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Aimless is a collection of short stories featuring bursts of fictional oddities, cerebral essays, and various references to sexual fantasies gone terribly awry. Drawing inspiration from authors of the beat generation, Aimless gives life to characters as shady as the circumstances in which they were conceived. Featured tales include two men who gleefully decide upon suicide over paying their debts, a group of friends during earth’s last day, and an essay about making cake.
What does it mean to grow up with pink bits between your legs? Writer Kat George takes you on a journey of self-discovery from the moment you’re pushed out of a vagina, to the moment you realize you have one, and the ongoing struggle of figuring out what it all means. From her first period, to sex in a hostel cloakroom, to fully lucid cervical biopsies, Kat’s charming, sometimes painful yet hilarious stories of feminine exploration will have you giggling, squirming, and hopefully feeling a little bit less alone when you’re face-to-face with your own sexuality.
White Flamingos follows a young couple during their last week before moving away from a small college town in Arizona. Trent McEntyre and his fiancée, Claudia Minter, must say their goodbyes to family and friends but find that tying up loose ends is more complicated than they had imagined. Trent’s friend, Casey, has become involved with a small-time drug dealer, with whom Trent must negotiate for Casey’s safety. Claudia’s younger brother, Brett, needs a different sort of protection from an overbearing, well-to-do father.
At 23 years old and still celibate against his will, Wes has run the numbers: it is officially more likely an asteroid will kill him before he ever ends up naked in someone else’s bed. What’s his problem, you ask? He couldn’t tell you. Wes likes bars, booze, and fun; he has a job, an apartment, and no major deformities… what more does a 20-something need to be a bit of a slut now and then!? In his quest to lose his virginity and join the legions of normal, sex-having adults, Wes gets everything but lucky. Run-ins with the police, compulsive liars, convicts, a sadistic bikini-waxer named Thelma, and one almost-orgy can all be found in the laugh-out-loud-funny I Swear I’ll Be Good at It!
The Doctor is certainly the legend with untold faces, the mythic hero who dies to save mankind only to return, regenerated into an undying god with new wisdom of the ages. But his companions are journeying too. Rose Tyler and Donna Noble cross the TARDIS threshold and grow from ordinary women into goddesses of transcendent light, restoring the world with their golden auras. Martha learns faith and Amy, the power of imagination, until both can save the Doctor purely with the strength of their belief. By willing the world to reshape itself, they harness the power of the oldest goddesses who ruled with creation magic rather than conquest. River Song is the divine child of the TARDIS, magic itself, while Clara learns the heroine’s mythic power of spreading herself through eternity and thus reshaping reality as the Doctor’s world. United, they battle for the earth’s redemption by confronting the shadows within.
Rick is an unassuming limo driver and former petty thief, quietly struggling to come to terms with the sins of his past and his hopes for the future. While the anti-hero longs to one day find love and peace, he cannot easily forget his crimes and leave the past behind. A noir tale of love, murder, and reconciliation, Of Ghosts and the Living sheds light on the nature of human compassion and many ways it can manifest in our lives. As Rick attempts to redeem himself in his own eyes and the eyes of those he has wronged, he begins to wonder whether or not he will ever truly escape the ghosts that haunt him.
A raw, smart, and darkly funny memoir, My Heart Is An Autumn Garage unapologetically chronicles a lifelong struggle with clinical depression. Anne Thériault neatly lays bare her heart, unsparingly detailing the naked self-loathing and self-destructive behaviors that led to her breakdown and subsequent hospitalization at the age of twenty one. Both an examination of the frightening and deeply dehumanizing treatment of psychiatric patients and a wry coming-of-age story, this book deftly explores the knife’s edge between despair and hope.
Confessions of a Token Black Girl is a snappy comedic tale framing Danielle’s first-hand experiences in Wisconsin and other places as the perpetual ‘token black girl,’ fraught with dark moments and hate crimes. It’s a coming-of-age-story but instead of finding herself during a road trip, Danielle found herself through the effects of racism. This book humorously chronicles Danielle’s quest for understanding what black identity means to her–instead of what it means to everyone else.
What do you do when someone you love is facing death? Why does cremation cost so much? Are some family members more important than others? Elizabeth relives the last 133 days of her mother’s fight with cancer through daily email updates sent by her father. She takes a realistic approach to hope, questions the definition of “faith” and embraces her impending sadness. For anyone who’s ever lost a loved one to cancer, or has been a cancer caretaker, Elizabeth’s stories and experiences will remind you that you’re truly not alone.
LJ and Mark continue to stay together despite all the bad feelings they harbor for each other. When Mark’s friend Garo visits town for the week, he becomes the perfect buffer for those feelings to finally air out. In outbursts at bars and cafes in the East Village and lofts of Fort Greene, LJ and Mark finally say the things they kept from each other for too long.
A popular question in philosophy is “How do I know I exist?” That seems really boring though. How about, “How can I use logic to get over my ex?” If you really love wisdom, you love it in all situations — you don’t need to be spoonfed unsolved problems in philosophy, because you’re already analyzing the US Weekly you’re reading or your kinda significant other. Sarah Heuer and Chrissy Stockton are writers living in Minneapolis who are determined to do something more interesting with their philosophy degrees than talk about dead white guys. PhiLOLZophy: Critical Thinking in Digestible Doses helps its readers think critically about vodka, religion and sex — proving that brains do have more fun.
