Self-confessed bibliophiliac Nicholas Basbanes is the author of several volumes on book collecting and book mania. In On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History, he moves beyond the world of books to consider the material from which they are made. On Paper is not another history of the discovery and spread of the…

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I love Big Fat History Books, full of footnotes (no endnotes, please) and academic caution.  But I also love small, idiosyncratic books about history: books that look at the past through one person’s obsessions and interest. Chris West combined an uncle’s Edwardian stamp collection with his own interest in history to create a quirky and…

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In The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest To Crack An Ancient Code, Margalit Fox adds a new layer to the story of how the ancient script known as Linear B was deciphered. In 1900, archaeologist Arthur Evans uncovered a cache of clay tablets in an unknown script on Crete. For fifty years, scholars across…

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