The Last Slave Ship: The Story behind Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon

A Daring Bet, and the Consequences that Fell in the Wrong Place In the late 1850s tensions were rising between the North and the South in the United States, and the South’s desire to hold on to slavery was a key issue in those tensions. Many laws had been made toward the abolition of slavery, including a bill passed in March 2, 1807, that made it illegal to import slaves into the United States after January 1, 1808, or to … Continued


You Can’t Read in Prison

Censorship in Prisons Recently, there has been news coverage of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander being banned in New Jersey Prisons. The book, which argues that the US criminal justice system today functions as a form of racial control similar to the Jim Crow laws of the pre-Civil Rights era, was taken off of the banned list in New Jersey shortly after the story broke. The book was also banned in … Continued


16 Must-Have Poetry Books for Your Collection

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman First published in 1855 Leaves of Grass was a small book consisting of twelve poems. Whitman revised and republished it throughout his life, resulting in vastly different editions, the last including more than 400 poems. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson Although Dickinson wrote over 1800 poems during her lifetime, less than a dozen were published before her death in 1886 at the age of 55. Her younger sister, Lavinia, who lived at … Continued


The Biographies of Billy Graham

Evangelist Billy Graham speaking at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida

 

Although Billy Graham wrote many autobiographies including the 1997 Best-seller Just As I Am, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well (2011), and Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond (2015), many others took an opportunity to examine the popular evangelist’s life as well. With Graham’s recent passing near the approach of his 100th birthday, there should no doubt be multiple re-releases of Graham’s titles as well as many new retrospective biographies on his life and legacy. (more…)

Amy C. Manikowski is a writer, bookseller, trail-diverger, history buff, and pitbull lover. She graduated from Chatham University with an MFA a while ago, and after wandering aimlessly settled in Asheville NC.


Ten Romance Novels to get you through Valentine’s Day

Cheesy, but beloved by many.

Valentine’s Day is a happy occasion for some and less so for others – if you aren’t seeing enough roses, chocolates, and unbearably fancy dinners headed your way today, here’s a few romantic reads to delve into.

1. Dear John, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook: take your pick of Nicholas Sparks’ books. Eleven of his nineteen best-selling novels have been turned into films, so although they may be easy to criticize, something about them makes them undeniably popular.

2. Doctor Zhivago: Boris Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature following the publication of this book in 1957 after the manuscript was smuggled from the USSR to Italy. The love story between Yuri and Lara during the Russian Revolution was further immortalized in film in 1965.

3. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë), Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë): Yep, I just lumped all of those together, just like I did with everything Nicholas Sparks. These titles make up a niche of undeniably popular romantic literature! (more…)

Amy C. Manikowski is a writer, bookseller, trail-diverger, history buff, and pitbull lover. She graduated from Chatham University with an MFA a while ago, and after wandering aimlessly settled in Asheville NC.


Copyright Confusion: Trademark? Patent? Copyright?

ironically enough, this photo was listed as “free for reuse without credit”

There has been a lot of attention on the new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, and some of that attention has been from unhappy customers who ordered and received: Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany 1942-1945 by Randall Hansen, published in 2009 and now hitting the bestseller list. {See this post here about other Trump book mishaps and the importance of searching by ISBN.)

How did this happen? Basically, titles cannot be copyrighted. That’s right – if you want to write a new book called Moby Dick? go ahead – just check to make sure, like Chicken Soup for the Soul and Harry Potter, that the title is not “Trademarked.”

Trademark? Patent? Copyright?

A trademark is a word, phrase, or symbol that identifies a brand and can be federally registered, patent protects ideas. A copyright protects original works of authorship, like books, songs, or poems. (more…)

Amy C. Manikowski is a writer, bookseller, trail-diverger, history buff, and pitbull lover. She graduated from Chatham University with an MFA a while ago, and after wandering aimlessly settled in Asheville NC.


Books by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King’s first book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958), was about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the beginning of the nonviolent Civil Rights movement. On December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, sparking a local boycott that was supported and sustained by the Montgomery Improvement Association. The Montgomery Improvement Association was created December 5th, 1955 by black ministers and community leaders and lead by the unanimously elected President, a young Martin Luther … Continued


Cookbooks by Bestselling Authors

There are many famous authors who were also quite fond of food – there’s George R. R. Martin and his lemon cakes and roast capons, J. R. R. Tolkien and his hobbit-sized feasts, and countless other sumptuous tables described in detail throughout popular literature. Some authors take their gastronomic pleasures more seriously than others. To celebrate them, we’ve curated a list of cook books by bestselling authors for you to enjoy. 1. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) is best known for her … Continued


Andy Warhol’s Homemade Cookbook

Andy Warhol, famous for his Pop Art renditions of Campbell’s Soup Cans and other supermarket staples, not only illustrated a popular cookbook early in his career as a commercial artist, but he also self-published his own cookbook. After completing a degree in pictorial design from the Art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949, Warhol moved to New York and began working as a freelance illustrator for magazines and trade publications. He worked as an … Continued


7 Cookbooks to Inspire any Bibliophile 

1. Books that Cook: the Making of a Literary Meal (August 2014) is a collection of American Literature written on the theme of food. It was compiled and edited by two Professors of English, Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa Goldthwaite. Each section begins with excerpts from famous American cookbooks, and it is filled with poetry, prose and essays in which food plays a prominent role, along with recipes, from starters to desserts. Some of the featured authors include Maya Angelou, James Beard, … Continued