Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Five Rare Science Books To Add to Your Collection

    Thu, 28 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today is National Science Day! We’re excited, and perhaps you are wondering why. We are, after all, in the business of books—collecting, selling, and writing about them. Indeed, we share with you who wins the Nobel Prize in Literature, not who wins the Nobel Prize in Physics or Chemistry or even Medicine. But that’s not to say we don’t love science! As a matter of fact, we love it when books and science intersect, which happens quite often. Today, we’re focusing our attention on five of our favorite rare science books. If you, like us, have an affinity to books Read More
  • Of Mice and Men and Marine Biology: A John Steinbeck Round-Up

    Wed, 27 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time, you know we’re big fans of John Steinbeck. Steinbeck, through his writing, made his way into American homes and schools over the course of the 20th century. That trend has continued to present day with many of his books counted as classics and placed on required reading lists from California to Maine. Steinbeck earned the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962 "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." In many a blog post, we’ve noted some of our favorite facts Read More
  • Victor Hugo: An Influential Life of Political Passion

    Tue, 26 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    All is a ruin where rage knew no bounds: Chio is levelled, and loathed by the hounds, For shivered yest'reen was her lance; Sulphurous vapors envenom the place Where her true beauties of Beauty's true race Were lately linked close in the dance. ~The Greek Boy, 1828 When it comes to French literature, one name is frequently the first to come to mind: Victor Hugo. While he is known internationally for his famous novels, Les Misérables and Notre Dame de Paris (better known to many by its English translation and Disney-popularized title, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), he is widely known in his home country Read More
  • Bob Schieffer's Newsworthy Life

    Mon, 25 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    In 2019, media—from social to news—plays an important role in the lives of consumers. People are constantly aware of newsworthy, and not so newsworthy, developments from around the world nearly as soon as they occur. With this ease of access, the time when newspapers and television were the main means of delivery for news can be easily forgotten. The men and women who spent their careers informing others and becoming household names may be all but forgotten by the new generation. Bob Schieffer dedicated his life to news. His work as a reporter and news anchor reached millions of viewers and Read More
  • Top Ten Movies Inspired By Great Books

    Fri, 22 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    The 91st Academy Awards are set to take place on February 24, 2019. Of course, this got us thinking about book-to-movie adaptations. Here's a look at some of our favorites, in no particular order. What would you add to the list? Read More
  • The Women of Group f/64

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    In 1932, Ansel Adams and ten other photographers, announced their formation of Group f/64, a group devoted to straight photography and sharp focus images. It was Edward Weston and Ansel Adams at the center of the group, helping bring the group’s ideals to national attention. They adopted the name Group f/64 in reference to the smallest aperture available for large-format view cameras, which allows the picture to achieve as sharp of focus as possible. As a whole, the group focused on landscapes or close-up photographs of natural subjects. Despite differences in subjects and personal style, their efforts to perfectly show Read More
  • Ten Quotes from Amy Tan

    Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    First generation American writer Amy Tan was born In Oakland, California on February 19, 1952 to Chinese immigrant parents. She studied at San Jose State University where she received both her BA and Masters degree. She pursued a doctoral degree at UC Berkley but eventually dropped out. Before breaking out as a writer, she worked a variety of jobs, including switchboard operator, pizza chef, and bartender. In 1989, Tan published her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, and she became an immediate and massive success. Her book was adapted into a hit film in 1993. Like much of her body Read More
  • Five Things You Might Not Know About Toni Morrison

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Toni Morrison is one of the foremost leaders who brought African-American literature from the fringes of literary circles into the mainstream. Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931, Morrison grew up in Lorain, Ohio. She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she majored in English before earning a Master of Arts from Cornell University. Morrison began her career by teaching English at several universities. In 1970, she published her first novel, The Bluest Eyes. Her best known novel, Beloved, was published in 1987. In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She continues her work promoting Read More
  • Six Books About Love (From Authors Who Aren't Your Typical Romance Writers)

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Valentine's Day is upon us, and while modern day readers often associate authors like Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts with romance, these writers aren't the only ones to deliver tales of love and passion. Here's a look at a few authors who aren't your typical romance writers, but who have written delightful, poignant love stories.  Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Roger Duvoisin

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Every year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association. The committee reviews children's books published throughout the year and select one book whose art exemplifies the best of American illustration. To be named winner of the Caldecott Medal is a massive achievement and often comes as a sign that the book is destined to be loved by generations of children. These distinguished books are sought after by both children and collectors. Continuing our ongoing Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series, let's take a closer look at 1948 winner, Roger Duvoisin. Read More
  • A Look Inside Presidential Libraries