We organize our memories according to year, place, and people. Seasons indelibly leave their mark on you as you pass through them. Unlike the cyclical, and thusly forgivingly repetitive nature of our natural seasons, we will never experience any moment or person ever again. This book is a very humble attempt at capturing people that have left their invisible wind swept mark on the author’s person. It’s examined, but not pithy. It’s maybe something considered funny or cute, but mostly nostalgic and writhing with what is missed. Forget regret, this is about experiences worth remembering. Contained within this book are a few stories and some personal letters to important women the author has known in his life. It’s exhaustively honest but be assured the names have been amended to protect those involved. Although, the author did correctly name one person, who told him she would be offended if he did otherwise. See if you can guess which one. You’re probably wrong.
Read without a grain of salt. Suggested drinking to accompany reading: a Bulleit Bourbon – neat, or a 24 oz PBR tallboy, or a Brooklyn Lager and a shot of Jameson (if you’re feelin’ fancy).
Boys is an anthology of essays showcasing the voices, stories, and lives of gay, queer, and trans* men from around the world. Through these essays, readers are allowed an intimate glimpse into moments like the time one of the boys accidentally came out as gay on MySpace, another was kidnapped by his mother who wanted to “pray the gay away,” to the first time a boy went to a leather bar after transitioning to male and before he became a famous porn artist and performer. Boys shows readers that at the end of the day, there isn’t one type of boy in the world, but lots of boys with all their own stories.
Chances are you’ve been there before: on an awkward first date where you find yourself stuck playing 20 questions with a person who has broccoli stuck in their teeth, or who spends half the evening whining about how their ex left them with an achy-breaky heart, or the one who shows up so on-the-rocks wasted that they end up passed out in their bowl of clam chowder before the main course arrives.
All My Friends Are Engaged is a collection of dating disaster stories, packed with witty and relatable answers to the age-old annoying question of “Why are you still single?” All the stories embarrassingly belong to the author, Jen Glantz, who you may have seen before on Thought Catalog, USA TODAY College, Thethingsilearnedfrom.com, or JDate.
At a lake community in the Midwestern United States, friends have gathered for five generations. In these essays, Violet Young transports us to a tranquil place seemingly preserved in time, where a group of friends struggles to reconcile tradition with modern forces and childhood dreams with adult realities.
In her years writing with Thought Catalog, it’s always been Chelsea’s goal while writing to make people laugh or think in a way that reminds them that people are all deeply connected, and that there is very little to be embarrassed about at the end of the day. So if you’ve ever found yourself Facebook creeping your ex’s new SO with a vigor you’ve never put into any job, or figuring out how to live like the Barefoot Contessa on the budget of Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee and her inexcusable mess of a Kwanzaa cake, then this book is for you.
Like it or not, the list as a legit writing form is here to stay. It’s easy to consume, reads quickly, delivers information efficiently, and sometimes, changes lives (seriously). Now that we’ve seen the list’s efficacy, we’ve embraced it wholeheartedly, and collected 17 Thought Catalog lists that just might make you rethink the way you see everything.
40 million people in the US have tried Internet dating, which means 40 million people have probably gone on some pretty crappy dates. Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters is about one guy who experienced more than his fair share. Brian Donovan, a writer and comedian whose work has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NPR and Chapelle’s Show, has been on over 100 Internet dates in a genuine search for love and happiness. Instead what he found was a whole lot of crazy. Like the girl who couldn’t stop crying, or the one who caught on fire, or the girl who confronted him on national TV. Whether he likes it or not, Donovan has become an expert on Internet dating, and Not a Match is a collection of the stories, lessons, and advice he learned along the way. Perfect for any dater, Internet or otherwise, who has ever looked across the table and thought, “Wow, we are really not a match.”
We go to happy hour every day after work — does this mean we’re alcoholics, or just frugal? We spend way too much time online — are we wasting our lives away, or being social the only way we know how? We also have one night stands, commitment issues, and kind of hate dating. Are we destined to be involved with the wrong people until the end of time, or just until the end of our 20s? Does anyone have a Xanax? “How To Be A 20-Something” is a collection of nineteen hilarious, sad, and often cathartic personal essays and stories written by and for 20-somethings.
What does it mean to be a young, single-ish woman in New York City? Sex and the City attempted to answer the question 15 years ago, Girls has recently taken up the cause, and now Girls? attempts to fill in the blanks with a collection of 13 touching, hilarious, and eccentric essays that deviate from the narrative.
Maybe I Should Drink More, like most books about young adults trying to find their place in the world, starts with a breakup. Stephanie Sparer explores the oddities of life in a series of candid essays about dating failures and dating wins, self-actualizing, work, and the slew of anxieties that come free with your college diploma. Her prose raises questions such as, “Do five people equal a party?”; “Am I attracted to this dude or just his plaid shirt?”; Am I working hard enough?; Should I relax more?”; “Maybe I should drink more?” Maybe you should just read this book for the answers and stop looking at the synopsis.
How to Live in New York City is a collection of essays written by and for the masses that have experienced the best and worst of what the city has to offer; whether it’s the stifling, humid summers, impossible dating scene, thriving culture, or terrifying rental rates. If you don’t already live in New York—you’re dreaming about it.
The Tracking of A Russian Spy exhibits the harrowing consequences that can emerge when love, or something like it, intersects with modern-day espionage. Swenson details the perplexing set of events that follow his encounter with a beautiful stranger in a dusky New York City nightclub. The woman in question is Katya and as the two grow closer Swenson wonders whether there might be more to this woman than she lets on. His suspicions are only confirmed when, in the summer of 2010, Katya disappears after the arrest of ten Russian Americans charged with spying for the Kremlin, one of whom is the now infamous Anna Chapman. In search for answers that have occupied him for more than two years, Swenson makes a sojourn to Moscow where the account of a relationship cut short emerges as a panoramic take on high-tech espionage, Soviet “closed cities”, ongoing vestiges of the Cold War, and, perhaps, the ways in which secrets and attractions exist in a pervasively networked world.
