A few BabySitters Club Books

Do Series Books Turn Kids Off Adult-Approved Novels?

Goosebumps. The Baby-Sitters Club. Even Nancy Drew. In the 1990s, concerned educators wondered if series books were luring kids away from "literature."
Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson: All of Us Came from the Same Root

The poet and essayist Shayla Lawson, author of This Is Major, talks about the meaning of race, Black History Month, and her love for Lizzo.
Irving Browne, Iconoclasm and Whitewash. New York, 1886. Illustrated by the author. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

“Grangerization” Made Beautiful Books Even Better

But the eighteenth-century readerly hobby angered critics, who saw it as a “monstrous practice.”
Nicholas Black Elk

Wounded Knee and the Myth of the Vanished Indian

The story of the 1890 massacre was often about the end of Native American resistance to U.S. expansion. But that's not how everyone told it.
Cixin Liu

“To Reach the Pure Realm of the Imaginary:” A Conversation with Cixin Liu

The science fiction author Cixin Liu is best known for his mind-bending trilogy The Three Body Problem.
Scholars attending a lecture in the Ashmolean Museum

The Invention of the Archive

Seventeenth-century scholars were horrified by how much ancient knowledge had been lost when the monasteries dispersed.
Six book covers

Editors’ Picks: What We’re Reading

The history of Native resistance, the philosophy of love, the medicalization of madness, color in fairy tales, and dinosaur bones.
from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Anti-Jewish Tropes in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You’re in keeping with the medieval tradition of viewing the Jew as an outcast and a baleful force in society.
A tall bookcase of old books

Who Decides Which Books Are “Great?”

The concept of “Great Books," the historian Tim Lacy explains, developed in the late nineteenth century as an attempt to foster a “democratic culture.”
Sylvia Beach outside of Shakespeare & Co., circa 1935

The Patron Saint of Bookstores

100 years ago, Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses, opened the doors to her legendary bookstore, Shakespeare & Co.