Shelf Life

10 Great Books to read in the AC or the open air

Your 2014 Summer Reading List

It's almost summer, which means that you'll finally have some time to finish the dog-eared copy of Infinite Jest that you started (with best intentions, we're sure) four years ago. Though if you wanted to read one of these instead, no one blames you.

A Comprehensive Guide to Ignoring Friends and Family

The 50 Best iPhone & iPad Games

Consoles don't provide much in the way of portability (anyone else ever own this masterpiece of engineering?), and grown men carrying Gameboys often attract the wrong kind of attention, but mobile games offer interactive experiences on the devices that most of us carry every day. They allow us a bit of serenity when we need it most -- in the airport, on the subway, at a questionable mid-life Bris. Here, we've provided a list of 50 of the best games made for iOS. Play at the risk of your relationship.

Short and Sweet

Five New Short Story Collections to Read Now

Thanks to contemporary authors like George Saunders and Jennifer Egan, short stories have recently been getting the attention they deserve. Here are five more authors who honor the form.

Think First Shoot Later

The 50 Best Thrillers

Here they are. Not this one. That would be thriller, singular. We're talking about thrillers, the action genre's brainer little brother, and the subject of the tenth and final installment in our Definitive Men's Movie Collection. Like actions, thrillers get your blood pumping, though they use more subtle tactics -- suspense over pyrotechnics. We've heard it said that with thrillers, you don't need to pay for your whole seat -- just the edge. That's silly, because most theaters make you pay for your whole seat regardless, but we understand the sentiment. Have we saved the best for last? You decide.

Around the World in 50 Movies

The 50 Best Foreign Language Movies

When most of us hear the word "movie", we think of Hollywood -- fair, given the global domination of Hollywood-produced Spielberg and Harry Potter films, but perhaps a tad ignorant, considering India's Bollywood produces twice Hollywood's output every year and reaches a larger audience. As demonstrated by the quality of the films in the Streaming Cinephile piece that we posted a while back, foreign films deserve a place in the spotlight. But while that list only featured foreign language films available for streaming on Netflix, this list features the top foreign language films, period.

All's Fair in Love and Films

The 50 Best Romance Movies

You know the one I'm talking about. The first. The one that made you say, "oh, so this is what everyone's on about." When she smiled, you wanted to laugh, and when she laughed, you wanted to laugh, too. That's l'amour. Love, for you non-francophiles. Nothing like it in the world. Nothing can bring you so high, and then drop you so low. Romance movies aim to capture this ride -- the highs of love found, the lows of love lost, and everything in between. They help us see that the elusive (feeling? emotion? noun?) happens to everyone -- sometimes when we least expect it -- and makes us do and say crazy things. They prove to us that we're not alone; love shapes our lives, changing everyone it touches, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. We feel you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. We know your pain.

Capturing the Drama of Real Life

The 50 Best Documentaries

As any second grade teacher knows, children learn what they want to learn. Bobby doesn’t feel like learning division today? Not gonna happen. Unless…well, unless he learns without realizing it. The old pill in the ice cream trick, so to speak. Swallowing the medicine in the guise of something delicious, the innocent Bobby gets what...

Come on in, the blood's fine

The 50 Best Horror Movies

Horror movies aren't for everyone. You've heard it a million times, or else you've said it a million times: "I just don't like them". Oh really? You don't like The Shining or The Exorcist or Shaun of the Dead or Psycho? Those are horror movies, jacko, and you like them. Admit it.

Out of This World

The 50 Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Movies

Part five of our series covers sci-fi and fantasy movies. Of all our sections, this was the most difficult to create: not because we argued over the selections (though we did), but because we argued over where to draw the line on what constitutes sci-fi and fantasy. For instance, does Richard Linklater’s cerebral Waking Life...

Read Free or Die

Roundup: 5 Books about the White Mountains

What New Hampshire lacks in acreage it makes up in personality: the Granite State was the first to break away from the British; it holds the first presidential primary; and the state motto is, audaciously, “Live Free or Die”. The state’s soul resides in the White Mountain National Forest, more than 750,000 acres of rugged trails and backcountry. It’s a fine place to hike, as we did in our story about the huts of the White Mountains. Want a more comprehensive education? Consider picking up one of these books.

Grow Old, But Don't Grow Up

The 50 Best Family Movies

The fourth part in our series covers family movies. They're the ones you loved as a kid, but haven't revisited since because, well, your office buddies don't want to watch Bartok the Magnificent. But with Thanksgiving approaching, there's no better time to dust off these old classics with loved ones. Family movies provide lighthearted laughs in abundance, and sometimes tears as well (damn you, Up!) They scrub away the confusion of adult life and remind us what's important. In fact, some of life's most important lessons are hidden in their colorful scenes. More importantly, the really good ones are fun to watch at any age. Just try not to start bawling when Mustafa eats it.

Are You Not Entertained?