Game of Thrones fans watch in delight as the epic battle of Lannister and Stark entangles the Seven Kingdoms. But only the sharpest notice how these houses echo Lancaster and York in the War of the Roses. Druids, Catholics, and even Zoroastrians wander through Westeros, reframing their religions for a new world of fantasy. But how medieval is Westeros? Did lady knights and pirates really battle across Europe? The book Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in A Game of Thrones explores all this and more, from the echoes of history to the symbols and omens our beloved characters. Who is Jon Snow’s mother and why is she a secret? What is Daenerys’s real power, unknown even to her? Will these two characters share a destiny? Where is the red priestess’s real Lightbringer and when will it arrive? Through dreams and prophecies, imagery and allegory, the deepest secrets of the series unfold, in an exploration friendly to watchers and readers alike.
How do we know what we want, what we don’t want, and who we want to be with? Courtships of the past have been replaced with online meet-ups, casual sex hangouts, workplace liaisons, friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend matchmaking and other unconventional connections. With new genres of relationships cropping up faster than Facebook changes its privacy settings, how do we ever figure out when someone is the one? Through personal vignettes depicting 101 different types of men she’s encountered romantically, Katka navigates readers through the colorful and chaotic realm of 20-something dating, and how experiencing a variety of potential mates influences the decision to “settle down” in the 21st century.
There had been two demons in Modigliani’s life. One was a fever and one was a woman.
The Demon Room tells the story of the debauched and troubled artist Amedeo Modigliani through the eyes of Leo, his art dealer, friend, and rival. Consumed by the thought of his own demise, Modigliani throttles through life–and women–hoping to escape the demons that plague him. But when he stumbles into the arms of Jeanne, a young and struggling artist, his salvation might also be his undoing. From the absinthe-soaked streets of 1920s Paris to the salons of the rich and famous, with an astounding voice, The Demon Room depicts a world where obsession, lust, and art go hand in hand, and where your downfall might also be your lasting achievement. Fiction writer J.E. Reich’s lyrical, moving, and riveting debut is sure to grip you long after the last turn of the page.
Few words cut to the core of modern women like ‘slut.’ Our attitudes are shifting toward acceptance: of sex outside of marriage, sex between whomever happen to love each other (regardless of gender), and sex positivity–experimenting with positions and toys. But we’re still sluts. Women are still defined by their sexuality. These are essays of women starting in the middle and moving forward based on hindsight and instinct. We’re trying to become empowered women without knowing what an empowered woman looks like. For all we know, it could look a lot like being a slut.
Everyone knows confidence when they see it; but seemingly no one can actually describe what goes into it or how to get it. The Nerd’s Guide to Being Confident is an unconventional way of looking at one of the most basic and obvious human traits and what one can do to gain a little more of it without feeling like a phony. Laughter included.
Ryan O’Connell is a gay dude with lots of feelings and, for your sake, has written about most of them. This is a collection of his best essays about various things like getting older, living in New York City, and dealing with the worst hangovers. Get ready to laugh, learn and come to terms with being a twenty-something.
Reddit has spawned an incredible amount of little factoids delivered straight from the lives of the users, who all readily reveal themselves (truthfully or deceitfully, one can never tell) to take the weight off their shoulders, confess their minds, reveal parts of themselves that they never could in real life, for closure, for help, to leave a little part of their life on the web that they can never forget. This book highlights some of the funnier, more provocative, soul-punching, salacious commentary provided by the users of Reddit.
“This is a humble tale of rape and my healing process,” writes Jessica. At 24, she found herself joining the legions of women who are rape survivors. Nothing is spared in her account of the incident — Jessica takes the reader through a gut-wrenching play-by-play from preceding events to the aftermath.
“Maura Dillion had come to the town in order to tell her husband Tom she was leaving him…”
A child’s accidental death by drowning threatens a marriage and confines the members of the family in their own separate and inviolable worlds. Voices of the Drowned is an exploration of these worlds and the voices that emanate from them. Maura’s suffering drives her to seek solace outside her marriage. Tom’s despair causes him to attempt a desperate sea crossing by night. But it is the world of Maura’s surviving child Nora that most nearly encompasses the tragedy and brings the worlds of the living and the dead together in a sustaining vision.
Set in the West of Ireland where the boundary between the worlds is always fragile—and sometimes easily crossed.
Being a twenty-something is so much more than being a wayward post-adolescent wide-eyed emotional basket case. For the first time in our lives, independence and all that it embodies is hitting us full force and mercilessly. From the death of best friends to lost first loves to drained bank accounts to survived sexual encounters, the unending facets of humanity comprise the twenty-something experience. It’s fleeting and confusing and beautiful and devastating and, thankfully, it’s been written down.
Everything you know about Occupy Wall Street is wrong. The criticisms you heard the media repeat over and over again–”the protesters don’t know what they want!,” “why don’t they just rally around a leader?”–come from a fundamental misunderstanding of who the occupiers were and what they sought to accomplish. In this lively mix of memoir and analysis, writer-activist Travis Mushett takes you inside Occupy and demystifies a movement that was difficult for even its supporters to get a handle on. Pushing past the bromides, Mushett locates the source of this confusion.
We’ve come to expect that our politics will be mediated by slick advertisements, corporate cash, and elected officials who may or may not represent our interests, but Occupy Wall Street embodied something different, something highly unusual in postmodern America: a politics of authenticity.
The human being is a delicate creature, and the modern world handles us harshly. This Will Never Happen Again is a collection of David Cain’s essays and reflections on what each of us can do in our own private, first-person experience to create personal stability and meaning in a world for which we are now poorly adapted.
