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Fantabulous Friday: Great Books to Go!

Lady Louise is always ready for an adventure as long as her Editorial Assistant makes the arrangements, packs the bags and carries the cash and camera. Smile!

Lady Louise is always ready for an adventure as long as her Editorial Assistant makes the arrangements, packs the bags and carries the cash and camera. Smile!

Great books inspire great vacation locations!

From The Garden of Good and Evil in Savannah, Ga., to Sherlock Holmes’ London adventures, here are eight vacations that have been inspired by wonderful stories.

Before going to the following link, think about the books you’ve read and their settings. Then, consider the places that aren’t mentioned here, but that would make fun and/or fabulous trips for you!

Here are eight great vacations from eight great books: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/photos/8-vacations-based-on-books.

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Thoughtful Thursday: Body Parts & Fiction

Rapunzel's famous locks are among the most memorable "body parts" in fiction.

Rapunzel’s famous locks are among the most memorable “body parts” in fiction.

Continuing with our week-long series on Great Books, we wonder if you have ever thought about some of the most memorable body parts in fiction?

Before you start thinking wildly, remember this is a family friendly blog!

We don’t want you to be overcome by a case of “the vapors” and have to take to the fainting couch to collect yourself. So, let us make this perfectly clear: We’re not talking about people who have died tragically in books, and we’re not delving into anything that might make one blush.

That said, my Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, wants you to think about interesting characters and what they were known for — Rapunzel is a given!

Check out this interesting post on the Barnes & Noble blog and see if you guessed any of these: http://goo.gl/87iuh8.

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Wordy Wednesday: Really “Great Books” …

Charles Darwin is one of the writers whose works are included in the "Great Books of the West World" series.

Charles Darwin is one of the writers whose works are included in the “Great Books of the West World” series.

Talk about some heavy, but valuable reading!

In 1952, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica Inc. published Great Books of the Western World, a monumental undertaking to present “great books” in a single collection of 54 volumes.

The criteria established by the original editors included: a book relevant to contemporary issues; a book that would be worth rereading, and a ook that met 25 of the 102 great ideas, which the editors selected, that would foster “the great conversation about the great ideas.” Some of these were sin, law, liberty, slavery, tyranny, family, good and evil, truth, government, among many others.

The writers and their works include “the ancients,” such as Homer, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Plato and Aristotle. William Shakespeare, John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer and Niccolo Machiavelli were included, as well as some of the more “contemporary” authors Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Leo Tolstoy and Sigmund Freud. A second edition was published in 1990 to include a number of 20th century authors, such as Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Samuel Beckett and William Faulkner.

The series grew to 60 volumes in the second edition. Today, many of the books and writings from the series can be found as e-books or read on the Internet.

The idea for series began with Robert Hutchins, University of Chicago president, who worked with philosopher and educator Mortimer Adler to develop a course for businessmen that would enhance their education by the sharing of ideas through the world’s “great books.”

Such an undertaking in the 21st century would be much different, no doubt, but many of the books found in the “Great Books” series remain relevant and well worth reading.

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Terrific Tuesday: Writers & Books

Great books -- even the old ones -- inspire new thoughts, new goals, new dreams.

Great books — even the old ones — inspire new thoughts, new goals, new dreams. (Photo by Adam, freedigitalimages.com)

As we continue to honor Great Books Week, I have asked my Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, to find out what writers and readers themselves have to say on the subject of reading and great books.

In spite of the cobwebs in her brain that she must be saving for Halloween (why else would they still be filling that empty space in her head!), my Editorial Assistant has found some rather profound thoughts from others about books, and we are sharing these with you.

“By elevating your reading, you will improve your writing or at least tickle your thinking.” ~ William Safire, author, columnist, journalist, Presidential speech writer

“I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.”
~ Groucho Marxa, comedian and movie, TV star

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, author, poet, philospher

“A house without books is like a room without windows.
~ Heinrich Mann, German novelist

And my own personal favorite is this:

“Technology hasn’t changed reading. It’s improved it. E-Book Readers make reading accessible anywhere, any time.” ~ Lady Louise, blogger, book character

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Move It Monday: Read the Book First

Helena Bonham Carter stars in the newest adaptation of "Great Expectations" for the silver screen.

Helena Bonham Carter stars in the newest adaptation of “Great Expectations” for the silver screen.

It’s Great Books Week. Since the early years in Hollywood, great books have been made into movies. We’ve debated whether the movie differed greatly from the book or we’ve lamented that the book was far better than the movie.

We’ve also heard it said many times, “Read the book before you see the movie.” Sometimes, we’ve rushed headlong into seeing the movie first, only to have our friends tell us why we should have read the book and then gone to see the movie.

Over the next few months, some interesting movies will make their debut on the silver screen. But there are seven that have been adapted from books, including the classics, Great Expectations and The Hobbit.

Therefore, if you’re one of those people who want to read the book seeing the movie, then you’ll need to make a move and read.

To know more, visit http://goo.gl/kkO0k3.

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