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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 13,441
26. Murky waters: partisanship and foreign policy

The recent letter written by 47 Republican senators to the government of Iran about nuclear negotiations has revived talk about the classic phrase “politics stops at the water’s edge.” The tag line, arguing that partisanship should be put aside in foreign policy, is often attributed to Senator Arthur Vandenberg (R-Michigan) who used it in endorsing some of the diplomatic initiatives of the Democratic Truman administration at the start of the Cold War.

The post Murky waters: partisanship and foreign policy appeared first on OUPblog.

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27. Who is your favourite character from children’s literature?

In order to celebrate the launch of The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature in March, we invited OUP staff to dress up as their favourite characters from children’s books. The result was one surreal day during which our Oxford offices were overrun with children’s literature characters, ranging from the Cat in the Hat to Aslan, from Pippi Longstocking to the Tiger Who Came to Tea, and from Little Red Riding Hood to the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was a brilliant and brave effort by all those who attended. Particularly those who commuted to and from work in their costumes!

The post Who is your favourite character from children’s literature? appeared first on OUPblog.

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28. Review – One Step at a Time by Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich

Inspired by a true story, One Step at a Time exposes the unfortunate reality of the global landmine crisis through the prism of a friendship between a young boy and an elephant. Writer Jane Jolly and artist Sally Heinrich handle this subject with such deftness and clarity to ensure young readers grasp the predicament facing […]

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29. Shrinking the Collection

I have never felt like having a lot of books was any kind of clutter as long as they were all tidy. Nor was it any kind of burden even when moving house. But lately as I have been searching for ways to simplify my life and minimize my possessions, my eyes keep going to my bookshelves.

Over the last two years I have been borrowing more and more books from the library and buying fewer and fewer to put on my shelves. I have not felt the urge to own any but a few particularly enticing ones. Sure, there is the occasional book by a favorite author but these tend to not be many either. Actual book buying binges where I leave the store with a huge pile of books don’t happen anymore. These days I leave with two or three, sometimes even none.

When I first began noticing the change I worried something was wrong with me. Am I depressed? Unwell? Survey after survey said all systems go. I had plenty of books I already owned that I had not yet read and the library books never seemed to stop arriving so it’s not like I had nothing to read. In fact it seemed like I had been reading more than ever before. I just didn’t feel like I had to own all those books. Gradually I got used to the idea of library first, bookstore second. Lately this new habit has gotten so strong that even when I have a gift card it is hard to find something to spend it on. I think, Oh I know I’ll get XYZ. But then I stop and check the library catalog and generally end up saying, nah I’ll get that one from the library instead when I am ready to actually read it. And the gift card sits for weeks before I figure out what to buy with it.

The strange thing is that it has begun affecting Bookman too. I never said a word to him but his book buying habits have changed as drastically as mine have.

Then about the middle of February I decided I would take a Friday off in March and do some spring cleaning. Part of that cleaning would be going through the bookshelves in my study room. Three years ago I planned on adding another shelf but events conspired against it and by the time I had the chance to actually do something about adding the shelf my book buying habits had begun to change and I didn’t need it any longer. Now the very full shelves said not that I needed another shelf but that I needed to get rid of a quantity of the books that were on the shelves I do have.

Empty shelves

Look at all that space!

I had a tiny moment of panic. Then I had a few days of feeling a little unsettled. But as I got used to the idea, I started looking forward to that day off. When the day arrived it turned out to be a whole lot easier to make decisions about what books to keep and what books to get rid of. I actually felt good making piles of books to send out into the world to find new owners.

When all was said and done, My shelves were no longer crammed full and I even have a lot of empty shelf space. I filled to overflowing six fabric grocery bags. Bookman and I took them to sell at a secondhand shop yesterday. There were three bag’s worth of books they didn’t want for various reasons. Those we will now donate to the next library book sale.

I have to admit that Bookman and I did spend some time at the shop browsing and I did bring home a few books but compared to what I got rid of three new books for me and two for Bookman are not going to make a difference. What I brought home is:

      • Barren Ground by Ellen Glasgow. A Virago Classic first published in 1925 and set in Virginia. Poverty, seduction, betrayal, a woman who struggles to find herself and take control of her life and destiny. Sounds pretty good, eh?
      • The Giant O’Brien by Hilary Mantel. eighteenth century London, a parable of man versus science. You know, I had not gotten around to reading Mantel until her Cromwell books and I really like her. I think she may have become one of the authors whose books I definitely want to own.
      • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. He is another author whose books ask to be owned since they are all connected through characters and themes. The woman at the register gushed about how great the book is as I was paying for it. That’s a pretty good recommendation right there.