    Tue, 12 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today is the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday. In addition to having been an exceptional statesman, Lincoln, like many of America's forefathers was also a prolific reader, amassing an impressive personal library. In honor of the late, great president, we've put together a post to give you a look inside presidential libraries. Read More
  • Thomas Harris: A Modern Master of Suspense

    Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Thriller and horror have long been a part of readers’ diets. From the Gothic to Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, readers find joy in the macabre. One of the most popular contemporary thriller writers is Thomas Harris. Already popular through his writing, the film adaptations of his work has helped to build his devoted audience. His creation of Hannibal Lecter has led to television series, plays, and parody musicals about the world’s favorite cannibal all while catapulting Harris into fame.  Read More
  • Literary Travel: Six Places Fans of the Little House Series Should Visit

    Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Laura Ingalls Wilder spent much of her life traveling with her family as pioneers. She grew up homesteading different farms all over the Midwest. As an adult, she chronicled her journeys in the Little House on the Prairie series. Wildly popular, the children’s series and resulting television show helped romanticize the experiences of the Ingalls family. Many places Laura described in her books have been restored and can still be visited today, helping return a sense of reality to the difficulties pioneers faced.  Read More
  • Remembering Ronald Reagan Through the Written Word

    Wed, 06 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    When one hears the name “Ronald Reagan” many titles come to mind—actor, politician, president. And while in this day and age, many Hollywood stars participate in politics and make their political voices heard (aided, of course, by massive social media platforms and the resulting exposure), thirty years ago when Reagan made the jump from actor to Governor of California and, subsequently, to President of the United States, he was a bit of a trailblazer. Indeed, Reagan’s charisma charmed the Republican party and the American people. When he left office in 1989, his approval rating was a sky-high 68%, making him Read More
  • Five Legendary Authors Who Wrote Through Their Experiences with Cancer

    Mon, 04 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    “Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify as citizens of that other place.” These are the opening lines of Susan Sontag’s seminal exploration of cancer’s mythology in modern life, Illness as Metaphor (1978). The book’s most enduring impact has been to shed light on the victim-blaming nature of many of the narratives that surround Read More
  • A James A. Michener Tribute

    Sun, 03 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    February 3 is James A. Michener's birthday. The legendary American author wrote nearly 50 books in his lifetime, and though he passed away in 1997 at the age of 90 years, he has a strong following to this day. We are big fans of Michener at Books Tell You Why, and it seems many of you are, as well. One of our most read and debated posts to date lists some of our picks of the top Michener works. We followed that post up to include a couple more favorites. In honor of Michener's birthday, we're linking to these posts today Read More
  • James Joyce and Company: Sylvia Beach's Literary Table

    Sat, 02 Feb 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Imagining literary Paris between the wars is almost too much.Many of us delight in the knowledge that, say, James Joyce and Henrik Ibsen exchanged some letters, or that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were fast friends. The prospect of a single time and place that contained the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and others has the trappings of a literary meeting of the minds unrivaled by any setting in human history.If you think that you’d be almost irrecoverably star struck in such a setting, you’re in good company.In fact, you’re in the same boat as Read More
  • How a Signature Increases a Book's Value

    Wed, 30 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    How much is a baseball worth? Maybe a dollar or two, right? Get that same baseball signed by Alex Rodriguez, and you have a collectible item. If that baseball happened to be a home run ball, you've hit the jackpot! Signatures and autographs in books work much the same way. The rarity of both the book and the signature help determine the value of a book. Read More
  • Five Things You Might Not Know About Janet Evanovich

    Tue, 29 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Janet Evanovich was born in South River, New Jersey in 1943. Evanovich has become a household name thanks to her much beloved adventure series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. A prolific writer, she has published over sixty novels, many of which have topped the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her novels are published all over the world and have been translated into over 40 languages. In celebration of this writer's amazing career, here are five things you might not know about one of America's most loved adventure novelists. Read More
  • And the Award Goes To: 2019 Caldecott and Newbery Winners

    Mon, 28 Jan 2019 11:56:00 Permalink
    Today is one of the most anticipated days of the year for children's book enthusiasts. This morning, the the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, announced the winners of the 2019 Caldecott Medal and Newbery Medal, among other children's literature awards. These coveted prizes go a long way in cementing their authors and illustrators as fixtures in the children's literary landscape. Their books will be found on our shelves and in libraries the world over for years to come. Without further ado, the winners of the 2019 Caldecott and Newbery medals are Read More
  • Virginia Woolf's Legacy and Influence

    Fri, 25 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Virginia Woolf is undoubtedly one of the most important literary figures in both English literature and feminist literature. Her novels, essays, criticism, and work toward education reform have made her a frequent subject of study, even today, nearly sixty years after her death. Her work makes her a pillar of both feminism and modernism. Today, on the 132nd anniversary of her birth, lets take a closer look at her life and the ways in which she has remained firmly relevant. Read More
  • Isabel Allende: The Interesting Life of a "Raging Feminist"

