not quiet here.


The Abysmal Apartment Search


The Abysmal Apartment Search


Jarry Lee / BuzzFeed / Thinkstock


The Ridiculous Rent


The Ridiculous Rent


Jarry Lee / BuzzFeed / Thinkstock


The Loathsome Lines


The Loathsome Lines


Jarry Lee / BuzzFeed / Thinkstock


The Cruel Cost of Living


The Cruel Cost of Living


Jarry Lee / BuzzFeed / Thinkstock




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The One Thing You Never Noticed From Your Childhood

Nothing is real anymore!


You probably remember this family, right?


You probably remember this family, right?


Via sixpenceee.com


Well, did you know they're actually the BerenSTAIN Bears and not the BerenSTEIN Bears?


Well, did you know they're actually the BerenSTAIN Bears and not the BerenSTEIN Bears?


Random House


No, really. You don't remember your childhood correctly.


No, really. You don't remember your childhood correctly.


Via sixpenceee.com


This phenomenon is part of the Mandela Effect, which basically means that you incorrectly believe something happened due to false memories. The theory suggests that these shared false memories are a glimpse into a parallel universe.


This phenomenon is part of the Mandela Effect , which basically means that you incorrectly believe something happened due to false memories. The theory suggests that these shared false memories are a glimpse into a parallel universe.


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

13 Young Adult Novels To Spook You This Halloween

Give yourself a good scare.


The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle


The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle


Don’t let the cover fool you. This happy-go-lucky girl must deal with monsters and madness and still keep calm while removing a body impaled on a bedpost. Definitely not for the squeamish.


HMH Books / Via amazon.com


In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters


In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters


We’ve got a main character named Mary Shelley reaching out to her dead boyfriend. A ghostly tale that’s steeped in mysticism.


Amulet Books / Via amazon.com


Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley


Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley


Think you know the Headless Horseman? This new version of the legend from Katrina Van Tassel’s point of view will have you guessing till the very end. And yes, head do roll.


Dax Varley / Via amazon.com



Paramount Pictures




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18 Dating Lessons From Mr. Darcy

My feelings will not be repressed.


This is Mr. Darcy.


This is Mr. Darcy.


His first name is Fitzwilliam. Never use it.


Focus Features / Via between-irony-and-silver.tumblr.com


This is also Mr. Darcy. Ladies love Mr. Darcy.


This is also Mr. Darcy. Ladies love Mr. Darcy.


And though he was created by the beautiful mind of Miss Jane Austen over two hundred years ago, he has some lessons that might be of assistance to the modern chap.


Focus Features


First and foremost: you must learn to dance.


First and foremost: you must learn to dance.


“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.”


Universal Studios / Via vampirecircus.tumblr.com


Don't be afraid of a little sassiness.


Don't be afraid of a little sassiness.


"Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?"


Universal Studios / Via sailorsomething.tumblr.com




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Friday, October 17, 2014

29 Alternative Harry Potter Halloween Costume Ideas

For when The Boy Who Lived is just too mainstream .


The Golden Snitch



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Luna Lovegood



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Hedwig



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Professor Trelawney



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