Tag Archives: Esquire Magazine

80 Books Every Man Should Read | Esquire

These books will change you and challenge you, but above all entertain you.

By The Esquire Editors, July 11, 2022

By Mike Kim

Back in 2015, Esquire published a list of “80 Books Every Man Should Read.” It wasn’t our finest moment. The list claimed to be “utterly biased,” and indeed it was.

We received criticism from every corner of the Internet, and we deserved it. Only one title (A Good Man Is Hard to Find) was written by a woman, and fewer than ten were written by men of color. It was also a pretty boring set.

In 2016, we published a new and improved list: “80 Books Every Person Should Read,” selected by eight female literary luminaries including Michiko Kakutani, Roxane Gay, and Lauren Groff. It was a good list: surprising, dynamic, and inclusive.

But this spring, when we started planning Esquire.com’s first ever Summer Fiction Week (a digital spin on the Summer Reading Issues we published back in the eighties), we asked ourselves: should we not just make our own amends?

Source: 80 Books Every Man Should Read

50 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time – What Is The Best Science Fiction Book Ever Written? | Esquire

Plenty of imitators have tried to match the heights of our No.1, but none have come close.

By Adrienne Westenfeld, March 21, 2022


Since time immemorial, mankind has been looking up at the stars and dreaming, but it was only centuries ago that we started turning those dreams into fiction.

And what remarkable dreams they are—dreams of distant worlds, unearthly creatures, parallel universes, artificial intelligence, and so much more. Today, we call those dreams science fiction.

Science fiction’s earliest inklings began in the mid-1600s, when Johannes Kepler and Francis Godwin wrote pioneering stories about voyages to the moon. Some scholars argue that science fiction as we now understand it was truly born in 1818, when Mary Shelley published Frankenstein, the first novel of its kind whose events are explained by science, not mysticism or miracles.

Now, two centuries later, sci-fi is a sprawling and lucrative multimedia genre with countless sub-genres, such as dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, and climate fiction, just to name a few. It’s also remarkably porous, allowing for some overlap with genres like fantasy and horror.

Sci-fi brings out the best in our imaginations and evokes a sense of wonder, but it also inspires a spirit of questioning. Through the enduring themes of sci-fi, we can examine the zeitgeist’s cultural context and ethical questions. Our favorite works in the genre make good on this promise, meditating on everything from identity to oppression to morality. As the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing said, “Science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time.”

Source: 50 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time – What Is The Best Science Fiction Book Ever Written?

William Hurt Was a Weird, Sensitive, Complicated Guy in the ’80s | Esquire

On the brink of greatness with Curse of the Spider Woman, William Hurt struggled to get free of his web.

By Jack Kroll, Mar 14, 2022

With Blair Brown in Altered States, 1980

This article originally appeared in the October 1986 issue of Esquire. You can find every Esquire story ever published at Esquire Classic.

“Look, I’m not a talented man,” says William Hurt. “You know it and I know it.”

“I don’t know it,” I say.

“Well, you should know it,” says Hurt.“You’re not a talented man?” I press him.“Well, I’m not that talented a man,” he says.“Well then, what are you?” I ask.“I’m a focused man,” he says.

We are sitting in an Italian restaurant on New York’s Upper East Side, and Bill Hurt is engaged in one of his favorite pastimes—putting himself down. Few who have seen him act would agree with his estimate of his ability. And as for being “focused,” well, that’s the last word many people would use to describe Hurt.

The actor is a walking paradox: the owner of one of the cleanest, clearest, least self-indulgent acting styles in the business, Hurt is legendary for the far-out, labyrinthine, metaphysical flights of fancy that have driven interviewers on several continents into a state of mumbling meemies. WILLIAM HURT: ACTOR WITH THE ATOM BRAIN! blazed a headline in one English magazine.

Another interviewer succinctly summed up the experience of listening to Hurt: “He sounds like a man who has just smoked his first joint.”

Source: William Hurt Was a Weird, Sensitive, Complicated Guy in the ’80s

Why Novelists Are Embracing Substack – Can Substack Reinvent the Social Internet?

But the success of their migration depends on whether—or not—the social Internet can function like a writing workshop.

By Adrienne Westenfeld, Mar 9, 2022

Getty Images

When George Saunders went out to his writing shed to start a Substack newsletter last fall, for the first time in a long time, the Booker Prize-winning novelist, famous for such works as Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December, didn’t know what he was doing.

“I’ll just write 80 posts and then take a vacation,” he thought to himself.

But upon hitting publish, something surprised him: the comments section exploded, with thousands of readers chiming in on his inaugural post (that still-growing comment count currently sits at 3091).

Everywhere from Scotland to India to Australia, devoted followers and aspiring writers wrote in with passionate messages, eager to connect with one of their literary heroes.

Suddenly “don’t read the comments,” that old digital age chestnut, felt like the worst advice in the world. There was nowhere else Saunders would rather be than here, chopping it up with commenters young and old, near and far, longtime fans and first-time callers.

Source: Why Novelists Are Embracing Substack – Can Substack Reinvent the Social Internet?

100 Best Baseball Books Ever Written – The Best Books About Baseball | Esquire

Baseball is the writer’s game, and these indispensable books prove it.

By Alex Belth Nov 30, 2021

From article…

There are more good books written about baseball than any other American team sport—and that’s not just because baseball has been around the longest.

“This ain’t a football game,” manager Earl Weaver once said. “We do this every day.” Through baseball books, we’ve come to understand the game and its history.

The sport is catnip for writers: a game of contemplation and strategy that lends itself beautifully to numbers and analysis as well as poetry.

As longtime Washington Post writer Tom Boswell once wrote, “Conversation is the blood of baseball. It flows through the game, an invigorating system of anecdotes. Ballplayers are tale tellers who have polished their malarky and winnowed their wisdom… this passion for language and the telling detail is what makes baseball the writer’s game.”

Source: 100 Best Baseball Books Ever Written – The Best Books About Baseball