Every week AbeBooks publishes fascinating features about a huge variety of bookish subjects, including rare books and collecting, authors, publishers, and interesting characters in literature and notable anniversaries. Our lists are second to none in the book world and designed to inspire your next read or collectible purchase. Browse our feature archives below and you will discover unique content that will both entertain and inform.

Obsession with the Obscure

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

We scoured the literary world in search of the odd and the obscure - from funny fiction to science fiction, from knitting manuals to alternative art. Take a look at these cult books and prepare to be changed.

50 Essential Historical Fiction Novels

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Spanning over 200 years of historical fiction, we offer 50 novels that depict everything from political intrigue in ancient Rome to the grim realities of 20th century war. Time travel has never been easier.

50 Essential Graphic Novels

Black Hole by Charles Burns

Graphic novels have been a major part of the literary landscape since the early 1980s. Our list of recommended titles shows why they should not be ignored by anyone who is serious about reading.

The Best Fantasy Series

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

So many great fantasy series, so little time. From Hobbits to magi, knights to gunslingers, from wizarding worlds to complex societies of talking animals, this selection of some of the best fantasy series runs the gamut.

Companion Book Club

Billion-Dollar Brain by Len Deighton

The Companion Book Club reprinted much fiction and non-fiction worth a second look during the 1960s and the early 1970s. Thrillers, mysteries and modern adventure novels were the Club’s staple fodder.

The Folio Society

The Icelandic Sagas edited by Magnus Magnusson

Take books that have already made their mark and then republish them with exceptional typography, illustrations, paper and bindings. That's the magic formula for the Folio Society.

Penguin's Science Fiction

The Pollinators of Eden by John Boyd

We've compiled a selection of the Penguin science fiction series to show you, which range from the early 1960s (when Penguin began deviating from their traditional color-coded designs) all the way through to the 2000s.

Riddled with Gilt

Poems by W.B. Yeats

While gilt can have practical, protective qualities, it really shines at making a book beautiful. We've found 25 of the most gorgeous, golden, gilded books to showcase.

The Scientific Book Club

Drugs and the Mind by Robert S. De Ropp

With a new title released each month, the Scientific Book Club covered a broad range of topics from geology to marine life and fossil fuels to extra sensory perception. Put some science on your shelf.

The Best Horse Fiction

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty is the ultimate in horse fiction. Go beyond that classic and discover the stories of horses and ponies in the wild, on farms and ranches - and the people who love them.

50 Essential Science Fiction Books

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Create a list of 50 must-read science fiction books without infuriating the real experts? Well, we tried. These stories stretch from 1864 to 2011, but will teleport readers thousands of years into the future.

Elegant Editions: Rizzoli’s Art Books

Almanacco Illustrato del Calcio (various issues)

Named for Italian publisher and film producer Angelo Rizzoli, this publishing house has been going since 1929, specializing in exquisite books of art, design and much more.

Penguin’s Coralie Bickford-Smith

A Self-portrait by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Coralie Bickford-Smith's artwork for Penguin has been setting high standards in the publishing world. Her use of color, patterns and eye-catching imagery is second to none.

Doc Savage

The comics & books of Doc Savage

Doc Savage has entertained several generations with his thrilling battles against evil. This rugged hero first appeared in pulp magazines, and has won many fans over the decades.

When Authors Write for Children

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming

Known for their works that appeal to adult readers but have also written children's books, revisit your favorite author through the pages of their children's books.

JK Returns

The Casual Vacancy

J.K. Rowling is back with a novel about English provincial life. Pick up a copy of The Casual Vacancy and discover another 25 recommended novels on provincial strife.

The Best Literary Magazines

The New Yorker

Poetry, prose, essays, critiques and more are showcased, and many world-renowned writers, including Roald Dahl, and Sylvia Plath have found their start in literary magazines.

American Realism

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

The American Realism movement began to catch on after the Civil War. Authors were concerned with everyday situations that almost anyone could relate to.

