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Married To Surfing: Talking to William Finnegan About His Barbarian Days 

I picked up William Finnegan’s surf memoir Barbarian Days on a beach this summer, and felt—I was stoned, the sky was astounding, the waves were delirious—that I’d fallen into an almost violent communion. As with the excerpts previously published in The New Yorker, where Finnegan’s been a staff writer since 1987… » 8/13/15 10:53am 8/13/15 10:53am

Daniel Bryan's Yes! Is The Worked Shoot Of Wrestling Books

Late in Yes!, the new memoir from the great pro wrestler Daniel Bryan, there’s a moment where Bryan comes to an epiphany about what he’s doing in the WWE—the place where he’s been employed since 2009: “I came to the realization that what we were doing in WWE was no longer pro wrestling,” he writes. “Instead, what most… » 7/30/15 7:00pm 7/30/15 7:00pm

Go Set A Watchman Isn't A Good Book, But It Is An Important One

If it weren’t for the circumstances surrounding Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the novel’s deep flaws might pass by unnoticed. It began life as a private manuscript that, after much editing, became 1960’s critically acclaimed and universally beloved To Kill a Mockingbird, and the two share the same settings and… » 7/24/15 11:58am 7/24/15 11:58am

Hey, You Don't Have To Read Harper Lee's New Book

So Go Set a Watchman, the second book about the main characters from the 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, comes out today. That’s the safest way to write that sentence: It permits, I think, all the abundant uncertainty and controversy. This is a book, written by someone, about those characters, and even if it was… » 7/14/15 10:39am 7/14/15 10:39am

All The Ways Game of Thrones’s [REDACTED] Might Not Be Dead

Learning that a major character died in a Game of Thrones season finale shouldn’t surprise you. But exactly who died in last Sunday’s episode very well might. Is this character really as dead as them seem, though? Here are all the reasons viewers and book readers alike have devised that [REDACTED] may yet be around.
» 6/16/15 7:42pm 6/16/15 7:42pm

Ty Cobb Was No One's Antihero

For no obvious reason, 2015 has become the summer of Ty Cobb. Two new books about the famously belligerent outfielder are in print this year, one from SI editor Charles Leerhsen and another, more ambitiously-subtitled one—War on the Basepaths: The Definitive Biography of Ty Cobb—by independent historian Tim Hornbaker.… » 6/11/15 1:21pm 6/11/15 1:21pm

A Complete Guide To The Mythical History Of Westeros

Long before the events of Game of Thrones and George R. R. Martin’s fantasy books, Westeros was home to magic and strange, sinister creatures. We’ve only just started to glimpse this backstory on the show, but the books contain lots of hints. Here’s our complete guide to the fantastical past of this grim world. » 6/09/15 9:11pm 6/09/15 9:11pm

On Game Of Thrones, Remaining True To Yourself Is The Worst Lie Of All

A few characters face terrible choices in this week’s Game of Thrones. They pretty much all choose expediency over principle. In the midst of all this, one character says these choices should be easy as long as you remain true to yourself. But that’s the most insidious lie of all. Spoilers ahead... » 6/08/15 12:51pm 6/08/15 12:51pm

One Thing the Game of Thrones TV Show Does So Much Better Than the Books

As an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, the Game of Thrones TV series will always be compared to its source material. Given how beloved the books are, the show can usually only match them, more often falling short. But there’s one way that the show is kicking the books’… » 6/02/15 4:05pm 6/02/15 4:05pm

On Game Of Thrones, Recruiting Followers Is Hard...Unless You're A Wight

Last night’s Game of Thrones was a welcome return to form. It was also a weirdly structured episode: Half a series of vignettes about faith and learning to read people, and half a rip-roaring apocalyptic action movie. But it was all tied together by the contrast between single-minded zombies and undependable humans. » 6/01/15 2:46pm 6/01/15 2:46pm

10 Utterly Brilliant Novels That Have One Fatal Flaw

There’s no such thing as a perfect book — but some books feel as though they could be just about perfect, if they didn’t have one nagging problem. And sometimes, the most wonderful books have the most glaring shortfalls. Here are 10 amazing novels that are each marred by a fatal flaw. » 5/07/15 6:47pm 5/07/15 6:47pm

Last Night’s Game Of Thrones Was Actually Pretty Hard To Watch

Two different groups of scary fanatics went on a rampage in the latest Game of Thrones episode, and it was pretty upsetting to watch, even by Thrones standards. The Sons of the Harpy and the Sparrows both want to restore old traditions, and they both build on the weaknesses of two very different queens.Spoilers… » 5/04/15 12:41pm 5/04/15 12:41pm

On Game Of Thrones, It Turns Out You Win AND You Die

Back in season one of Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister told us that when you play the game of thrones, "you win or you die." But by now, it's become clear to Cersei (and everyone else) that this isn't an either/or proposition. You can win the game, and still be toast. Just ask Tywin Lannister. » 4/13/15 12:35pm 4/13/15 12:35pm