When most people say they have “crazy” families, they mean that their family is wacky and weird — but they love them for it. They are just like a David Sedaris story. With family, there’s a boundary of social acceptably dysfunctional, the difference between huggable and restraining order. We are way, way over that line. This is not a David Sedaris story.
Star Wars: The Old Republic presents ambivalent gender dynamics when it comes to female representations. The game draws from both the Star Wars universe, in which it is inscribed, and also from the EA/Bioware tradition. Regarding non-playable characters, it shows that just like their male counterparts, the female ones can range across a large age span, and be either good or villain characters. The playable storyline for all classes remains overall the same for both genders, which brings a sentiment of gender equality, at least in terms of narrative. Indeed, the looks of said female characters while highly customizable, still retains a large choice of possibly openly sexualized/seductive looks for them.
After failing to land a publishing job following graduation, Chris tosses pies at Lazy Moon Pizzeria where he works with his ex-best friend and former roommate Steve. During college, Chris just barely escaped a love-triangle between his ex-girlfriend Christina and Steve. In My Life is a Soap Opera other ex-girlfriends randomly stop in the restaurant reminding Chris of all his regretful relationships. When Chris falls in love with Lauren–the best friend of Chelsey, a lesbian Chris crushed on–how will he make the leap out of the hook-up culture at the restaurant and into a real relationship?
“Pa-dum-pum-pa-dum-pum—PUM!” Super Mario Bros. for the NES contains some of the most recognizable tunes in popular culture, and yet it’s safe to say that only a handful of people have thought beyond the music’s entertaining surface. After all, what could possibly be art-worthy about an early Mario score? Or any early game sound for that matter? In search of answers to these questions, Andrew Schartmann takes us on a journey from the primitive “pongs” of arcade machines to the complex musical fabrics woven by composers of the NES era. Where does that distinctly Nintendo-flavored sound come from? What sets NES music apart from its predecessors? And how has that iconic ‘80s videogame sound “invaded” popular culture?
This book is like a cross-country road trip with your favorite cousin the first summer you’re old enough to get high with him and he decides to tell you what he knows about life. These essays are as wise as they are laugh-out-loud funny, and as useful as the best advice you ever got about matters of modern love, great sex and the necessity of romance. Reading Zaron Burnett III’s essays is a rare opportunity to experience curiosity about all things expressed without judgment, clarity tempered with compassion, and truth as the most exhilarating aphrodisiac. Within these timely observations and candid confessions, you will find a ton of insight, provocative theories, an equal amount of humor and an unexpected optimism that will not be denied.
In an age when “Make me a sandwich!” or “I’m not a feminist, but…” is a common preface to discussing sexism in society, openly talking about feminist issues can be a challenge. This collection of essays features a 20-something’s musings on how sex and gender politics have shaped her worldview. She discusses common issues facing women and LGBTQ folks today, including street harassment, body-hatred, the decision to wear makeup, harmful messages in pop culture, and the politics of the #selfie. Make Your Own Sandwich offers a bold look at the flawed attitudes and societal structures facing young women today — and how a sense of empowerment can emerge through all the muck.
When it comes to appendages, none rise to the occasion quite like the penis. Their commitment to sticking it out through the hard times is admirable: a penis never shies away from a hairy situation. The long and short of it is, we should pull out all the stops to celebrate mankind’s… mankind. In this collection of hilarious penises, we discuss the finer points of the penis–no pun intended.
Life is an uncertain morphing of the beautiful and devastating, the reckless and ordained, the inconsequential and cataclysmal. Brianna Wiest writes about her own experiences and truths of life as they pertain to the greater universe in this first compilation of her work. The selected pieces are ones to turn to when you are in need of answers, comfort and a little tough love now and again. Brianna provides a place of solace and understanding while still perpetuating her beliefs as they pertain to the reality of our individual journeys. The Truth About Everything asks you to challenge what you thought to be true, take the spiritual journey, and come out on the other end with your own story to tell.
The world’s leading economies are in crisis and the harsh repercussions of the financial crash of 2008 are still being felt. Economic inequality has reached extremes not seen for a century. What is to be done? Using the work of Jean Baudrillard, it appears that traditional political possibilities of change such as the role of democracy, the state and the citizen, and alternative politics such as Occupy, protest, activism, and variants of Marxism have become ineffectual and compromised within the new form of neoliberalism. Instead, Baudrillard offers three strategies to challenge capital: exacerbation of the contradictions of capital, singular interruptions to capital, and utter indifference and non-collaboration with capital. Often counterintuitive, such strategies may yet offer resources to strengthen contemporary forms of emancipatory politics.
Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” has been a perennial graduation gift since its publication in 1990, but let’s get real: in today’s economy, graduates are lucky to go anywhere offering health benefits and a steady paycheck. Full of comforting wisdom and advice about the postcollege experience, The Graduates is the anti-”Oh, the Places You’ll Go”—a smart, funny essay collection about college grads entering the worst job market in decades.
Have you ever wanted to quit your job and go travel the world? At 25 years old Stephanie Yoder was already fed up with the monotony of 9-5 life. After much agonizing, she quit her stable desk job to backpack around Asia. During a year of travel through Japan, China and South East Asia she became a minor Chinese celebrity, was attacked by giant parrots and met the love of her life. In A Year Without Make-Up, Yoder chronicles some of her craziest adventures along with providing helpful tips and encouragement for others looking to make a life change.
A collection of autobiographical essays and anecdotes, So Far It’s Been Pretty Awkward is a lighthearted look at one young woman’s life so far, through awkward colored glasses. Follow Karisa from pre-school to young adulthood and beyond, experiencing all of life’s uncomfortable moments, including cross-dressing bullies and slipping on banana peels. Readers will discover why awkwardness is so hot right now, how to handle most sidewalk interactions, and how to “chair-issa.”
