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A Handbook on Hanging by Charles Duff

If you’re in the mood for some scathing, dark and wickedly barbed satire, look no further – A Handbook on Hanging by Charles Duff will fit the bill nicely. First published in 1928, this slim volume is a withering condemnation of capital punishment and the bloodthirsty nation that condones the practice, disguised as a helpful […]

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Canada Reads 2015: The Five Finalists

Earlier in January we posted that the CBC’s  Canada Reads competition for 2015 was kicking off and the longlist had been announced. Now, two thirds of that list has been whittled away, leaving just five remaining titles. Sadly, the single entry on the list that I had read did not make the cut, so I’m […]

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Guantánamo Diary – Mohamedou Ould Slahi Writes From Captivity

Portions (heavily, repeatedly redacted portions) of the diary of a Guantánamo Bay prisoner have been released – even if the author hasn’t. Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been detained at the infamous facility since August, 2002 after turning himself in to the Mauritanian authorities for questioning months earlier. Slahi, who admits to past Al Qaeda ties, […]

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Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius – Conscious But Paralyzed

It sounds like the stuff of nightmares, like it must be invented by a tortured imagination. But Locked-in Syndrome is a real affliction, a rare neurological disorder. It is characterized by total paralysis of muscles throughout the body, excepting the muscles that allow for eye movement. South African man Martin Pistorius – whose 2012 book […]

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Oxford Junior Dictionary Says: Goodbye Apricot, Acorn, Holly, Hamster

Interesting and distressing read on the Melville House web site this morning. It seems that since 2007, Oxford University Press have been quietly making some editorial changes to the Oxford Junior Dictionary that have a group of authors up in arms. Nature-associated words such as almond, blackberry, crocus, hamster, gerbil, ferret, goldfish and similar have […]

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Helpful Traffic Sign Nevertheless Has a Foul Mouth

I really wanted to post about the downtown Los Angeles traffic sign that someone hacked. However, the hacker, while clearly of the literary sort and probably someone I’d like to grab a beer with, also seems to have a penchant for the swearsies, so I thought better of it. Basically what happened is that some […]

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American Novelist Robert Stone Dies at 77

Loss for the literary world today – American novelist Robert Stone has died of COPD. The New York City-born writer was best known for his second novel, Dog Soldiers, which earned him a National Book Award in 1975. However his career spanned nearly five decades, with his first novel, A Hall of Mirrors, published in […]

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Science Survey Says….Screens Bad, Books Good.

A few weeks ago I came across the dramatically-titled article “Reading On A Screen Before Bed Might Be Killing You” (ever the subtle wordsmiths, HuffPo). Understandably alarmed, I wanted to click through for more information, but since it was bedtime, I instead hurled my phone from my shaking hands, not to pick it up again […]

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Canada Reads 2015: The Longlist

It’s time for the annual Canadian book battle wherein five well-known Canadians each pick a literary work to champion, and verbally spar on the airwaves. A brainchild of the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), Canada Reads first aired in 2002 and has been going strong ever since. The debates take place in front of a live […]

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Kolbe and Fanning Numismatic Booksellers

We were recently introduced to one of our booksellers, located in Gahanna, Ohio. We love to meet and learn about all of our sellers and this was no exception. Their store is called Kolbe and Fanning Numismatic Booksellers. For your information, “numismatic” does not refer to a new-fangled type of exercise, as I thought, or […]

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