NPR’s simple but brilliant April Fools prank on overconfident, hypocritical “readers”

April 4, 2014 | 3 comments

NPR’s prank this past Tuesday took a creative mind to come up with, but it was so simple it probably only took about 10 minutes to execute. They simply wrote an article titled “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore.” You may have seen it floating around Facebook.

But here’s the twist: It wasn’t a real article…

NPR April Fools Day Comments - 03

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Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” and more reimagined as classic children’s books [9 pics]

March 26, 2014 | No comments

Artist Jerry Puryear combines his appreciation for literary fiction with his familiarity as a father with children’s books by reimagining the former as the latter. And so we have the likes of Cormac McCarthy, Donna Tartt, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Franzen imaginarily republished in the styles of Richard Scarry, Syd Hoff, and H. A. Rey…

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Literary Fiction as Children's Book - 01

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Bestselling author Dean Koontz writes fantastic birthday note to someone who hates his books

March 19, 2014 | No comments

Dean Koontz has written 14 hardcovers and 14 paperbacks that have hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, with over 450 million books sold overall. Of course, every successful author has plenty of critics — Reddituser112 has a friend who especially dislikes Koontz.

The redditor wrote Koontz to see if he would send an autographed headshot saying “F*** YOU!” that he could give to his friend as a birthday gift. Of course, Koontz is far classier than that, so he not only responded, but he sent along an autographed copy of one of his latest books complete with a birthday inscription for Brian the Hater…

Koontz Card

To Brian — on his birthday. We all have blind spots. My books are one of yours. How sad for you.

Best,

Dean Koontz

Rejection letters to superstars early in their careers give us all hope [9 pictures]

March 18, 2014 | No comments

There was a time before the likes of U2, Andy Warhol, and Madonna were universally known, a time when they were still struggling to find any recognition for their work. Thankfully, these musicians, artists, and writers saved some of the rejection letters they received from major publishing firms, record companies, and museums.

Some of the letters contain helpful career advice while others are dismissive and downright rude. We’ve included some of the more notable quotes from each letter below…

U2, rejected by RSO Records, 1979

[W]e have listened with careful consideration, but feel it is not suitable for us at present.

We wish you luck with your future career.

Rejection Letters 1
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Everyone should follow Kurt Vonnegut’s beautiful and practical advice to high-schoolers

March 14, 2014 | No comments

Eight years ago, students at New York City’s Xavier High School wrote to a variety of authors. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one who responded, “really old geezer” though he was.

I think you’ll agree that his letter is profound and yet practical enough that it’s the only response they needed…

Vonnegut's Letter to Students - 01

(via Reddit)

Also amazing: Kurt Vonnegut’s sweet note to a hurting widow, 1990

Fascinating facts from the funny pages — 27 fun pieces of trivia from comic strip history

March 5, 2014 | No comments

Did you know that in almost 18,000 strips, Charlie Brown never once connected with that football? Or did you know that Bill Murray voiced Garfield in the 2004 Garfield movie by accident?

Hear more about these fun facts and learn 25 more…

Book lovers pose behind books to complete the scenes from the book covers [18 pics]

March 4, 2014 | 1 comment

Back in 2008, “hardcore indie bookseller” Emily Pullen used some downtime at the store where she worked in Los Angeles to create whimsical photographs that blended portions of people shown on book covers with actual people who were posing behind the books. Pullen’s experiment turned into a series called Corpus Libri, Latin for “Body Books”…

Corpus Libri 1

Since then, she and fans of the series have amassed a fantastic collection of humorous photos that she’s posted to her blog, and now to her new Tumblr.

Here are some fun examples…

Corpus Libri 2

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New “Goodnight Moon” parody pokes fun at over-protective modern parents [11 pics]

February 26, 2014 | No comments

Wanting to have a little fun at the expense of the hovering yuppy parents they come into contact with as they raise their children, a couple New York mothers put out their own version of the classic Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Nanny-cam

Good Night Nanny-cam - 01

Good Night Nanny-cam - 02

In the great green-certified room there was a smart phone, and a silver spoon, and a picture of…

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Poster for grammar geeks will make the rest of you twitch with bad memories of school [15 pics]

February 26, 2014 | 3 comments

The folks at Pop Chart Labs have put together a poster for the select few of you who are both literature lovers and grammar geeks. For the rest of you, their work might give you terrifying flashbacks of 7th grade English class.

They collected the first lines of several classic novels…and diagrammed them.

Here are a few…

Melville, Moby Dick

First lines of classic novels diagrammed - 02

Austen, Pride and Prejudice

First lines of classic novels diagrammed - 12

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Every story you love can be retold with one of eight sentences

February 24, 2014 | 1 comment

You will know Kurt Vonnegut as a renowned author, but in addition to his books, he left behind a theory of stories that he’s less famous for, but that is still very interesting.

He broke down stories that are told worldwide in all cultures into just a eight simple shapes. For example, shape #1, “The Man in Hole”…

Somebody gets into trouble, gets out of it again…. People love that story!

Every story that speaks to us on a deeply human level fits into one of his categories.

A couple years ago, graphic designer Maya Eilam took Vonnegut’s story shapes and synthesized them into a simple infographic…

Vonnegut's Story Shapes Infographic

(via Boing Boing)

You can hear him explain the basic principle and discuss three classic story shapes here, if you want to.

Think of your favorite book or movie… What shape is it?