What do you do when your ex leaves you for his A-list actress ex girlfriend? How do you land a musician boyfriend? What’s it like to make a total jackass of yourself when you meet that actor you’ve had a crush on for years? What would When Harry Met Sally… look like in 2013? Am I hungry? These questions and more are answered and explored by Almie Rose in I Forgot To Be Famous, essays and how-to’s about dating, relationships, living in Los Angeles, and how they all crash into each other, like the car chase scene in the mall in the Blues Brothers movie, which she hasn’t seen, but is not at all opposed to.
From the moment Pennywise the clown crawled out of the sewer and into the cultural landscape he has terrified horror fans. In this study of Stephen King’s 1986 opus It, John R. DeLamar Jr. questions why straight society feared King’s monstrous killer clown, while queer society found a chilling compatriot. Using cutting edge queer theory, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies to examine the way Pennywise and the novel It tapped into national fears about the emergent AIDS epidemic, and draws a radical comparison to HIV/AIDS and the unnamed monster at the heart of King’s novel. This daring and original study of “America’s Storyteller” opens the door to a greater queer scholarship of the most popular and influential author of the Twentieth Century.
Two million years ago. Africa. A skinny, long-limbed creature who walks on two legs, can’t sprint, and has no weapons turns away from his under-nourished friends, and runs down a much stronger antelope. Dinner. Over succeeding generations, this creature evolves into one of the best distance runners on the planet: the human being. Yet in the age of modernity, we find ourselves unable to run without more than half of us suffering injury. This book looks at the injury epidemic in running and what the barefoot running movement believes are the causes of injury. It analyzes the best-seller Born to Run, how human evolution has shaped our bodies, how modernity has warped those same bodies, and what barefoot running both got right and wrong. It concludes by giving practical advice to runners from the writer, a 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon.
In January of 2011, Greg Brown accidentally collided with history: while studying abroad in Cairo, he found himself swept up in the so-called Arab Spring. By some odd twist of fate, the violence that he observed endeared the city to him, forced it into his mind and into his identity, a reminder of what he was capable of. This story thinks through the varied meanings of place, travel, and identity while following Greg from the heart of the Arab Spring in Tahrir Square, to the quiet deserts of southern Jordan, and on to Morocco’s Atlantic shores.
Can one person be a Trifecta? Claire has dabbled in it all trying to find what everyone is searching for–the one! She has dated guys, girls, and girls that look like guys. Claire’s background is a combination of 3 different viewpoints that create a Trifecta of knowledge. From evolving sexual preferences to hilarious first date fails, Rules of the Trifecta offers up a whirlpool of situational expertise that everyone can relate to. This combination of dating and relationship rules can be like braille as you attempt to feel your way up (or down) through the dim world of dating. Claire has no qualms about telling it like it is, and more importantly, how it should be. You’re welcome in advance.
Anyone who has known a hardcore drug addict knows they aren’t like the movies, cliché, shaking, but actually appearing normal, just as they were before. Until this illusion is no more. That is the story of Rocket Man, a 25,900-word novella. Dylan is a childhood friend, homeless, couch hopping, and addicted to heroin. And Ian, the narrator, is the old friend letting Dylan sleep on his couch in Denver until Dylan can find a job and a place. The two ex-Southern California stoners recall their youthful adventures over bong loads and whiskey, and Dylan tells his tale of addiction. Filled with stoner storytelling, the quick-talk and con of the addict, and the hapless people that try and help them. Part Somerset Maugham, part Noir, part Beat, and part the movie Valley Girl, Rocket Man is not the man they think he is at home.
Dave Schilling is a young writer in trouble. He’s reached an impasse in his therapy. He just can’t seem to be honest with anyone, and his therapist sees only one solution: combing through his first book, a collection of his most popular Thought Catalog essays to figure out exactly what the hell is wrong with him since he won’t take the time to tell her. This collection of absurd, hilarious and oftentimes poignant essays is the only window into the mind of a neurotic, 20-something man who just won’t grow up.
Ensnared by the sleazebag charm of Tony—minor blogstar and middle-aged skateboarder—the sharp-but-hopeful Claire Mott invokes her wiles to accelerate digital flirting to a proper amorous undertaking, all the while unwilling to fully admit that she may be the one being led, a coquette pup drawn into the den of a deliciously terrible Silver Fox. What unfolded later became fodder for Claire’s first piece of SlutLit; a modern Aesop’s fable with a singular moral: just because you can fuck your way into something, doesn’t necessarily mean you can fuck your way out.
Due to the chaotic nature of the world during the turn of the twentieth century, literature (and culture more generally) responded to and actually instigated a pervasive sense of global revolution. This meant revolution in manners, politics, economics, science, religion, and a whole host of former cultural monoliths. And while it is easy to see and observe a split between the literary forces of conservatism and those of radicalism, the truth is much harder to clarify. Hands Dabbled in Blood not only explores the multifaceted faces of both popular and “high-brow” literature during this period, it also charts the ways in which Great Britain and British literature articulated this pervasive sense of widespread and seemingly inevitable revolution.
So often “How-To” and “Self Help” books focus on actual instructions and useful information to assist the reader in reaching an understanding of not only themselves, but the world around them. This book is nothing like that. It is full of booze, mythical creatures, and multiple fighting techniques. If you lack the stomach for adventure, or dislike any of those things, I would suggest you not buy this. I would recommend either Great Expectations or Lady Chatterley’s Lover instead. They’re fantastic, and you can get them for free at your local library. Otherwise, this will be your favorite book (eBooks count as real books).
