Looking for poolside page-turners you can dive into while you're away on an early Summer getaway? With a mix of popular classics, romantic novels, thrillers, and modern fiction, we're highlighting a range of options you can tote along on your next vacation. Before you start packing, take a look at these must-have beach reads!
Amazon hopes you still care about Serena, Blair, Dan, and the gang now that Gossip Girl is off the air. The company announced today that it will sell Gossip Girl fan fiction, as well as stories about The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, in the Kindle store. Those original books inspired the popular TV shows and a healthy amount of online fan fiction, and by bringing the latter to the Kindle, Amazon will make it easier to find and read. The company is also working on securing rights for additional content. The new program is called Kindle Worlds, and Amazon describes it as the "first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so."
Writers will be able to self-publish stories of 10,000 words or more, and those who are eligible can get up to 35 percent of each sale. The owners of the original content also get a portion. After the success of Twilight fan fiction like Fifty Shades of Grey and Beautiful Bastard, Amazon's foray into the genre seems like a savvy move. Tells us below if you have an appetite for it.
With the unofficial kickoff to Summer upon us, we have beach reads on the brain! In time for Memorial Day, here are three new page-turners that will keep your mind off the office while you enjoy the sun and sand. From a book of bite-size and hilarious essays to a much-anticipated sequel about a certain devil who wears Prada, here are the books to pack along.
With Memorial Day weekend around the corner, we're ready for the long, lazy days of basking in the sun over the coming months. So as we soak up the warm weather and daydream in our offices about diving headfirst into the refreshing waters of an ocean, lake, or pool, get in the mood for the skin-baring season with these vintage Summer ads for bikinis, cold beverages, sunscreen, and more. Check out how women back in the day enjoyed their hot Summer days — from their pointy-chested bikinis to their Summer flings — now!
Modern Dating: A Field Guide, a collaboration between writer and blogger Chiara Atik and HowAboutWe cofounders Brian Schechter and Aaron Schildkrout, is jam-packed with real-world advice on courtship for singles in this modern dating jungle of sexting, online dating apps, and Google searches. But while the guide tackles these new technologies and the complications of contemporary dating, it's also full of sweet and simple dating rules that ring true no matter what decade you were born in.
Here's just one helpful excerpt from the book on first dates:
10 Things You Should Know at the End of a First Date
- If he's gainfully employed
- If he's cheap (as opposed to thrifty, which is fine)
- If you have at least one thing in common
- If you think he's funny
- If he's smart
- If he's insecure
- If he has a kid
- If he seems genuinely interested in you
- If he's polite
- If he talks about himself the whole time
5 Things You Shouldn't Know
- How much money he makes
- How awesome his ex is, and why they broke up
- What he's like when he's really drunk
- How many other dates he's been on lately
- How hard he's working to overcome any issues/psychological problems/setbacks
After its first openly gay character — Kevin Keller — came out in 2010, Archie Comics has printed its first gay kiss. The smooch between Kevin and his boyfriend, Devon, angers a Riverdale mom in the comic, which, according to the issue's writer and artist Dan Parent, is a "playful poke" at the real controversy the Kevin storyline has caused with One Million Moms. The conservative group called for Toys"R"Us to take down a magazine that featured Kevin getting married, but Toys"R"Us refused.
This is the latest example of the genre's recent push to make comic strips and comic books more open to LGBT themes after being heavily censored by the Comics Code Authority up until 1989 (not that the restrictions prevented everyone from writing about gay characters). The road to a lesbian Batwoman and a gay Green Lantern has been rocky, but let's see how homosexuality has been portrayed both positively and negatively in comics over the years.
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."
Today, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage, marking another significant step for gay rights. Following Iowa's 2009 legalization, it's only the second state in the Midwest to approve a gay marriage bill, as most of the states who support gay marriage are on the East Coast. But the love is spreading. Six states have adopted a same-sex marriage law over the past six months, doubling the number of states where gay marriage is legal. That's a lot of change in a fairly short amount of time, so to keep you up to date, we've created a simple timeline of legalization across the US. Keep reading for a look at which states now support gay marriage.
Hipster haters, unite: apparently 27 percent of Americans think hipsters should pay a tax for being "so annoying." Public Policy Polling also found that 42 percent have an unfavorable opinion of hipsters. And with the negative stereotype the subculture carries, it's no wonder even hipsters hate hipsters. These recent poll results may be a sign that we're reaching a saturation point with the too-cool-for-school group. So as we maybe, possibly enter a new posthipster era, let's take a look back at hipster history.