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Maddie Crum
Maddie Crum is the Books Editor at The Huffington Post.

Entries by Maddie Crum

Erotic Embroidery Artist Is Not Your Grandma's Craft Maker

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 2:38 PM

Two edgy, platinum blonde girls in black bikinis pose, showing off tongue rings. Another badass pair gossips behind cupped palms; another lazes on beach towels, sipping beer. This isn't a hip Instagram feed, an Urban Outfitters catalog or even a photography series. These fun, relaxed scenes were...

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10 Book Recommendations For All Of Your Travel Needs

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 3:35 PM

Books make the best travel companions; they're reliable, portable, and won't get grumpy when things don't go according to plan (they are inanimate objects!). Pairing a story with your destination is as reliable method as any, but we're also keen on picking books based on a trip's mood...

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Writers Write Dazzling Love Letters, Remind Us That Texting Is Insufficient

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 11:24 AM

Once, while thumbing through my favorite book -- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf -- I found a scrap of paper wedged within the "Time Passes" section. "Hey," it read, "you found me! I love you."

The scrawl (sloppy, Sharpie-thick) was my ex-boyfriend's. Things had ended on...

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섹시 셀카를 찍는 당신의 모습을 재현한 사진들

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 12:36 AM

스마트폰의 카메라를 작동시킨다. 당신은 포즈를 취하고, 당신이 가장 예뻐 보일 수 있는 각을 찾은 후 사진을 찍는다. (여자라면) 당신은 그 사진을 남자친구에게 보낼 것이다. 남자친구도 그 사진을 기쁘게 볼 것이다. 그리고 약 30초 후, 그 사진은 허공으로 사라져버린다.

evan baden

우리는 스냅챗같은 스마트폰 메신저가 덧없다는 걸...

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Study Explains Why Some Movies Are So Freakin' Scary

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 3:15 PM

It may not’ve been your favorite movie to release last year, but chances are, if you went to see David Fincher’s film adaptation of “Gone Girl,” you have vivid memories of the building, hostile tension between protagonists Amy and Nick. And it’s not just Rosamund Pike’s pitch-perfect,...

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This 1927 Essay Proves We've Always Worried About The Future Of Books

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 3:58 PM

Amid fear that screens will squander our attention spans and squelch our thirst for books, writers have taken to their laptops to defend the importance of reading. But while the benefits of books, from fostering empathy and inspiring creative thinking,...

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How A Prison Art Program Is Promoting Self-Reflection In Incarcerated Men

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 3:53 PM

When Laura Pecenco and Kathleen Mitchell began giving art lessons to the men incarcerated at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Southern California, they had trouble selling the merits of self-portraiture. A particular inmate grew physically agitated in response. He threw down his pen, yelling, “I...

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'Sphinx' Is An Erotic Novel Without Genders

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 2:57 PM

In Margaret Atwood’s classic, cheeky short story “Happy Endings” she takes a swift jab at the tropes we rely on when we tell stories -- love stories in particular.

“John and Mary meet,” she writes. “What happens next? If you want a happy ending, try...

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13 Books From 2015 That You Should Read ASAP

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 4:12 PM

Before the welcome downpour of anticipated fall books rolls in (a new Jonathan Franzen novel? The conclusion to Elena Ferrante's tear-jerking series? We'll be spending the latter half of 2015 huddled up inside, thankyouverymuch), we recommend basking in the excellent stories that've already been published this year. Kazuo...

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Looking For Intimacy In The Digital Age, An Artist Recreates Your Sexy Selfies

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 2:57 PM

You pose, you find a flattering angle, you snap a selfie, you send it to your beau, they check it out and 30 seconds later the image dissolves into the ether.

We use Snapchat operating under this basic assumption of impermanence, but...

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Women Photographers Tell The Story Of Everyday Life In The Middle East

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 5:04 PM

A girl with wavy tresses cradles her fluffy cat in front of a vanity brimming with products -- two hairbrushes, bottles and bottles of hairspray and perfume. Her shirt’s a bright coral, her walls are hot pink and adorned with images of other girls, their faces on display...

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Literature For Optimists

(2) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 3:58 PM

Due to the (mostly eyebrow-fueled) hype surrounding the upcoming release of “Paper Towns,” I decided to read the YA book the movie is based on. Ruth Graham’s essay on Young Adult literature had me prepared for schmaltz -- she called The Fault in Our Stars...

