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Amazon’s Top 10 Picks for April

Every month the Amazon Book Editors select the biggest and brightest books of the month, and we have to hand it to them – they know how to pick ‘em.  Without fail, they anticipate the award-winners, the bestsellers, and the knock-out reads. In fact, I currently I have my nose in an Amazon pick from last September, The […]

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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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July’s Top 10 Bestselling Signed Books

At the start of each month we take a look at AbeBooks‘ bestselling signed books of the previous month. Some appear month after month (hello, The Fault In Our Stars), some are timelessly collectible (ahem, Codex Seraphinianus) and some are brand new (The Miniaturist). This month’s list pays tribute to the late Louis Zamperini who passed […]

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2014 Man Booker Prize Longlist Announced

It’s the day this book nerd has been waiting for since Eleanor Catton was declared the winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize – today, the 2014 Man Booker Longlist was announced.  Since its founding in 1969 the prize has been awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the […]

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5 Debut Novels You Better Hurry Up and Read

I don’t know about you, but I love reading a book by an unknown. Sure, it’s great to dive into a book penned by a favorite author, but you can’t help but approach it with a pile of expectations. Will it be as good as their last?  Will it be better? A debut novelist is […]

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Nobel-prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer dies at 90

Author Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at her Johannesburg home on Sunday, at the age of 90. The South African writer’s novels and stories depicted the drama of human life in a society troubled by racial segregation. She won the Nobel prize in 1991. Gordimer’s works were highly controversial. The Guardian reports, “she had three books banned […]

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Louis Zamperini Dies at 97

Louis Zamperini, the subject of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller Unbroken, died on July 2 at the age of 97. At age 19, Zamperini participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games as a long-distance runner. When WWII broke out, he joined the US Army Air Forces and served as a bombadier in the South Pacific. In April, […]

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Stephen King’s 40 Years of Fear

It all started with a novel about a girl with a frightening power.  On April 5, 1974, Stephen King’s debut novel Carrie hit shelves for the very first time, and the master of horror is still going strong. At the risk of stating the obvious, few authors past or present have achieved the level of success experienced by […]

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