Library Thing's'Dead People's Books'

Any sane writer with a rare chance to tour a literary hero’s estate is going to sneak a hungry peek at the bookshelves. In few other places—among the polished chairs, antique vases and other stuffy artifacts—can you find such an authentic portal into the writing mind.
Author:
Publish date:

Any sane writer with a rare chance to tour a literary hero’s estate is going to sneak a hungry peek at the bookshelves. In few other places—among the polished chairs, antique vases and other stuffy artifacts—can you find such an authentic portal into the writing mind. What insights might we gain by seeing that James Bond creator Ian Fleming was a fan of Freud? Or that Darwin dug the more obscure works of Alexander Graham Bell (Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race, anyone)?

At LibraryThing (librarything.com), tagged as “the world’s largest book club,” users can post their personal libraries online and connect with people who like the same books. Among them, a project titled “I See Dead People’s Books” gives you access to the personal libraries of notable figures ranging from Ernest Hemingway to Tupac Shakur.

We introduce our new InkWell feature by spotlighting selections from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stash of 322 books:

Dubliners by James Joyce, 1922
The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad, 1919 (inscribed by Zelda Sayre, and with two portraits in pencil)
Beginners’ French Conversation by Jules Helein, 1921
The Captive by Marcel Proust, 1929 (Fitzgerald’s copy with manuscript annotations)
Der Grosse Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1928
Esquire, Autumn 1933 to May 1934. Vol. I
Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx, 1937
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, 1919
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, 1925
North of Boston by Robert Frost, 1916
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, 1915
Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald, 1932
Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, 1905
The Trial and Death of Socrates; Being the Euthyphron, Apology, Crito and Phædo of Plato by Plato, 1910
The Witch-Cult in Western Europe; a Study in Anthropology by Margaret Alice Murray, 1921
Works by Edgar Allan Poe, 1881
Where Paris Dines: With Information About Restaurants of All Kinds, Costly and Cheap, Dignified and Gay, Known and Litt by Julian Street, 1929

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

In this post, we look at what creative nonfiction (also known as the narrative nonfiction) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing and more.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Four WDU Courses, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce four WDU courses, a Competition deadline reminder, and more!

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask is a humorous and handy column by literary agent Barbara Poelle. In this edition, she discusses the next big fiction trend, and whether or not all books are the same.

From Script

A Change in Entertainment Business Currency and Disrupting Storytelling with Historical Significance (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, learn about how crypto currency is making a wave in the entertainment business, what percentages really mean in film financing, the pros and cons of writing partnerships, an exclusive interview with three-time NAACP Image Awards nominee, co-creator and former showrunner of CBS’ 'S.W.A.T.' Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is putting off submissions.