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Poet Shira Erlichman Beautifully Destigmatizes Mental Illness

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 5:15 PM


"I’ve been guinea ­pigged with literally dozens of drugs, some of which knocked me out so flat...

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The Bottom Line: 'The Small Backs Of Children' By Lidia Yuknavitch

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 3:57 PM

A vulture looms over a wisp of a child, curled up and limp. It’s a striking image, taken during a Sudanese famine in the '90s; so striking that the photographer, Kevin Carter, won the Pulitzer Prize for taking it. Not long after, he committed suicide. Some say the...

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A Sci-Fi Guide To Navigating The Universe

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 5:40 PM

A fly-by snapshot of Pluto, the dwarf planet we’ve been singing songs about since grade school, literally shed light on a mysterious interstellar mass this week. At the height of New Horizon’s mission, gritty details of geographical features were captured up close.

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Here’s Why You Should Read 'Go Set A Watchman'

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 10:44 AM

“All men are not created equal,” Atticus Finch announces. He’s pacing in a court room, nobly addressing a jury that’s not inclined to give a lick about his point of view. In the eyes of his daughter, the narrator of the scene, he’s infallible.


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10 New Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books To Explore This Summer

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 3:46 PM

Vacation season, ahoy! If you’re stuck at home this summer, you can always set off to faraway fictional lands with a new science-fiction or fantasy novel. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from. Below, I picked the best of 'em. 

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The breath of an aging...

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The Living Mona Lisa Follows You With Her Eyes

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 11:31 AM

A lurching floorboard creaks. An ambient howl fills a stuffy hallway. Suddenly, you notice that the paintings on the walls seem to follow you with their eyes. Dusty trompe l’oeils come to life, creepily warding off meddling intruders.

It’s a common, campy...

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What Will Readers Make Of A Bigoted Atticus Finch?

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 4:58 PM

Until last Friday, Atticus Finch was easily literature’s most infallible fictional father. His wisdom, humble nature and unbiased pursuit of justice was one of To Kill a Mockingbird’s central tenets. But an early review of Harper Lee’s novel Go Set a Watchmen -- written before Mockingbird but set decades later -- revealed Finch to be a “bigot.”

How are readers to reconcile the new light cast on Atticus with the noble proclamations he made in Lee’s earlier book? And how can the same man who stood in front of a narrow-minded jury to announce, “I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system -- that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality,” be found meddling in Klan-related activity?

The wild difference between Mockingbird Atticus and Watchman Atticus has fans of the former novel understandably riled (the change is especially upsetting for those who’ve gone so far as to name their children after the lawyer). And hypotheses abound.

Jonathan Sturgeon at Flavorwire notes that Atticus wasn’t quite as forward-thinking as we’d like to remember; he was socially conservative, if progressive relative to other Maycomb residents, and was assigned to the Tom Robinson case by a judge. The New York Times writes that the discrepancies could be due to the extensive editing Mockingbird underwent (Watchman, on the other hand, was edited only lightly). Or, could Atticus’s character have changed with age and disillusionment with the court system? 

The stir surrounding Atticus adds to skepticism on the part of critics about the release of Watchman. When Lee submitted it before writing Mockingbird, editors said it showed promise, but wasn’t quite up to snuff. So, why publish it now? (Full disclosure: I made my stance clear in February, writing, “Our idolization of authors often leads to a greedy quest to absorb everything they’ve produced, regardless of their personal wishes and, perhaps most importantly, the best interest of their storytelling legacies.")

HuffPost Live posed the same questions to a panel of book reviewers: in publishing Watchman, "What are we trying to protect? Who are we trying to protect? Are we trying to protect Harper Lee? Are we trying to protect this cultural artifact?" In the above clip, Wall Street Journal writer Sam Sacks responds, explaining that the most lasting impact -- other than altering adult readers' memories of the classic -- will be how Mockingbird is taught in schools going forward. 

So, the fate of Go Set a Watchman -- as well as the motivations of Lee’s publisher, Atticus, and Lee herself -- will be more clear once teachers and other fans get their hands on it Tuesday.

Also on...

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High School English Teachers On Why Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird' Endures

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 3:47 PM

Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchmen” will finally go on sale Tuesday, soon to be delivered to hoards of anxious pre-orderers. Last week we caught a glimpse of the book’s tone, which was met with glee by some, apprehension by others. Regardless of the novel’s reception,...

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