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Romance novelists pledge to confront abortion ‘taboo’ after Alabama ban

State senates near-total abortion ban prompts demand for genre to treat issue as a normal part of life, not a moral lesson Dip into the fast-moving world of romantic fiction and it quickly becomes clear that very few of the fictional couples Alabamas state senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, writers are asking themselves why none of these heroines ever considers termination. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organisation promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, its a common experience for women in the US, with an abortion by…

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Trust Exercise by Susan Choi review masterly study of power and its abuses

The Pulitzer-nominated novelist develops the issues raised by #MeToo within the setting of a suburban American drama school Sarah and David, 15-year-olds at an elite and unconventional drama school in 1980s suburban America, fall in love. An early misunderstanding is manipulated by a charismatic teacher, Mr Kingsley, who sets a series of emotionally exposing improvisations known as trust exercises to confuse and divide them, using adolescent emotion as the raw material of his art. Then visiting teacher Martin arrives from England: he seduces Sarahs best friend Karen with a callousness…

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Top 10 end-of-the-world novels

Fresh from writing his own first sci fi thriller, physicist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili chooses favourite books that tackle the Earth in peril Having written a books, I decided three years ago to try my hand at fiction. How hard could it be, I reasoned arrogantly. Well, harder than I thought. But I enjoyed writing Margaret Atwoods In Sunfall, science is trying to save the world. So, here are my top 10 end-of-the-world science fiction books: 1. line on climate change, I cannot but admire the man who gave us…

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Why we are addicted to conspiracy theories

The long read: Outsiders and the disenfranchised have always embraced the existence of wild plots and cover-ups. But now the biggest conspiracy-mongers are in charge In January 2015, I spent the longest, queasiest week of my life on a cruise ship filled with conspiracy theorists. As our boat rattled toward Mexico and back, I heard about every wild plot, secret plan and dark cover-up imaginable. It was mostly fascinating, occasionally exasperating and the cause of a headache that took months to fade. To my pleasant surprise, given that I was…

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Ottessa Moshfegh: I erase the books I love from my mind its how I move on

The American novelist why she wishes she had written Lolita and having an existential crisis while reading Tuck Everlasting The book I am currently readingAn advanced copy of The White Devils Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Franciscos Chinatown by Julia Flynn Siler. The book that changed my lifeI cant really say. Maybe I am a bit too militant about detachment, but every time I love a book, my heart breaks for a few weeks, I tell a few people, and then I erase it from my mind.…

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Jordan Peterson book returns to New Zealand bookshops after Christchurch attack

Whitcoulls reportedly removed the book from sale in light of some extremely disturbing material being circulated Controversial academic Jordan Peterson has publicised the reinstatement of his self-help book 12 Rules for Life at New Zealand book chain Whitcoulls, after it was removed from sale following the Christchurch attacks. Last week, images of an email from Whitcoulls were posted on social media in which a spokeswoman for the bookseller told a customer that it had taken the decision to remove Petersons book from sale in light of some extremely disturbing material…

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Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams: one of the last men to be executed in California

The once-feared leader of the Crips, put to death in 2005, had a warning for UK gangs. Tony Thompson met him in prison On 13 March 2019, Californias governor, Gavin Newsom, died by lethal injection on 13 December 2005, after last-minute appeals by his lawyers and a clemency petition to then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were unsuccessful. Tony Thompson spoke with Williams in this piece originally published on 27 November 2004. divider Stanley Tookie Williams is not typical of the 629 death row inmates at San Quentin prison in San Francisco.…

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Anti-vaxxers, the Momo challenge … why lies spread faster than facts

With Trump making six false claims a day and bogus Brexit claims spreading, we live in a disorienting post-truth era. It all began with the David Irving trial, writes Jonathan Freedland The queasiness keeps coming back, a very specific malady that I thought Id put behind me nearly 20 years ago. But each time I read about, say, the bogus version of the Momo challenge, or the rise and rise of the anti-vaxxer movement, the symptoms return, stronger than ever. If asked by a doctor to describe the sensation, Id…