    Thu, 24 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    “She sowed in my mind the idea that reality is not only what we see on the surface; it has a magical dimension as well and, if we so desire, it is legitimate to enhance it and color it to make our journey through life less trying.” ~Isabel Allende, Eva Luna Isabel Allende once said she “didn’t want a happy life but an interesting one.” Raised in Peru, Chile, Lebanon, and Bolivia, and eventually forced into exile when her cousin, Salvador Allende, was deposed as President of Chile, it is safe to say that she is achieving her goal.  Read More
  • The Origin of Donaldists: How Micky Maus Became a Bestselling Magazine

    Wed, 23 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    In Germany, to this day, there are so-called Donaldists: men and women who apply rigorous scientific and anthropological methods to understanding the world of Donald Duck and Duckburg, his hometown. That’s right, in Germany, Donald Duck—not Mickey Mouse—is the star. He’s the reason that Micky Maus, the German-language Disney comic magazine, is the fourth best-selling comic magazine of all time, surpassing a billion sales over the course of its 60+ year run. Considering that no other Disney comics rank so highly in their respective formats, the tremendous ongoing success of Micky Maus warrants some explanation. How did these magazines become Read More
  • Five Facts About Writer and Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin

    Sun, 20 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Edwin Aldrin Jr, better known as Buzz Aldrin, is perhaps one of America's best known explorer heroes. In 1969, he became one of the first men to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He has served as one of the most prominent faces of NASA for many years, inspiring generations of people to go into the fields of aerospace and astronautics through his outspoken advocacy for space travel and exploration. Even after his retirement from NASA, he has continued to further his belief in the importance of understanding space as a writer, authoring eleven books for a variety of Read More
  • Ten of the Best Quotes From Edgar Allan Poe

    Sat, 19 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Edgar Allan Poe is a household name. His influence on poetry and the genres of detective fiction (he is considered its creator), science fiction (which his work helped forge a path for), and Gothic literature in general cannot be overstated. His works are well-known in popular culture, as most all of us were required to read at least some of them throughout our schooling. It follows, then, that Poe remains quite quotable. In honor of his birthday, we've compiled ten of the best quotes from Edgar Allan Poe. Have you read these works? Share with us your favorite Poe title Read More
  • The Most Relatable Winnie the Pooh Characters

    Fri, 18 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    When thinking of A. A. Milne, the usual first association is Winnie the Pooh. As a children’s book, there are many lessons to be learned and shenanigans to be entertained by. Like many children’s stories, there are parts that are relatable to adults. One example of this is the characters. Each animal possess a uniqueness that makes them singularly situated to be compared to humans of the reader’s acquaintance. Most will, at some point, have known the lovable, ditzy friend, the overenthusiastic ball of energy, the gloomy Gus, the very particular organizer, and the font of stories and advice. Which Winnie the Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Leonard Weisgard

    Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    One of the finest achievements an illustrator of children's books can receive is the illustrious and much-lauded Caldecott Medal. Established in 1938 by the American Library Association, the award is given out as a means to find and honor the greatest contributions to the field of American children's book illustration. The Caldecott Medal is given annually to “the most distinguished American picture book for children,” whether that be for innovation in the field, incredible beauty, a unique sense of whimsy, or anything else that might cause the book to stand out to children. In 1948, this honor was given to Leonard Weisgard Read More
  • Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Tue, 15 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today, we remember the life of minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. King was a man of action and moral conviction. He led by his example and sought a better world for his children and his fellow man. We would all do well to follow his lead and work towards his goals which are, sadly, yet to be realized. However, his legacy remains one of courage and nonviolence in the face of hatred. We've rounded up several of our past posts to pay tribute to the late, great MLK Jr. We've also included Read More
  • Jack London and Living the American Dream

    Sat, 12 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    “He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” ~Jack London, The Call of the Wild Writer and social justice activist Jack London turned every life adventure into a published story. A master of fiction, his writings ran the gamut from novels and short stories, to poems, and plays, and he also wrote nonfiction essays and worked as a journalist. Born on January Read More
  • Top Books By State: Alabama

    Thu, 10 Jan 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    In a sort of literary tour of the United States, we’d like to begin highlighting some of the top books from each state. What does a book have to do to make the list for each particular state? Our criteria is twofold: either the book must be set in the state, or the author must be from the state or have written the book while living in the state. Obviously, the book must also be a good one! Understandably, our list of top books from each state is subjective. We may leave out a title you feel should be included Read More
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