50 Great Cult Books and More in Today’s Critical Linking

Critical Linking today is sponsored by Wind/Pinball by Haruki Murakami.Wind_Pinball_-_Google_Docs


A cult book may be hard to define but one thing is for sure: you know a cult book when you see one.

Cult books are somehow, intangibly, different from simple bestsellers – though many of them are that. And people have passionate feelings on both sides:

Our critics present a selection of the most notable cult writing from the past two centuries. Some is classic. Some is catastrophic. All of it had the power to inspire.

Some of these I agree with and some of them show a real British slant — unless any other Americans think To Kill a Mockingbird is a ‘cult classic.’ And this is why I love book lists like this.


Today, there are just over 9,000 public libraries with around 16,500 branches across the United States. In 2014, BPL alone lent 3.7 million books and hosted 10,000 public programs. Access to a public library provides not just infinite reading material, but also internet services and a sense of community. Many libraries offer classes and events—everything from children’s story time to resume writing tutorials.

Atlas Obscura went in search of how libraries looked at the turn of the century. Peek into these historic hushed rooms where knowledge was shared, and remember Einstein’s words: “The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” 

These are so lovely to look at.


In 2015, an estimated 12 million adult coloring books were sold in the United States, according to Nielsen Bookscan. There are adult coloring books for hipsters, “Dr. Who” fans, cat lovers, Taylor Swift devotees, and admirers of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — pretty much anyone with a niche interest and a need to relax. In other words, everyone.

“It’s easy to pooh-pooh coloring books as just another fad,” Ledger says. But maybe, she says, we shouldn’t be so dismissive: “Anything can be a fad, even prayer.”

For Ledger and others, coloring books offer a real elixir, a way of getting past hurdles — mental, physical or both — that can’t be replicated by more-traditional approaches.

A nice little piece about why adult coloring books are so popular. I’m not over the 12 million sales number, even though I don’t doubt it is true.


As wonderful as the Kindle and iPad are for reading books on a plane or at the beach, there is something about wandering around a bookstore and flipping through the pages of a book and smelling that “bookstore” smell that can’t be beat. Get ready to grab a warm cup of coffee, cozy up in the corner, and forget the world at the best literary spots in Chicago.  

Chicago would be such a great place for a bookstore crawl. I’ve only been to a couple of these places, but both were fabulous.

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