Sex-fueled title Beautiful Bastard is heating up the New York Times bestseller list, practically making Twilight-inspired erotica its own genre. Just like E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey, the book follows two Edward and Bella inspired characters who just can't keep their hands off each other. Racy novels, now often dubbed "mommy porn," might seem like a recent trend, but in fact, erotic writing dates back at least two millennia to the Greek poet Sappho. If you want to give steamy reading a chance, here are seven titles to try besides the fan-fiction incarnations.
All hail girls of the '90s! There's a new book on the horizon that celebrates the decade of jellies and Tamagotchis: The Totally Sweet '90s by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont (out June 4). The paperback breaks down the hottest trends, toys, video games, songs, and boy bands of the decade with a status update and fun fact on each. Like whatever happened to The Oregon Trail? You'll have to check out the book when it's out for the answer to that one, but I pulled out some of the craziest fun facts on 12 of my faves from the '90s from Lisa Frank to Squeezits. Check 'em out now!
Lisa Frank School Supplies
"Yes, Lisa Frank is a real person, and to no one's surprise, she loves color. Her sons are named Hunter Green and Forrest Green, and she told the Daily in 2012 that 'my house really is purple. And yellow and hot pink and light green and orange.'"
"Slap bracelets were invented by Stuart Anders, a Wisconsin shop teacher who was experimenting with thin bands of metal."
Baby-Sitters Club Books
"In the updated books, mention of a cassette player was changed to 'headphones' and a perm became 'an expensive hairstyle.'"
"The first-ever Caboodle was pink, and was created in 1987. The idea was inspired by a 1986 People magazine photo of Vanna White using a tackle box to store her makeup."
Dream Phone Game
"The game's instructions warn you that the included instrument is 'not a real phone.'"
"According to the New York Observer, former singer Rommy Revson patented the scrunchie concept as the Scünci in 1986, naming it for her poodle."
"In 2011, the phrase 'cassette tape' was removed from the concise version of the Oxford English Dictionary. One of the words it made room for? 'Sexting.'"
"The virtual pet sparked its own psychological term: The Tamagotchi Effect supposedly describes when a human develops an emotional attachment to a machine."
"Pog stands for 'passion fruit, orange, guava,' and came from a Hawaiian drink whose bottle caps were reportedly first used to play the game."
The Olsen Twins
"In 2004, the sisters skipped their high school prom so they could host Saturday Night Live."
Oprah's Book Club
"The only real flops among Oprah's choices were her final two. Charles Dickens's Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities never moved above number 52 on USA Today's bestseller list. 'Dickens let me down,' Winfrey reportedly said."
"For a brief time, one Squeezit version came with tablets that you would drop in to change the juice's color."
For anyone fascinated by film, celebrity, and the glamorous South of France, these juicy reads about the annual Cannes Film Festival are the perfect page-turners for your Summer reading list. Just in time for this year's event, we're sharing a variety of books about the festival's history, scandals, and most famous faces. Take a look at these autobiographies, portrait collections, and insider stories for a compelling view of the Cannes Film Festival!
From infancy on, winding down the day with a bedtime story is a favorite way for kids to fall asleep. Lest you grow weary of reading the same book again and again and again, we've rounded up seven favorite books about bedtime to read before your kids go to sleep. Check out our ideas of books to add to your little one's library, from the beloved Goodnight Moon to some options you may not be familiar with. Sweet dreams!
Mother's Day is this Sunday, and if you're looking for the perfect last-minute gift for Mom, we've got some books she's sure to love. Whether she's looking for something lighthearted and funny or an emotional memoir, these page-turners take on the issues mothers and mothers-to-be can relate to. And many of these are great for daughters, too, so you can borrow it when Mom's done! Check out books that will make great Mother's Day gifts now.
Good news for Erica Jong fans — her controversial novel Fear of Flying will soon be adapted for the big screen. First published in 1973, the smart book made waves with its frank, feminist perspective on women's sexual attitudes. In it, a young married woman lives out her sexual fantasies while traveling in Europe. It was a bold storyline back in the '70s, and with the recent success of Fifty Shades of Grey, the film adaptation comes at a time when female sexuality is already in the spotlight. So we're curious: have you ever read Fear of Flying?
If you're anything like us, you're counting down the days until The Great Gatsby hits theaters today. And thanks to the film's book cover that was recently released (featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan), we can just feel the excitement drumming.
It's not the only Gatsby cover to leave an impression, though. Since the novel was first released in 1925, many illustrations and photos have been the face of the legendary book. Here, we've rounded up 20 of them that are whimsical, bright, and full of 1920s flair. Click on to check 'em out.
