When readers think about literary food fiction, the inevitable spectre of Proust and the infamous madeleine is often invoked, or as a male friend of mine, who rarely reads, immediately exclaims, “You mean, Like Water For Chocolate?” Literary food fiction though can be so much more than that — food has and can provide fictional frameworks that enable one to tell a larger-than-life story, and simultaneously introduce you to a whole different world. Here’s a sampling across genres for the food enthusiast.
We know not everybody’s incurably addicted to reading – though it’s a way of life we’d recommend! – and we know, too, that if you want to ease your way into books, it can be difficult to know where to start, with so many choices available; read the wrong one, and you might be put off once again. So we’ve compiled a short list of classic books both old and new that we think are clever and exciting and, above all, accessible.
Gender inequality may not be number one on the political agenda of all the world’s leaders and all the mainstream media – shame on them! – but we were still pretty psyched to see the release of a slate of top-notch feminist, LGBT and trans-aware books over the course of the last twelve months. Here are five of our favourites: buy them, read them, pass them to your friends! Solidarity!
Philosophy doesn’t have to be all Hegel and Frege, you know; like all disciplines, it might get finicky and complex for the layperson once you start scratching well below the crust, but above all else philosophy is about thinking deeply. And anyone can give that a shot, right? You gotta start someplace, and in with a discipline that ranges from economics and politics to the nature of reality and the ethics of extreme sports, there’s a lot to choose from. So forget that you haven’t read everything from Plato to Žižec, and expand your mind with the 10 best philosophy books for deep thinking newbies.
Where do you get your fiction fix – the library? The local bookstore? Online? Well, it’s time to step it up a notch: sometimes the shop itself is as fascinating as the titles you’re there to purchase. Just look at Venice’s Libraria Acqua Alta, pictured above! Here’s five more weird bookshops from around the world that you’ll give your first editions to visit…
You’ve been working like a Duracell bunny all week on five different ad campaigns. Your Art Director has made your concepts look like bad expressionism and your Creative Director is questioning your copywriting talents with phrases like “did you go out drinking last night?” and “Maybe it was cool in the Eighties”. When the weekend arrives it feels like you’ve jumped aboard a lifeboat.
For the next forty-eight hours, you want to forget work and write some fiction, but your brain is mush and your enthusiasm has done a runner. What do you do? It’s a tough one, but one great thing about working in advertising is that you have to hit deadlines. And to hit deadlines you need to fire up your muse. Here are five foolproof techniques, which I’ve used in the last decade to make my clients happy.
I always feel that even though my stories are strange, they are still in many ways close to reality. I think I can put most of them under five headings, although some belong in more than one category at the same time.
If you’re not a writer, you probably have a certain perception of literary life. Take Hollywood. It just loves to portray the drink and drug addled escapades of wild writers like Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson and Truman Capote. Sadly, or happily, depending upon your liver, the truth is a little more mundane. Here’s 15 universal truths, which I’ve unearthed from half a dozen years’ banging at keys and gazing at a flickering cursor.
When most of us picture the past we imagine it in black and white. Hardly surprising when you consider the history of colour photography. Although the first colour photograph was taken way back in 1861 by Thomas Sutton (the Englishman choose a tartan ribbon as his subject), it wasn’t until the 1970s that colour snaps became everyday. Consequently, colourizing photos is the only way we can get closer to our awesome ancestors.
Whether you turn to fiction as an escape from the drudge and stress of daily life or whether you seek in it a thought-provoking exploration of human nature and the meaning of life, one of the main criteria you’re bound to have is credibility: however alien, ancient or arcane the fictional world, you, the reader, have got to be able to buy into it. If the make-believe world is in any way sketchy or inconsistent or anachronistic – if it flaunts or flashes its make-believe nature – then you’ll slip out of the reading reverie and likely close the book.
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