Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Ten of the Best Children's Books for Thanksgiving

    Thu, 22 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Thanksgiving is known for many things: turkey, parades, football, and, of course, Pilgrims and Native Americans. With all of the distractions and celebrations, it can be easy to forget the meaning and history of the holiday. An easy, fun way to remember why we celebrate, for both old and young, is through children’s books. The simple presentation of facts and intriguing illustrations allow readers to remember what Thanksgiving means and why we celebrate.  Read More
  • John Gardner: James Bond Books and Beyond

    Tue, 20 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today is the birthday of John Gardner. Gardner, in most circles, is not so much of a household name as James Bond or Ian Fleming, but he was responsible for keeping the intrigue and excitement of the legendary spy and his author alive in the hearts and minds of fans for nearly two decades. Indeed, from 1981 to 1996, John Gardner penned 16 original James Bond novels. In honor of his birthday, let’s take a look at several of his titles. Read More
  • Raymond Benson: The Fourth Man behind James Bond

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Though the James Bond films were originally based on the novels by Ian Fleming, more recent movies are written in the spirit of Fleming's work. After Fleming's death, other writers have been invited to take up the James Bond mantle. First was Kingsley Amis, who wrote one Bond novel under the pseudonym Robert Markham. John Gardner penned the next 14 novels, along with two film novelizations. Raymond Benson was the next author to continue the Bond legacy, writing from 1996 to 2003. Read More
  • An Early Holiday Gift Guide

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Black Friday is one week away. Are your shopping plans made? Or are you still puzzling over the perfect gift for someone in your life? Maybe you won’t even think about the holiday shopping rush for another month. In any case, we’ve put together a list of some lovely collectible books as well as some stellar reading copies that might prove to be the solution to even the trickiest of gift-giving cases. From art books to fine press titles, sports stories to suspense, we’ve got something for everyone on your list. Be sure to follow the links for more information Read More
  • Astrid Lindgren: Pioneer of Children's Literature

    Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today marks the birthday of Astrid Lindgren, the talented children's author who created Pippi Longstocking, and who is the namesake of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA). Her books have sold over 145 million copies around the world, and she's earned a place as one of the most distinguished children's authors of the twentieth century. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Elizabeth Orton Jones

    Tue, 13 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Each year, the Caldecott Medal is given to a children's book of exceptional quality that exhibits the highest level of artistic excellence. The illustrators given the award are known for their illustrations, whether it be for their beauty, humor, realism, innovation, or any other number of qualities. To be awarded a Caldecott medal is the highest honor an American children's book illustrator can receive. Continuing our Caldecott Medal Winning Book Series, we take a look at Elizabeth Orton Jones, an author who missed out on the award as a runner up in 1944, only to win the award the following Read More
  • Veterans Day Spotlight: The Life & Works of Tim O'Brien

    Sun, 11 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    "I carry the memories of the ghosts of a place called Vietnam—the people of Vietnam, my fellow soldiers. More importantly, I carry the weight of responsibility and a sense of abiding guilt." —Tim O'Brien, in an interview with NPR. Tim O’Brien, most notably acclaimed for his stories on the War in Vietnam, was born on October 1, 1947. Today, as the United States celebrates Veterans Day, we thought we'd take a closer look at O'Brien's life and work. Read More
  • Ten More Facts You Should Know About Jane Goodall

    Sat, 10 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE, more affectionately known as Dr. Jane, is the world’s foremost expert on Chimpanzees, a United Nations Peace Ambassador, and an inspiration to budding ethologists the world over. Since making the discovery that chimps make and use tools while studying their behavior in the field more than half a century ago, she has become one of the most recognizable and beloved figures in the global scientific community. A few years back, we penned a post titled Ten Facts You Should Know About Jane Goodall. Here are ten more facts about her you may find of interest. Read More
  • Happy Birthday, Kay Thompson!

    Fri, 09 Nov 2018 03:00:00 Permalink
    Kay Thompson is perhaps today best known for her work on the beloved children's book series Eloise and for her role in the equally famous film adaptation of the musical Funny Face. Both her literary, film, and music careers represent a bygone sort of old Hollywood glamour. From the music she arranged for MGM studios to her night club acts to the ritzy penthouse apartment that served as home to Eloise, Thompson's life and work serve as a glimpse into a exciting age of New York and Tinsel Town that now exists only in pop culture and memories. But it's the human heart Read More
  • Things to Consider Before Adding a Signed Book to Your Collection

