Talking About Books . . .


The Western Writers of America (WWA) has chosen the best western novels of the twentieth century, and The Booksman’s Page website has an article that discusses some of them.

At the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) you will find a list of 100 western movies that were chosen by the WWA.

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 An article in The Guardian begins with this startling sentence:

“Americans have objected to titles as diverse as the Bible and Fifty Shades of Grey over the last year, according to a list of the most challenged books which has just been released by the American Library Association.”

Yes, as strange as it seems, both books were in the top ten list of most objected to books.

The word “swear” is used both in this article and in a linked piece about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but it is a common example where the proper word would be “obscene” or “lewd.”  There is a difference though many writers don’t seem to realize it.  It may strike you as a minor distinction, but my many years of Catholic education taught me that swearing and damning someone are much more serious offenses than simply using slang to name a body part or to describe a bodily function. (And don’t get me started about the misuse of the term “to beg the question.” I might really go off the rails.)

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The Golden Notebook

Another article in The Guardian lists 10 inspiring female writers you need to read.

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 This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.  If you travel to Washington, D.C. this summer, don’t fail to visit the Folger Shakespeare Library which is dedicated to the life and works of the Bard.  It’s free, and the guided tours are excellent.  Book TV recently featured a video tour of the building.

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 I Feel Bad

Jacob Bernstein, the son of the multi-talented Nora Ephron has written and produced Everything Is Copy, a documentary about his mother.  Ephron, a noted author, playwright, screenwriter, and movie director and producer, died in 2012 at the age of 71.  Jacob, whose father is journalist Carl Bernstein, discussed his mother and the documentary recently on Fresh Air with Terri Gross.

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 The BBC has published an article about the resurgence of subscription libraries in Great Britain that you might enjoy.  The article also gives us a history of subscription libraries – they go back hundreds of years – and features photographs of various subscription libraries ranging from the cozy Bromley House Library which opened in 1816 to the magnificent Leeds Library which opened in 1768.

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Deadly Secrets

Romance novels are big business, and so are beefcake covers.  A recent New York Times article discusses the craze for bare-chested, muscular men, and follows a model who has posed for over 500 book covers.

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