New Year -- New Resources

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Backlist discoveries: Make New Friends, but Keep the Old:

I have to admit a weakness for nostalgic childhood songs. As my mother and I say, “we sing off- key, but we remember all the words.”

One of my favorites is this round:

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver but the other gold.

All my life I have taken pleasure in adding to my friends far more often than subtracting any, and in introducing new friends to old. And I think the same rule should apply to reading – and rereading – good books.

This applies especially non-fiction that may have been published in those decades between college and middle-age when you’ve been too busy raising a family and building a career to read as much for pleasure as you did when you were that history major turned law student.

For some suggestions, Time Magazine has just issued a list of 100 top “non-fiction” books (,28757,2088856,00.html).

These “influential books” include many gems you may not have read in school, (if you are too old or were not an English major), from Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land (a memoir of growing up in Harlem before the drug epidemic, the only reason the author survived.) to Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, a less pretentious window on Americans in France in the early 20th Century than Hemmingway, especially if you liked Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

I like the new writers and books as much as anyone. Far be it for me to stop repeatedly checking Google, as well as browsing all the best book reviewers (NYT, Wash Post, NYRB, Atlantic, New Yorker) in the few places who still employ staff writers

If you are interested in reading more than just the things that make new news every 15 minutes on social media, I hope you’ll check out, where our Team is building a new way to get more ebooks reprinted, into more public libraries, and read by more people -- all over the world.

What’s your favorite book that isn’t yet available as an ebook? Go to and let us know, or email me at:

On Twitter You can also follow  #gluejar or @AMREADERTOO

P.S. (FYI, if you like me sang a lot of rounds at camp or in scouts, my other favorite song is “one bottle top, two bottle top…. But that’s another story.)