Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Wilde Wit: The 15 Funniest Quotes from Oscar Wilde

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Oscar Wilde is easily one of the most recognizable names in literature, just as he would have wanted. While his work was met with general acclaim during his lifetime, today Wilde is considered one of the most famous writers in the British literary canon. Besides his plays, short fiction, and novel, he is also known for his epigrams. Today, we take a closer look at Wilde's career and present to you fifteen of his best and funniest phrases. Read More
  • How to Begin Collecting Economists in 2020

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Over the course of history, the economy — and all the surmising and projecting and studying it requires — has given rise to some of the most remarkable works of human-thought. Economists in every generation provide a fascinating breadth of work and ideas. Today, we’d like to explore a couple of famous economists as well as some ideas for collecting economy-based works. A basic list of economists that merit our attention can be formed from a quick glance throughout history. These individuals punctuate the economic landscape of their times with their thought-processes, philosophies, and recommendations. So without further ado, we give you Read More
  • Book Spotlight: Comrades by Stephen Ambrose

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Published in 2000, Comrades: Brothers, Father, Heroes, Sons, Pals exhibits an application of Stephen Ambrose’s historical knowledge to a modern topic of great importance to the author. Known for his work as a historian and biographer, Stephen Ambrose’s work on his many subjects are combined into an effort to show the importance of male friendship in a society where it is difficult to express.  Read More
  • Luciano Pavarotti: Legendary Tenor and Humanitarian

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Opera seldom finds a place in modern society. Often placed firmly in the not-for-general-consumption category, it seldom finds listeners in the general public. During his life, Luciano Pavorotti helped bring opera back to the front of modern music. Through his unique voice and collaboration with other popular artists, he showed how opera could be for every listener, not just those who developed an interest in the genre. Read More
  • Legendary Nobel Laureate: Harold Pinter

    Thu, 10 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Harold Pinter was one of Britain's most accomplished and influential dramatists of the twentieth century. The Nobel laureate not only wrote numerous plays, but also directed or acted on stage, radio, television, and film.  Read More
  • Top Books by State: Florida

    Wed, 09 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Our Top Books by State Series continues today with a closer look at some of the best books set in the state of Florida. The Sunshine State is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America with scores of visitors pouring into the numerous attractions from both the U.S. and around the world. Florida is known for its beaches, swampland, and amusement parks as well as for other interesting aspects such as the Kennedy Space Center and the string of islands off the coast that make up the Florida Keys. The southern state is a vibrant blend of cultures, Read More
  • Anne Rice, Grand Dame of Gothic Fiction

    Fri, 04 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born October 4, 1941, Anne Rice shows no signs of slowing down. Perhaps best known for The Vampire Chronicles series, Rice has written gothic fiction, Christian novels, and even erotica. Read More
  • Book Spotlight: The Golden Age by Gore Vidal

    Thu, 03 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    American novelist Gore Vidal is widely known for his witty, irreverent writing. His Narratives of Empire series contains seven historical fictions that explore the growth of America from her birth to taking her place as one of the great empires of history. Read More
  • Annie Leibovitz: Photographer of a Generation

    Wed, 02 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    With photo sharing becoming more common through apps like Instagram, the new ease of accessibility allows for the appreciation of photography as an art form to reach new audiences. The iconic works of artists like Annie Leibovitz are so prolific that even casual consumers with passing interest can find joy in the medium and come to value the art for the sake of the form, rather than its subject. Read More
  • Collecting the Works of President and Peace Prize Winner, Jimmy Carter

    Tue, 01 Oct 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    “To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others.” ~Jimmy Carter, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1977 Today, we celebrate Jimmy Carter's 95th birthday. In honor of his life and efforts as president and human rights activist, we thought we'd republish our most recent post on Carter and his written works. Do you have a collection of books by U.S. presidents? Or, are you interested in Nobel Peace Prize winners, twentieth century history, or human rights? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, the works of Jimmy Carter should be on your radar. Read More
  • Five Powerful Holocaust Books

    Mon, 30 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Few things are as horrifying and culturally significant as the Holocaust. For most, it is difficult to comprehend the terrors faced both inside and out of the concentration camps. The works of authors, both fictional and biographical, help readers to gain a small glimpse into life for Holocaust victims, even as no form of media will ever adequately display the horrors. Read More
  • Five of T.S. Eliot's Interesting Verse Plays