And no, I don’t feel suddenly compelled to buy books to fill the empty spaces on my shelves, otherwise I would have brought home more than what I did. We still have a library in the basement with books on the floor because there isn’t enough shelf space. It is a messy out of sight, out of mind thing. But I have plans to go through those books too. And Bookman has caught the bug as well. He speculates we could conceivably empty two or three bookcases. We have not set a date to start this process. I suspect it won’t happen until summer when it is hot outside and being in the cool basement will feel good. But I am confident that it will happen and I am looking forward to it.

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30. A new philosophy of science

One of the central concepts in chemistry consists in the electronic configuration of atoms. This is equally true of chemical education as it is in professional chemistry and research. If one knows how the electrons in an atom are arranged, especially in the outermost shells, one immediately understands many properties of an atom...

The post A new philosophy of science appeared first on OUPblog.

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31. Sentencing terrorists: key principles

In July 2014 Yusuf Sarwar and his associate, Mohammed Ahmed, both aged 22, pleaded guilty to conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to s5 of the Terrorism Act. Sarwar was given an extended sentence (for ‘dangerous’ offenders under s226A of the Criminal Justice Act 2013) comprising 12 years and eight months custody, plus a 5 year extension to his period of release on licence.

The post Sentencing terrorists: key principles appeared first on OUPblog.

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32. Caroline - The Little Girl in the Red Dungarees

Have you met Caroline the little girl with the blond bunches and red dungarees?

First published in France, Caroline is the creation of the cartoonist Pierre Probst.

Pierre Probst began his artistic career drawing posters, catalogue illustrations and calendars but is best remembered for his cartoon-like pictures and stories of a little girl named Caroline and her anthropomorphic animal friends Pip, Toffy, Snowy, Binkie, Shebo, Toga, Smokey and Broggie Bear.

I’ve recently listed three Caroline books on my website, if you would like further details, please click on the following links;;  Caroline's Party,  Caroline's Wonderful Journey and Caroline's Circus 

The illustrations are from Caroline's Party

Caroline sends her little dog Toffy down to the station to meet the guests.

 In all the excitement, nobody sees the farmer's wife running for her life at the sight of a spotted cat and a lion with a sun helmet over one eye. The farmer's wife is sure that Caroline will be eaten alive! 

A quick wash and brush up …

and it's time to get the party started.

The fun goes on late into the night ... 

and ends with a bang. 

Thanks for your visit I hope you enjoyed the party!

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33. The death of a friend: Queen Elizabeth I, bereavement, and grief

On 25 February 1603, Queen Elizabeth I’ s cousin and friend - Katherine Howard, the countess of Nottingham - died. Although Katherine had been ill for some time, her death hit the queen very hard; indeed one observer wrote that she took the loss ‘muche more heavyly’ than did Katherine’s husband, the Charles, Earl of Nottingham. The queen’s grief was unsurprising, for Elizabeth had known the countess longer than almost anyone else alive at that time.

The post The death of a friend: Queen Elizabeth I, bereavement, and grief appeared first on OUPblog.

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34. Leaving New York

In the 1940s and early ’50s, the avant-garde art world of New York was a small, clubby place, similar in many ways to the tight (and equally contentious) circle of the New York intelligentsia. Many artists rented cheap downtown Manhattan industrial loft spaces with rudimentary plumbing and heat.

The post Leaving New York appeared first on OUPblog.

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35. Counting party members and why party members count

In mid-January 2015, British newspapers suddenly developed a keen interest in Green Party membership. A headline from The Independent proclaimed “Greens get new member every 10 seconds to surge past UKIP's membership numbers ahead of general election”; other articles compared the membership sizes of the UK’s parties [...]

The post Counting party members and why party members count appeared first on OUPblog.

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36. Thinking about how we think about morality

Morality is a funny thing. On the one hand, it stands as a normative boundary – a barrier between us and the evils that threaten our lives and humanity. It protects us from the darkness, both outside and within ourselves. And it structures and guides our conception of what it is to be good (decent, honorable, honest, compassionate) and to live well.

