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!
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby offers an intriguing, unexpected look at love in its many forms. With the complicated relationships among Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, Nick, Jordan, and the Wilsons, the book captures love at its most hopeful, selfish, and inevitable moments. Just in time for this weekend's much-anticipated movie release, we're taking a look at some of the novel's most famous quotes to see how love is portrayed in the popular story. Before you watch the relationships play out on the big screen, check out the surprising insights on love according to The Great Gatsby!
We love using Instagram to share what books we've been reading in our downtime, and we want you to share the titles you can't get enough of as well! We've rounded up all the page-turners you shared with us on Instagram — and if you'd like to get in on the book-club fun, then caption your pictures with the hashtag #POPBOOKS. From poolside mags to Kindle books in the airport to novels at the park, we love seeing not only what you're reading, but also how you're reading it. Check out what our readers have been flipping through now, and be sure to share your own #POPBOOKS with POPSUGAR Sex & Culture on Instagram!
Eye candy for art enthusiasts and sugar hounds alike, pastry chef Caitlin Freeman's new book, Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art ($16, originally $25), is definitely worth perusing! While Caitlin's desserts are currently sold at SFMOMA's Blue Bottle Coffee Bar, she masterfully breaks down the process into 27 recipes for the book that range from basic to downright ambitious.
What started as a field trip to SFMOMA for a college photography class, ironically shaped Caitlin's serendipitous path to becoming a master of sweets. The former co-owner of San Francisco's pastry shop Miette and current pastry chef for Blue Bottle Coffee Company, Caitlin blames her career change from aspiring photographer to pastry tycoon on Thiebaud's Display Cakes. "Once I discovered it, I found myself sneaking off for illicit visits while my classmates ogled the old Walker Evans photos," she writes.
We caught up with Caitlin to delve into the book's fascinating backstory. Keep reading to get the scoop on recipes from the book she swears anyone can do, her crazy kitchen renovation ideas, and more!
Some of our favorite authors are out with new novels this month, just in time for the beginning of beach season. The Da Vinci Code's Dan Brown is taking on Dante's Inferno, while the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns is back with a book that travels from San Francisco to Kabul. There are also a number of promising memoirs and nonfiction titles out this month. Click through to find out what we're adding to our reading list.
Are books one of your biggest spending vices? You may think that great literature is worth any price, but buying books here and there can quickly add up. If you're a voracious reader, try to save money by getting some of your books for free through these means:
- Library: You won't need to spend a cent on books when you borrow from the library. And if you can't find a book you want in your local branch, you can put in a request for a book that's available in other branches to be sent to a library near you. And if ebooks are your favored way of reading, you can borrow ebooks for free from most libraries. Check out the other freebies from the library.
- Become a well-known reviewer: You can get free books from authors, even the acclaimed and famous ones, if you try this trick. A lot of times, you can even get the book ahead of its release. All you have to do is start building up a nice repertoire of really solid and detailed book reviews on Amazon or Good Reads, the social network for book recommendations. If your Amazon reviews are good, people will start voting on them, which may qualify you for Amazon's Vine program, an exclusive club that "invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and prerelease items." And if you're a popular Good Reads reviewer, authors will start reaching out to you to review their books.
- Follow authors and book blogs: If you don't have time to review books, you can follow other reviewers or the authors themselves on their blogs to see when they host giveaways for their latest books. You may even get books ahead of their releases.
- Amazon free list: Online superstore Amazon has a huge collection of free ebooks. It has a top 100 free ebooks list that's regularly updated.
- Book swap: There are many sites that let you swap books with others for free. This includes bookmooch, paperbackswap, and even one that swaps eBooks, eBookFling. There may also be in-person book swaps in your city, so check out event sites like meetup to see if there are any local book swaps.