The 50 Best Action Movies

While many of our lives resemble dramas, or comedies, our society has thankfully evolved to a point where many of us avoid daily physical danger. Yet, strangely enough, the human animal craves danger. We get a thrill from adrenaline. To fill the void in our safe, vanilla lives, we turn to action. Is it wrong...

The 50 Best Comedies

Throughout the selection process to find the funniest comedies, we kept echoing the same mantra: “Is this movie really that good?” The answer was consistent: shouts of “it’s hilarious!” were parried just as assuredly by “it sucks!” Comedy, we quickly discovered, is just as diverse and polarizing as drama. Really the two aren’t so different....

Life with the dull bits cut out

The 50 Best Dramas

Good movies bring art to life, combining audio and visuals (and occasionally smells, as in the case of 1959’s disastrous AromaRama and 1960’s Smell-O-Vision, may they forever rest in peace) in ways that push the limits of human imagination. They require little effort to watch, yet have the power to change a life. They represent...

Page Turners

20 Great Photography Books

This list of our favorite photography books represents an attempt, however incomplete, to reseat the photo book in its rightful place alongside the Scarface posters Warhols lining your walls. We wouldn't call it a compendium of the greatest photographers or a comprehensive survey of the medium -- it's just a few selections to help broaden your photographic horizons, or at the very least spark some compelling conversation around the coffee table.

Read up, ride on

Ride Repair: 5 Best Bicycle Maintenance Books

Imagine a crisp fall day where the trails are hooking up so nicely it feels like you're riding on rails. It's so sweet you decide to skip the parking lot and continue on. After a few more miles you've peaked with adrenaline and start to put more power down to get up a small, steep climb -- and your chain snaps. When "F***!" is the first thing that comes to mind, instead of, "Sweet, I finally get to use my new multitool!", well, that's when you phone home to say you'll be late for dinner. This scenario can be a moment to shine rather than a disaster -- and in many other instances, a wealth of knowledge and the right tools can save you hundreds of dollars over the lifespan of your bike. All it takes is an understanding of a few basic repairs. We've picked out our favorite bike repair books so you can back to the car in time for steaks.

Subtitles are no excuse

40 Foreign Films to Watch Instantly

In the golden age of the so-called "art cinema", college-aged cineastes and middle-aged professorial types needed only to congregate at the local repertory theatre for a fix of the latest and greatest in international film. They could catch a Bergman-Fellini double feature and wile away the evening in a coffee shop discussing the Christ-figure symbolism or whatever. "If only I had lived then", laments the modern cinephile, "what films I could have seen." Our young moviegoer, correct though they may be to bemoan the passing of Truffaut's heyday, has forgotten one thing: a vast library of international movies are available to watch instantly with the stroke of a keyboard, granted they're already paying for access to services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. The same goes for you, Mr. Ignorant Summer Blockbuster. You too can become a film snob -- with very little actual work. But nothing's ever that easy. The plight of the internet age is not access but selection. We've done some of the heavy popcorn lifting for you and picked out forty of the best foreign films available for instant streaming today. Go forth and become a global movie connoisseur.

An encounter with speed listening

The Side Effects of Learning Thricely

It was a rainy afternoon, and being but sixteen years old and still shackled to the dependent life of the unlicensed driver, I was waiting for my brother to pick me up at the train station. When he finally arrived and I stepped into the warm and dry shelter of his Jeep, I was greeted by a cacophonous sound. Blaring from the speakers was the voice of a man speaking at breakneck pace. A few dozen confused questions later, I deduced that we were actually listening to a book at 3x speed.

Pages Both Near and Afar

Roughing It… Almost: 20 Best Travel and Adventure Books

Somewhere between hanging your coat on your cubicle wall this morning and taking your much-deserved 9:15 coffee break, you probably dreamed about getting on an airplane and going somewhere. Anywhere. Preferably somewhere no man has ever been before, if you’re dashing like we are. We’ve all been there. We want to see the world, abandon...

Take a break from all that pedaling

Riding Reads: 10 Great Cycling Books

Cycling and writing have a funny relationship. Look up any pro or experienced cyclist these days and they’ll likely have a blog to vent about anything and everything. Look a little further back in time and you’ll find millions of battered Moleskine notebooks filled with training logs and racing notes. The fact is, the sport houses an excellent library of both training guides and some genuinely compelling prose. In honor of our Cycling Issue, we've picked our 10 favorite reads in the genre.

Our first annual summer read-down

Summer Reading List: 12 Best Books to Beat the Heat

Ah, the summer heat. Take it or leave it, the dog days are anigh. Time for frenzied vacation logistics, thanking (and re-thanking) the good men who invented air conditioning, and of course a damn good book. From a collection of short stories by one of our favorite childhood authors to an emotionally exhausting murder mystery...

A head start on booking your holiday plans

Gift Guide 2011 | 10 Great Reads

Despite our concerted efforts to cover the best books over the course of the year, there are still plenty of worthy titles that we didn’t get around to talking about. Subsequently, these selections represent an end of the year GP reading list of sorts for bringing your home library up to speed on 2011. Pack...