    Thu, 26 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Cross-over American-British writer T.S. Eliot is best known for his poetry and contributions to Modernism. Less widely known to the casual reader are his verse plays. Despite being very critical of his own work, he did not let his poorly received work deter his continuing experimentation. Read More
  • How to Prevent Ghosting and Shadowing in Rare Books

    Wed, 25 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    When it comes to rare books, condition is everything. Any kind of damage, discoloration, or flaw can significantly impact a book's value. One of the most common flaws we see in rare and antiquarian books is a condition called ghosting or shadowing. This condition occurs when a page fades unevenly, leaving a visible outline on the page. Read More
  • Ten Inspiring Quotes From The Great Gatsby

    Tue, 24 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    First published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book and is widely considered the paragon of his career. Its exploration of the lavish wealthy lifestyle of the 1920s causes it to be hailed as the archetypal Jazz Age novel. The reasons behind Gatsby’s place among the greatest twentieth-century classics can be seen in Fitzgerald’s masterful word crafting. Read More
  • Case Studies in Collecting: Stephen King

    Sat, 21 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Prolific author Stephen King has remained a favorite writer for decades, and interest in his work shows no sign of waning. Though primarily recognized as a horror author, King slides among genres, appealing to lovers of science fiction, the American Western, and others. It should be no surprise, then, that King is a popular figure among collectors of modern first editions. Building a single-author collection around King's vast oeuvre offers multiple valuable lessons for book collectors of all specializations. Read More
  • Celebrating the Legacy of Illustrator Arthur Rackham

    Thu, 19 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    English artist Arthur Rackham is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential illustrators from the Golden Age of British Illustration. What really cemented his position as one of the preeminent illustrators of his day were his color illustrations for Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle and J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Some of his notable works include illustrations for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market, and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, which was published after Rackham's death. On the anniversary of his birthday, let's take a look at the enduring legacy of one of England's Read More
  • Top Books by State: Delaware

    Wed, 18 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today we are continuing our Top Books by State series by taking a closer look at Delaware. Known for being the first of the Thirteen Colonies to ratify the new United States Constitution, Delaware earned its its nickname, "The First State." Delaware is a state that embodies contradictions. While it is the second smallest state in the country, it is one of the most densely populated. While it has beautiful seaside vistas and picturesque coastal villages, it is also home to bustling metropolitan centers. The books we've selected to represent Delaware take place in different time periods and are vastly Read More
  • The Work and Career of Lauren Bacall

    Mon, 16 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born Betty Perske on September 16, 1924, Lauren Bacall spent her childhood wanting to be a dancer before deciding to pursue acting. After high school, she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York where she participated in several off-Broadway productions. She started working in modeling after graduating, which led to the start of her film career when director Howard Hawks’ wife saw Bacall’s picture on the March 1943 cover of Harper’s Bazaar and arranged a screen test. Read More
  • Agatha Christie: Queen of Crime with Continuing Appeal

    Sun, 15 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Everybody knows Agatha Christie wrote an amazing number of books, and lots of movies and TV shows have been based on them. She is considered a genius for her plotting and understanding of the psychology behind her characters. But not as many know that she and her first husband were among the first Brits to surf standing up. And they did this in Hawaii, in the 1920s, while touring the world promoting the British Empire Exhibition. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Marcia Brown

    Thu, 12 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Every year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a committee-selected children's book that showcases the best work being produced in the field of children's book illustration. One of the biggest awards in American children's literature, to even be named a Caldecott Honor book is a massive accolade. In 1955 Marcia Brown received this honor for her book Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper. And then she won again in 1962 for Once a Mouse. She won a third time for Shadow in 1983, making her one of only two illustrators in the history of the Caldecott Medal to be awarded Read More
  • A Glimpse of Understanding: A Look at Post 9/11 Novels

    Wed, 11 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Some moments in history are so monumental, so seismic, they seem impossible for fiction to get its arms around. These are moments that defy logic, that render conventional and unconventional methods of storytelling obsolete in trying to uncover the truth of the human condition. Take, for example, the horrific events of September 11: a calculated, strategic assault on some of the country’s most iconic images — The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and The White House, though thankfully that last image was left unharmed due to the courage of those aboard the plane bound for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  The inherent problem Read More
  • Great Golf Collectibles - Happy Birthday, Arnold Palmer!