Miroslav Sasek

Miroslav Sasek's "This Is..." Series

Miroslav Sasek was a Czech author and illustrator, who generally published under “M. Sasek”, most remembered for a series of children’s books called “This Is…”.

Rare Mountaineering Books

Cho Oyu. By Favour of the Gods by Herbert Tichy

Achievement and disaster are closely linked in mountaineering. The triumph of an historic ascent can be painfully affected by the perilous descent.

Collecting Rare Cookbooks

Hawaiian and Pacific Foods: A Cook Book of Culinary Customs and Recipes Adapted for the American Hostess by Katherine Bazore

Humble cookbooks have become highly desirable in the book collecting world. Cookbooks from the 1700s to 1850s can command four-figure prices.

No Shades of Grey

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

No matter what you call it - monochromatic, black & white - these covers are anything but stark. Book covers seen a resurgence in the use of the black & white design aesthetic.

Enid Blyton's Adventure Stories

The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton

Queen Victoria was still on the throne when Blyton was born in 1897 but Blyton’s books have been, and still are being, rewritten for the digital generation of young readers.

The History of Music Genres

Robert Johnson Lost and Found by Barry Lee & Bill McCulloch

The origins of blues, rock, jazz, country and hip hop have all been explored by musical historians. The music that shapes your soul can shape your reading too.

The Tale of Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Owning a Beatrix Potter collection is like having a slice of literary history on your bookshelf. Her stories shaped bedtime reading for many book collectors who now hunt down rare copies of Peter Rabbit.

Ludwig Bemelmans: Madeline and More

Colored, signed drawing of Madeline by Bemelmans

He will be forever remembered for creating Madeline, the little girl in a Paris boarding school who was based on his own daughter. But there is more to Ludwig Bemelmans than just Madeline.

The Art and Words of Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman Various Illustrations (of a Crazy World)

Author and illustrator Maira Kalman takes the mundane and makes it colorful and quirky. Maira's artwork is warm and intriguing, while her children's books have been adored by a generation of kids.

Book Design at its Best - David Pearson

Emma by Jane Austen

We love beautiful books and showcase many eye-catching gems from years gone by. But today's books can also turn heads, especially when a designer called David Pearson is involved.

The New Naturalist Series

Butterflies by E.B. Ford

A fascinating collection of books about Britain's natural history, the Collins' New Naturalist Series is informative but also eye-catching thanks to the gorgeous cover art.

Collectible & Classic - Little Golden Books

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey (1942)

Generations of North American readers were brought up with Little Golden Books. These books have become ingrained into popular culture and today first editions can sell for more than $100.

The Ongoing Adventures of Tintin

Tintin au Tibet by Hergé

Hergé's youthful Belgian reporter is still going strong. Tintin debuted in a newspaper in 1929 and his comic strip adventures have captivated millions of readers around the globe.

Vintage Travel Posters

100 Rare & Important Travel Posters

The early to mid 20th century was a remarkable time for graphic design, and these vintage travel posters are now highly sought-after by collectors, particularly original copies in good condition.

The 50 Best Food Memoirs

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

There is a special skill required to making food sound interesting on the pages of a book and that means you should pick your food memoirs carefully. Here are 50 fabulous food memoirs.

