Ester Bloom

Ester Bloom

Writer, editor

Pop culture, politics, literature, highly personal finance, business, feminism

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Shutterstock 2415435 article

25 Life Lessons I Learned From Harry Potter

1. The family you are born into matters much less than the family you choose. 2. Despite what we were taught by When Harry Met Sally, men and women can be friends. 3. "Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” –Hermione...

Jacobhaveiloved6 article

How Books Can and Do Save Children — Barnes & Noble Reads

How Books Can and Do Save Children — Barnes & Noble...

Sophie stark article

5 Great 2015 Books You May Have Missed — Barnes & Noble Reads

5 Great 2015 Books You May Have Missed — Barnes & N...

Collage1 article

Should You Be Embarrassed to Read YA? The Best Debate on the Internet

Ruth Graham's Slate piece, "Against YA," has everyone asking, "is YA embarrassing?" We had to weigh in. Below, two contrasting opinions of the debate of YA validity. We can't wait to hear where you stand! Grown-ups: We Are Better Than This, by Ester Bloom “Embarrassme...

Badfeminist1 article

On Reading Bad Feminist at the Spa

I took Roxane Gay’s collection of essays, Bad Feminist, to a nail salon and read it while getting a pedicure. Though she confesses in an epilogue that her favorite color is pink, I went with a sparkly, jewel-red shade called “Scarlett O’Hara,” because O’Hara is a character made for Gay: high-femme,...

Lila article

Marilynne Robinson's Lila is 2014's Great American Novel

Author Marilynne Robinson has written either two or three Great American Novels, depending on who's counting, most prominently the 2005 Pulitzer Prize–winner Gilead. Her most recent book, Lila, returns to the same small, dusty Iowa town and characters of Gilead and its follow up, the 2009 Orang...

Still life with woodpecker article

In Ascending Order, the Most Inappropriate Books I Read as a Tween

In Ascending Order, the Most Inappropriate Books I ...

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Telling it Slant: 10 Authors Who Experimented With Autobiography

Some people can sit down and write the story of their lives in a clear and straightforward fashion and be done. Other people, like New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast—author of wise, honest, unreasonably entertaining new graphic memoir about aging, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?—appro...

Coates article

The Forceful, Vital Lessons Of Between The World And Me

When a patron saint of American literature like Toni Morrison calls a book "required reading," you pick up a copy with one hand and a pen with the other, and you brace yourself, knowing what follows is not going to be easy. If you do follow her advice, though, and start working through Ta-...

Godhelpthechild article

#CoverFlip Revisited: A Progress Report

In 2013, author and critic Maureen Johnson raised a searing point about the publishing industry: regardless of content, it tends to package books by men differently from books by women. Male authors are more likely to warrant strong fonts, bold colors, and imagery that commands Take me seriously. No...

Godhelpthechild article

God Help the Child, a Beautiful and Dangerous New Book by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s new novel, God Help the Child, is slim but dangerous, a blade without a handle. There’s no safety to be found in it: each character—a runaway, an unloved child, an abandoned wife, a felon—balances on the edge of disaster and violence. No one comes from a comfortable home or has...

Lifedrawing article

Robin Black's Life Drawing Resonates

At a time when novels’ female characters are routinely declawed in order to make them “sympathetic,” Gus, the narrator of Robin Black’s resonant first novel Life Drawing, reminds us why less immediately likeable female characters can be so memorable and have such a vital role to play in literatu...

Cuttingteeth article

Cutting Teeth: Hell is Other Parents

In Cutting Teeth, four privileged stay-at-home-parents—three mommies and one daddy—leave their brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood to spend a weekend at a beach house with their partners and pre-schoolers. These parents used to have professions, hobbies, personalities; now they have children. Oh, and...

Agodinruins article

Kate Atkinson's Follows Life After Life With Astonishing Companion Novel A God In Ruins

{{ean1}}In Kate Atkinson's bravura World War II novel Life After Life, she worked a new kind of storytelling magic. She introduced her main character, Ursula, killed her off, then rewound to her birth, telling variations on her life story over and over for hundreds of pages. The result was one...

Screenshot 2015 08 09 14.06.14 article

Fortune Smiles On Adam Johnson's Newest Collection

Pulitzer Prize–winner Adam Johnson is renowned for taking us places we don't want to go: North Korean gulags, Stasi prisons, into the heads of pedophiles, even the broken hearts of mothers dying of cancer. How does he get away with it? Why do we follow him? And why are the results...