    Tue, 10 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Only a handful of names come to mind in a discussion of truly great golfers—those athletes whose accomplishments are time-tested and serve to inspire the generations of golfers who follow in their wake. Jack Nicklaus. Gary Player. Byron Nelson. More recently, Tiger Woods. But perhaps no man has had such success as a golfer while at the same time endearing himself so fully to golf fans as Arnold Palmer. Read More
  • Raymond Benson, the First American Writer of James Bond

    Fri, 06 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Strong film screenplays provided the foundation for Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and other actors to bring James Bond—or 007—to life. These movies have captured the imaginations of movie-goers for decades. Of course, many of the screenplays derived from original James Bond books and short stories. Ian Fleming was the first James Bond author, the originator of the series. However, there have been seven other authorized James Bond authors; the first American writer was Raymond Benson. Read More
  • How Jesse James Became an American Myth

    Thu, 05 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    This blog post is not the first place it’s been pointed out that the Wild West era lasted a scant few decades—compared to the century-plus of folk songs, dime novels, movies, TV shows, and other forms of myth-making that take up (and sometimes interrogate) the inherent romance and drama of the era. Given all that, it shouldn’t really surprise us that Wikipedia’s article on “Cultural depictions of Jesse James” is almost as long as the article on James himself. And yet, the piece leaves out what is arguably the first piece of popular culture that took up the life (and Read More
  • Writer and Golf Legend: Tom Watson

    Wed, 04 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    This July, legendary golfer Tom Watson told reporters the British Senior Open would be his final senior open, ending a career of big-stage performances, chock full of personal triumphs and exciting victories. Throughout the golf community, fans and other professionals have voiced their immense respect and gratitude for what Watson has brought to the timeless game. Though golf enthusiasts will no longer be able to enjoy watching Watson's signature play style on the senior open stage, we are still able to take many lessons from the famous pro's career thanks to his large body of work in his other career: Read More
  • Collect What Your Kids Read

    Tue, 03 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    It's that time of year! Kids are headed back to school, and for students of all ages that means required reading is right around the corner. Perhaps you only vaguely remember The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, and Lord of the Flies. But classroom staples can offer inspiration for enhancing your rare book collection. Read More
  • Five of John McCain's Fascinating Books

    Thu, 29 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born in 1936, John McCain dedicated his life to serving the United States. He graduated from Naval Academy in Annapolis and received a commission from the U.S. Navy. During his time serving in the Navy, McCain worked as a naval aviator and was captured during the Vietnam War, remaining a prisoner of war for five and a half years before his release in 1973. After retiring from the Navy in 1981, he entered politics, where he served in both the House and the Senate until his death in 2018. Many of his writings were done in collaboration with Mark Salter, Read More
  • Sunning: Bad for Your Skin, Bad for Your Books!

    Wed, 28 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Summer is in full swing, and along with all that sun comes the joy of summer reading! But the sun can cause irreversible damage to your skin⁠—and your books. It's important to protect your rare and collectible books from heat, humidity, and sunning. Read More
  • Top Books By State: Connecticut

    Tue, 27 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today we continue our literary tour of the United States by looking at some of the best books from Connecticut. This New England state is known for its beautiful coastal towns, charming cities and villages, and for being home to the illustrious Yale University. But Connecticut is more than just its collegiate connections. It is both rural and urban, coastal and pastoral. Some of the best Connecticut books hone in on these details that make the state stand out. Join us as we take a closer look at two books set in Connecticut that—through gorgeous detail—embody some of what makes Read More
  • Happy Birthday, Sean Connery!

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today, “The Greatest Living Scot” (according to The Sunday Herald), turns 89. Just as much as author Ian Fleming, Sir Sean Connery brought James Bond to life and forever defined him as a character—so much so that Fleming eventually began writing details from Connery’s life into Bond’s backstory. Those of us here at Books Tell You Why who appreciate a good literary adaptation (read: all of us), can’t help but recognize the role that Connery played not just in bringing Bond himself to life, but to bringing the whole world of past and future literary superspies into the greater public Read More
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