books

Twilight leaving you hanging? Try vampire erotica.

Twilight leaving you hanging? Try vampire erotica.

Depending on whom you ask, the lack of sex in the Twilight saga is either the essence of its appeal or its greatest flaw. If you’re squarely in the latter category, then you might want to turn to the new book The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica, edited by D.K. King, to satisfy your blood lust. It contains all the naughty stuff that the Twilight vampires would probably be getting up to if Stephanie Meyer wasn’t so, you know, Mormon. Here’s a taster (sorry…) from one of the stories in the collection, “Red by Any Other Name” by Kathleen Bradean, which combines S&M and power play with vampire lovin’:

Jonathan Littell beats off stiff competition at Bad Sex Awards

Jonathan Littell beats off stiff competition at Bad Sex Awards

Turns out we were wrong in our Roth prediction — this year’s Bad Sex Award ended up going to Jonathan Littell for his novel The Kindly Ones. Other fancy-pants runners up included Paul Theroux, Nick Cave, Amos Oz, and John Banville. The judges said very nice things about Littell’s novel — which was originally published in French — calling it “in part a work of genius.” However, lines such as “I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg” clinched the award for The Kindly Ones. Perhaps it came off better in the original French? The award was presented at the — chortle chortle — In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in St James’s Square, London, where 400 guests congratulated themselves on being both highbrow and hilarious on the topic of sex.

In the winning passage (below), Littell is inspired by ancient mythology, to somewhat disastrous results.

Britain's Bad Sex Award pits Philip Roth against Nick Cave

Britain's Bad Sex Award pits Philip Roth against Nick Cave

photo via the Los Angeles Times

If there’s one thing the Brits are good at, it’s laughing about sex, whether it’s lowbrow, bum-pinching humor — paging Benny Hill — or the highbrow upper echelons of London’s literary society. The cool kids in the latter category are definitely at the Literary Review magazine, with their annual Bad Sex Awards. The announcement of the selections each year leads to a flurry of bad-pun headlines in the British press — “stiff competition” being a favorite phrase (Benny Hill would be proud!). Past nominees have included such heavy hitters as Gabriel García Márquez, Norman Mailer and Salman Rushdie. This year’s shortlist is no different, including John Banville, Paul Theroux, singer-turned-writer Nick Cave, and Philip Roth. The only surprise with Roth is that it took him this long to make the cut.

Kanye West glows in the dark

Kanye West glows in the dark

Love him or hate him, one thing is for certain: you’ve talked about Kanye West this year. He’s the arrogant buffoon who bullied a teen girl in front of millions. He’s the rap star who at the top of his game turned his back on hip-hop’s school of thought and made a techno-pop album where he sings. He’s remarkably annoying.

Penguins continue to wage war on family values

Penguins continue to wage war on family values

photo by Paul_Mannix Guess which book, according to the American Library Association, is the title most often requested to be removed from schools and libraries in the U.S.? Give up? For the third year in a row, it’s And Tango Makes Three, which is a guide to building your own bomb while smoking crack and attending…

How to build business sustainability from your cubicle: Tim Sander's Saving the World at Work

How to build business sustainability from your cubicle: Tim Sander's Saving the World at Work

What were you thinking about on September 16, 2008? Green business ideas probably weren’t at the top of the list… September 15 was the day that Lehman Brothers went belly up, and you were probably more focused on your portfolio and savings. As such, Tim Sanders’ book Saving the World at Work (released on — you guessed it — September 16) got buried under talk of a second Great Depression.
Sanders and publisher Doubleday decided to give the book another go, and relaunched it on September 16th of this year. I’m glad they did: while the title led me to believe I was going to be reading another “how to” book on greening the workplace (which is not a bad thing), Sanders goes well beyond tips on saving paper and electricity.

Books: So Sue Me, Jackass!

Books: So Sue Me, Jackass!

You know all those questions that you really want to ask when you meet a lawyer at a cocktail party? But you restrain yourself because you figure it’s not polite to ask a complete stranger whether you could get sued if you broke someone’s penis during sex. Well, our friend Robin Epstein and her sister Amy Epstein Feldman have written a book to save you the embarrassment: So Sue Me, Jackass! Avoiding Legal Pitfalls That Can Come Back to Bite You at Work, at Home, and at Play. “At Play” being our favorite topic, of course — like, who gets to keep the ring in a broken engagement? Are you really “common law married” if you live together for seven years? Can you claim temporary insanity and get out of your marriage if you were drunk when you said “I do”? And why the hell do mattresses have tags that say “Do not remove under penalty of law”? Anyway, about that broken penis…

10 good reasons why women have sex

10 good reasons why women have sex

It seems like everyone right now is talking about that new book Why Women Have Sex, by Cindy Meston and David Buss. Apparently lots of women reported having sex to keep the peace, to stave off boredom, to relieve a headache, or to get their husbands to take out the trash (oh, yeah, and occasionally…

Green tech finds (8/6/09)

Green tech finds (8/6/09)

Green tech galore… here are this week’s finds.

  • Smart car charging comes to San Diego: If you envision freeloading friends trying to charge their cars up at your place in the future, fear not: as a part of its testing of car-charging stations, San Diego will have participants use a Plug Smart “intelligent charger” that makes sure the drivers get the bill for the electricity.

