Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • 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
  • Book Collecting Basics: What is Collation?

    Tue, 28 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    The study of Shakespeare has, historically, thrived off of small inconsistencies in the great playwright’s printed editions. When you pick up a Folger edition of the Bard’s work and find that your favorite soliloquy out of the Pelican Shakespeare is ever so slightly altered, you experience the fruits of a literary labor that is as much a science as it is an art. The foundation of this science is called collation.  Read More
  • Happy Birthday, Lyndon B. Johnson!

    Mon, 27 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States, would be 110 years old today. Few persons in positions of executive power have experienced such an unthinkable, history-making event as LBJ did. Of course, we’re talking about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and what followed. Another example occurred on September 11, 2001, when then President George W. Bush faced the news of a domestic terrorist attack. How a president—or soon-to-be president, in the case of Lyndon B. Johnson—handles himself in the wake of such a moment, for better or worse, tends to define his legacy. So, in honor Read More
  • Books That Inspired Award-Winning Movies and Performances

    Sat, 25 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Since the invention of cinema, directors and producers have borrowed stories from the pages of books to grace the silver screen. And exceptional books often make exceptional films, as evidenced by the number of award-winning movies—and performances—based on books. In honor of legendary actor Sean Connery's birthday, here's a look at some favorites, which have remained popular both on screen and among collectors of modern first editions.  Read More
  • Ray Bradbury and the Power of Books

    Wed, 22 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Ray Bradbury, whose birthday we celebrate today, was a lifelong proponent of books and literature. He fought for the preservation of libraries, and only allowed his physical books to be formatted for e-readers when he was given no other option. This love of books as physical objects is only natural, you might say, for one who made his living as an author. But Bradbury and books are even more connected. After all, his most famous book takes as its focus books themselves, or, rather, a society that burns books. Fahrenheit 451 is a mainstay on most high school English reading lists, Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Robert McCloskey

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Winning the Caldecott Medal is one of the highest honors an illustrator can receive. Winning the Caldecott Medal numerous times is a feat only a few can boast. Robert McCloskey is one of only a handful of artists who were awarded the Caldecott Medal on two different occasions (the others who have won twice are Barbara Cooney, Nonny Hogrogian, Leo and Diane Dillon, Chris Van Allsburg, and Chris Raschka, and only Marcia Brown and David Wiesner have won the award three times). In fact, he was the first ever two-time winner. So who is Robert McCloskey? What made him such an enduring figure Read More
  • Isaac Asimov, Pioneer of Science Fiction

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Isaac Asimov celebrated his own birthday on January 2. He was born sometime between October 4, 1919 and January 2, 1920 in Russia. According to his father, he was one of the healthiest children around, a fact put to the test when he contracted pneumonia at age 2. Asimov was one of 17 children to fall sick in the town where his family lived, and the only child to survive. The family moved to United States the following year, and Isaac Asimov grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  Read More
  • Ten of the Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature, Part 2

    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Sentences can bring both joy and pain. The joy brought from a well crafted sentence lasts far longer than the pain a poorly written one inflicts on readers. Even when a beautiful sentence helps readers feel the pain present in the work, the contentment felt when remembering the beauty of the sentence far outweighs the momentary fleetingness of the emotion. It is the word choice, the flow, the structure, and the skill of the author that all combine to create something truly beautiful. We all have sentences we love. Certain elements draw each of us to different authors and sentences, Read More
  • Julia Child's Life and Legacy

    Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Cooking is a skill everyone must utilize with varying degrees of success. There are people who struggle to turn on the correct stove burner when making pasta, others who are able to manage something edible, and some who create food to be savored, not just eaten. But after the skill-less, mediocre, and expert, there is another type of cook. These cooks are able to bring about new innovations and introduce previously foreign tastes to the public. One such cook was Julia Child who is credited with introducing French cuisine to the American public through her cookbooks and television shows. Read More
  • Examining the Life and Work of Nobel Prize Winner V.S. Naipaul

    Tue, 14 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    V.S. Naipaul once said that no woman writer could be his equal. He did not win any points with feminists and those striving for gender equality, but it's hard to argue with his literary output. Again, we have to ask ourselves, how do we separate an author's ideology from the work he or she produces? Do we? Can we? Should we? Born August 17, 1932, Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul died on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at the age of 85. The author is considered one of the modern legends of literature. Read More
  • Remembering Legendary Author Ian Fleming

    Mon, 13 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Everyone has a favorite super spy—a character whose cunning nature, quick thinking, or pure mental and physical strength keep us rooting for them long after their books, TV series, or films have reached "the end." Before common names like Jack Bauer, Ethan Hunt, and Jason Bourne dotted the super spy landscape, another famous spy arrested our imagination: James Bond. The dashing and debonair 007 was the creation of Ian Fleming, who has earned a reputation as a legendary author. Yesterday marked the anniversary of Ian Fleming's death. In his honor, we take a look back at his life and his Read More
  • Best Books About Weddings

    Wed, 08 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Wedding season is upon us. Indeed, August recently surpassed June as the most popular month for couples to walk down the aisle making now a perfect time to look at books that center around weddings. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own affair, trying to pass the time before the big day, or searching for a wedding-themed book to add to your collection, here are some of our favorite books about weddings. Read More
  • How Terry McMillan Got Her Groove Back

    Tue, 07 Aug 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Terry McMillan, author of bestselling novels Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, was born October 18, 1951 in Port Huron, Michigan. She was the oldest of her four siblings and after her parents separated, she was left to care for her brother and sisters. Although forced to grow up at an early age, she found solace in her personal retreat: the Port Huron library. There, she fell in love with reading—relishing the works of classic writers including Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. As much as she enjoyed their writing, she was discouraged that great works Read More
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