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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

Books & Reading

BK ON THE BKSHELF

BK ON THE BKSHELF

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From the author of the highly praised The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things comes another captivating history of the seemingly mundane: the book and its storage.

Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but Henry Petroski, inveterately curious engineer, didn't. As a result, readers are guided along the astonishing evolution from papyrus scrolls boxed at Alexandria to upright books shelved at the Library of Congress. Unimpeachably researched, enviably written, and charmed with anecdotes from Seneca to Samuel Pepys to a nineteenth-century bibliophile who had to climb over his books to get into bed, The Book on the Bookshelf is indispensable for anyone who loves books.

BOOK

BOOK

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The book as object, as content, as idea, as interface.

What is the book in a digital age? Is it a physical object containing pages encased in covers? Is it a portable device that gives us access to entire libraries? The codex, the book as bound paper sheets, emerged around 150 CE. It was preceded by clay tablets and papyrus scrolls. Are those books? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Amaranth Borsuk considers the history of the book, the future of the book, and the idea of the book. Tracing the interrelationship of form and content in the book's development, she bridges book history, book arts, and electronic literature to expand our definition of an object we thought we knew intimately.

Contrary to the many reports of its death (which has been blamed at various times on newspapers, television, and e-readers), the book is alive. Despite nostalgic paeans to the codex and its printed pages, Borsuk reminds us, the term "book" commonly refers to both medium and content. And the medium has proved to be malleable. Rather than pinning our notion of the book to a single form, Borsuk argues, we should remember its long history of transformation. Considering the book as object, content, idea, and interface, she shows that the physical form of the book has always been the site of experimentation and play. Rather than creating a false dichotomy between print and digital media, we should appreciate their continuities.

Book Marks: An Artist's Card Catalog: Notes from the Library of My Mind

Book Marks: An Artist's Card Catalog: Notes from the Library of My Mind

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One artist's whimsical and inspiring way to keep track of the books she has read, Book Marks is a visual journey through a lifetime of reading and remembering that features 434 richly illustrated artworks created on old library checkout cards; each collage or drawing distills the contents of a single title. This alluring blend of art book and autobiography will capture the imagination. At its heart are hundreds of captivating 3 x 5-inch artworks--intricate collages and drawings created on old library checkout cards, each one representing a book that left an indelible mark on artist Barbara Page. She began creating these illustrated "book marks" as a colorful way to remember titles she was currently reading. Before long, Page embarked on a decade-long art project recreating her reading history, starting with picture books from early childhood. Every artwork serves as a bookmark for a moment in time connected to a specific title, and, as a collection, they present over seventy years of literature, politics, thought, and culture--as colored by one woman's reading choices. Some images may evoke your own memories of a story. Others may feel like little puzzles that require reading or rereading a title to interpret the artistic references. Over half of the more than 800 cards housed in a two-drawer library case are illustrated here. Interwoven with personal accounts of the artist's life, each card represents a literary work that drives the narrative, directly and indirectly. Book Marks underscores the interplay between our experiences and our reading and can remind us how a good book can linger in our mind for months, if not years.These compelling artworks resonate and inspire, as will Page's story. Like many, the artist discovers strength in the words of authors many of us know and love, and, through reading, she gains knowledge that feeds her personal growth and scientific interest in the world around her. As Page's life is disrupted by tragedies--one husband's mental illness and another's decline into dementia--she forges forward, finding new focus and reinventing her life. Features for readers: - A complete bibliographic list of books referenced in the artworks--fiction, science, art, gardening, travel, history, biography, aviation, ecology, children's literature, and more--to inspire future reading- Author and title indices for easy referencing of the 434 artworks- Bound with two ribbon bookmarks, allowing readers to mark their place in both the chapter and the plate sectionAmong the books represented in the 400+ artworks: Robert McCloskey'sMake Way for Ducklings, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings'sThe Yearling, Louisa May Alcott'sLittle Women, Mark Twain'sThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, George Orwell's1984, Shakespeare'sMacBeth, Kathryn Hulme'sNun's Story, Ernest Hemingway'sA Farwell to Arms, Benjamin Spock'sBaby and Child Care, Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring, Wolfgang Langewiesche's Stick and Rudder, Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice, Alix Kates Shulman'sMemoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, Wassily Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Don Marquis's Archy and Mehitabel, Toni Morrison'sThe Bluest Eye, Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Louise Nevelson's Dawns + Dusks, Jane Austin'sPride and Prejudice, Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook, William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways, Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines, David Quammen's The Song of the Dodo, Paul Theroux's Old Patagonian Express, Elisabeth Sheldon's A Proper Garden, John McPhee'sAnnals of the Former World, Alex Haley'sRoots, Italo Calvin'sCosmicomiche, Alfred Wainwright's A Coast to Coast Walk, Alexander Stille'sThe Future of the Past, Anthony Bourdain'sKitchen Confidential, Alan Weisman'sWorld without Us, Kate Atkinson'sLife After Life, Andrew X. Pham'sCatfish and Mandala, Meg Wolitzer'sThe Interestings, Katharine Harmon'sThe Map as Art, Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, Jhumpa Lahiri'sThe Lowland, Louise Penny's A Trick of The Light, Oyinkan Braithwaite's My Sister, The Serial Killer, Dave Eggers's The Circle, Orhan Pamuk'sMuseum of Innocence, Daniel James Brown'sBoys in the Boat, Will Schwalbe'sEnd of Your Life Book Club, Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Elizabeth Kolbert'sThe Sixth Extinction, Susan Orlean'sThe Library Book, Amor Towles'sA Gentleman in Moscow.
CALL ME ISHMAEL PHONE BOOK: AN

