Tag: satire

short story collections

5 Brilliant New Short Story Collections You Can’t Miss Out On

Tragedy plus time apparently equals literature. As far as years go, 2017-2018 has been an intense one. These authors have responded with wit, creativity, and some impressively bizarre concepts that comment upon both the new and timeless topography of our psychological landscapes. Here are 5 acclaimed short story collections as weird, wild, and jarringly human as the past year has been.


1. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado


'Her Body and Other Parties' by Carmen Maria Machado

Image Via target.com


The winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, Carmen Maria Machado‘s Her Body and Other Parties is “sexy, queer, and caustic.” Swinging wildly upon the axis of brutality and sentimentality, Machado’s work is a real genre-bender, less wading into the territory of magical realism and more stomping headstrong through it. In Machado’s striking collection, there are many inventive cultural references, including a supernatural interpretation of Law and Order: SVU and a literary reimagining of the infamous girl with the green ribbon story. But Machado’s work also delves deeply into the human (and specifically female) psyche, her stories always as inventive as they are visceral.


2. [Dis]connected (2018)


'[Dis]connected' by various authors

Image Via amazon.com


A timely commentary on social media, art, and interpersonal relationships, this multimedia collection from some of the most famous Instagram poets (including Nikita Gill and Trista Mateer) insightfully tackles both the isolation and accessibility that the Internet can provide. The collection maintains its commitment to accessibility by incorporating the work of established writers (like Amanda Lovelace, author of The Princess Saves Herself in This One) with the work of up-and-coming contributors (like Sara Bond). Even the creation of [Dis]connected follows an inventive format: each writer contributed three poems and then assigned poems to their fellow writers. Each contributor then wrote a short story based on one of their assigned poems. The result? A vivid and unique exploration of love and loneliness.


3. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh


'Homesick for Another World' by Ottessa Moshfegh

Image Via amazon.com



2016 Man Booker Prize nominee Ottessa Moshfegh has done it again… and again and again. Released in between her Booker-nominated novel Eileen and her phantasmagorical 2018 bestseller My Year of Rest and RelaxationMoshfegh’s short story collection Homesick for Another World is a twisted standout. A master of the grotesque and delightful, Moshfegh finds tenderness in the dire landscape of her subject matter: always the fringes of society. To read her work is to “touch a slightly electrified fence.” Featuring vomit, unfortunate neck tattoos, and thrice-daily Burger King meals, Homesick for Another World is as stunning as it is strange.



4. Florida by Lauren Groff


'Florida' by Lauren Groff

Image Via target.com



A favorite author of Barack Obama, Guggenheim fellow Lauren Groff blends domesticity and wildness in Florida, her recent short story collection that inhabits “an eden of dangerous things.” A 2018 Book Award Finalist, Florida depicts a place that is less a physical location and more a mood—sometimes a very dark one. Exploring the geographic and psychological landscape of Florida across different towns and even centuries, Florida explores “the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive.” Beautifully weird and occasionally alarming, Groff’s work is a smash hit for the year.


5. Some Trick (2018)


'Some Trick' by Helen DeWitt

Image Via goodreads.com



The eccentric genius archetype—the exaggerated trope of a person who would just as likely disassemble their own household appliances for fun as write a novel—has met its match in Helen DeWitt. A mathematician and linguist (by the way, we’re talking fourteen languages), DeWitt’s hit debut, The Last Samurai, is only one of three works she’s published in the last twenty years, thanks to her distaste for the publishing industry. (Her second novel, Lightning Rods, is a brilliant, weird, and brilliantly weird satire on American capitalism.) Her third work, collection Some Trick, uses the “iron logic of a crazy person” to chip at the barrier between the private intellectual world of the individual and the social machinery of capitalism.




Featured Image Via Twitter, NPR and NPR

the onion

7 Literature-Related Satire Articles to Make You Cackle

I don’t know about you, but I love satire! I especially love reading articles à la Reductress or The Onion that are so, intensely relatable, dark, funny, and unreal.


It’s healthy to laugh at yourself and the people you respect and love (also the people you don’t respect or love, too, because political satire has been on-point lately, let’s be real here). And, if you happen to be someone who has yet to veer deep into the depths of satire domain, I highly recommend it. It’s just fun, cathartic, and can definitely help lighten your mood. 


