Archive for Books


However you phrase it, I find these to be a necessity. I cringe when people fold down the page where they have left off reading; that is just pure evil. I have a modest collection of these, ranging from a tattered Strand book store paper marker to one crafted out of metal. Here is a lovely collection of said items; they are even housed in museums such as the Smithsonian. And please don’t ignore the featured selection at the International Friends of Bookmarks. This short piece from 1907 – The History and Development of the Bookmarker – is quite informative.



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Who Hasn’t Read a Book in the Past Year?

Some interesting demographic data on the 24% of American adults who haven’t opened a book (print or electronic) in the last twelve moths can be accessed here.

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Norman Mailer’s Relationship With Books

I would have to say it was quite stormy, and possibly not quite what you would think of such an important author.

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The Irish/Ireland in the Printed World

A newly-established series of reports from OCLC examines the influence in printed works of specific nationalities; this report – An Exploration of the Irish Presence in the Published Record – highlights that “Ireland’s global cultural profile, and the widespread interest in “Irishness,” can be partially understood through the island’s manifestation in the published record. Using WorldCat, this publication offers reflections on the Irish presence in the published record, including its size and salient characteristics, evolving trends, and patterns of global diffusion.” (9)

Supplemented with tables and figures, the extent of Irishness in the printed world can be readily ascertained through the holdings in WorldCat, the world’s largest repository of library metadata holding more than two billion items. Who are the most popular Irish authors? The most translated? How many books deal with Irish-related topics? For such a small country, the Irish and Ireland have had, and continue to have, a significant presence in the published world.


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2017 Best Books

One can do a lot worse that perusing The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2017. Other lists worth a gander include Best Books of 2017 (The Washington Post), Best Books 2017 (The Guardian), The 50 best books of 2017  (The Telegraph), Best Books 2017 (Publishers Weekly), Best Books 2017 (Library Journal), The Best Books of 2017 (Amazon), Best Books for Kids 2017: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing  (New York Public Library), Ten Best Books About Food of 2017 (Smithsonian), and Best Fiction of 2017 By Category (Kirkus Reviews).

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Illustrated Book Covers

Those of us who enjoy books also enjoy the book covers that encompass them. Many of them are works of art in themselves and were created by artists of some renown. (Check out Edward Gorey’s book covers for other authors.) Almost 500 examples of illustrated book covers can be found here. And here is an extremely informative article of this subject accompanied by splendid reproductions of this special art form.

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Free Online Audiobooks

Thousands of books, chapters, and short stories are available for free listening and downloading from LibriVox. While the works are in the public domain, there are plenty of interesting pre-1923 works here: Henry James, Herman Melville, Frederick Marryat (if not the father of naval fiction, then at least the father of British naval fiction), Jules Verne, H.G. Wells among others. You can also search by title as well as genre.

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