Rare Books & Collecting

Lewis & Clark Books
Collecting Rare Cookbooks
Fore-Edge Paintings
Vintage Travel Posters
Investigating Insects
June's Expensive Sales
Limited Editions Club
Enid Blyton's Legacy
Kate Greenaway
Collectible Almanacs
Tintinology
39 Books for a John Buchan Collection
Father of Fantasy - George MacDonald
Kate Greenaway's Idyllic Illustrations
Little Golden Books
Windermere Series
Classics Illustrated
Dental Books From Yesteryear
Collectible Cartography
Edwardian First Editions
Incunabula
Book Club of California
Charles Dickens' World
Lettered Editions
Beatrix: The Original Potter
Signed, Collectible Comedy Books
The Valuable Nonsensical Dr. Seuss
Fascinating First Editions from the 1950s
Vintage Magazines and Newspapers
In Stitches: Embroidered Book Covers
A Rainbow of Vintage Penguins
Shelf Help: The Best Guides to Book Collecting
Uncorrected Proofs
Cecil Beaton: Master of Photography, Writing & Design
Collecting Civil War Books
Mosaic in Morocco: Inlaid Leather Bindings
Books Signed by Musicians
Fore-Edge Paintings
Beautiful, Collectible Boat Books
Rare JFK Books
Collectible Magic Books
Books Signed by Movie Stars
Arthur Machen's Angels of Mons
Pop-Up and Movable Books
Collectible Exploration Books
Emblems & Shields: Coats of Arms on Books
Collectible Tree Books
The Real Fairy Tales
Tauchnitz Editions
Riddled with Gilt
Britain in Pictures
Miniature Books
Governor General′s Literary Award Collection
Collectible Travelogues
Most Expensive Monthly Sales
Unusual Book-bindings
Association Copies
Remarkable Inscriptions
Collectible Train Books
Collectible Canadian Literature
Collectible Children's Books
Collectible Travelogues
Collecting Wind in the Willows
Collectible German Books
Precious Poetry Books
Collecting Sherlock Holmes
Victorian Yellowbacks
Interview with a Bookbinder
Collecting Travel Guides
Collecting Space Exploration
Collecting Children′s Series
Illustrated Manuscripts
Cosway Bindings
Collecting Self Published Books
Collectible Nautical Books
Andrew Lang′s Fairy Books
Collector Who Gave It All Away
Collecting Irish Literature
In the Garden: Let Your Collection Bloom
Collecting Early Baseball Books
Talking Sci-Fi with Barry Levin
Books About Collecting Rare & Antiquarian Books
Collecting Children's Series

Literary Lists

50 Essential Science Fiction Books
50 Food Memoirs
Finding the Books of the Lost Generation
Literary Halloween Costumes
The Best Novellas
American Realism
Great Depression Books
Forgotten Memoirs
Classics Illustrated
New Naturalist Series
Pioneer Women
History of Music Genres
Literary Tour of London
Miles Franklin Winners
The Strand Book Store
Lesser Known Works
Vintage Camping Books
The Legacy of J.G. Ballard
Minimalist Book Covers
Come Again: Literary Sequels
Worst Kids in Literature
Most Notorious Books
Tricksters in Literature
W. Heath Robinson
Jokes, Hoaxes & Frauds
Around the World in Children's Books
Ludwig Bemelmans
It Narratives
The Art and Words of Maira Kalman
Omnibus Editions
Bobbs-Merrill's Books
Literary Infidelity
Pop Art: Fresh Perspectives
Admiral Anthologies
Arthurian Literature
Amazing Stories Magazine
Whatever Happened to Harry Potter Readers?
Art Books of Phaidon Press
Die-Cuts to Die For
ABC of Books About Typography
Bildungsroman
Georgette Heyer
The Blackest Humor
Epistolary Fiction
Locked Room Mysteries
Gothic Fiction
Playing Cards on Books
The Hottest Reads for Summer
Librarian Literature
Zane Grey: King of the Cowboys
50 Books for an 11-Year-Old
A Tipping Point for Non-Fiction
Bound to be Beautiful
Reading by Numbers
A Beginner's Guide to Steampunk Literature
A Book Collection in One Click
Fanciful World of Tasha Tudor
Picasso on the Page
Collectible ABC Books
Brides Books Revisited
Books Signed by Musicians
Collecting Kennedy

