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Ptarmigan Books – A Puzzle

While doing some research for a feature, I came across a Penguin imprint I hadn’t seen before – Ptarmigan Books. I knew it was Penguin immediately, not just from the name (though I suspected, because they do have a theme – Penguin, Pelican, Puffin… why not Ptarmigan?) but also because the cover art struck me. […]

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Flight Behavior – An Interview with Barbara Kingsolver

This has been a good week for me so far. First I discover the world’s most creative and crafty brick bookends, and now The Telegraph has an interview with Barbara Kingsolver, one of my very favorite authors, about her new book Flight Behavior. (One word or warning to those who want to go in blind […]

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Mark Twain: A Thomas Edison Joint

Shot by Thomas Edison in 1909, this short video (no sound, obviously) is apparently the only footage of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) in existence. It became part of a two-reel short film based on Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. Twain died the year following the filming. via MentalFloss

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Pioneers in Petticoats

The toughest pioneers wore skirts. This selection of non-fiction celebrates the women who tamed the American West, conquered Canada’s frozen frontiers and explored the Australian Outback. In an era when a woman’s place was in the home, these remarkable pioneer women made history, built communities and took the wild out of wilderness.

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88 Books That Shaped America

The Library of Congress have compiled a list of 88 books that shaped America, which will be an exhibition to begin a multiyear “Celebration of the Book”. “This list is a starting point,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books – although many of them […]

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Larry McMurtry to auction three buildings of books

In case you didn’t already know, Larry McMurtry is a man of many talents. He’s best known for writing Lonesome Dove, which won the Pulitzer-Prize in 1985, as well as co-writing the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, but he is also a renowned book dealer. McMurtry has a shop called Booked Up which is located in […]

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Happy 100th Birthday, Studs Terkel

Louis “Studs” Terkel died in 2008, but today would have been his 100th birthday. Born to Russian-Jewish parents in the Bronx, Terkel spent the bulk of his life in Chicago. He married his wife, Ida in 1939, and the couple remained together until her death in 1999. Terkel was interested in oral history, and jazz, […]

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The American Guide Series

The American Guide Series is a collection of books, magazines and pamphlets published between 1937 and 1941. Meant to educate and attract, the series was put together by The Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) which provided government funding towards writing and publishing initiatives during the Great Depression. Each publication in the American Guide Series included background […]

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