CALL ME ISHMAEL PHONE BOOK: AN

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For fans of My Ideal Bookshelf and Bibliophile, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is the perfect gift for book lovers everywhere: a quirky and entertaining interactive guide to reading, featuring voicemails, literary Easter eggs, checklists, and more, from the creators of the popular multimedia project.

The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is an interactive illustrated homage to the beautiful ways in which books bring meaning to our lives and how our lives bring meaning to books. Carefully crafted in the style of a retro telephone directory, this guide offers you a variety of unique ways to connect with readers, writers, bookshops, and life-changing stories. In it, you'll discover...

-Heartfelt, anonymous voicemail messages and transcripts from real-life readers sharing unforgettable stories about their most beloved books. You'll hear how a mother and daughter formed a bond over their love for Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, or how a reader finally felt represented after reading Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese, or how two friends performed Mary Oliver's Thirst to a grove of trees, or how Anne Frank inspired a young writer to continue journaling.

-Hidden references inside fictional literary adverts like Ahab's Whale Tours and Miss Ophelia's Psychic Readings, and real-life literary landmarks like Maya Angelou City Park and the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum.

-Lists of bookstores across the USA, state by state, plus interviews with the book lovers who run them.

-Various invitations to become a part of this book by calling and leaving a bookish voicemail of your own.

-And more!

Quirky, nostalgic, and full of heart, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is a love letter to the stories that change us, connect us, and make us human.

EX LIBRIS: 100+ BOOKS TO READ

EX LIBRIS: 100+ BOOKS TO READ

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Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares 100 personal, thought-provoking essays about books that have mattered to her and that help illuminate the world we live in today--with beautiful illustrations throughout.

"A book tailormade for bibliophiles."--Oprah Winfrey (One of 6 Books Oprah Loves to Give as Gifts During the Holidays)

"An ebullient celebration of books and reading."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In the introduction to her new collection of essays, Ex Libris 100+ Books to Read and Reread, Michiko Kakutani writes: "In a world riven by political and social divisions, literature can connect people across time zones and zip codes, across cultures and religions, national boundaries and historical eras. It can give us an understanding of lives very different from our own, and a sense of the shared joys and losses of human experience."

Readers will discover novels and memoirs by some of the most gifted writers working today; favorite classics worth reading or rereading; and nonfiction works, both old and new, that illuminate our social and political landscape and some of today's most pressing issues, from climate change to medicine to the consequences of digital innovation. There are essential works in American history (The Federalist Papers, The Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.); books that address timely cultural dynamics (Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, Daniel J. Boorstin's The Image, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale); classics of children's literature (the Harry Potter novels, Where the Wild Things Are); and novels by acclaimed contemporary writers like Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Ian McEwan.

With richly detailed illustrations by lettering artist Dana Tanamachi that evoke vintage bookplates, Ex Libris is an impassioned reminder of why reading matters more than ever.

How Should One Read a Book?