After a motorcycle crash, Chris ricochets into an interracial relationship with Kisha. In her dorm room and under an Obama ‘HOPE’ poster, Chris loses his virginity to Kisha. Unable to ride his motorcycle until he completes months of physical therapy, Chris replaces the excitement of riding with the craving for more and more sex, while Kisha still yearns for her ex-boyfriend–also named Chris. Chris-the-narrator considers a pornstar career, but instead posts to Craiglists’ casual sex encounters. When multiple women, couples, and even men respond, Chris must choose which danger is worth the risk to pursue.
Faithless is a work of experimental fiction weaving through various scenes and memories of being in love, out of love, and abused by love as told and experienced by Grace, a troubled twenty-something-year-old struggling with her identity as a bisexual Korean-American. Everything is recounted as experienced–in fragments.
“What To Do When You’re Rejected” is an excerpt from James Altucher’s latest book, Choose Yourself. James Altucher is a writer, successful entrepreneur, chess master, and investor. He has founded over 20 companies and sold some of them for large exits. He has also run venture capital funds, hedge funds, angel funds, and currently sits on the boards of many companies. Altucher has written and been profiled in most major national media publications like the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, CNBC, Forbes, and Business Week. His blog, which began by detailing Altucher’s precipitous fall from wealth and success to absolute rock bottom and then back to wealth, has attracted more than 10 million readers since its launch in 2010, and in 2011 inspired a comic book.
“The New Age Camp” camp depicts the clumsy awkwardness and fragile self-discovery that being a teenager is all about. When Chloe, a young woman from New York State, takes a summer job working at a camp for teens in Upstate New York, she has no idea what she’s in for. And maybe that’s a good thing. With a humor that is by turns self-deprecating and candidly critical of the world around her, Chloe describes a summer of Reiki healing, menstrual moon cycle charts, trance dances, junk food, borrowed clothes, teen girl angst, and ultimately emotional growth. Not just for the teens in her charge, but for Chloe herself.
Jill Paris realized at a young age that if she waited for “someone special” to take her away to far-off destinations, she’d have never left the sofa. In this volume of travel essays she reveals her curious sense of adventure and shows us that an unexpected encounter is often the best souvenir. From attending a couple of strangers’ wedding reception in Belfast, shopping for dirndls in Vienna, miracle-seeking at Lourdes, or discovering the legend of the Black Bitch in Scotland, her penchant for people and a cold pint makes a tasty cocktail mixed with tearful truths and laugh out loud moments that will shock and inspire you to whisk yourself away (if nobody else will). Collection includes stories published in the Travelers’ Tales anthologies The Best Travel Writing 2009, Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana and the forthcoming edition of The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9.
When Ryan O’Connell went to stay for a week at the glamorous Chateau Marmont hotel last summer, he didn’t quite know what to expect. Would he become instant BFF’s with Lindsay Lohan and do lines of coke off of John Belushi’s ghost? Would he have vacuous sex in the hotel elevator with Benicio Del Toro, just like Scarlett Johansson once did during an Oscars after-party? Or would he just be really, really bored like Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning were in the movie, Somewhere? The answer, it turned out, was none of the above. After spending seven days running around the hotel looking for drugs, sex, and expensive salads, Ryan realized just how bizarre the Chateau Marmont actually was. And after capturing what he saw there, he can pretty much guarantee that he’ll never be allowed back in again. Chic.
We’re all used to encountering even the most hardcore porn from the comfort and privacy of our computer screens, but how many of us would go see it live? Thought Catalog editor Chelsea Fagan did, spending an evening in the world of live sex shows and hardcore pornography. Here, she gives us the guided tour to everything from rules about condoms to the pressure of facials, showing us a world that is at once completely familiar and something we’ve never quite seen before.
Young Americans is the first full collection from one of the most interesting new voices in contemporary American poetry. Funny, honest, self-aware, relatable, in these poems Jordan Castro gives a voice to a generation, the perfect evocation of what it means to be alive “right now”. Or something.
As the universe nears its end, the fabric of reality collapses into temporal mush, and dinosaurs, robots, and historical figures spontaneously appear across the planet. Meanwhile, David, a college dropout, is inundated with time displaced versions of his ex-girlfriend who keeps appearing at his house. How do you move on when you’re stuck in the past?
Being a lesbian doesn’t come natural to everyone. That’s what Erika Kleinman learned during her sexual awakening in 1990s Seattle, when she began dating a host of butch women who were all too willing to show her the ropes. My Life as a Dyke recounts Kleinmans’ relationships with candor and humor while making one thing clear: no matter who you’re interested in, dating can be a nightmare.
There is a small town in all of our hearts; regardless of our birthplace, it exists there. The satisfying angst of first love, the bittersweet pain of dashed hopes, the persistence of cast-iron aspirations — they all reside in that non-physical interior location. This one is called Applewood. And in Applewood, the most poignant moments of life can also be the most hilarious: pools will explode, cakes will be made from breasts, kisses spring forth unexpectedly, and teenagers won’t stop running.
Cody Gohl spent his childhood in Texas dreaming of travelling the world. He gorged on the works of the Lost Generation, spent nights dreaming of what it would be like to escape his small suburb and set off on an adventure that would take him swerving through Europe’s great cities. He finally got the chance during his junior year at college when he left everything he knew behind to study and live in Madrid. He expected to find himself, his true self, the self of manic poetry and cathedrals, of late night drags off a communal cigarette on the steps of a shadowed metro stop. However this is not what he found. In A Slow Moving Something, Gohl explores themes of loss, frustration and alienation in order to interrogate what it truly means to be an American student living abroad. This is a memoir in flashes, snapshots, in cracks of light and bulb—the essays and poetry in this collection serve to chronicle the ways in which he unraveled his romantic conceptions of what he thought Madrid and Europe should be in order to embrace and accept the beautifully gritty realities of the life he found in Madrid.
