Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Collecting the Works of Arthur Miller

    Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915 in Harlem. He would go on to be one of the most legendary playwrights of the twentieth century. Miller's most famous plays like Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Crucible (1953) remain widely studied and have continued to be performed and adapted today. Miller won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949. Perhaps making him just as much of a household name as his plays is Miller's personal life. Read More
  • Happy Birthday, Oscar Wilde!

    Tue, 16 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 and today marks the 164th anniversary of his birth. The writer was schooled first in his native Dublin, then later at Oxford where he began to subscribe to the fledgling school of thought known as aestheticism, a philosophy he would adhere to for the rest of his life. He became a sort of aestheticism poster boy, writing in a variety of genres, from poetry and novels to plays and journalism. Wilde even spent some time lecturing in the United States on the subject as well as the tangentially-related topic of interior Read More
  • Book Spotlight: The Affluent Society

    Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Economics can be difficult to understand. It is rare to find authors capable of explaining complex economic theories in a way that is easy for the general reading public to understand. The Affluent Society is written in a way that allows its readers to easily comprehend the arguments set out by John Kenneth Galbraith. In his work, Galbraith provides a plan to support his theories, allowing for the practical application to further help readers understand the theories.  Read More
  • Seven Women Authors Who Used Male Pseudonyms

    Tue, 09 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    It's no secret that writers often publish under pseudonyms. Sometimes it's to preserve a personal identity separate from their literary persona. Other times it is to create a distinct brand from one genre to another, like Nora Roberts publishing romance novels under one name and her murder mysteries as J.D. Robb. Stephen King did it when he released his novel under the name Richard Bachman to prove that his success wasn't a fluke and that he could succeed whether or not he used his famous name. Anne Rice has published under her own name, as A.N. Roquelaure, and as Anne Read More
  • Crime Novels from Across the Globe

    Mon, 08 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    American readers have long been interested in crime fiction (as have readers from other parts of the world). In recent years, Scandinavian crime fiction, or “Nordic noir,” has become a household favorite for many English-language readers, thanks to translations of such texts as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and other novels in the series, or Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole detective books. Of course, writers from the U.S. and other parts of the world have continued to write works of crime fiction that have become immensely popular. We want to give you some recommendations of books you may Read More
  • Ongoing Scandal Causes Nobel Prize in Literature to Go Unawarded

    Thu, 04 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    This spring, the Swedish Academy announced that there would be no Nobel Prize in Literature awarded this year, stating instead that two laureates will be awarded in 2019. At the heart of this issue is photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of committee member Katherine Frostenson, who has been accused of eighteen counts of sexual harassment and assault. He is also suspected of leaking lists of possible winners for betting purposes. While this is not the first time this has happened (in 1949, the Academy famously announced that no candidates met the criteria, delaying the decision to the following year when they Read More
  • Collecting the Works of Gore Vidal

    Wed, 03 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Gore Vidal was a prolific writer in many different forms from non-fiction essays to novels to screenplays. Throughout his time writing, he became a well-known cultural figure, appearing in documentaries and films. The content of Vidal’s work, despite sometimes being controversial at the time of publication, is still applicable today. His exploration of gender, sexuality, and politics keeps his work relevant and insightful years after publication. Since much of his work is newer in terms of publication, collectors can find first editions of Vidal’s work very reasonably priced.  Read More
  • The Importance of The Hunt for Red October

    Tue, 02 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy is an an extremely important book in the world of popular fiction for many reasons. Clancy's debut novel performed way beyond the expectations of publisher Naval Institute Press, earning an unexpected paperback edition and securing Clancy a spot as one of America's best-selling authors. With The Hunt for Red October, a publishing superstar was born. The 1984 novel has stood the test of time and is widely considered one of the best depictions of Cold War-era feelings and politics in the thriller genre. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why this Read More
  • Collecting the Works of President and Peace Prize Winner, Jimmy Carter

    Mon, 01 Oct 2018 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 94th 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
  • Ten Examples of Elie Wiesel's Sentence Crafting

    Sun, 30 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Elie Wiesel wrote, “Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” Wiesel followed his own advice in his writing. When reading his work, the author’s skill and passion for writing can be seen, and he writes about what he alone can write about. Knowing Wiesel’s experiences in the Holocaust helps readers to understand and appreciate his words and skill as a writer. With over 50 books, speeches, and interviews, it can be hard to narrow down passages to show Wiesel’s skill when there are so many wonderful examples. Nevertheless, here are 10 samples Read More
  • The Controversial, Visionary Authorship of Susan Sontag

    Thu, 27 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born Susan Rosenblatt on January 16, 1933 in New York City, Susan Sontag would grow up to be not only an author, but also a critic, scholar, and activist. She began and ended her writing career with fiction; in between she traveled to war zones and contemplated the changing face of art. Read More
  • Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot!

    Wed, 26 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    T.S. Eliot authored some of the most recognizable poems of the 20th century. He was a major player in the modernist movement, and his "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is considered one of the best of the genre. Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, and the selection committee praised him for "his outstanding, [pioneering] contribution to present-day poetry." Many other writers owe a debt of gratitude to T.S. Eliot for paving the way, and as Britannica states, "From the 1920s onward, Eliot’s influence as a poet and as a critic—in both Great Britain and the Read More
  • Ten of the Best William Faulkner Quotes

    Tue, 25 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    For many, William Faulkner is synonymous with American literature, specifically Southern Literature. Hailing from Mississippi, Faulkner used his home state and his experiences growing up in the rural south in much of his most famous work. He became well-known following his 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature win. The committee praised Faulkner "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." Faulkner’s use of emotion and stream-of-conscious writing style set him apart from many of his contemporaries. His works and his interviews are a playground for word enthusiasts, offering numerous memorable sentences. In honor of Faulkner’s birthday, here Read More
  • Five Authors Who Became Famous After Death

    Mon, 24 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Frequently, authors are limited by their time. It is only when time continues moving and society changes that their work can be appreciated for the insight it provides. Other times, authors do not have the means to seek out publication or cannot find a publisher, leaving the world without their insight until enough time has passed and others take up their plight that they are finally published. Death can be considered the ultimate end of time. With death, goals can no longer be accomplished, words can no longer be transformed into literature. However, while death is the end for some, Read More
  • The Man With Many Names: Collecting Stephen King

    Fri, 21 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Even the task of summing up Stephen King’s career and body of work is daunting. The New England-based literary giant has published more than 50 books, including acclaimed works of sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, horror, supernatural fiction, literary fiction, and, no doubt, other genres as well. He is so famous that even his pseudonyms are household names, and his works have been adapted for the screen more times than it would be in any way reasonable to recount in this space.  Read More
  • A Closer Look at Fine Press Books

    Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Made in limited quantities, fine press books elevate publishing to an art. They are highly sought after by art lovers and book collectors alike. If you've been reading our blog for any length of time, you know of our affinity for fine press books. We love seeing what the likes of Heavenly Monkey, The Golden Cockerel Press, Nawakum Press, and more create. Do you have a fine press collection? Or are you interested in adding fine press titles to your library? Read More
  • Celebrating the Legacy of Illustrator Arthur Rackham

    Wed, 19 Sep 2018 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
  • O.J. Simpson's If I Did It: The Road to Publication

    Tue, 18 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    We are always fascinated by a book’s road to publication. From its author’s efforts to get his or her story on paper, to its editor’s work, to the actual publishing of the book, it’s a nuanced process, filled with highs and lows. O.J. Simpson—the most notorious subject in a criminal trial in the last century—penned If I Did It (with the help of a ghost writer), and the book’s publication history is an interesting one, making first editions highly collectible. Read More
  • Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie!

    Sat, 15 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie is the most popular mystery writers of all time. Her two most well-known characters, Mrs. Marple and Hercule Poirot, are icons in the world of detective fiction, on par with literature's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Christie has served as inspiration for generations of writers who came after her, and her books are still tremendously popular years after the publication of her final novel. In honor of what would have been her 128th birthday, let's take a look at the life of one of fiction's most beloved authors. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Virginia Lee Burton

    Thu, 13 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Children’s books are loved by people of all ages, not just kids. Some of the most loved books in this genre are from author Virginia Lee Burton. Her seven books all have whimsical drawings and an appeal that even modern children are drawn to, despite being written over 50 years ago. Burton’s talent was recognized in 1942 when she was awarded the Caldecott Medal for her fourth book, The Little House. Since then, Burton’s work has enthralled and inspired generations of children, adults, and collectors. Read More
  • Thomas Harris, Hannibal Lecter, and a Literary Legacy

    Wed, 12 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
     "You must understand that when you are writing a novel, you are not making anything up. It's all there and you just need to find it." -Thomas Harris Thomas Harris is one of the few authors whose novels have all been made into successful films. Born April 11, 1940 in Jackson, Tennessee, Harris grew up in the South. He went to Baylor University, where he majored in English. Throughout college, Harris worked as a reporter for the local paper. He covered the police beat, which undoubtedly stoked his own interest in crime and law enforcement. By 1968, Harris had made his Read More
  • A Glimpse of Understanding: A(nother) look at Post 9/11 Novels

    Tue, 11 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    September 11, 2001. A day which—much like December 7, 1941—will live in infamy. Most everyone you ask can remember exactly where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing when they heard or saw the news of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, many of us who lived through the day and were tuned into the news can remember the moment the second plane hit the south tower because we watched it happen. Read More
  • Great Golf Collectibles - Happy Birthday, Arnold Palmer!

    Mon, 10 Sep 2018 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
  • Ten Books to Read in a Day

    Thu, 06 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Read a Book Day is one of the best days of the year, other than, perhaps, Talk Like a Pirate Day. Celebrated on September 6, Read a Book Day encourages everyone, both book lovers and ambivalent readers, to read, and it provides yet another excuse to sit down with a good book and escape from the world. It can be difficult to narrow down what to read in a day when there are so many options. From YA to classics, here are ten possibilities to consider when choosing a book to read in a day. Read More
  • Ongoing Scandal Causes Nobel Prize in Literature to Go Unawarded

    Tue, 04 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    This spring, the Swedish Academy announced that there would be no Nobel Prize in Literature awarded this year, stating instead that two laureates will be awarded in 2019. At the heart of this issue is photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of committee member Katherine Frostenson, who has been accused of eighteen counts of sexual harassment and assault. He is also suspected of leaking lists of possible winners for betting purposes. While this is not the first time this has happened (in 1949, the Academy famously announced that no candidates met the criteria, delaying the decision to the following year when they Read More
  • Seven Books We All Read in School

    Tue, 04 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    It's the day after Labor Day, and that means for many, it's time to go back to school. Books and school go hand-in-hand. Whether they were on summer reading lists, sprinkled throughout the general curriculum, or assigned for a book report, the following books represent some of the most common novels we all read in school. Check out some of these classic novels and relive your school days. Read More
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, Inkling and Hobbit

    Sun, 02 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
      “I would that I might with the minstrels sing and stir the unseen with a throbbing string.” -J. R. R. Tolkien, “Mythopoeia”   Today we celebrate the life of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955).  The tremendous success of these novels has earned Tolkien the title “father of high fantasy”, yet he did more than create tales of elves and dragons. An Oxford professor and expert in Old English and mythology, Tolkien believed that all myths contain “fundamental truths” that speak deeply to the human condition. He imbued his Read More
  • Lesser Known Facts About The Publication of Harry Potter

    Sat, 01 Sep 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Two decades ago, “the boy who lived” soared across the ocean and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone made its way into the hands of American readers for the first time. Now, twenty years later, almost everyone knows the stories, and the beloved characters from the Harry Potter series feel like old friends. Many of us know the history of J.K. Rowlings’ writing process, and how she went from single mother, struggling to make ends meet, to literary superstar. Most readers of the Harry Potter Generation can identify the books by their cover art, even by their color schemes. But Read More
  • John McCain: Remembering An American Hero

    Thu, 30 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    The world lost a good man on Saturday. John McCain passed away at the age of 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. McCain was many things: husband, father, Navy pilot, prisoner of war, senator, presidential candidate, and author. Moreover, he served as an inspiration for scores of Americans who looked to the war-hero as a no-nonsense patriot who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth and get the job done, party-lines notwithstanding. Countless former colleagues and friends have come forward to pay tribute to John McCain through articles and videos. Two past presidents have been tapped to speak at Read More
  • J.D. Salinger's Place in Modern Literature

    Wed, 29 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    J.D. Salinger authored Catcher in the Rye (1951) and numerous short stories. Known for being reclusive following the massive fame garnered by The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger rarely gave interviews. In 1974, after a 20 year break from the media, Salinger spoke via telephone to the New York Times. The interviewer asked him about his absence from publishing and the public eye and he responded: "There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It's peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."  Because Read More
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