The post Thinking about how we think about morality appeared first on OUPblog.

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37. Get ready to #rockthdrop for Teen Literature Day 2015!

It's under a month away! It's coming! Operation Teen Book Drop, 2015, also known as #rockthedrop. For right now keep an eye for that YA book, or several, you own and want to leave in a public place on Thursday, April 16th. We'll be celebrating YALSA's Support Teen Literature Day. Happy finders will be enriched by your beloved reads.

This year instead of a book plate, we are going with a bookmark by Little Willow. Placed in the book, all will know you are leaving a FREE gift. You can print your own bookmarks! Right-click on one of the images below, save the file, print as many as you want, and get ready to Rock the Drop on Thursday, April 16th!

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38. Early responses to Mendeleev’s periodic law [quiz]

The periodic system, which Dmittri Ivanovich Mendeleev presented to the science community in the fall of 1870, is a well-established tool frequently used in both pedagogical and research settings today. However, early reception of Mendeleev’s periodic system, particularly from 1870 through 1930, was mixed.

The post Early responses to Mendeleev’s periodic law [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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39. Is privacy dead?

In the 1960s British comedy radio show, Beyond Our Ken, an old codger would, in answer to various questions wheel out his catchphrase—in a weary, tremulous groan—‘Thirty Five Years!’ I was reminded of this today when I realized that it is exactly 35 years ago that my first book on privacy was published. And how the world has changed since then!

The post Is privacy dead? appeared first on OUPblog.

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40. Interpreting the laws of the US Congress

The laws of US Congress—federal statutes—often contain ambiguous or even contradictory wording, creating a problem for the judges tasked with interpreting them. Should they only examine the text or can judges consult sources beyond the statutes themselves? Is it relevant to consider the purposes of lawmakers in writing law?

The post Interpreting the laws of the US Congress appeared first on OUPblog.

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41. Jane Austen Knits

Have I ever mentioned before that I knit? I don’t knit as much as I used to, mostly because I have tendonitis in my wrist and if I am not careful I can very easily make it flare up and give me all kinds of unhappy pain. But I still knit, if only for short periods of time at sometimes widely spaced intervals. In spite of the fact that I don’t knit a lot, I still enjoy reading knitting magazines and collecting patterns for things I will very likely never make. But that doesn’t matter really because I get great pleasure in imagining the whole project.

Recently I was perusing the latest issue of a knitting magazine I borrow electronically from my public library and saw an advertisement for a book called The Best of Jane Austen Knits. Whaaa? Of course I immediately checked to see if my library had it and they do. Yay Hennepin County Library! I love you so very much!

The book has patterns for 27 “regency inspired designs.” That translates to lots of shawls and shrugs. But there are a few cardigans, a couple of bags, some baby clothes, a tea cozy, some elbow-length gloves, some super-cute stockings, and a few other items. I can’t imagine Austen herself wearing any of them, maybe the stockings, or her heroines, but the idea is still fun. There are a few of the shawl designs I like very much from a filmy lace to a solid cute number that is long and designed to wrap over the shoulders and tie behind the waist. And did I mention the stockings? They are just below the knee and have a pretty lace and heart pattern up the side and are held up by a satin ribbon.

There is also a “loyalty and pin ball.” These were popular projects to make and give to friends (so the book says). They have a medallion-like motif on each side. It is stuffed and sewn together and trimmed with a ribbon or twisted rope. It is made with a very fine cotton and calls for size 0000 (1.25mm) needles. I have used size 1 (2.25mm) needles before but nothing that small. It seems like it would be something really fun to try. I promise if I manage one I will take a photo to share.

For all you bookish knitters out there, I recommend you take a look at this book. It’s got some super-fun patterns in it.

Do any of you have some favorite literature-inspired knitting patterns to recommend?

Filed under: Books, Jane Austen Tagged: Knitting

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42. What are this year’s most notable cases in law?

As part of our online event, Unlock Oxford Law, we asked some of our expert authors to identify the most important case of the past year in their area of law. From child slavery to data privacy, we've highlighted some of the most groundbreaking and noteworthy cases below.

The post What are this year’s most notable cases in law? appeared first on OUPblog.