We’re in a Beyoncé moment. The pop sensation has more fans, more fame, and more cultural influence than ever before. But what makes her so iconic? Is she really that perfect? And why do we love her so much? How to Be Beyoncé isn’t a biography (mostly because nobody wants to get sued by someone who does everything so perfectly). Instead, it’s a meditation on her place in culture, why we love her so much, and what we can learn from her image and work-ethic so we can reach our own potential.
Sick of feeling heartbroken over her most recent breakup and underwhelmed by the rest of her life, Tiffany Peón decided to embark on a social experiment. Over the course of one year, she used fourteen different online dating sites including Craigslist, speed dating and The Atlasphere, a site for fans of Ayn Rand. Through drunken interactions with strangers, she learned the ins and outs of the online dating world and eventually found her way back to the relationship that started it all.
Rob Black is a college junior who, through a strange and debilitating series of events, has come to believe that he is a prophet. Rob is actually in the beginning stages of schizophrenia, a serious chronic illness that will, in time, begin to define who he is. In this account of his initial episode and descent into delusion, he will come face to face with what it means to, not only exist on the fringes of society, but to change the lives of others who exist there as well. Based on a true story.
These poems and letters are inspired by, but not limited to, the following: Scream 1-3, Dazed and Confused, Ving Rhames, New Jersey, living in your parent’s basement, Dirty Dancing, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Scott Pilgrim, and Marvel Comics from 1991-2000, having no job, having a job you hate, the vague notion that we’re in a perpetual state of moving on, the gross, Big-Gulp-esque consumption of pop-culture, hanging out at the mall, and in-stores at Vintage Vinyl from 2002-2004.
Mary & Kate & Ashley & Peter & Paul & Mary is 22,222 words long and the protagonist is actor Peter Gallagher. According to the protagonist, this is a novel about inventing a cult and a language with only your eyes. The 57-year-old and beloved OC father tries his hand in writing “the next great American novel for millennials,” sponsored by Lacoste Live! This novel is about future-tech, dystopia, millennial writers, and lots of other things, too. Mary & Kate & Ashley & Peter & Paul & Mary wishes it were Spring Breakers or Super Sad True Love Story or Peter Gallagher. This novel is a love story.
Illegal immigrant Adam Humphreys is forced to abandon his cosmopolitan lifestyle for remote bush camps in Northern Canada for one summer in order to earn money. Will he return to New York and his girlfriend? Or will he spend the rest of his days… in purgatory?
Number 24 is a collection of stories based on true accounts of an Asian-American girl’s encounters with American assimilation, racism, friendship, and sex. It simultaneously reaffirms the importance of age as well as the insignificance of it: how the world has little regard to whether one is too young or not to handle its tribulations. Number 24 offers an uncensored and, at times, immature perspective of survival, and recovery.
Nashville is the account of a weekend trip to that city, addressed in the second person to the narrator’s travel companion. The weekend is a complete world unto itself. Between bouts of binge drinking, the duo discuss politics, aesthetics, sex, commerce, and the trajectory of civilization. An early 2000s snapshot of two men in their mid-20s mining the American landscape for innocence and experience.
You know the phrase “sugar, spice and everything nice?” Well, this collection of essays and lists is more like self-conscious, awkward and everything relatable. Christopher Hudspeth is a writer in Tucson, Arizona. He created the pop culture blog-to-book Things 90s Kids Realize and has been featured on College Humor and HuffPost Comedy. “I Love Life, I Just Wish I Were Better At It: The Best Of Christopher Hudspeth, Vol. 1″ is a collection of his most relevant, self-deprecating, and neurotic writings on Thought Catalog.
A story about being young and compulsive, “The Stoned Age” follows a twenty-something narrator’s attempt to quit smoking pot and clear his head. Living in funky Tucson, Arizona, his multiple attempts at sobriety fail, so he enrolls in a drug treatment group and discovers his other problem: cultural perceptions. As a fellow rehab patient tells Dave Chappelle’s character in the movie Half Baked: “You in here ’cuz of marijuana? …Man, this is some bullshit!” Which is exactly the author’s dilemma: if cannabis sativa is so harmless, why can’t he quit smoking it?
“You come for the sand, and you leave with the crabs.” That warning would have been helpful if it had been given to Snowden Wright before he decided to spend a few months living at the beach. Written in discrete vignettes that coalesce into a single narrative arc, “How to Get the Crabs” explores the virtue of narrative itself, how sometimes recounting events can be more edifying than living them. Wright undergoes travails that include a weekend getaway at an expensive hotel, the loss of his virginity, and a torturous but redemptive encounter with pubic lice. Those stories and others combine to provide a unique answer to the question, “Is something bugging you?”
Downton Abbey has brought out the Anglophile in American fans of the hit TV series. But Anglophilia has a long history in America. Why are some native-born residents of our Shining City Upon a Hill, where All Men Are Created Equal, seduced by the fluting tones of manor-born privilege? At last, Anglophilia explained — in American, thank you.
While on vacation in the Pennsylvania mountains with his wife and three-year-old son, Matthew Newton receives a voice mail from his employer. “Please call back as soon as you can,” says the man’s voice on the message. When Matthew returns the call he learns that he no longer has a job. And by the time he hangs up, a new reality has emerged: Life without work. As Matthew frets about survival and the next best steps for his family, he also discovers that he doesn’t miss the job that he just lost. In fact, the news of his layoff is accompanied by an overwhelming sense of relief. As the months of unemployment wear on, however, Matthew also learns that it’s difficult to build a better future while dwelling on the misfortune of the past.