So, kick off your heels, lean your seat back, stare intently into your computer screen, and enjoy these seven incredibly perfect satirical articles centered around literature!


Goody Introduces New Line Of Governess Hairbrushes For Raking Across The Scalps Of Insolent Little Girls – The Onion



Image via The Onion


The new reinforced handles can withstand being drawn roughly through the knotted hair of a horrid, filthy creature hundreds of times, and the extra-coarse bristles will quickly dislodge any grass or other debris that has become entangled due to unladylike frolicking in the meadow beyond the wall.


Amazing: This Charity Teaches Illiterate Adults About The Intricacies Of The New York Literary Scene – Clickhole



Image via Clickhole


And the learning goes beyond the classroom: Well Read also offers field trips to the Men’s Wearhouse where Tom Wolfe bought his iconic white suit. Who says adult education can’t be a little fun?


Tattoos That Seem Edgy Until You Realize They’re Harry Potter References – Reductress



Image via Reductress

Next time you spot a tat on a burly dude that says, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,” don’t immediately assume it’s a Ramones lyric and this guy is about to kiss you hard then whisk you away on his motorcycle. In reality, he spent his childhood reading the Harry Potter series in which a magical map can only be opened if you say these words out loud while tapping your wand delicately on the parchment.


E3 Organizers Cancel Convention After Discovering Immersive Power Of Literature – The Onion


The Onion

Image via The Onion


 At press time, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony issued a joint press statement confirming they had canceled all future game development and would instead issue leather-bound editions of the world’s literary classics.


How to Avoid Catcallers by Shouting ‘Chim Chim Cheree! Are You Me New Dad? – Reductress



Image via Reductress


Would-be catcallers will refrain from saying sexual, invasive comments, and instead say, “Is she a chimney sweep? Is she a Dickensian orphan? Is she in community theater?” Be sure to bring work shoes to change into later!


Exonerated: This Convicted Murderer Was Released From Prison After 20 Years When An Online Quiz Sorted Him Into Gryffindor – Clickhole



Image via Clickhole


“Gryffindor is the home of the best and bravest of the wizarding world, and the fact that Mr. Anderson was assigned to this house by an online quiz makes it clear that he couldn’t possibly have committed an act as terrible as murder,” said Judge Sonia Sandhu, announcing her decision to overturn Walter’s guilty verdict from 1998.


My Mom Keeps Trying to Marry Me Off to a Mean Lord – Reductress



Image via Reductress


I used to love visiting my parent’s house in Racine, Wisconsin. Now, whenever I’m visiting, their house is full of evil, conniving lords who want to insult my piano playing or say that I’m “rather opinionated for someone so plain-looking”. Ugh, I can’t stand having to endure high tea with mean-ass lord after mean-ass lord! Does my mom even understand me at all?


Now, go forth and enjoy your weekend, you wild buncha bookworms!






Featured Image Via The Onion

Reader reading.

5 Times You’ll Wish You Had a Book to Save You

We have all been in those situations where we have thought “God, I wish I had a book right now.” Sometimes it’s only for the purpose of enjoying a book. There are other times, though, when those stacks of paper can come in handy.


1. Your Tinder date catfished you


It’s happened. It will continue to happen. Tinder is still blind dating. The only upgrade is that they might look like the hot guy you swiped on. This is not for one of those times. Keep the creeps away.


book cover

Image courtesy of Amazon


Book Suggested: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: The Universal Don’ts of Dating

This is a big hint to him. If he isn’t good at hints, claim you don’t speak English, laugh hysterically for an hour straight, or do something else to get him to leave you alone with your book.


2. You’re a detective, hot on the case


Whether you carve out the pages to hold a small camera, microphone, or other equipment to get damning evidence, a book can be very handy. You can also spare the book from mutilation simply by peering over the edge at your target.


book cover

Image courtesy of Amazon


Book Suggested: The Generic Book

This won’t rouse any suspicious. You are merely a man, a bookish man, eager to read this novel in whatever setting your case study is at.


