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All Articles by William Shelton

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.

In the Game of Life, Play Chess, Not Checkers

What Chess Players Know About Life and the Books That'll Teach it to You

By William Shelton • December 08, 2020

For people unfamiliar with the game of chess, they can often be intimidated or bored by the prospect of trying it, but we know more about the game than we recognize, and we often "play" the game more than we realize. Luckily, the rules and strategies have been covered by several experts in books, and beyond that, the elements of the game can be understood through literature like that of Machiavelli. Learn more about this fascinating game with these book picks.

The Mystery of Manderley

Menabilly: The Real-Life Inspiration for DuMaurier's Rebecca

By William Shelton • November 25, 2020

During a holiday in Fowey, Daphne Du Maurier caught small glimpses of a mansion in the woods. "That's Menabilly, but you can't go there..." is what she was told. This mysterious house captured her imagination and her attention, and her determination to unravel the secrets of that home lead to one of America's most loved novels.

Embracing Faulkner

By William Shelton • September 26, 2020

When he was in college, our Regional Director William Shelton was told his writing was like Faulkner! And he…recoiled in disdain. For Faulkner newcomers and fans alike, William’s experience learning to appreciate the classic author gives a great understanding of why Faulkner has made such an impact.

The 20,000 Volume Library of a Blind Senator That Inspired a World-Famous Author

By William Shelton • July 31, 2018

One never knows how their reading habits, such as this case of a blind man with a passion for books, will influence the lives of young readers.

The Beginnings of Vintage Reads

By William Shelton • January 09, 2018

The interesting story of how our Rare & Collectible store came to be.

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