Best Muckraking Books
Books on Safari
Depressing Russian Literature
Bad Romance
A to Z: Shortest Book Titles
Old Fashioned Horror Books
Higher Learning - Teachers & Schools in Literature
Beauty in a Box
Books of Betrayal
Books about Drink
Books about Shattered Childhoods
The Bleakest Books
Size Matters: The Longest Books
Top 10 Ghostwritten Books
Top 10 Trilogies
Timeless Adventure Books
Post Apocalyptic Fiction
Priests in Literature
Prostitutes in Literature
Books about Betrayal
Books about Starbucks
Survival Stories
Bestselling Signed Books of Summer 2009
Books about Prisons
Trench Literature
30 Novels Worth Buying for Cover Alone
Top 20 Top 10 Literary Lists
Books about Students & Teachers
Villainous Animals in Fiction
Devilish Books
Funniest Books According to the British
Top 10 Train Thrillers
20 Indian Novels
Forgotten Military History Books
50 Collectible Books Under $50
Books That Changed the World
Bestselling Sex Manuals
10 Most Expensive Spiritual Books Sold
Chess Books
Out-of-Print Books
Bestselling Books for the Twentieth Century for Every Year

Illustration, Art & Photography

50 Black & White Photography Books
Willy Pogany - Illustrator
Snapping the Sixties: A Decade of Rare Photography
Miroslav Sasek: This is Art
Kate Greenaway's Children
Howard Pyle
Snapping the Sixties: A Decade of Rare Photography
Ralph Steadman: Gonzo Art and Much More
The Eerie Glory of Edward Gorey
Book Design at its Best - David Pearson
Illustrator Arthur Szyk
Art Nouveau Books
Art Deco Books
The Surreal Thing: Salvador Dali
Ansel Adams' Books
Most Collectible Photography Books
Arthur Rackham - Illustrator
Edmund Dulac - Illustrator
Walter Crane - Illustrator
N.C. Wyeth - Illustrator
Norman Rockwell′s Books
When Authors & Artists Unite
Beautiful Taschen
One Red Dot Pop Up Book
Botanical Prints

Anniversaries

Gone with the Wind Turns 75
40th anniversary of the Moon Landing
40th anniversary of Woodstock
50th anniversary of On The Road
Naked Lunch turns 50
100 Years of Scouting
Our Man in Havana at 50
75th Anniversary of Nazi Book Burnings
The Hobbit Turns 70
Books of 1969
To Kill A Mockingbird at 50
Origin of Species - 150 years old

Weird but Wonderful

Kitty Lit: Cats on Classics
The Slime Beast & More: Retro Pulp Monsters
A Catalog of Bookstore Cats
Books Behind Bars
Codex Seraphinianus - World′s Weirdest Book
Weird Book Room
Weird Cookbooks
Une Semaine de Bonté
Gas Stations in Literature
Authors with Tattoos
Things Found in Books
Snakeskin-bound Books
Masquerade: Treasure Hunting Book Reborn
Book Hoaxes
Weird Travel Books
Vegetable Gardens for Presidents
Brown Paper Books

Avid Reading

Lily's Bookshelf: Books That Mean Home
Books on The Madness of Mental Illness
Who Writes the Books of Love?
Here Be Dragons...in Literature
Beth's Best Reads of 2012
Great Gumshoes: A Guide to Fictional Detectives
Unlikely Celebrity Cookbooks
Confessions of a Collector
Freaks, Geeks & Gawkers
The Real Comic Book Guy
Fear Itself
Not Covering Up: Embracing Romance Novel Covers
Books That Go Bump in the Night
Beth's 25 Favorite Reads of 2011
A Gift Guide: When Not to Give a Book
Desert Island Reads
Laugh Out Loud Books
Local Flavors: Regional Cuisine
The Bookshelf of an Avid Reader
Feel-Good Reads
A Day in the Life of a Bookseller
The Greatness of the Graphic Novel
The Best and Worst Films from Books
My Literary Wishlist
Ernest Hemingway's Key West Home
Undercover: Judging People By Their Books
Best Bets for Book Clubs
Romance vs Erotica
Books That Make Us Angry
Literary Towns
Two-Sitting Reads
Books Remaining Unread
Annualism Books
Fat in Fiction
Best Short Stories
Otherworldly Books
Realistic Children's Books
Pride in Literature
Required Worldwide Reading
Reading in Iraq
Warzone Books
Craft Books
Self-Help Books
No Place For a Woman: Female Fiction