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43. The street where she lived: My Fair Lady at 59

Fifty-nine years ago this month, My Fair Lady made its debut on Broadway to a rapturous critical response. It became the longest-running musical to date, and was a landmark in the genre.

The post The street where she lived: My Fair Lady at 59 appeared first on OUPblog.

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44. Spring Fever

In February I was a bit down because of the horridly frigid weather that was better suited for January. Reading anything that wasn’t page-turning or zippy was hard. Now March, March has taken a sudden turnabout from February and it feels like April. I hope this doesn’t mean that April will end up being like March, that would be too much. But the warm, well warm for Minneapolis, has been so glorious it has made me unable to sit still. I want to be up and about doing things. Reading? Reading’s for those who have nothing better to do and I have lots to do.

I know! I can’t believe I just said that about reading either! I have a serious case of spring fever. While reading helps with other kinds of fevers, it only makes spring fever worse. It also doesn’t help that I have once again found myself in the middle of a bunch of books with nothing new just begun or anything about to be finished. Such a situation tends to make me antsy anyway then add the spring fever problem to it and I’m nearly bouncing off the walls. Some of that might be from the cup of coffee I just had, but still.

So today, how about a few weird things from around the internet?

First there was dinosaur erotica (it’s a thing, look it up!), now there is Conquered by Clippy, a short story about one woman’s torrid romance with a giant paperclip. The same author has another story called “Taken by the Tetris Blocks.” What’s next? “Making out with Mario”? No, that’s too obvious, maybe “Probed by Space Invaders.” Oh this could get to be silly fun. What unlikely erotica title can you come up with?

It seems that a good many people are aghast that digital natives prefer reading in print rather than on a screen. While I read ebooks for the convenience and easy carryableness of them, print is where it’s really at. A print book is one of the most perfect technologies if you ask me. But then I doubt any of you need convincing about that!

And while we are on the subject of books, have some fun reading How to Tell If You Are In A Virginia Woolf Novel. Because even Woolf deserves to be laughed at sometimes.

Finally, nothing to do with books but music. Specifically music for your cats. I played the clip linked in the article for Waldo and Dickens and they both looked at me with panic in their eyes not sure if they should run and hide or stay and listen. They stayed but they certainly didn’t relax or look like they were enjoying the music. But then that’s cats for you. You buy them an expensive toy and they like the bag you brought it home in better. You play them music just for them and they act as though it’s nails on a chalkboard. Ungrateful beasts.

Filed under: Books, Links

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45. Time Travel Prizes and Story Bundle!

I LOVE TIME TRAVEL STORIES. I love to read them, watch them, write them. My current obsession is Diana Gabaldon’s wonderful (and lengthy! Hurray!) time travel romance series OUTLANDER. Love the books and now am enjoying the DVD of the first season of the TV series. More on that in a minute.

My young adult science fiction series PARALLELOGRAM has a whole time travel element to it, which is why I’m thrilled to tell you that the first book in the series, INTO THE PARALLEL, has been selected for inclusion in a fantastic TIME TRAVEL STORY BUNDLE featuring some of the top names in science fiction and fantasy.

Here’s what’s in the bundle:


The initial titles in the bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

The Rock by Bob Mayer
Time Streams by Fiction River
Alternitech by Kevin J. Anderson
Time’s Mistress by Steven Savile
Parallelogram Book 1: Into the Parallel by Robin Brande
Lightspeed: Issue 28 by Lightspeed

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $14, you’ll get another six titles:

The Edwards Mansion by Dean Wesley Smith
Time Traveled Tales by Jean Rabe
The Trinity Paradox by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason
Summer of Love by Lisa Mason
Ansible by Stant Litore
Snipers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

This incredible book bundle is available for only 3 weeks. I know you’re going to want to buy it–we all are. But as a special bonus for buying it now, in the first 48 hours it’s on sale, I’m throwing in a TIME TRAVEL PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY. Because we all want more!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • The DVD of OUTLANDER Season 1, Volume 1, just in time to start watching the series when it resumes next month.
  • The DVD of my favorite time travel movie, Richard Curtis’s ABOUT TIME. Love this movie so much, I want to make sure everyone in the world sees it. And at least one person besides me owns it so you can watch it over and over.
  • The PARALLELOGRAM Omnibus Edition, which includes the complete 4-book PARALLELOGRAM series. No waiting in between cliffhangers! Everything right there for the reading!