  • Package delivery by UrbanMole: Both Fed-Ex and UPS (among others) are doing there best to green up their operations. Designer Phillip Hermes’ UrbanMole concept would take the trucks off of the street completely with a “capsule-like device … that travels through an underground pipe network that transports packages of all stripes.” (via Cleantechnica)

Books: The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

Books: The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

Laurie Sandell’s graphic memoir, The Impostor’s Daughter, just hit bookstores, and even if she wasn’t our good friend, we’d still tell you that it’s our number one pick for a beach read this summer. (By the way, “graphic memoir” = graphic novel-style memoir. The rest of the book is not nearly as dirty as the page we excerpted above. What can we say, we’re smut peddlers.) Anyway, the book chronicles Laurie’s search for the truth about her charming and brilliant con artist father — and how her relationship with him affected everything from her career as a celebrity journalist to her love life. (Paging unavailable men!) It’s hilarious, engrossing, honest, and smart — plus, look at all those pictures! You’ll race through it even if the wind is blowing sand in your face.

A tale of two book covers.

A tale of two book covers.

Above, the covers for two erotica anthologies. When MILF Fantasies was released as an ebook by Ravenous Romance earlier this year, it barely sold. Young Studs was made available shortly after, and shot into Ravenous Romance’s top ten. This would be nothing more than a curiosity of sales data, were it not for one essential…

The Ancient Book of Sex and Science

The Ancient Book of Sex and Science

When you, as an adult, spend the majority of your time creating adorable G-rated worlds for kids, that hidden sexual side of you is bound to come out — and probably, shall we say, enthusiastically. (Anyone remember the movie S.O.B. in which squeaky clean Julie “Mary Poppins” Andrews rips her top off and exposes her boobies? No? Good. It’s scarring.) Well, in their spare time, four Pixar animators have been working on a series of cool art books, the second and most recent of which is “The Ancient Book of Sex and Science” (the first was the now sold-out “Ancient Book of War and Myth”).

Books: The Other Side of Desire

Books: The Other Side of Desire

We’ve read — or at least skimmed — hundreds of books about sex in our ten years in the biz, and our shelves are stacked with tomes on everything from gays in the military to the science of seduction. Some educate us, some make us laugh, some make us blush, some make good door-stops — and then every now and then, a book just completely blows us away. Like Daniel Bergner’s The Other Side of Desire. It’s an engrossing, sensitive, intelligent exploration of various forms of lust and longing, and it is by turns shocking and moving — and occasionally even romantic. Bergner hangs his story on four main characters: a foot fetishist, a female sadist, a child sex offender, and an amputee “devotee.” We chatted with him about furries, the Craigslist killer, and the age-old nature vs. nurture debate.

True confessions of a male escort

True confessions of a male escort

photo by crazytales562

Andrew Rosetta (not his real name) was an escort in London for ten years, where he made thousands of pounds a week. He tells all in his new memoir, Whatever She Wants: True Confessions of a Male Escort. We had about ten million questions we wanted to ask him, but we limited ourselves to just these few…

Books: American Parent

Books: American Parent

Sam Apple just came out with his second memoir (after Schlepping Through the Alps) called American Parent. From it, we learned that The Lamaze Method was created by Stalinists and based on false science that was forced upon the Soviet scientific community because the government couldn’t afford pain relief drugs for women in labor. He swears that’s true! Anyway, here’s a sweet (and sick, if you think about it for too long) excerpt about how his love for his newborn was like a romantic crush…

The book industry's slow farewell

The book industry's slow farewell

In an excellent long essay in The Nation entitled “The Long Goodbye? The Book Business and its Woes,” the legendary editor Elisabeth Sifton writes about the decline of the book industry from her perspective as a towering figure in the literary world over the last several decades. Sifton has edited dozens of books you’ve either…

Books: Beowulf on the Beach (Part 2 of 2)

Books: Beowulf on the Beach (Part 2 of 2)

Last week we did a Q&A with Jack Murnighan, author of Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature’s 50 Greatest Hits, about the sexiest stuff in classic literature. Today we’ve got the “What’s Sexy” section of his chapter on the New Testament…

Books: Beowulf on the Beach (Part 1 of 2)

Books: Beowulf on the Beach (Part 1 of 2)

Our friend Jack Murnighan’s new book, Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature’s 50 Greatest Hits, is guaranteed to inspire you to pick up at least one classic this summer. And not because you “should” or because it’ll make you a better person or a more interesting date (though all these things are true), but because they’re actually, you know, good. As in, funny, sexy, engrossing beach reads. Back when we were all colleagues at Nerve.com, Jack penned a weekly column called Jack’s Naughty Bits, in which he mined both modern and classic books for the sex — and yet still managed to make you feel high-brow just for reading it. We chatted with him about his latest below.

Don't be caught dead reading that

Don't be caught dead reading that

photo: Clever Covers You read the New York Times weekend edition cover to cover; you spice up cocktail party conversation by quoting Proust and Kant; you adore obscure indie shorts on SundanceChannel.com. You’re an intellectual who never shies away from metaphysical debates or multi-syllabic words. BUT…you’ve got a deep dark secret:  you’re addicted to trashy…

Decoding Love with Andrew Trees

Decoding Love with Andrew Trees

photo via DecodingLove.com If your Magic 8 Ball is a less-than-reliable dating guide, then author Andrew Trees has a better idea: Why not turn to the latest studies in economics, neurochemistry and game theory instead? We chatted with him about his latest book, Decoding Love: Why It Takes Twelve Frogs to Find a Prince and…