Nowadays, Huck Finn is as a lightning rod for racial issues, which explains why so many schools have banned the book over the years. But in the late 18th century, when Mark Twain published it, the novel was more controversial as a critique of childhood in America. In the Times, Year in Reading alum Parul Sehgal reads Huck Finn’s America, a new book by Andrew Levy that sheds light on the context of the era. You could also read our founder C. Max Magee on reading Huck Finn as a child.
That writing and coffee go hand in hand is no surprise, but drinking heavy cream from a coffee mug? That’s a little unusual, even for Agatha Christie. Flavorwire has collected 9 of the oddest food rituals of famous writers, and their list pairs well with this infographic on writing and snacks, and with Seth Sawyers‘s Millions essay on food and reading, “Because I, Too, Am Hungry.”
“When danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and are simply terrible; but at certain distances and with certain modifications, they may be, and they are delightful, as we every day experience. The cause of this I shall endeavour to investigate further.” David Shields quotes Edmund Burke in an interview about his new book War Is Beautiful.