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We write about the stories behind great works in literature. If you have a specific question, send us an email.



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Rare BooksStories About Books 11.5.15
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Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

“Who is John Galt?” With this question, Ayn Rand began her final novel, Atlas Shrugged, one of the most controversial, influential, and bestselling books of the 20th century. It’s a…


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Rare Books 10111.19.15

Rare Books as Gifts

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Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world….


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Stories About Books10.29.15

The Story Behind A.A. Milne’s Pooh Books

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Click here to view our rare books by A.A. Milne.   “Isn’t it funny how a bear loves honey?”   One of the most familiar storybook bears is Winnie-the-Pooh created…


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Stories About Books10.23.15

General Grant and Mark Twain: The Story Behind Grant’s Memoirs

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As changes in fortune go, the swings experienced by Ulysses S. Grant during the final chapters of his life are somewhat legendary.   From an early age Grant was preoccupied…


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Stories About Books10.19.15

Beatrix Potter: Nature, Love and Success

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Ducks, mice, kittens, and of course, rabbits. A menagerie of small creatures inhabits the pages of Beatrix Potter’s books.   As a young girl, she loved nature, feeling more at…


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Rare Books 1019.1.15

Collecting Camelot: Rare Arthurian Books, Part 2

The first edition, 1893-4, of Beardsley's Morte D'Arthur (BRB 101757)

  Someday, I’d like to play King Arthur in a production of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot. I long ago memorized all of Arthur’s songs and a lot of his dialogue—including…


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Rare Books 1018.26.15

Collecting Camelot: Rare Arthurian Books

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When I visited Walt Disney World, one thing I really wanted to do was tug at the Sword in the Stone, right next to the Fantasyland carousel. I’d heard the…


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Rare Books 1018.11.15

The Personal Library: Beach House

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The Jersey Shore was my beach. If you can imagine New Jersey as a woman sitting with her legs crossed, I grew up where the calves are. We chased the…


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Stories About Books7.28.15

Culture Beat: Highlights of the Harlem Renaissance

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Looking to escape the summer heat? You can’t beat a blissfully cool day exploring MoMA’s current show, “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Works.”   Jacob Lawrence’s masterful…


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Stories About Books7.21.15

Greater than Gatsby? Why Tender is the Night might be Fitzgerald’s “intended masterpiece.”

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The sick and tired adages regarding the relationship between art and the artist are rarely more evident and appropriate than in the curious case of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his…


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Stories About Books7.7.15

The Writer, the Painter, and the Department Store Tycoon

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In 1929, George Macy (of department store fame) founded the Limited Editions Club press for the purpose of publishing beautiful livres d’artiste.  Artist’s books, which became especially popular in the…