If you're still stumped about what to get mom this Mother's Day, you're in luck! Turns out, getting a gift on the fly can be just as thoughtful as a present you took weeks to plan. Trust us. Keep reading to get the skinny on our three go-to gifts for mom (that won't require overnight shipping)!
Think of it as a riff on the tried-and-true Mother's Day bouquet — only this one won't wilt after a few days. While you could pick up something stunning like this geometric vessel, you could also get away with shopping your shelves. Glass punch bowls, vases, and even wineglasses can look just as cool. For tips and an easy how-to, check out our terrarium DIY!
Gift Baskets (Done Right!)
I know what you're thinking, but replace the cellophane and granny basket visual with a more modern, lidded version filled with foolproof home goods. One-stop shops like Target or Cost Plus World Market will guarantee you a good-looking basket and the fixings. Tea towels, wrapped soaps, neutral picture frames, and a beautifully packaged candle will never steer you astray.
Decorator in a Box
For the mom who wants to redecorate a room or has a design conundrum, consider buying her a gift certificate for Decorator in a Box to slip into a Mother's Day card. Decorator Annie Pauza offers a virtual design service that's more affordable than hiring a traditional interior designer. It's great for moms who need creative help but don't mind doing the leg work. Starting at $350, you can purchase a design plan for an entire room (complete with a decor shopping list, layout, swatches, etc.) or you can pick a single service, a la carte item for something like paint color selections or window treatment design starting at just $50.
If you're stressed about the sticker shock and time commitment associated with this type of gift, don't be. Peruse coffee-table tomes filled with photography or vintage botanical prints and snip something for mom. Ikea carries a range of affordable frames with clean lines that look good with any type of art. Use the mat that is sold with the frame or pop into craft stores like Michaels for a custom job that won't cost a fortune.
It's no secret that young-adult book series are having a pretty big moment right now, especially since many of them are going on to get the Hollywood treatment. Veronica Roth's Divergent is one of the most hotly anticipated adaptations of 2014, especially now that the movie has been cast, with Shailene Woodley taking the lead as heroine Tris. The story is set in a postapocalyptic Chicago, where society is divided into different groups called factions based on character traits (like Dauntless, Candor, and Erudite).
Roth wrote the the novel, which is the first in a trilogy (the third novel is out this Fall), while she was a student at Northwestern University. Naturally, watching her books grow in fandom and exposure has changed her life. I recently chatted with the author about the genesis of Divergent, her experience on the set of the film, and what she makes of comparisons between her work and the likes of The Hunger Games.
What's this whole experience been like for you, from writing Divergent in college to seeing it get made into a movie?
Veronica Roth: It's been amazing. It's obviously not what I was expecting when I was in my rubber ducky pajamas writing this first book on Winter break. It's been definitely kind of transformative. It's definitely changed me as a writer, and it's been really exciting.
When it comes to casting the movie and writing the screenplay, how hard is it to pass off your work to someone else?
VR: I think I was prepared for the difficulty of it. Obviously, it's always a challenge to give up the reins and let someone else take over, but I was also just so excited to see how other people would interpret the story and the world that every time I read a script or I saw the ideas that they were putting together for the movie, it was just really exciting, and kind of gave me a new perspective on what the world might look like or what the story could've been if I had written it a different way. It was really interesting and far more positive than I had originally anticipated.
Which casting do you think is the most spot-on?
VR: That's a good question. I think it's kind of a tie, and they did an incredible job on the leads. When I saw Shailene [Woodley] as Tris for the first time, I was like, "Yup! There it is. It's perfect." Even though she's not a tiny blond girl, I think she does a great job with it. And Theo James as Four, he looks just right and he acted just right. They've done a great job with those leads.
Have you had a chance to visit the set?
VR: I did! It was really amazing. I walked in and I was speechless for about two hours. And they kept trying to introduce me to people, and I would just stare at them because I was so stunned. It was really incredible to see the world realized in such great detail.
Did any of the actors want to pick your brain about their characters?
VR: A few of them were really interested in my analysis. I think it depends on the character; some of them are straightforward, but others, like Peter [played by Miles Teller], for example, are a little harder to understand, and I think they wanted to get a better grasp. And obviously I'm happy to talk that through with them. It's kind of a weird, surreal experience to do that.
To see which scenes Roth is most excited about and how she feels about The Hunger Games, just read more
The question of whether we judge books by their covers has now been given a gendered spin. This week, YA author Maureen Johnson invited people to reimagine popular book covers as if the author were of the opposite gender. Hundreds of people responded to her proposal, sharing "flipped" book covers on Tumblr to highlight the stereotypical differences between covers for male and female writers. Take a look at some of the most fascinating book-cover makeovers!