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All Articles by William Shelton

The Real Housewives of La Côte Basque

How Capote's Answered Prayers became his curse

By William Shelton • February 01, 2024

When Esquire published the first look at Truman Capote's Answered Prayers, a novel he ultimately never finished, his gaggle of "swans" and the high society to which he belonged ignited with ire, and a fallout notorious enough to be dramatized by FX and Ryan Murphy left him friendless. Here's some of the true story behind Feud: Capote vs. The Swans.

The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Spirituality books for pondering the meaning of existence

By William Shelton • November 15, 2023

According to Socrates the unexamined life is not worth living. In the whirl and rush of modern society, how often do we take the time to ponder the meaning of our existence? Each of the world's great religions try to tackle this question, but there are many paths to finding peace with our place in the universe. From Astrology to yoga, transcendental meditation or alien intervention, the avenues of exploration are as legion and varied as the stars.

From The Firm to The Exchange

A thirty-year fan celebrates his favorites (and least favorites) of Grisham’s career

By William Shelton • October 10, 2023

The first and last time I devoured a book cover to cover in one sitting was The Firm. The pace of the book, the nail-biting drama, the lush description of the setting, the satisfactory, wholly unexpected denouement of the story combined to make me appreciate a book as never before. Soon we will be graced with another opportunity to revisit the world of Mitch McDeere in the new novel by Grisham, The Exchange. I almost feel like I am back in High School again.

Windows to the Soul

Which books do you consider your indispensables?

By William Shelton • September 28, 2023

Our bookshelves are the subconscious windows to the soul. Often unintentional, what we read is a direct reflection of where our thoughts lie, which subjects we are exploring, emotional or physical struggles we are trying to address, and the solace we seek in familiar books or authors. Rarely is our collection static, though there are certain books to which we cling for a lifetime. 

A Regional US Culinary Journey

From the mid-Atlantic to the gateway of the West

By William Shelton • May 18, 2023

Regional cuisine has an allure that is both exciting to the traveler experiencing a new locale, and has all the familiarity of going home for the native who was weaned on it. Let’s take a culinary sentimental journey from the mid-Atlantic to the gateway of the West.

Pause and Call Them 'Blessed'

A Mother's Day walk through history

By William Shelton • May 13, 2023

Motherhood is a complicated role, and every culture from the dawn of man has placed the burden of great expectations on mothers. How fitting, right, and proper it is that we pause annually to rise up and call 'blessed' those women who brought us into being through pain, tears, and toil.

A Tale of Three Edwards

By William Shelton • May 07, 2023

Despite what the oft-used idiom would have us believe, being a ‘prince’ is frequently not a pampered experience, especially if your name happens to be Edward. Three Princes of England, who would briefly hold the title of King, found the path to the throne fraught with danger.

The Beauty of Exploring Poetry

Even when it doesn't come naturally

By William Shelton • April 27, 2023

As a reader, and an avid one at that, I struggle to apply the same level of zeal to poetry as I have my more preferred topics, such as historic fiction, or biography. Yet every April, when the lilac bushes in my lawn are thronged with flowers, I find myself quoting, "When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed…"

Rejoicing in the Natural World

ThriftBooks, sustainability, and Earth Day

By William Shelton • April 21, 2023

Since 2003 ThriftBooks has offered its customers a sustainable way of reading through the resale of used books. We take pride in our contribution, and involvement with our global community, in celebrating Earth Day.

From Stoker to Wilde

Celebrating some of my favorite Irish authors

By William Shelton • March 17, 2023

From Jonathan Swift's tales of adventure, to James Joyce and his modernist retelling of The Odyssey, to the poetry of Seamus Heaney, Ireland has contributed more than her leaven share to our most beloved literature. My two favorites? Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde.

Divine Inspiration

Some of mankind's oldest religious writings

By William Shelton • March 14, 2023

From the earliest moments of mankind, even until today, our species has been compelled to look up and ponder our origin. This instinct naturally leant itself to the origin of books and writing itself, with much of the written word produced by mankind having been devoted to recording our beliefs.
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