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All Articles by William Shelton

Reading in Cars to Mama: My Book Lover Genesis Story

By William Shelton • October 27, 2022

For my mother, any moment not spent reading was an irretrievable loss. This included the car, where as a child I had the pleasure of acting as a 1970s audiobook by reading aloud to her. Though her literature tastes were not those of a ten-year-old boy, sharing these moments and stories crafted me into the reader I am, and gave us a lifelong bond we keep 40 years later.

Horror Where You Least Expect It

Literature With a Dark Surprise

By William Shelton • October 18, 2022

Fear, where it is least expected, is all the more rich an experience. Such as when it is found among the pages of a story of romance, or a bucolic tale of life mundane. Here are my favorite tales with surprisingly dark moments.

The Short, Strange Story of How A Confederacy of Dunces Was Published

By William Shelton • September 13, 2022

I must confess that my new literary champion is Ignatius J. Reilly, of A Confederacy of Dunces. I had not read the book until recently, but my path with Ignatius crossed two decades ago while in law school. As wonderful as the novel is itself, the story of its tortured path to publication is equally fascinating.

Remembering HM Queen Elizabeth II

By William Shelton • September 13, 2022

In due time historians will help shape how future generations look back upon the rule of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, but now, in this hour of remembrance, it is the opinion of this author that she was a lady for all seasons. Here is how I remember the venerated monarch.

A Look at Trendsetting Science Fiction Pulp Magazines

By William Shelton • August 23, 2022

In 1926 the launch of Amazing Stories introduced a new genre of science fiction in the form of a pulp magazine. Writers like Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and even Stephen King began their careers in magazines like these. Let's take a brief look at some of the trend-setting pulp science fiction magazines which are well remembered, and highly valued, today.

Five Historic First Ladies

And the Scandals of Their Day

By William Shelton • July 21, 2022

First Ladies, to me, have always seemed so much more interesting than their husbands. Despite entering the white house through non-political means, scandal has touched the lives of every first lady and it is interesting to observe how a select few dealt with the misfortunes of politicking and gossip.

Fathers of Literary Importance

By William Shelton • June 07, 2022

Fatherhood is a complicated, and complex, role. While taking time to ponder our fathers, or father figures, this month, we should harken back to literature. There is a great chance that our fathers might have used similar role models when measuring their own father, or modeling the dad they wanted to be.

A Historical Look at Life Hacks

Books Full of "Tips and Tricks" from the Past

By William Shelton • May 22, 2022

Tips, tricks, and shortcuts to improving the quality of life have been peddled for centuries, long before we began calling them "life hacks." From hog-killing, log rolling, syrup making, spell casting, fine dining, and keeping your skin movie-star perfect, there has always been a life hack book on the market to meet your needs.

The Gothic Elements of V.C. Andrews and Stephen King

By William Shelton • March 16, 2022

The gothic element in American literature spans many genres, and has woven an ever present thread from Washington Irving's famous equestrian, all the way down to Stephenie Meyer's interpretation of the heirs of Vlad the Impaler. Leveraging the fine works of previous generations, two Twentieth Century American authors, Stephen King, and V.C. Andrews, created characters and settings which distilled the gothic element to a rarified degree.

Swipe Right on Collectibles

By William Shelton • February 15, 2022

One can easily find a copy of of any bestseller in a range of conditions from a basic reading copy to a like new edition. Or… They can swipe through their options until they find the edition that rings all the bells—beautiful to look at, with characteristics that draw the eye, lovely to hold for the feel of its soft leather, and captivating to listen to the gentle whisper of the vellum pages turning. These books are the full dopamine hit. These are the Collectibles.

The Gilded Age

By William Shelton • January 23, 2022

One of the most exciting, and prosperous, periods of American history came upon the heels of the most tragic time for our country. The Civil War and Reconstruction gave way to a generation where the amassing of tremendous wealth was the order of the day, conspicuous consumption the only guiding principle, and the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" was the greatest that the United States would ever see.
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