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The Joy of Reading: Books and Authors that Matter
The Joy of Reading: Books and Authors that Matter

Here are the latest articles about books and authors that matter: books that have shaped world culture, influenced other writers and that you absolutely should read.


The Best Biographies

Biographies and autobiographies are difficult to pull off. Everyone hides behind a mask and the public person that you think you know is often very different in private. Discovering their inner most being is a tedious process of interviews, archival research and intuition. But when it works a biography is more than just a reference book about someone famous or interesting. It is a window into another person's soul. Here is our pick of some great biographies that you should read.

Confderacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

This flawed masterpiece by a flawed and tragic author has become an American classic. Telling the tale of the unforgettable Ignatius J, Reilley, learned man and sloth, A Confederacy of Dunces is one of those books that captures the essence of American culture with all of its contradictions and absurdities.

Ex Libris Book Plates

Ex Libris Book Plates

Book Plates are miniature works of art added to valuable or antique books to indicate the owner. Also commonly known as "ex libris", Latin meaning "from the books of ..." these decorative tags are highly prized by book collectors and can be important in scholarly research to determine the ownership of a particular book or collection. Read More ...

Catcher in the Rye and World War 2

How World War 2 Shaped the Catcher in the Rye

As a soldier in World War 2, JD Salinger carried an unfinished copy of the Catcher in the Rye as he stormed the beaches of Normandy, and then fought his way through Europe and saw first hand the horrors of Nazi atrocities at Dachau. Salinger's wartime experiences forever shaped his psyche and the finished novel.

To Kill a Mocking Bird

Truman Capote and Harper Lee: A Literary Bond

How an unlikely friendship between the flamboyant Truman Capote and the reclusive Harper Lee led to the writing of two of the greatest classics in modern literature. Read More ...

An Illustration from Mrs. Molesworth's Book, the Cuckoo Clock

The Forgotten Mrs. Molesworth: A Lesson Changing Literary Taste

Mrs. Molesworth was a prolific author of children;s literature for young adults. With over 101 best selling books to her credit, she enjoyed the kind of success that most authors can only imagine. Yet, today her name is forgotten and her books are hardly ever read. Why? What happened to Mrs. Molesworth is a lesson that fame is not the same thing as lasting reputation. But does that even matter, when you are laughing all the way to the bank?

The Heptameron: The Very Naughty Book By Margueritte de Navarre

Princess Belle Etoile
The Beautiful Illustrations of a Dark Fairy Tale

WW1 Poster
World War One Propaganda Posters

Charles Dickens Mistress
A Victorian Scandal: Charles Dickens and The Actress

Art of Albrecht Durer
The Art of Albrecht Durer