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The Books We Never Get Around To

I love this vintage 1941 poster from the WPA Statewide Library Project, which issues a directive to literature lovers: “In March, read the books you’ve always meant to read!” And it reminds me of the article I wrote lamenting the books that sit upon my shelf, often for years, causing me guilt, dismay and extra […]

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The Saturday Books

The Saturday Book was an annual miscellany that featured art, literature and comment on British life during World War II and the decades that followed until 1975. The series was initially edited by Leonard Russell with John Hadfield taking over the reins in 1952. Each edition of The Saturday Book provides a wonderful glimpse into […]

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Trailer for Controversial Film “Two Mothers”, Adapted from Doris Lessing

As of now in 2013, Doris Lessing is 93. She was born in 1919 and her second novel, published in 1956, was titled Retreat to Innocence. All of this, coupled with her round, sweetly wrinkled face and penchant for wearing her white hair parted at the middle and pulled back into a bun, might give […]

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25 of the Best Love Stories

Love, you slippery beast, what are you? How can we speak about you when you refuse to be adequately defined? What do we talk about, when we talk about love? It’s the time of year when cinnamon hearts, pink bears and glitter-festooned roses permeate the stores. Worst of all, generic greeting cards try to do […]

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Pride and Prejudice Turns 200

Two hundred years ago today, on January 28th, 1813, Pride and Prejudice was published. The author, Jane Austen, was 38 when it was published, and 41 when she died, but had written the bulk of it in her early twenties. It was her second published work (first was Sense and Sensibility). Two centuries later, Pride […]

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Finding the Books of the Lost Generation

The Lost Generation, a term coined by Gertrude Stein, was a remarkable community of expatriate authors and artists living in Paris after World War I. The likes of Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lawrence Durrell and others produced memorable literature while Europe recovered from a punishing conflict. Stroll through the boulevards of Paris with […]

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The Federal Case of Hemingway’s Key West Cats

In 2010, I was lucky enough to visit Key West, Florida. A wonderful escape from Canadian winter. While there, I spent an enjoyable couple of hours touring the grounds and house of Ernest Hemingway’s Key West Home, where Hemingway lived from 1931 until 1939 with his second wife (of four!), Pauline. We were certainly enchanted […]

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A Christmas Carol: Parents’ Top Pick to Pass On to Future Generations

In an August, 2012 blog post titled “Top ten books parents think children should read“, The Telegraph discussed a survey conducted by the University of Worcester in which 2000 adults were queried as to what books they felt most important to pass on to future generations to read. The #1, most-often mentioned title was Charles […]

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Help literary charities by listing local literary events on LibraryThing

Our good friends over at LibraryThing.com have announced a new initiative to help local bookstores and libraries promote their literary events and help raise money for literary charities. How are they doing this? For every bookstore and library event added to LibraryThing Local from now until January 1, LibraryThing will donate up to 15 cents […]

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China’s Mo Yan Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Chinese writer Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature, reports the BBC.  Born Guan Moye, he writes under the pen name of Mo Yan, which translates as “don’t speak” in Chinese. The 57-year-old began writing while working as a soldier in the Chinese army and was first published in 1981. He is […]

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