How Should One Read a Book?

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Where are we to begin? How are we to bring order into this multitudinous chaos and so get the deepest and widest pleasure from what we read?

Published for the first time as a standalone volume, Virginia Woolf's short, impassioned essay, How Should One Read a Book? celebrates the enduring importance of great literature. In this timeless manifesto on the written word, rediscover the joy of reading and the power of a good book to change the world.

One of the most significant modernist writers of the 20th Century, Virginia Woolf and her visionary essays are as relevant today as they were nearly one hundred years ago.

Features a new introduction by Sheila Heti.

HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A

HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A

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A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster's classic guide--a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes and contexts, that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable.

While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at literature with the eyes--and the literary codes-of the ultimate professional reader, the college professor.

What does it mean when a literary hero is traveling along a dusty road? When he hands a drink to his companion? When he's drenched in a sudden rain shower?

Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices and form, Thomas C. Foster provides us with a broad overview of literature--a world where a road leads to a quest, a shared meal may signify a communion, and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just a shower-and shows us how to make our reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

This revised edition includes new chapters, a new preface and epilogue, and incorporates updated teaching points that Foster has developed over the past decade.

Language of Thieves: My Family's Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate

Language of Thieves: My Family's Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate

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Centuries ago in middle Europe, a coded language appeared, scrawled in graffiti and spoken only by people who were wiz (in the know). This hybrid language, dubbed Rotwelsch, facilitated survival for people in flight--whether escaping persecution or just down on their luck. It was a language of the road associated with vagabonds, travelers, Jews, and thieves that blended words from Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Romani, Czech, and other European languages and was rich in expressions for police, jail, or experiencing trouble, such as being in a pickle. This renegade language unsettled those in power, who responded by trying to stamp it out, none more vehemently than the Nazis.

As a boy, Martin Puchner learned this secret language from his father and uncle. Only as an adult did he discover, through a poisonous 1930s tract on Jewish names buried in the archives of Harvard's Widener Library, that his own grandfather had been a committed Nazi who despised this language of thieves. Interweaving family memoir with an adventurous foray into the mysteries of language, Puchner crafts an entirely original narrative. In a language born of migration and survival, he discovers a witty and resourceful spirit of tolerance that remains essential in our volatile present.

Library: A Catalogue of Wonders

Library: A Catalogue of Wonders

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Excellent . . . Tracks the history of that greatest of all cultural institutions. --The Washington Post

Libraries are much more than mere collections of volumes. The best are magical, fabled places whose fame has become part of the cultural wealth they are designed to preserve. Some still exist today; some are lost, like those of Herculaneum and Alexandria; some have been sold or dispersed; and some never existed, such as those libraries imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien, Umberto Eco, and Jorge Luis Borges, among others.

Ancient libraries, grand baroque libraries, scientific libraries, memorial libraries, personal libraries, clandestine libraries: Stuart Kells tells the stories of their creators, their prizes, their secrets, and their fate. To research this book, Kells traveled around the world with his young family like modern-day "Library Tourists." Kells discovered that all the world's libraries are connected in beautiful and complex ways, that in the history of libraries, fascinating patterns are created and repeated over centuries. More important, he learned that stories about libraries are stories about people, containing every possible human drama.

The Library is a fascinating and engaging exploration of libraries as places of beauty and wonder. It's a celebration of books as objects, a celebration of the anthropology and physicality of books and bookish space, and an account of the human side of these hallowed spaces by a leading and passionate bibliophile.

Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order

Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order

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From a New York Times-bestselling historian comes the story of how the alphabet ordered our world. A Place for Everything is the first-ever history of alphabetization, from the Library of Alexandria to Wikipedia. The story of alphabetical order has been shaped by some of history's most compelling characters, such as industrious and enthusiastic early adopter Samuel Pepys and dedicated alphabet champion Denis Diderot. But though even George Washington was a proponent, many others stuck to older forms of classification -- Yale listed its students by their family's social status until 1886. And yet, while the order of the alphabet now rules -- libraries, phone books, reference books, even the order of entry for the teams at the Olympic Games -- it has remained curiously invisible. With abundant inquisitiveness and wry humor, historian Judith Flanders traces the triumph of alphabetical order and offers a compendium of Western knowledge, from A to Z.

A Times (UK) Best Book of 2020