Categories for Literature

The Memoirs of The Duke of Sully title page

Great Leaders, Literature

5 Books and Their Presidents

The popularity of Ian Fleming’s books in America rose dramatically in 1961 after President John F. Kennedy was reported to have named From Russia, With Love as one of his… Read More

19th Century, Literature

Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Sea: The Influences of Jules Verne

We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.   It is a great irony of 19th century literature that Jules Verne owed the inspiration for his first… Read More

lolita books

Literature, Moderns

The Story Behind Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap,… Read More

Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises


Styles of American Prose: Quotes on War, Rebellion, and Coming of Age

In terms of prose, American Literature is by no means the only tradition with diverse styles. Entire books have been written on the subject. For the sake of brevity here,… Read More

Literature, Moderns


If you’re a reader of this website it means you’re probably in to literary things, so it’s likely no stretch on my part to assume you’re aware of the new… Read More

Study in Scarlet 1888

19th Century, Literature

The Story Behind the First Sherlock Holmes Novel: A Study in Scarlet

In 1882, a young doctor waited for patients to arrive. To pass the time, he began writing short stories. The man named Arthur Conan Doyle later became embarrassed by these… Read More

Robbie Burns portrait


Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect by Robert Burns: The Kilmarnock Edition

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and never brought to mind ?Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and auld lang syne? It’s hard to imagine New Year’s without this song and more difficult to… Read More

JR by William Gaddis

Literature, Moderns

J R by William Gaddis

The path to favorite books is hardly ever the same.  Whether assigned to you in school, recommended by a friend, a familial right of passage, or just bought in the… Read More

illustration in Paradise Lost


John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Fallen angels, angry deities and the weakness of man, all are explored in Paradise Lost, the epic poem by John Milton, who was nearly sixty when he wrote the now… Read More

the torrents of spring book

Literature, Moderns, Rare Books 101

Collecting First Novels

I’ve always thought first novels would make for a cool book collection.  Something about these books always seemed inspiring and maddening to me at the same time.  Read More