The genius of Serial, a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, is right in its name: instead of telling a whole story at once, each episode reveals a little more about the 1999 murder of high-school senior Hae Min Lee and the ex-boyfriend who committed—or maybe didn’t? or maybe did?!—the crime. Naturally, this gets hugely addictive hugely fast, and the week between new installments suddenly takes foooooreeeeever. Help pass the time with these sinister nonfiction picks.
The weather is getting colder, which means scarf season is almost upon us. But you're bored with the usual fare--single-color pashminas with tassled ends, chunky crocheted infinity scarves. You want something fun, something different. Well, have we got the scarves for you.
Food blogger Lindsay Landis has invented the perfect cookie dough. It tastes great. It’s egg free (and thus safe to eat raw). You can whip it up in minutes. And, best of all, you can use it to make dozens of delicious cookie dough creations, from cakes, custards, and pies to candies, brownies, and even granola bars. Included are recipes for indulgent breakfasts (cookie dough doughnuts!), frozen treats (cookie dough Popsicles!), and outrageous snacks (cookie dough eggrolls! cookie dough fudge! cookie dough pizza!).
Your high school history teachers never gave you a book like this one! Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents features outrageous and uncensored profiles of the men in the White House-complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacko facts. You’ll discover that:
In most honest form, I recall to you an academic list, which I have fastidiously discovered through Plutonian nightmares that have defiled my fleeting knowledge of the earthly truths I once knew, of the six scariest words I have accounted in my life. Few have endured this maldictonox that was borne to pass under my visage.
A long time ago, before the internet gave us pictures of cats in pumpkins to celebrate Halloween, people liked to gather together and tell scary stories. Even before Halloween as we know it became an official holiday the end of the harvest, the shortening of the days, the impending winter, and the chill in the air sent people rushing to huddle around a fire eager to scare each other witless. It wasn’t just about the fun of seeing who could be the last man standing, there was also a bond that was built that would be needed for the bleak months ahead. This was the case long before master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe was even in short pants (which probably caught fire, given his luck), but after his works started to gain popularity there was a whole new batch of horrors for people to soil themselves to!
Poe’s works were visceral, unapologetic, gruesome, and psychological. He pioneered the “singular effect,” which basically meant if your aim is to write a scary story every single thing you put to paper should be for the sole purpose of making your reader curl into a fetal position and cry. Poe’s works are almost always from a first person perspective, meaning you jump into a person’s brain every time you read one and it seems like they’re always begging you personally to back them up.
It also makes them the perfect works to read out loud in the storytelling tradition. For the audience, they get to see a performance rather than a reading, and for the reader, well, who doesn’t love the excuse to go a little mad from time to time?
In a world of graphic visual violence we often forget how terrifying just sound can be (until we hear something at the window while we’re trying to sleep and remember we live on the 10th floor). This Halloween, instead of just opting for another slasher-movie fest, or eating your weight’s worth in snickers, why not gather a group of friends together, dim the lights, and have a ghost story party? Special Guest star: Edgar Allan Poe. Plus 1: Terror.
Here are my top recommendations of Poe works to accomplish your singular effect of scary fun! Happy Halloween!