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Gore Vidal, the author, playwright, politician and commentator whose novels, essays, plays and opinions were stamped by his immodest wit and unconventional wisdom, died Tuesday, his nephew said.

It was only a matter of time before we came around to this, I just thought it would take longer.

Either way…

“The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.”

His best quotes can be enjoyed by all.

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We received even more unfortunate news when Maeve Binchy passed away, as well.

On her website she wrote recently: “My health isn’t so good these days and I can’t travel around to meet people the way I used to. But I’m always delighted to hear from readers, even if it takes me a while to reply.”

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Six literary scholars share their thoughts on Dickens’s best book.

Spoiler: none of them chose Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, or Oliver Twist.

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This Slate article questions the effect of the warm-and-fuzzy literary community formed through social media. A legitimate question, certainly, but can we really complain about the lighten-ing up of a notoriously stuffy and elitist profession? Especially when Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and – helloooo? – Michiko Kakutani are still out there?

I find it refreshing, and when I don’t want to say negative things about people I love, I don’t review them.

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I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of Anna Starobinets, but as soon as The Morning News threw out the phrase “Queen of Russian Horror” I was all ears. Take a look at her story, “I’m Waiting,” plus interview.

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Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine is being withdrawn due to Bob Dylan quotes that were apparently… imagined?

(I’m proud I got that out without calling him Jonathan – I keep doing that, and I think it’s because he’s cute. What is it with terribly handsome writers named Jonathan? I mean, think about it: Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Safran Foer, and even Jonathan Luna. Although… okay, now that I’m actually looking at them, I’m noticing that more than anything else I just have strange taste. Apologies.)

Anyway, ouch.

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Through Wattpad, Margaret Atwood will be judging the Attys, a new digital poetry prize.

“We want to create a digital-first opportunity for poets to share their work and for audiences to discover the genre [and we] are excited to see how the world connects over poetry.”

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This is a truly beautiful thing.

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Things we loved when we were little are actually pretty terrible. I didn’t totally believe it when I started reading this post, but after watching the old “Mickey Mouse Club” opening and then researching the “Kids Incorporated” opening on my own, I buy it.

Not to mention the sheer horror that is “Full House.” **shudder**

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Sword fighting over books? You have no idea how close I have come to this, how many times…

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The Top 10 Most Difficult Books may not be what you think they are, but I sure am glad The Faerie Queene got some love:

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser – The difficulty and the pleasure of reading Spenser’s masterpiece arise from a common source: its semiotic promiscuity. The Faerie Queene is allegory to the power of allegory. Or it is allegory drunk out of its mind on sugary wine, dressed up in layers of costumery, made to run singing through the garden of Eden at four o’ clock in the morning before falling down in a heap at sunrise to make silver love to itself. Or it’s the product of that lovemaking, tenor and vehicle copulating so variously and complexly that each becomes the other. There is much madness here, not least in the sheer hubris of Spenser’s plan. (Like Heidegger, he only finished half of his magnum opus.) The Faerie Queene is also, bizarrely, a work of exquisite poetic control, hundreds upon hundreds of perfectly turned stanzas. I read it in college. It was hard as hell, and I forgot the plot even while I was reading, but many of its images remain burned into my brain ten years later.

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Try to match your swimsuit with your beach read this summer!

The closest I can find to my swimsuit is this edition of Faulkner’s Light in August, but there are worse things to look like… right?

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Vintage book posters!

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The 10 Best Closing Lines in Books – in Pictures

More aptly titled “The 10 Best Closing Lines in Books – With Pictures” maybe? I don’t really get it.

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“Alice in Waterland” is a mostly awesome collection of photos inspired by Alice in Wonderland and taken underwater. The “looking glass” pictures are my favorites.

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Amazon finds non-censorship-related reason to remove “sex tourism” e-book… so we can all feel warm and fuzzy about it.

For instance, Amazon states that “We don’t accept books that provide a poor customer experience.” The content of “Age of Consent” was little more than a series of lists, initially arranged by continent, of the ages of consent for countries around the world. The final two lists in the book were “The Lowest 35 In The World” and “No sex allowed list.” The e-book was a total of 18 pages long, and the information within could all be found on Wikipedia.

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7 Video Games That Would Be Great Books

And yes, okay, you caught me… I did want to say Bioshock by Ayn Rand. I’m way too literal. But while we’re on it, also check out BioShock: Rapture by John Shirley. I own a copy but haven’t read it yet, but not for lack of interest.

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Does this mean that Stephen King would not be involved with the prequel to “The Shining”? Ick.

Actually, why argue? At least Stephen King’s input in the films would remain consistent across the two films.

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15 of the Greatest Lists in Literature, from Gatsby’s guests to Humbert’s dreams.

I am also fond of the list of the Grandmother’s rules in Flowers in the Attic.

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The fastest way to lose your Fifty Shades of Grey sale? Let this guy be the one to pitch it.

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This is in my reading future. I <3 Edward Gorey.

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JK Rowling is planning a mini-Hogwarts for her children.

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Readable bedsheets in hotels.

Now if only we could combine this idea with that hotel stocking Fifty Shades of Grey instead of the Bible…