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All Articles by William Shelton

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.

Remembering Anne Rice Through Her Hometown, New Orleans

By William Shelton • December 20, 2021

With her passing, Anne Rice joins the celestial pantheon of New Orleans writers. New Orleans is a city with a rich literary history, inspiring many writers like Tennessee Williams and Harper Lee. The city enchanted Rice her whole life, so we thought it best to celebrate her and her work through the literary legacy of her hometown.

Dune's Difficult Book-to-Screen History

By William Shelton • September 19, 2021

Like most fans of the novel Dune, I await with great anticipation the forthcoming film version directed by Denis Villeneuve, which had me thinking of its previous adaptations. Despite its place as one of the most popular science fiction books of all time, its previous journeys to the screen have not lived up to the book’s hype…

When Gossip Was Currency

Hedda Hopper and Louella Parson's Hold on Old Hollywood

By William Shelton • June 09, 2021

In old Hollywood, gossip was hard currency, and there were two doyennes who dealt in the coin of the realm: one a frustrated former actress, and the other a queen of yellow journalism who spent decades working for William Randolph Hurst. Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons served as the moral arbiters to the stars. Their hold over Hollywood, alongside the famous Hays code, controlled the lives of stars of the silver screen in unexpected ways.

A Brief Look at the History of Cookbooks

By William Shelton • May 17, 2021

Since our species first discovered that the application of fire enhances the taste of food we have been cooking. No doubt, soon thereafter, one of our primitive ancestors asked another how they prepared their saber-toothed tiger that made it taste so different and special. Thus the passing on of recipes began...

Historical Fiction of the Civil War

By William Shelton • April 09, 2021

The span of days between April 9 and April 12 mark the pivotal dates of the start and end of the American Civil War. This terrible time of rending brought many changes to the social, political, and philosophical consciousness of the United States. Almost as soon as hostilities ceased in April of 1865 those who had witnessed it, participated in the conflict, or observed from the safety of foreign shores, began putting pen to paper to tell of the experience. Here are some recommendations.

The Venomous Pens of Feuding Authors

Some of the Most Cutting Remarks of 20th Century Writers

By William Shelton • March 29, 2021

Casting disparaging remarks about contemporaries seems to be a hallmark of great writers. Afterall, Andre Gide could never decide if he worshiped at the shrine of Oscar Wilde, or despised his poisoned pen flamboyance. Particularly among the post World War II American writers that published so prolifically, they measured their own success by the personal failures of their fellow writers. Here we offer a peek at some of the most enduring feuds of writers like Gore Vidal and Anais Nin.

Herbert & Heinlein

Two Pillars of Sci-Fi

By William Shelton • March 12, 2021

The genre of science fiction writing has two great pillars representing the wonder and promise of future worlds, and the intricate technology as yet unimagined, except by their questing minds. Frank Herbert and Robert Heinlein were contemporaries who saw sci-fi through these different lenses.

The Man Behind Perry Mason: Erle Stanley Gardner

How His Real Life Informed His Writing

By William Shelton • February 02, 2021

Starting in 1923 a young attorney, who was suspended from Law school for boxing, and found the actual practice of law mundane and boring, began typing out with two fingers hair raising legal yarns involving the most salacious of crimes. It was the incomparable Erle Stanley Gardner, a man who did more to defend the rights of the downtrodden than his literary creation, Perry Mason. Learn more about the life of the man that created the famous detective.

The Tumultuous Friendship of Truman Capote and Harper Lee

By William Shelton • December 28, 2020

Born in New Orleans, Truman Capote was frequently deposited at the Monroeville home of his eccentric cousins. The location had only one redeeming quality for him: next door lived a young girl who would initially beat him up, then befriend him—She was Nelle Harper Lee. From then on their worlds and works collided, bringing the world some of its most enduring classics, as well as an enduring literary feud.
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