Sunday, October 15, 1972

E.B. White Charlotte’s Web: Published 20 Years Ago Today

Updated 2/19/2019.

First Publication: October 15, 1952

Category: children’s literature

Sales: 50 million


About the Book:

In 2000, Publishers Weekly listed Charlotte’s Web “as the best-selling children’s paperback of all time.” WK E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book “is ‘just about perfect,’” AZ “a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.” AZ The book was made into an animated feature in 1973 and a live action film in 2006.

It “tells the story of a livestock pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur (such as ‘Some Pig’) in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live.” WK

Readers will also be entranced with “Fern, the little girl who understood their language,” BN and “saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.” AZ “Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him,” BN is also instrumental in Charlotte’s plan to save Wilbur.

The book also “contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series.” AZ “The forty-seven black-and-white drawings…have all the wonderful detail and warmhearted appeal that children love in his work [and are] incomparably matched to E.B. White’s marvelous story.” BN

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Wednesday, February 2, 1972

James Joyce Ulysses: Published 50 Years Ago Today

Updated 3/5/2019.

First Publication: February 2, 1922

Category: modernist novel

Sales: ?


About the Book:

Ulysses is one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century” BN and “a must read for fans of the Modernist genre.” AZ

“It was not easy to find a publisher in America willing to take it on, and when Jane Jeap and Margaret Anderson started printing extracts from the book in their literary magazine The Little Review in 1918, they were arrested and charged with publishing obscenity. They were fined $100, and even The New York Times expressed satisfaction with their conviction.” BN

It “was not published in book form until 1922, when another American woman, Sylvia Beach, published it in Paris her Shakespeare & Company. Ulysses was not available legally in any English-speaking country until 1934, when Random House successfully defended Joyce against obscenity charges and published it in the Modern Library.” BN

Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904.” AZ “While the novel appears largely unstructured at first glance it is in fact very closely paralleled to Homer’s Odyssey, containing eighteen episodes that correspond to various parts of Homer’s work.” AZ

“Filled with experimental forms of prose, stream of consciousness, puns, parodies, and allusions that Joyce himself hoped would ‘keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant.’” AZ

In July 2018, I became the organizer of the Mission Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the Book Club tab here or Meetup for more information. This is our book for June 2019.

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