After a stint living and working in Korea, Nebraska native Bart Schaneman sets out on a quest to live deliberately and with strength and purpose before returning to the States and figuring out what to do with his life and his writing. The only constant, his copy of The Idiot, Bart meets many eclectic characters along the way, themselves young travelers like him, and together they share adventures and experiences against the breathtaking backdrops of China, Mongolia and Russia. “Trans-Siberian” is a sparkling travel memoir, full of flavor and spirit.
What do shipwrecks, college slums, bisexuals, and Blink 182 have in common? Gaby Dunn. Gaby is a writer, journalist, and comedian in New York City whose work has appeared everywhere from ROOKIE to New York Times Magazine. “Maybe In Another Universe: The Best of Gaby Dunn, Vol. 1” is a collection of her most humorous, poignant, and touching essays to appear on Thought Catalog.
In high school Evan attends a bonfire with his best friend Dylan and his soon-to-be obsession Amber. A week later the two most important people in his life are gone: Amber moves out of state and Dylan’s parents send him to “The Camp,” a fundamentalist Christian rehab center designed “to scare the other Adam out of him.” Years later, Evan returns home for his father’s funeral where he finds Amber visiting for a few days and Dylan a few doors away, uncured and unhinged. All three are invited to a second bonfire—a chance to remake the past or realize the risks in becoming ambassadors to it.
Are you ever going to find The One? Does she look like her online dating profile pic? Is he really into you, or is he just playing games? And what did that text even mean? Love is so confusing. But one thing’s certain — everyone’s addicted. We’re lonely when it’s not around, and can’t get enough when we finally find it. “How To Tell If Somebody Loves You” explores our back-and-forth relationship with love through a collection of 18 funny, sad, and life-affirming personal essays on dating, sex, random hook-ups, fiery flings, and serious relationships.
The first time Ryan O’Connell had anal sex, he pooped on his partner. This was NOT on his “first time having sex” agenda. In this hilarious and often cringeworthy exposé, Ryan debunks some myths about anal sex and the supposed illustrious sex lives of gay men. Drawing from his own experiences, he dismisses some of the gay stereotypes that have been perpetuated by the mainstream media, including the idea that gay men are soulless sex machines who are immune to having bad sex.
Asked anonymously over the internet by today’s troubled youth, questions concerning relationships, dating, sex, depression, emotional problems, popular culture, and education/career choices are perilously answered by Jimmy Chen, who emphatically offers suspect advice — at once sarcastic, brutally honest, unabashed, but ultimately in empathy —from a place of inner turmoil, manic plight, and spiritual darkness.
Michelle is beautiful, outgoing, and most importantly, she’s interested. Shouldn’t this be enough? In this true story of love and dating in New York City, a smitten young man tries to make it work with a woman who has “great catch” written all over her. If only it were that simple. “The Story of Michelle” is a witty, honest and elegant parable for today’s society; it will resonate with anyone who’s gone out looking for love and come up empty handed.
In 2012, the internet can screw you over in myriad ways, but nothing is more painful than getting over a breakup when your ex’s new life without you is always just one click away. “Breaking Up In The Digital Age” explores themes of love and loss set to the backdrop of a Facebook page. It is not natural for people to know the exact moment their ex gets into a new relationship. It is not natural for someone to be able to see photos of their ex’s new lover eating a taco on the beach. Our brains were not built to sustain this kind of information. Breaking up has always been hard to do — now, thanks to the internet, it’s more difficult than ever.
Public school is a daunting, tedious, occasionally bloody experience shared by millions of students, current and former. Classroom fights, incompetent teachers, sex in bathrooms, rigid social castes — it’s shocking most of us graduated able to read. “Take Out Your Earrings Before You Fight” takes a dry, witty look at all the things you learn — and everything you don’t — while slogging through the K–12 system.
A novelette about a nihilistic young man from New York City, “Going Down South” depicts an isolated and apathetic way of navigating life and romance in a way that will resonate with most Millennials. When Jared Steinfarb decides that his life in Brooklyn has grown too dissolute, he moves in with an old friend from college who is studying to be a minister in Nashville, Tennessee. There, he meets Sylvia, an earnest Christian girl from the Midwest — she becomes an opportunity for his depravity to reach new depths, as Jared finds that his lecherous nature has followed him down south.
Two ex-pats with an ambiguous relationship return from Japan and reunite in New York for a week of beers and bad attitudes. LJ and Dennis care deeply for each other but are also involved with other lovers. Written in a series of vignettes that unfold across New York and New Jersey, “The Moon Hangs Like a Stupid Mistake” will resonate with anyone who has been in an unconventional relationship.
An excruciatingly honest, unapologetic account of reckless alcoholism, “Drinking and Driving” is one young man’s account of reaching rock bottom behind the wheel. Oliver Miller believes all he needs to be happy is a full tank of gas and a bottle of brand-name booze. It will take him years of false starts, shattered glass, doctors’ offices, dingy halfway houses, fights and slurred phone calls to anyone who’ll pick up to realize that drinking and driving brings him everything but happiness. His story will resonate with anyone who’s ever questioned their own drinking or known someone who has — which, today, is just about everyone.
In these 14 stories, set in England, the Middle East, and across the United States, characters fall in and out of love and lust. A comedian wrestles with his newfound fame as he attempts to commit to one woman for more than a few weeks. An American family takes in a wayward Brit to fill its emptying nest. A young woman dwells on an affair with a reticent older man. Two friends fresh out of college take an extended island vacation in the hopes of putting off the future. And a man is inspired to rekindle his marriage, but only after cheating on his wife.
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