    Sat, 03 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    In his famous essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” (1935) Walter Benjamin describes the “aura” that exists around a work of art that hasn’t been mechanically reproduced (i.e. printed off on a printing press, copied onto a DVD, etc.). The aura, he says, is the element of the work that can’t be replicated outside of its definite location in time and space, giving a ritualistic, almost mystical element that changes the way that we engage with it. This, it seems, in a nutshell, is why we like signed books, and why we often treat them Read More
  • Caldecott-Winning Books Perfect For Fall

    Fri, 02 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Caldecott Medal is the most prestigious award for children's book illustration in America. Books awarded the medal are widely sought by libraries, children, and collectors alike. Though these books make for an excellent read any time of the year, we've picked out a few winners that are perfect to read during the fall. In some particular way, each of these books conjure up the feeling of autumn. Whether it be in their depiction of cool weather and changing leaves or by the way they evoke the feelings of the Thanksgiving season, these titles are perfect for this time of Read More
  • Hilary Knight Outside of Eloise

    Thu, 01 Nov 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Illustrator Hilary Knight has brought joy to many children through his work. Despite his large collection of work, Eloise, easily his most popular series, tends to overshadow all of his other books. Understandably, the characters and stories in the Eloise books have been loved by many readers, allowing for the lesser known works to be overshadowed. Both original works and collaborations are often glossed over in favor of the incorrigible Eloise. Many of Knight’s works outside of Eloise are still well loved and receive high praise from readers. Let's examine some of them today. Read More
  • A Brief History of Bram Stoker and His Horror Classic, Dracula

    Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    In the history of the horror novel, some works have come alive in popular imagination. One of these is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818); almost everyone is familiar with the plot regardless of whether they've read the book. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is similarly ubiquitous. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire legend, his classic work has defined and popularized the myth across continents and generations. We all know who Dracula is, but what about Stoker? Who was the man who made "vampire" a household name? Read More
  • Celebrating the (Literary) History of America's Presidents

    Tue, 30 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Presidents are famously men of letters: educated, erudite, and charismatic. John Adams (whose birthday we celebrate today), Thomas Jefferson, and other founding fathers established their reputation by contributing to beautifully written documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Read More
  • A Literary Look at Hillary Clinton

    Fri, 26 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Hillary Clinton’s resume is an impressive one. Secretary of State. Democratic Party Presidential nominee. First Lady. Lawyer. Advocate. Author. Her life and work has been scrutinized thoroughly—as is the case with most politicians and public figures—in countless books, articles, and op-ed pieces. Whether you agree or disagree with Clinton’s political beliefs, it is difficult to argue with her impact on politics, the country, and the literary landscape over the past several decades. Today, we’d like to explore a few of the books written by Hillary Clinton. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Louis Slobodkin

    Thu, 25 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Caldecott Medal has stood as a pinnacle of excellence and achievement in the field of book illustration for eighty-one years. Caldecott-winning books have long been sought after by teachers, parents, libraries, and collectors. Illustrators talented enough to be awarded the medal receive esteem from their contemporaries and often can rest assured that their work will be remembered. Not many awards can claim such wide recognition outside of the scope of their field, but the Caldecott Medal is truly well known and its importance is acknowledged even outside of the world of children's literature. Continuing our celebration of these incredible Read More
  • Harold Pinter: Playwright, Actor, Cricketeer, Nobel Prize Winner

    Wed, 24 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    This month, we celebrate Harold Pinter, whose varied career spanned over fifty years. Born on October 10, 1930, the Nobel laureate was more than a legendary writer. He was also a political activist, actor, director, and cricketeer. Read More
  • Happy Birthday, Doris Lessing!

    Mon, 22 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    When it comes to literature, Doris Lessing has her hand in every dish.  She claims the titles of novelist, poet, playwright, short story writer, and biographer – if anyone proves that it’s possible to do it all, and well, it’s Lessing.  She won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, along with the David Cohen prize in 2001. Read More
  • Four Philip Pullman Articles to Celebrate His Birthday

    Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Legendary English author Philip Pullman turns 72 years old today. You know Pullman for the His Dark Materials trilogy, his thought-provoking novel The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, and, most recently, for his The Book of Dust trilogy, which is still in progress. In honor of his birthday, we've rounded-up four of our top posts about Pullman, collecting his works, and why many consider him a modern-day literary mastermind.  Read More
  • Five Interesting Reads About the JFK Assassination

    Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Some events continue to fascinate and haunt the public long after their occurrence. Even over fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the public is still interested in the actions of Lee Harvey Oswald. Many popular television shows from The Twilight Zone to The Simpsons reference the Kennedy assassination. They go about it in different ways with different results, but they each show the hold Oswald’s actions still have on the public. Films are still being made about Kennedy and his family. Novels and non-fiction books are still being published and devoured by readers. As more formerly top-secret Read More
  • 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
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