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14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time it Takes to Eat Lunch

14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time it Takes to Eat Lunch
Told from the perspective of a schoolteacher who seems to be followed by death, this strange story escalates quickly. The deaths intensify; they move from trees, to fish, to a puppy, to human beings, all with the narrator trying to cooly pass off the idea that nothing is awry. Barthelme never uses an unnecessary word. Instead, he utilizes avoidance techniques and ellipses to highlight that something is off. It's an absurd but perfectly crafted world — signature postmodern Barthelme — where nothing is as it seems. Read it for free here.

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Your summer reading list: Picks from the TED community Summer: the season for cracking open a good book under the shade of a tree. Below, we’ve compiled about 70 stellar book recommendations from members of the TED community. Warning: not all of these books can be classified as beach reads. The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors by Maria Popova Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare. “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.”

The 50 Scariest Books of All Time The air is getting crisper, the nights are getting longer, and All Hallow’s Eve draws near. You know what that means: it’s time to curl up with a book guaranteed to give you the shivers — or at least make you check the locks twice. Here, for your horrifying pleasure, are 50 of the scariest books ever written in the English language, whether horror, nonfiction, or speculative futures you never want to see. One caveat: the list is limited to one book per author, so Stephen King fans will have to expand their horizons a little bit. Check out 50 books that will keep you up all night after the jump, and add any other scary favorites to the list in the comments.

Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan This short story was the basis for the movie, Memento. I added the part numbers because I found myself reading it incrementally; they are not part of the original story. The italics, type, emphases, and so on are original. This was copied from the Esquire feature on it, and is also available on the DVD version of Memento. I archived both here to avoid link-rot. "What like a bullet can undeceive!"

9 Books You Were Required to Read in High School That Actually Changed Your Life For high school and college students, required reading can easily become the ultimate antagonist. Books like The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird or A Tale of Two Cities quickly turn from exciting must-reads to frantic skims pre test or paper. But once these classics are removed from a 4.0 grading scale, they quickly return to their former fascinating state. The subtext is no longer about crafting a fluffy argument for an AP exam; instead, it's a method of exploring the human condition. When you remove school and grades from the equation, the books that haunted your homework schedule suddenly feel hauntingly relatable, or at least understandable. Before you write off your high school or college reading list forever, take a moment to reconsider it.

(Re)Making Love: a memoir Dedication for the memoir: For my mother, my father, and my sister who would have helped if they had known. Chapter I Need to Live Alone I love romantic comedies: weep over them, quote their dialogue without attribution in conversation as when I am with a man who says he wants to be friends with me, “You actually believe that men and women can be friends?” When Harry Met Sally: Harry: “What I’m saying is—and this is not a come-on in any way, shape, or form—is that men and women can’t be friends, because the sex part always gets in the way.” I collect music scores of Rom-Coms, buy the DVDs and watch them over and over again. 10 Books That Have Never Left You – What Are Your 10? Recently a friend tagged me on Facebook and challenged me to, without thinking too hard, make a list of 10 books that have stayed with me in some way after reading them. This really gave me pause, as I feel like most books I read stick with me long after I’ve read them—but that’s the beauty of books. One of the best parts of this challenge, I’ve noticed, isn’t so much the championing of my favorite books, it’s seeing the lists that others are posting.

10 sci-fi novels that'll change how you look at the world forever Call it SF, call it speculative fiction, call it slipstream – hey, we hear you can even call it structural fabulation. We’re not going to quibble on the nitty-gritty of nomenclature. What we do know is that these texts, however diverse, are yoked together by their reimaginings of reality – think parallel and sinister sister societies, alien worlds, or our own Earth, subtly altered. And the power of SF is that by lifting us into an alienating place or time, it allows us to see our own world differently. Below is a brief selection of our particular SF mind-blowing favourites. Feel free, as ever, to add more in the comments… The Madman In the silent hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my seven selves sat together and thus conversed in whispers: First Self: Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years, with naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrow by night. I can bear my fate no longer, and now I must rebel.

Alice Munro undefined undefined "Boys And Girls" My father was a fox farmer. That is, he raised silver foxes, in pens; and in the fall and early winter, when their fur was prime, he killed them and skinned them and sold their pelts to the Hudson's Bay Company or the Montreal Fur Traders. 6 thinkers whose depressing ideas will make you feel better We are absurdly anxious about success, says popular philosopher Alain de Botton (TED Talk: Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success). In his talk from 2009, he suggests that many of our modern values — like our sense of limitless possibility and upward growth — can actually lead us to stress harder about how well we’re doing. But the reverse can also be true, says de Botton.

Top 10 Best Novels of the Last 20 Years Books The ten novels on this list all substantiate the belief that books are the most elastic, introspective, human and entertaining form of media that exist. Not movies, not music, not art, not the theatre. A famous author once said that novels are the best way for two human beings to connect with each other. 25 Books That Define Cool Let’s abandon the childish notion that reading isn’t cool. We’re grown men here and reading happens to be one of the many ways we enjoy spending a bit of our free time. Of course, sitting down with just any book doesn’t always make for a great experience. www.economist In which something old and powerful is encountered in a vault FINGERS stroke vellum; the calfskin pages are smooth, like paper, but richer, almost oily. The black print is crisp, and every Latin sentence starts with a lush red letter. One of the book’s early owners has drawn a hand and index finger which points, like an arrow, to passages worth remembering. In 44BC Cicero, the Roman Republic’s great orator, wrote a book for his son Marcus called de Officiis (“On Duties”). It told him how to live a moral life, how to balance virtue with self-interest, how to have an impact.

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