3. You’re a stalker, hot on the case


Display your love for this person by doing the same things Edward does for Bella: sneak into her room, watch her sleep, keep tabs on her, and follow her. It’s for the best for your soul mate.


book cover

Image courtesy of Amazon


Book Suggested: Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)


By carrying a romance book, you might instill the idea of romance whenever that person sees you. Create a Pavlov’s dog effect and this could eventually lead to them feeling love for you without you having to lift a finger.


4. You’re a concerned mom, hot on the case


The kids are out of the house. You don’t know where they’re going. You don’t know what they’re doing. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to track them down while away from the security of the house.


book cover

Image courtesy of Amazon


Book Suggested: Just Me and My Mom

Remind them of their dependence. Remind them how you cook, clean, wash, and can just generally be a wonderful friend to have at all other times too. “Mom” upside down is “Wow.” If you are unlucky and are caught stalking supervising your child, you can always break Just Me and My Mom out and read it to them.


5. You need to hide the banned book you’re reading under the cover of another book


We get it. You’re a reader…a smart one. That means you don’t listen to your teachers, and you’ll pick up that copy of Catch-22 if you want to.


book cover

Image courtesy of Amazon


Book Suggested: Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read 


Slap those oppressors in the face metaphorically with this book to cover your actual banned book. You can also use it as a reference should you need to defend yourself if you get caught. But, honestly, the really good teachers will understand the importance of books, no matter how heavy or banned they are.


Celebrity chefs

11 Celebrity Chefs’ Review Books

Okay, we don’t know their favorite books… But if we had to guess, these are probably pretty close to what literature they would read and how they reviewed them.


We took some creative liberties in imaging just how some of our favorite celebrity chefs would review books that fit their personalities. Check out some of our favorites below:


1. Gordon Ramsay – ‘The Big Black Book of Very Dirty Words’ by Alexis Munier


A photo of Gordon Ramsay


Bookstr Imagined Review: “You wouldn’t believe how quickly you can run out of insults during your time as a chef. This helps me keep my vocabulary colorful and insults biting.”


2. Bobby Flay – ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J. R. R. Tolkien


Bobby Flay writing at a desk


Bookstr Imagined Review: “An awesome and classic hero trope. A man who was chosen as number one from the beginning. No one can defeat Frodo.”


3. Guy Fieri – ‘Denny’s Menu’ by Denny’s.


Guy Feiri gawking at camera.


Bookstr Imagined Review: “I always keep a copy of this bad boy by my side. Never know when you’re going to need to go on a last minute trip to FlavorTown.”


4. Paula Deen – ‘Butter: A Rich History’ by Elaine Khosrova


Paula Deen reading at a desk.


Bookstr Imagined Review: ‘I just love the magic of butter!’


5. Alton Brown – ‘The Big Book of Pain: Torture & Punishment Through History’ by Mark P. Donnelly


Alton Brown sitting in front of a chalkboard.


Bookstr Imagined Review: ‘It can be tricky to come up with new challenges when filming shows. This books always sparks some creative ideas.’


6. Anthony Bourdain – ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ by Hunter S. Thompson


Anthony Bourdain reading.


Bookstr Imagined Review: ‘Whenever I’m unsure of what direction I should take my life in, I always look at my ‘What Would Hunter S. Thompson Do’ bracelet.’


7. Rachel Ray – ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert


Rachel Ray signing a book.



Bookstr Imagined Review: ‘No book has changed and colored my life like this novel about this book. Just reading it makes me feel more Italian.’


8. Martha Stewart – ‘If I Did It’ by O.J. Simpson


Martha Stewart with papers.


Bookstr Imagined Review: “It just reminds me that even though I was convicted, I had the good sense not to publish it.”


9. Mario Batali – ‘Footwear Design’ by Aki Choklat


Mario Batali reading.


Bookstr Imagined Review:  “My kicks are always on fleek, and I have this to thank for it.”


10. Ina Garten – ‘Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear’ by Katy Bowman


Ina Garten with her book.


Bookstr Imagined Review: “And my kicks are never on!”


11. Julia Child – ‘Voynich manuscript’


Julia Child with a book.


Bookstr Imagined Review: “This is quite the page turner. I have never read something I have related to so closely!”


So, no, we can’t be sure these are their favorite books… Or even books they have read, but these guesses can’t be too far off! What’s your favorite celebrity on the list?


Header images courtesy of Closer Weekly, Paper City Magazine, and Vegas.Eater.com