Critical Linking: November 29, 2014

By the end of the war, the Armed Services Editions had ushered in a new era for the publishing industry, which had previously balked at printing paperbacks. The experiment showed that if books could be printed in an affordable way, publishers could reach a new audience. “So the 25-cent paperback was basically born, and it flourished after the war,” Ms. Manning said.

After the war ended and the post-war housing boom began, homes came with a new standard option for the first time in American history: built-in bookcases.

A fascinating look at the role of paperback books in World War II. The bit about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is really great.



Los Angeles has glorious beaches, stunning cityscapes and more than its share of highly photogenic human beings. And though it may not be known for its bookstores, they too are out of this world.

Some are extraordinary and unusual. Others are humble or handsome. One has a tree growing in its center.

This tour of Los Angeles’s unique bookstores is definitely worth the slide show format.


But instead of writing from her kitchen table, or a coffee shop buzzing with laptops, Gabriela has set up a miniature version of her living room in the main, downtown branch of the Seattle Public Library.

“This is all really from my house,” she says gesturing to her furniture. “So we’re sitting on my couch, and a little table that I refinished over here. We’ve got a lamp, we’ve got a Persian rug. Plants all around here. The people who have seen my living room have been able to come in and say, yeah, this is what your house looks like.”

And library patrons can actually watch her write her 50,000 words.

“The screen behind me is actually projecting what I am writing in real time. So people can come up and watch me as I work, with my fingers trembling occasionally.”

This woman is live-NaNoWriMo’ing from the downtown Seattle Public Library.


We’ve reached the time of year when the days seem impossibly short and the nights never ending. Good if you’re a vampire or like to go to sleep early, less exciting for the rest of us. So what is one to do with all this extra darkness? Well, read some dark books, of course. After all, there’s nothing better to cut through the literal gloom than to curl up with some intellectual doom. All you need is a tiny light to see your book by. After the jump, 50 gloriously dark novels to read during these dark days. After a while, you may even stop wishing for the light to come.

Celebrate the darker days with 50 dark novels. Seems fitting.


We have a THIRD list of titles for Ferguson!  These titles have been approved by Scott Bonner.  They fill gaps in Ferguson’s popular reading collection for teens (lots of African-American authors) and expand their collection of titles with Native American, Asian American, and Latin@ American protagonists.  There are also adult titles on this list, including many on African-American history and guides on grassroots organizing and activism.  None of these titles are currently held at the Ferguson branch and would be welcome additions to their shelves. Please read through the rest of the original post to find out specific instructions on how/why these titles were selected and how to get them shipped directly to Ferguson.

If you want to donate books to Ferguson Public Library, there’s a dedicated, librarian-vetted list for that.

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