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Books and Reading
How Reading Changed My Life
How Reading Changed My Life
Paperback      ISBN: 0345422783

THE LIBRARY OF CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT is a groundbreaking series where America's finest writers and most brilliant minds tackle today's most provocative, fascinating, and relevant issues. Striking and daring, creative and important, these original voices on matters political, social, economic, and cultural, will enlighten, comfort, entertain, enrage, and ignite healthy debate across the country.

What We See When We Read
What We See When We Read
Paperback      ISBN: 0804171637
A San Francisco Chronicle and Kirkus Best Book of the Year

A gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the phenomenology of reading--how we visualize images from reading works of literature, from one of our very best book jacket designers, himself a passionate reader.

What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page--a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so--and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved--or reviled--literary figures. In this remarkable work of nonfiction, Knopf's Associate Art Director Peter Mendelsund combines his profession, as an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature--he considers himself first and foremost as a reader--into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading.
Why Read Moby-Dick?
Why Read Moby-Dick?
Paperback      ISBN: 0143123971
A "brilliant and provocative" (The New Yorker) celebration of Melville's masterpiece--from the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea, Valiant Ambition, and In the Hurricane's Eye

One of the greatest American novels finds its perfect contemporary champion in Why Read Moby-Dick?, Nathaniel Philbrick's enlightening and entertaining tour through Melville's classic. As he did in his National Book Award-winning bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick brings a sailor's eye and an adventurer's passion to unfolding the story behind an epic American journey. He skillfully navigates Melville's world and illuminates the book's humor and unforgettable characters--finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to our own time and, indeed, to all times. An ideal match between author and subject, Why Read Moby-Dick? will start conversations, inspire arguments, and make a powerful case that this classic tale waits to be discovered anew.

"Gracefully written with an] infectious enthusiasm..."--New York Times Book Review
Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany (Book for Writers, Book Lovers Miscellany with Booklist)
Bibliophile
An Illustrated Miscellany (Book for Writers, Book Lovers Miscellany with Booklist)
Hardcover      ISBN: 1452167230

Searching for perfect book lovers gifts? Rejoice Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany, is a love letter to all things bookish. Author Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. It's a must-have for every book collection, and makes a wonderful literary gift for book lovers, writers, and more.

Readers of Jane Mount's Bibliophile will delight in:
  • Touring the world's most beautiful bookstores
  • Testing their knowledge of the written word with quizzes
  • Finding their next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books
  • Sampling the most famous fictional meals
  • Peeking inside the workspaces of their favorite authors

A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations: Bibliophile is pure bookish joy and sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, aspiring writers, and any and all who identify as book lovers.

If you have read or own: I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life; The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, and Civilization; or How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines; then you will want to read and own Jane Mount's Bibliophile.
How to Read and Why
How to Read and Why
Hardcover      ISBN: 0684859068

At a time when faster and easier electronic media threaten to eclipse reading and literature, the author explores reasons for reading and demonstrates the aesthetic pleasure reading can bring.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 006000942x

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface--a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character--and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover 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 rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books
The Republic of Imagination
America in Three Books
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670026069
A passionate hymn to the power of fiction to change people s lives, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
Ten years ago, Azar Nafisi electrified readers with her million-copy bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, which told the story of how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, she taught The Great Gatsby and other classics to her eager students in Iran. In this exhilarating followup, Nafisi has written the book her fans have been waiting for: an impassioned, beguiling, and utterly original tribute to the vital importance of fiction in a democratic society. What Reading Lolita in Tehran was for Iran, The Republic of Imagination is for America.
Taking her cue from a challenge thrown to her in Seattle, where a skeptical reader told her that Americans don t care about books the way they did back in Iran, she energetically responds to those who say fiction has nothing to teach us. Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favorite American novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Babbitt, and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, among others she invites us to join her as citizens of her Republic of Imagination, a countrywhere the villains are conformity and orthodoxy and the only passport to entry is a free mind and a willingness to dream."
Literary St. Petersburg: A Guide to the City and Its Writers
Literary St. Petersburg
A Guide to the City and Its Writers
Paperback      ISBN: 1892145375

Much of Russian literature is St. Petersburg literature: set in the city, about the city, or written by writers who lived there. For each of the fifteen profiled writers, there is a biographical sketch focusing on his or her relationship to the city and a sense of his or her work, along with a list of St. Petersburg sites associated with the writer and the literary works.

Travelers can wander through the museum where a teenage Vladimir Nabokov romanced his girlfriend and see the prison where Anna Akhmatova was inspired to write her poem about the Great Terror. They can find the statue that comes to life in Pushkin's poem The Bronze Horseman and visit the square where Crime and Punishment's murderer/hero kneels to ask God's forgiveness.

The images included are particularly striking: a photo taken in the courtroom where the young Joseph Brodsky made his electrifying defense of his credentials as a poet; a portrait of Akhmatova, a symbol of artistic integrity in the face of the most severe persecution; and documentary photographs spanning the upheavals of twentieth century Russia.

Authors included are: Anna Akhmatova, Andrei Bely, Aleksandr Blok, Joseph Brodsky, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Daniil Kharms, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Mikhail Zoshchenko.
Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture
Waiting for the Barbarians
Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 1590177134

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
AND THE PEN ART OF THE ESSAY AWARD

Over the past decade and a half, Daniel Mendelsohn's reviews for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Book Review have earned him a reputation as "one of the greatest critics of our time" (Poets & Writers). In Waiting for the Barbarians, he brings together twenty-four of his recent essays--each one glinting with "verve and sparkle," "acumen and passion"--on a wide range of subjects, from Avatar to the poems of Arthur Rimbaud, from our inexhaustible fascination with the Titanic to Susan Sontag's Journals. Trained as a classicist, author of two internationally best-selling memoirs, Mendelsohn moves easily from penetrating considerations of the ways in which the classics continue to make themselves felt in contemporary life and letters (Greek myth in the Spider-Man musical, Anne Carson's translations of Sappho) to trenchant takes on pop spectacles--none more explosively controversial than his dissection of Mad Men.

Also gathered here are essays devoted to the art of fiction, from Jonathan Littell's Holocaust blockbuster The Kindly Ones to forgotten gems like the novels of Theodor Fontane. In a final section, "Private Lives," prefaced by Mendelsohn's New Yorker essay on fake memoirs, he considers the lives and work of writers as disparate as Leo Lerman, No l Coward, and Jonathan Franzen. Waiting for the Barbarians once again demonstrates that Mendelsohn's "sweep as a cultural critic is as impressive as his depth."
The End of Your Life Book Club
The End of Your Life Book Club
Paperback      ISBN: 0307739783

An Entertainment Weekly and BookPage Best Book of the Year

During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time--and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne--and we, their fellow readers--are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us. A profoundly moving memoir of caregiving, mourning, and love--The End of Your Life Book Club is also about the joy of reading, and the ways that joy is multiplied when we share it with others.