Articles from the Blog

Our Year in Review

2016 year in review for Books on the Wall

We can hardly believe that’s been about a year since we redesigned the Books on the Wall website. In the last year, we’ve been working hard to bring new texts and new poster designs to the Books on the Wall inventory. To celebrate our successes and look forward, we wanted to share our recap of the year with you. Without our loyal readers and customers, none of this would be possible. Thanks for keeping in touch, giving us feedback, and sharing our love for all things literary! Our new full-text book posters We’ve made a BUNCH of new full-text book posters, […]

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One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Book and Characters [Data Visualization]

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100 Years of Solitude blog post image

A few weeks ago, we shared a blog post about the history of magical realism. Today we’re taking a deeper look at perhaps the greatest and most beloved of all magical realism novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Años de Soledad) by Colombian author Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez. The classic example of magical realism Although many critics may have trouble defining what exactly a magical realist novel is, their prime example will always be Marquez’s beloved One Hundred Years of Solitude. First published in 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a long and dense work. The novel can be a bit confusing for […]

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Happy Holidays!

Happy holiday image from Books on the Wall

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, full of good books and great friends. Happy holidays from Books on the Wall!

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The Ages of 101 Famous Writers at First Publication [Infographic]

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Famous writers ages infographic featured image

If you’re anything like us, you constantly think about the lives of some of the world’s most famous writers. How did they get started with writing? And when? Looking back on a a now-famous author’s life work, I always catch myself thinking, “That author was a genius! I’m sure she had no problem getting work published.” Or, “Yeah, it must have been super easy for him; he’s obviously talented.” In reality, though, even the most popular authors often struggle for a long time before finally getting published. Many published authors have a family or a day job (or both) and don’t even really […]

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Words Wednesday: Ursula Le Guin

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Ursula Le Guin quote graphic - The Dispossessed

This Ursula Le Guin quote comes from The Dispossessed: An Ambigious Utopia. The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin Published in 1974, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (frequently called just The Dispossessed) is an allegorical tale set in a dystopian future. Set in the same world as her earlier work The Left Hand of Darkness, this novel covers themes like capitalism, anarchy, freedom, and individualism. Upon publication, The Dispossessed won a handful of prestigious science fiction awards: Nebula Award for Best Novel (1974) Hugo Award (1975) Locus Award (1975) Nominee for John W. Campbell Memorial Award (1975) In fact, Le Guin is […]

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Words Wednesday: Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway quote graphic - quote from The Old Man and the Sea

This Ernest Hemingway quote comes from his acclaimed short novel The Old Man and the Sea. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway Written in 1951 during a stay in the Bahamas, The Old Man and the Sea tells the story of an aging fisherman named Santiago and his quest to break his unlucky fishing streak by catching a large marlin. Santiago fights delirium and sharks in his attempt to wrangle the large marlin and bring it home. The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953. One year later, Hemingway was awarded the […]

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What is Magical Realism in Literature?

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Magical Realism in Literature blog post graphic

Today we’re exploring magical realism, one of the most interesting literary movements in recent history. A brief history of magical realism The 20th century was a century of “-isms” in the West. Never before had there been so many dynamic philosophical, aesthetic, political, sociological, and psychological schools of thought: from Freudianism to Keynesianism to Cubism. One of the famous literary “-isms” to arise in this time, especially in Latin America, was called magical realism. In contrast to pure fantasy, magical realism in literature sought to re-invigorate the ordinary with the sublime. Magical realism novels do not contain the elves and wizards of a […]

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Native American Writers You Should Be Reading (10 Authors)

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10 Contemporary Native American Authors blog post title graphic

When most people think of Native American writing, their minds may be flooded with images from the colorful mythos that flourished all around North America before Columbus’s arrival. Archeologists and historians are still learning a great deal about these ancient Native American poets and their powerful works of spiritual literature. Unfortunately, far too many people think only of the past when they consider Native American writing, traditions, and culture. In reality, there are many contemporary Native American writers today who are powerful witnesses to and voices of the Native American experience in the 20th and 21st centuries. These diverse writers, poets, […]

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Words Wednesday: Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie quote graphic from Peril at End House

This Agatha Christie quote comes from her 1932 book, Peril at End House. Peril at End House by Agatha Christie Like most of Agatha Christie’s books, Peril at End House is a work of detective fiction. It was her fourteenth published novel under her own name. It is the sixth book to center on one of Christie’s most famous protagonists, Hercule Poirot, along with Inspector Japp and Arthur Hastings. In Peril at End House, Poirot is out to save his new young acquaintance Magdala “Nick” Buckley, who he is convinced is a target for murder. The name of the book comes from […]

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Samuel Beckett: Fail Better and “Worstward Ho!”

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Samuel Beckett quote: "Fail better"

Even if you aren’t involved in tech, entrepreneurship, lifehacking, or other such digital-age ubiquities, you’ve probably heard the most famous part of this Samuel Beckett quote: “Fail better.” The “Fail Better” Quote by Samuel Beckett The “fail better” quote was originally published in Samuel Beckett’s short piece of prose entitled Worstward Ho!, his second-to-last work ever published. The full Samuel Beckett quote reads like this (and by “full,” we really mean the part that gets repeated): “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” By itself, you can probably understand why this phrase has become a mantra of […]

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