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Siri Hustvedt: Im writing for my life

She has spent her life carving out a career as a writer of intellect in a world still dominated by men. Here, Siri Hustvedt talks about magic tricks, why you cant trust an author and seeing herself as ridiculous Siri Hustvedt is laughing. I feel so much urgency, she says, her long legs folded beneath her on an armchair. We are on the ground floor of the Brooklyn brownstone she shares with her husband, Hustvedt, who has just published her seventh novel, Memories of the Future, is figuring out which…

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Odds and Ends 

Woman Forced to Remove Dying Tree, Turns It Into Tiny Library Instead

When city workers of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho told Sharalee Armitage Howard they would have to remove a huge 110-year-old tree from her front yard, she was saddened. Determined to preserve whatever she could of the beautiful tree, she decided to turn the tree’s trunk into a free neighbourhood library with the help of the nonprofit organization, Little Free Library. With over 75,000 ‘Little Free Libraries’ in 88 countries, it’s possible you’ve seen these (though not as elaborate) in your own neighbourhood! According to Sharalee, the old cottonwood tree was starting…

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‘His Dark Materials’ author shares a piece of genuinely helpful writing advice on Twitter

Image: Getty Images As anyone who writes – for work, fun, or both – will know, writing can be a long and lonely process made even more difficult by self-doubt and distractions from the outside world. Sometimes it feels like you’re just sitting around waiting for inspiration.  While writing advice seems to be in abundance, not all of it is that helpful or even realistic. But of His Dark Materials Philip Pullman just shared a really good, tangible piece of advice on Twitter.  SEE ALSO: J.K. Rowling shares writing advice,…

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Fetishizing books is not the same thing as loving reading

Disclosed book on a table. Close-up.Image: Getty Images If you follow a lot of people who watch a lot of Netflix, then you’ve probably spent a lot of 2019 so far watching them argue about books. Specifically, about Tidying Up with Marie Kondo‘s approach to books. “Keep your tidy, spark-joy hands off my book piles, Marie Kondo,” gasped The Washington Post. “Marie Kondo, back off! Why this book hoarder refuses to tidy up,” declared Cnet. On Twitter, some bibliophiles expressed shock and horror, while others reacted to that shock and…

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Beautiful Wooden Bookshelf Inserts by Japanese Artist Monde

Built and Designed by Monde Japanese artist Monde has created a beautiful series of woodworks complete with a light switch! The Tokyo-based artist built and designed intricate, wooden bookshelf inserts that are like miniature dioramas of narrow alleyways you might find in the streets of Tokyo. [via unlka on reddit] Built and Designed by Monde Built and Designed by Monde Built and Designed by Monde Built and Designed by Monde Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/2018/11/wooden-bookshelf-inserts-by-monde/

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Sorry everyone, Stephen King has just given this 1 word a ‘long vacation’

The King of horror is done with things being 'amazing'.Image: WireImage This isn’t the first time Stephen King has banned a particular word or phrase. Anyone who’s read his excellent book On Writing will know he has more than a few pet peeves, and in recent years he’s taken to expressing these on Twitter. SEE ALSO: 41 times Stephen King’s dog Molly was the most evil beast on the internet Here’s an example from last year: Note to writers: “Amazing” is very tired. “Amazing” needs a long vacation. Therefore, please…

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Stephen King sells short story film rights to students for $1

Stephen King is all about those student films.Image: WireImage For anyone hoping to make their mark in the world of horror movies, you’d think a Stephen King adaption would pretty much be the holy grail. For some students at Blaenau Gwent Film Academy in Wales, UK, though, it’s a reality. SEE ALSO: 13 of the best Stephen King short stories you’ve never read The Academy recently signed a contract to adapt “Stationary Bike”, a short story featured in King’s collection Just After Sunset. And they only had to pay $1…

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