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Culture

A Very Literary Hanukah!

By | Culture, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
A very happy Hanukah to our Jewish Reading Addicts!

If you are looking for some bookish ideas to spruce up you Hanukah celebrations then look no further. We have gathered together some of the internet’s finest literary bookish menorahs meant to interest the most dedicated bookish reader celebrating Hanukah.

Check out these fantastic creations.

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Amusingly Titled Gay Pulp Fiction of the 20th Century

By | Culture, Literature | No Comments
Pulp fiction is a popular and cheap way to produce books of low quality for mass consumption. In the early to mid-20th century popular pulp fiction titles included rather risqué publications about the sexual exploits of lesbian and gay couples.

Beginning in the 1930s, these pulp fiction books were sold in bus stations, newsstands, and general stores. Lesbian pulp fiction was far more popular than stories about gay men, due to their appeal to heterosexual men. The first original pulp nonfiction to feature male gay sex was in 1952, called Men Into Beasts, but it was more brutal and horrifying than the erotic and romantic fictions that followed.

In the 1960s gay press associations such as Guild Press, and Greenleaf Classics produced varied erotica and pornographic pulp fiction for and about homosexual men. Rather than being pieces of high literature the gay pulps were unashamedly created to titilate and arouse the reader. Each piece of pulp fiction of the time was produced with a colourful cover to catch the eye, and a provocative title.

We have gathered together some of the most amusing, shocking titles that were once available… Be warned- this is NOT safe for work!

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The Horse-Riding Librarians of the 1930s

By | Culture, Libraries | No Comments
You may know a badass librarian of two, a school librarian who was a stickler for the rules, or a community librarian who would go above and beyond for her library-goers. Have you ever met a librarian who would traverse snowy mountains to provide books and other reading materials for her people?

If your community was cut off from the rest of the country, how would you access your new and favourite books?

Back in the 1930s, after the Great Depression, there was a lack of funds for public services such as libraries. In around May 1936 the American Library Association estimated that over a third of all Americans had no real access to public libraries.

The Pack Horse Library Project was started in 1935 to help tackle this problem in the area of the Appalachian Mountains. This area of Kentucky, USA was particularly inaccessible back then, with over 30% of the rural community there being illiterate. The poorer communities realised that literacy was one way out of poverty so they banded together to donate books, and facilities to store books.

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The World Digital Library Is Now Open

By | Culture, Libraries | No Comments
Have you always wanted to search through 16,982 items from 193 countries between 8000 BCE and 2000 AD? The World Digital Library offers ways to do just that.

With help from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) the Digital Library has been available since September and is free for all users.

The library boasts an extensive range of books, along with manuscripts, videos, artworks, maps, and audio, and in seven different languages. Users can search for content in various ways: through simple searches of type of item, topic, etc, or with the interactive maps and timelines.

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London’s Tiniest Library Opens as Part of the London Design Festival

By | Culture, Literary Events, Literary Places, News | One Comment
The London Design Festival is taking over the capital for the 15th year right now and that means weird and wonderful art installations popping up all over the city. From playcastles to light shows, design trails and everything in between what caught out eye is the micro library on London’s South Bank.

This month London’s South Bank will be host to a micro-cabin of literature; the smallest library in the capital, measuring a rather tiny 3.5 square metres. The library will be home to books telling the story of London’s rich history covering everything from ancient tomes to modern day classics that reflect the city and its history.

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Leader of Azeri Exclave Recommends His People Read Hemingway and Jack London

By | Culture, News | No Comments
Vasif Talibov, supreme assembly chairman of the landlocked Azeri exclave of Nakhchivan, has published a list of books which he believes all citizens should read. As the BBC reports (via Minval.az), the list includes 30 books which include authors from Azeri and medieval Eastern authors as well as some well known Western writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Jack London. Read More

5 Books For The American History Fanatic

By | Culture, Literature | One Comment
For many people history is compelling and fascinating, as well as utterly horrifying. In the UK and the US in particular we are not always told the whole truth of our history, often for shameful reasons, and for fear of losing patriotism.

It is important to understand what our nations did, and how we became the powerful countries we are today. The sacrifices made by our ancestors, as well as the now-abhorrent action taken in the name of progress cannot and should not be ignored.

To truly understand why certain people feel certain ways, and why others are treated the way they are to this day is related directly to our past. We start with American history- land of the free and home of the brave- But how did they get to that point?

These American history books are a fascinating look into how America became the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual powerhouse she is today.

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Guggenheim Releases Over 200 Downloadable Art Books

By | Arty, Culture | No Comments
An online catalogue of over 200 art books has been released by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and all are free to download for the art-loving public. Art lovers from around the world are given the opportunity to freely download art books on great creative minds such as Klimt, Picasso, Lichtenstein, Rothko, and Kandinsky, among many others. A broad range of artistic forms and expressions are available to discover from classic sculpture to futurism, and beyond!

The archive website states:

“As a vital part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s mission as an educational institution, the Guggenheim Museum’s Publications Department publishes books and catalogues to document its exhibitions and collections.”

Art is a wonderful thing to be able to share and we hope you take some time to visit the website and find something that inspires you. Meanwhile, have a peek at some of the gorgeous art book covers below to see what is available to download…

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The 10 Coolest Books on African Culture

By | Culture, Literary Places, Polls and Discussion | No Comments
African culture is very diverse, beautiful, and it can be shocking sometimes. African ethnicity is extremely complicated. According to rough estimates, the continent has about 50 nations and nationalities, and 3 thousand different tribes speaking a thousand languages.

There are so many interesting books by African writers. If you are interested in African culture, here is a top 10 best novels about Africa. Read More