Now here’s the interesting thing about the giveaway: Unlike with most giveaways, your chances to win this one actually improve the more people you share it with. When you enter, you’ll get a special code to include on your own tweets or posts about the giveaway, and when someone enters using that code, you get 3 EXTRA ENTRIES for yourself. How cool is that?

So there you have it: In the next 48 hours you can buy 13 exciting time travel books AND enter to win more books and a couple of movies. Not bad for a Wednesday!

Here’s the link again to buy the TIME TRAVEL STORY BUNDLE.

And here’s where to go to enter the TIME TRAVEL PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY.

Good luck everyone, and happy reading!




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46. Book Review: ‘Insider Histories of Cartooning’

Historian R.C. Harvey sets out to rescue great cartoonists of old from obscurity.

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47. Review: Sequoyah by James Rumford


Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing, by James Rumford, translated into Cherokee by Anna Sixkiller Huckaby(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004)


Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing
by James Rumford, Cherokee translation by Anna … Continue reading ...

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48. New Voices: Opening the Book With Bryan Bliss!

No Parking at the End TimesAuthor of No Parking at the End Times Bryan Bliss popped by The Pageturn to share some behind the book thoughts with us! You can find a sneak peek of the book right here.

Which was your favorite book from childhood, and what are you reading right now?

The first book I remember finding, checking out, and really loving was The Indian in the Cupboard. I was staying with family in a weird town in West Virginia and there wasn’t much to do while my dad was working. So, the library, right? I can still remember finding the book – seeing the cover. I read it like ten times before I had to finally return it. I just finished reading the Isabel Quintero’s Gabi, A Girl in Pieces and, man. What a book. It’s funny and sad and spectacularly written. It really blew me away.

What is your secret talent?

Most people don’t realize it now, but I was quite the athlete in high school and college. I played a lot of basketball and can still make twenty, thirty, forty free throws in a row. I used to work with teenagers and, as a result, found myself playing one-on-one against them. Long story short, I’ve never lost to a teenager one-on-one. Is this a talent? When you’re almost 40, it definitely is. But I’m not sure it’s something I should be proud of…

Fill in the blank: _______ always makes me laugh.

Innapropriate humor at the wrong time. No question. If there is ever a moment when humor is inappropriate, I’m usually trying to keep myself from laughing. It’s a terrible character flaw, and most likely a sort of deflection. But there it is.

My current obsessions are…

The band TV on the Radio, the writer Graham Greene, and this weird children’s cartoon named Clarence.

Any gem of advice for aspiring writers?

Erase the voice of judgment! Be proud of your work and don’t let other people tell you that it doesn’t have value. While it might not be great when you start, if you keep writing you will get better. So, write and write and write.

Finish this sentence: I hope a person who reads my book…

…was looking for this exact story in their life.

How did you come to write this book? 

I wanted to write a story about a girl who loses faith in her parents, something that happens to everyone at some point. I thought it would be interesting to tackle that question alongside the question of religion and spirituality in the lives of teenagers, a topic that isn’t often covered in young adult literature. Losing and gaining faith – in anything – is such a dramatic, powerful experience and I wanted to document it as authentically as possible. At the end of the day, it’s more a story about family and friendship than faith. But like anything, those things are tied together more tightly than we sometimes think.

No Parking at the End Times is available right now!

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49. Morten Overgaard on consciousness

Why are we conscious? How can it be that physical processes in the brain seem to be accompanied with subjective experience? As technology has advanced, psychologists and neuroscientists have been able to observe brain activity. But with an explosion in experiments, methods, and measurements, there has also been great confusion.

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50. Between terror and kitsch: fairies in fairy tales

This story may or may not be a fairy tale, though there are certainly fairies in it. However, unlike any of his Victorian forebears or most of his contemporaries, Machen manages to achieve, only a few years before the comfortably kitsch flower fairies of Cicely Mary Barker, the singular feat of rendering fairies terrifying. With James Hogg’s 'Confessions of a Justified Sinner', Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Thrawn Janet’ and several of M. R. James’s marvellous ghost stories, ‘The White People’ is one of only a handful of literary texts that have genuinely unnerved me.

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