Characters in Literature

Tarzan Books
Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit
Doctors in Literature
Harry Potter
Big on Biggles
The Scariest Characters
Brief History of Vampires in Fiction
Red-Heads in Literature
Anne of Green Gables
Dogs in Novels
Women of Pulp
Meet the Real Harry Potter
The Wild World of Harry Potter Books
The Man Who Paid $37,000 for a Harry Potter Book
The Cat in the Hat Turns 50

Ephemera

Vintage Travel Posters
Rare and Unusual Ephemera
Stock Certificates
Letters
Screenplays & Film Scripts
Vintage Posters
Collectible Ephemera
Scrapbooks

Awards

Miles Franklin Award Winners
2011 Man Booker Prize Winner
Hugo and Nebula Winners
Nobel Prize Winner - Mario Vargas Llosa
2010 Man Booker Prize
The White Tiger wins 2008 Booker
Wolf Hall wins 2009 Booker
Herta Muller wins 2009 Nobel
Forgotten Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels

Publishers

A&C Black
The Little Leather Library
Angelo Rizzoli
Companion Book Club
Akashic's Noir Series
Assouline Publishing
Arkham House: Weird Fiction Since 1939
Victor Gollancz
Kelmscott Press
Subterranean Press
Easton Press
Franklin Library
Penguin's First 10 Books
Penguin's 75th anniversary

Years in Review

2012 in Books
2011 in Books
2010 in Books
2009 in Books
2008 in Books
2007 in Books
2006 in Books



Authors in Focus

Blindness & Beyond: José Saramago's Literary Legacy
The Visible Man: The Rare Books of HG Wells
Fannie Hurst
Out of this World: Carl Sagan’s Books
The Persuasive Books of Jane Austen
Winston Churchill: The Author Who Saved Britain
Ngaio Marsh: New Zealand's Mistress of the Macabre
Collectible Isaac Asimov
Evelyn Waugh's Elegant English
The Dark, Dark World of Cornell Woolrich
Catalyst of Change: Ellen Glasgow
Dashiell Hammett's Hardboiled Life
The Wisdom of Mark Twain
Remembering Ray Bradbury
Interviews with Authors
Collectible Authors
Private Life of JD Salinger
Tribute to John Updike
Rise of Neil Gaiman
Best Aussie Authors
Irish Authors - Most Expensive Sales
Authors & Alcohol/Drug Abuse
Father & Son Writing Teams
Barack Obama′s Favorite Books
John Steinbeck - Legend of Literature
F Scott Fitzgerald - Legend of Literature
PG Woodhouse - Legend of Literature
Stephenie Meyer′s Books
Dylan Thomas Remembered
Arthur Conan Doyle: Beyond Sherlock
Magic of Roald Dahl
Ernest Hemingway Interview
Jack Kerouac Interview
William S. Burroughs Interview
P.G. Wodehouse Interview
Amy Stewart′s Wicked Plants
Pen Names
John Dickson Carr
The Queen of Crime Writing: Agatha Christie
Remembering Kurt Vonnegut
Collectible J.R.R Tolkien


Cookbooks

Penguin's Great Food
Local Flavors: Regional Cuisine
Weird Cookbooks
Fiction in the Kitchen
Julia Child's Cookbooks
Hand-me-Down Cookbooks
Most Expensive Cookbook Sales
Recipe for Collecting Cookbooks
Recipes for Success - Recommended Cookbooks
Beyond the Great Wall Cookbook
Sarah Kramer Tells Us How It All Vegan
Classic Cocktail Books
Collectible Cookbooks