Esquire – The magazine for men who mean business If it's funny you want on your holiday reading list, you're in the right place. We asked a panel of authors and comedians to pick the world's wittiest tomes. Here's the first batch: 1 Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth (1969) Portnoy’s Complaint is the Derek And Clive of high literature, a proper book by a proper writer in which the main character fucks a piece of liver. Roth’s key discovery – published in the same decade as British juries agonized over whether to allow the masses to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, DH Lawrence’s pompous, semi-fascist high seriousness outpouring about sex – was that the best way to render the pain, disgust, uncertainty, anxiety, despair and terror surrounding sex was to make it funny. (Review by David Baddiel) 3 The Moon's A Balloon by David Niven (1972)David Niven is probably best remembered for his glittering Hollywood career, his roguish, moustachioed charm, and his notably thick penis (by a chosen few at least). ‘Should I marry W.?
P.J. O’Rourke Picks His Favorite Travel Books A Utah mother charged with killing 6 of her infant children was described as cold and aloof by a neighbor. Police are still searching for answers in the tragedy. The woman who sits in a suicide suit in a Utah County Jail cell traded one prison for another. While some neighbors have praised her in the terms many use when confronted with a horrible crime committed by a seemingly gentle person, others thought Huntsman was, quite simply, “cold.” “I tried to be friends with her for a long time,” SanDee Wall told The Daily Beast. “She was always aloof, quiet, and never put out any effort to reciprocate,” Wall said. Saturday was only the third or fourth time that Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, had visited the house since being released from federal prison in January at the end of an eight-year stint for a drug-related offense involving the U.S. mail. He was there to clean out the garage, towing a small trailer behind a white closed cab pick-up truck. How did no one know?
Book Review: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead Modern Library 100 Best Novels Modern Library's 100 Best Novels is a list of the best English-language novels  of the 20th century as selected by the Modern Library, an American publishing company owned by Random House. Criticism of the Modern Library list includes that it did not include enough novels by women (and that only one woman was on the panel) and not enough novels from outside North America and Europe.  In addition, some contend it was a "sales gimmick," since most of the titles in the list are also sold by Modern Library. Others[who?] note that both Modern Library and Random House USA, the parent company, are US companies. Critics have argued that this is responsible for a very American view of the greatest novels. British, Canadian and Australian academics, and even Random House UK, have differing lists of "greatest novels." A Reader's List 100 Best Novels was published separately by Modern Library in 1999. Lists Editors' list (20th Century Great Novels) See also Notes
A Nobel Laureate in the Family: Newsroom A Nobel Laureate in the FamilyBy Alvaro Vargas Llosa | Posted: Wed. October 13, 2010Also published in Washington Post Writers Group WASHINGTON—A few days ago, I received an early-morning phone call from my father, Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa: “The secretary of the Swedish Academy has just told me that I have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2010. They will announce it in nine minutes.” I shared my joy with him and thanked him for liberating me from a question with which I have been pestered for a couple of decades—“Why did your father not receive the Nobel Prize this year?” The driving principle of my father’s life has been that there is no shortcut to accomplishment. He became globalized well before Latin America’s political economy did. At the time, almost everything else in Latin America pointed in the opposite direction. Another cue I hope younger readers take from my father is that being a “public intellectual” carries responsibility.
List of books banned by governments A display of formerly banned books at a US library Banned books are books or other printed works such as essays or plays which are prohibited by law or to which free access is not permitted by other means. The practice of banning books is a form of censorship, from political, legal, religious, moral, or (less often) commercial motives. This article lists notable banned books and works, giving a brief context for the reason that each book was prohibited. Banned books include fictional works such as novels, poems and plays and non-fiction works such as biographies and dictionaries. The Saudi Arabian government has reportedly passed a law that imposes the death penalty on people caught smuggling Bibles into the majority-Muslim country. Despite the opposition from the American Library Association (ALA), books continue to be banned by school and public libraries across the United States. Alphabetical list See also References Further reading External links
Don’t give him the Nobel – he’s right-wing! ‘I am a bit angry’, said the Swedish literary critic Ulrika Milles during Swedish television’s broadcast of the announcement of the Nobel Prize in literature for 2010. It took the country’s cultural elite just seconds to realise that a mistake had been made in the Swedish Academy’s voting process: you see, Mario Vargas Llosa, the winner, is no longer a socialist. ‘I lost him when he became a neo-liberal’, complained Milles. Many others echoed her. People who never voiced any concerns about the politics of other Nobel Prize winners – like Wisława Szymborska, who wrote poetic celebrations of Lenin and Stalin; Günter Grass, who praised Cuba’s dictatorship; Harold Pinter, who supported Slobodan Milošević; José Saramago, who purged anti-Stalinists from the revolutionary newspaper he edited – thought that the Swedish Academy had finally crossed a line. In Sweden’s biggest newspaper, Aftonbladet , three writers ripped him to pieces on the first day after the announcement of the Nobel Prize.
The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors “Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said. This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their personal libraries. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books asks 125 of modernity’s greatest British and American writers — including Norman Mailer, Ann Patchett, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Joyce Carol Oates — “to provide a list, ranked, in order, of what [they] consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time– novels, story collections, plays, or poems.” Of the 544 separate titles selected, each is assigned a reverse-order point value based on the number position at which it appears on any list — so, a book that tops a list at number one receives 10 points, and a book that graces the bottom, at number ten, receives 1 point. In introducing the lists, David Orr offers a litmus test for greatness:
Kierkegaard: Stages on Life’s Way « All Manner of Thing Stages on Life’s Way (1845) Søren Kierkegaard (Princeton, 1988) 798 p. First reading. Stages on Life’s Way followed two years after the publication of Either/Or, and it is something of a sequel, reiterating, developing, and extending the first book’s argument. Either/Or had explored Kierkegaard’s “aesthetic” and “ethical” spheres of life, touching only briefly at the end on the “religious” sphere. In Stages on Life’s Way the focus shifts: all three spheres are again represented, but the greater part of the work is devoted to consideration of the religious sphere. Ultimately Kierkegaard is an advocate for the superiority of the religious sphere, but, knowing this, we must be cautious in our interpretation of this book. In these notes, I intend to give little more than an overview of the book’s main sections, of which there are four. The Young Man speaks first, and he argues that erotic love is irrational and comical — comical, that is, to everyone who observes the lovers. Related reading: