Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Book Spotlight: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 has become a cultural phenomenon since its publication in October of 1953. Many adaptations, from film and theater to computer games and comics, have kept cultural references to the novel consistent and relevant, despite over 50 years having passed since publication. A common inclusion in school curriculum, the novel captures the imaginations of readers, forcing them to compare the society presented in the pages to the society of reality. Read More
  • A Quick Guide to Bill Clinton and His Autobiography, My Life

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton received a $15 million dollar advance for his autobiography, My Life (2004)⁠—one of the largest advances ever received for a book. By all measures, the book was a great financial success, selling 2,250,000 copies and earning Clinton $30 million dollars. Yet this achievement did not come easily; it took Clinton over two years to write the book, written in longhand in sixteen notebooks, with no help from a ghost writer. Read More
  • V.S. Naipaul and Other Writers Who Hated Their Biographies

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Writers are often meticulous and private people. Thus, the creation of authorized biographies can be a contentious matter. Some authors, like Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul, allowed a biographer into their home and shared personal information only to find that the resulting biography presented a person foreign to themselves. Although the biographer has a greater duty to his work than to his subject, one can understand why many authors feel betrayed at the end of the process. This article will catalog a few bitter episodes between authors and their biographers including V.S. Naipaul, William S. Burroughs, and Vladimir Nabokov. Read More
  • Julia Child: We Are Pleased to Have Known You

    Thu, 15 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Most of us have a sense of Julia Child's biography and style, at least from the movie with Meryl Streep as Julia and Stanley Tucci as Paul. But there is so much more to Julia Child than the movies that represent her. A look at the innumerable, wonderful quotes that encapsulate her personality and style leave all of us feeling like we have known her, even a little bit. Read More
  • A Reading Guide to Alice Adams

    Wed, 14 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Best known for her short stories, Alice Adams wrote eleven novels and published over 25 short stories in The New Yorker. Over the course of her career, she won many awards, including the O. Henry Special Award for Continuing Achievement and Best American Short Stories Awards. Her work unflinchingly explores platonic and romantic relationships and the happiness and disappointments that accompany them. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Ludwig Bemelmans

    Tue, 13 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a children's book that exemplifies the best work being produce in the field of children's book illustration. The award is a massive professional accolade and often results in a certain desirability from the reading public and from collectors. It is hard to imagine a book more enduring and beloved than 1955's winner, Madeline's Rescue, written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. Come learn more about this iconic illustrator and his beloved Madeline series as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrator Series. Read More
  • Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate and Song of Solomon Author, Has Died

    Wed, 07 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” -Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture 1993 Toni Morrison, author of Beloved and Song of Solomon, died peacefully in her home on Monday, surrounded by her family. Morrison was the first African American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her books were commercially and critically acclaimed and rightly find their way onto many collectors' shelves. Today, we honor Ms. Morrison's life and work. Read More
  • Unexpected Meetings Between Legendary Authors and Celebrities

    Tue, 06 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Authors are contributors to their culture, and as part of the job, they tend to cross paths with their famous contemporaries. These can be other authors, artists, actors, leaders, and cultural icons, and at times can create some rather unlikely pairings. Here are a few of these moments immortalized on camera. Read More
  • The Controversy Behind Neil Armstrong's Moon Landing Speech

    Mon, 05 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew left Kennedy Space Center and entered the Moon's orbit. On July 19, after spending a full day in lunar orbit, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. boarded the lunar module. It was not an easy decent to the surface of the Moon, but when they landed, they made history. Read More
  • Ten Beautiful Percy Shelley Quotes

    Sun, 04 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Percy Shelley is considered one of the greatest and most influential English poets. Like many authors, Shelley did not live to see his fame. During his life, he kept good company with other writers and poets, including his wife Mary Shelley née Godwin, author of Frankenstein, the Lord Byron, and John Keats. Due to the radical themes in his work, Shelley had difficulty finding a publisher, but he is now considered one of the paragons of English Romanticism. Read More
  • Happy Birthday to Writer and Activist James Baldwin!

    Fri, 02 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Writer and activist James Baldwin was born on August 29, 1924 in Manhattan. His plays, essays, novels, poems, and short stories embodied issues of race, class, and sexuality that were common in the mid-20th century and in many cases still exist today. After becoming disillusioned with the way African Americans were treated in his home country, he moved to France where he could be seen as more than just his race. Read More
  • Herman Melville: Literary Giant Who Died In Obscurity

    Thu, 01 Aug 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    When Herman Melville was seven years old, his father warned his teachers that he was “very backwards in speech and somewhat slow in comprehension.” Luckily for the rest of us, he appears not to have been deterred by this description. A prolific writer of both novels and poetry, he is now among the most renowned authors in the American canon. Read More
  • The Birth of the Harry Potter Phenomenon

    Wed, 31 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    July 31 may seem an unremarkable day to some, but not to fans of Harry Potter. It’s Harry’s birthday as well as that of his creator, J.K. Rowling. The publication of the Harry Potter books has unquestionably changed children’s literature and arguably the world. How did this genre-busting phenomenon even begin? Read More
  • Five of Beatrix Potter's Best Books

    Sun, 28 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Beatrix Potter’s 23 original tales include her works published between 1902 and 1930. All of the tales take place in the same fictional universe, sometimes referred to as The World of Peter Rabbit. While all of Potter’s work is wonderfully skilled and serves as a paragon of children’s stories, her 23 original publications are the best known and tend to hold the most sentimental value for readers. Here's our selection of five of Potter's best efforts. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Lynd Ward

    Thu, 25 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Every year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the children's book that best displays a new level of excellence and creativity in the field. These books often come to represent a gold standard for children's book illustration and become favorites of not only children but also of collectors. Sometimes, as in the case of the 1953 winner, the illustrator is not just a major figure in children's book illustration, but in other artistic fields as well. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators series by exploring the life and career of legendary illustrator Lynd Ward, who not Read More
  • Zelda Fitzgerald's Fascinating Novel

    Wed, 24 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Written in the first weeks of Zelda Fitzgerald’s stay at John Hopkins University’s Phipps Clinic, Save Me the Waltz is a fictional autobiographical telling of Fitzgerald’s life and marriage. First published in 1932 by Charles Scribner’s & Sons, the novel did not sell and was heavily criticized by her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and professional critics. It was not until recent years that focus has returned to Zelda Fitzgerald’s work and an effort has been made to examine her work without her husband’s negative influence. Read More
  • Raymond Chandler: Making Pulp Serious

    Tue, 23 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Raymond Chandler is one of those rare authors who reminds the literary establishment that genre has no bearing over a book’s quality. Chandler bridged gaps in his career. His work helped bring crime fiction to academics, and the serious novel to Hollywood studios. He considered himself an intellectual snob and loved Charles Dickens, Henry James, and Ernest Hemingway. He was a man who studied Greek and Latin, but Chandler emphasized that his own strange preferences brought him to the world of the detective story. Read More
  • Ernest Hemingway, Famous Author or Failed Double Agent?

    Sun, 21 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    During World War II, Ernest Hemingway was determined to be a spy. He spoke to no less than four governmental entities on the matter. Three were American: the American embassy in Cuba, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). One was Russian: the NKVD, a forerunner of the KGB. He accepted positions from three—the American embassy in Cuba, the ONI, and the NKVD—and worked simultaneously for the Americans and Russians from 1941-1943. Read More
  • Five Interesting Books About the Moon Landing

    Sat, 20 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing! On July 20, 1969, NASA successfully landed the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon. Eight years earlier in 1961, President Kennedy kicked the Space Race into overdrive when he called for more efforts and resources to be put into the space programs with the goal of reaching the moon by the end of the decade. July 16, 1969, found Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins boarding the Saturn V rocket at the Kennedy Space Center and being launched into Earth’s orbit. After three days Armstrong and Aldrin landed on Read More
  • What Were Americans Reading When We Landed on the Moon?

    Fri, 19 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Sometime around Thanksgiving 1862, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), met sitting-president Abraham Lincoln. Upon the initial introduction, Lincoln famously quipped, “So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” Accounts of the exact wording vary, and in fact the whole story may be apocryphal, but it still speaks to the way that art and media help us make sense of history as it unfolds around us. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (or, if not Stowe’s novel, then perhaps works like Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1961) or 1845's The Narrative of the Life of Read More
  • Making History: A Tribute to John Glenn

    Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    When John Glenn became the first man to orbit around the earth, he reawakened a hope and patriotism in the citizens of the United States. Today would have been Glenn's 98th birthday, fittingly falling only a couple days before the anniversary of the first lunar landing. In his honor, we're remembering what the world was like all those years ago when he rose up and inspired a nation. Read More
  • Famous Astronauts and Their Lives After NASA

    Wed, 17 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon and for the first time, mankind took its first physical steps out in the universe. The 50th anniversary of the lunar landing is fast approaching. The things NASA has learned from that first landing and the numerous following expeditions into space have changed the face of scientific understanding. To celebrate  NASA and the brave astronauts who have made history throughout the years, let's take a look at the lives of some of the most famous astronauts after they ended their careers in space exploration. Read More
  • Collecting Clement Clarke Moore's The Night Before Christmas

    Mon, 15 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    For many families, Christmas wouldn't come around without a Christmas Eve reading of the ultimate holiday poem, Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. Originally known as A Visit from St. Nicholas, Twas the Night Before Christmas has been a part of the Christmas tradition for over a century and a half. Who was the author behind this famous Christmas poem? What are some valuable editions of  The Night Before Christmas to add to your collection? We thought we'd give you a taste of Christmas in July and explore this popular holiday title. Read More
  • Gerald Ford, President by Accident

    Sun, 14 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    This week we celebrate the birth of Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States. Ford was born as Leslie Lynch King Jr. on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska. While many presidents grew up under affluent circumstances, Ford succeeded through hard work—combined with very unusual circumstances. Indeed, he became the only President of the United States never elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency. Read More
  • Ten Inspiring Quotes From Henry David Thoreau's Walden

    Fri, 12 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born in 1817, Henry David Thoreau spent most of his life in Concord, Massachusetts. He was sent to Harvard, where he did very well and in 1837, graduated in the top half of his class. Despite his high placement and due to the economic depression, lack of job opportunities, and Thoreau’s disinterest in available careers, he began teaching at the Concord public school. He left after two weeks due to a disagreement over how to discipline students. From there, he started working at his family’s pencil factory. In 1838, Thoreau and his brother John opened and operated a school until Read More
  • Famous Authors and Their Pseudonyms (Part One)

    Thu, 11 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    When J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series, admitted that she wrote The Cuckoo's Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the world was in uproar. It should come as no surprise that Rowling would choose to write under a false name, though. After all, she originally hid her identity by writing as J.K. Rowling—rather than using her full name, Joanne Rowling—and she's not the first legendary author to use a pseudonym. Read More
  • O.J. Simpson's If I Did It: The Road to Publication

    Tue, 09 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born on July 9, 1947, O.J. Simpson is 72 years old today. We thought his birthday was a fitting day to revisit the interesting publication history of his notorious "tell-all", If I Did It, so we're republishing our post on it here. 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 Read More
  • Defining Science Fiction: Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov

    Sun, 07 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Defining science fiction has always been a tricky proposition. It has been suggested that "you know it when you see it," but that hardly seems a sufficient rule. Still less helpful is the notion that the science fiction moniker applies to any fiction dealing imaginatively with concepts borrowed from science. The fact of the matter remains that select staples of the literary cannon have displayed an interest in science from Shakespeare’s work through the likes of Thomas Pynchon. This does little to change the fact that when we speak of science fiction we hardly ever mean The Tempest (1610), and we Read More
  • Nancy Reagan: Some of the Books

    Sat, 06 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    The media seemed pleased to have Ronald and Nancy Reagan in the White House. They lauded the glamour they brought from Hollywood, and Nancy’s style was compared favorably with Jacqueline Kennedy. She was always perfectly coiffed and dressed in designer gowns the mass media reading public could never dream of affording. The list of books depicting Nancy Reagan's life is a lengthy one. Many depict Mrs. Reagan in an unflattering light, while others paint the picture of a love story between her and President Ronald Reagan. We've compiled several titles and descriptions here for your reading and collecting pleasures.  Read More
  • The Founding Fathers: Authors and Revolutionaries

    Thu, 04 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    When you think of controversial authors, what names come to mind? Perhaps Karl Marx and Charles Darwin, or maybe Ayn Rand and J.D. Salinger. But the original "kings of controversy" came much earlier. America's founding fathers penned two of the most influential—and revolutionary—documents in history: the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Read More
< prev
  • Showing 61-90 (of 1976 total)
  • Page 3 of 66
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
next >

Looks like you are ready to submit this application

If you are satisfied that your application is complete, go ahead and click "submit this application."
Otherwise, click "review this application" to review your answers or make additional changes.