Book Bytes

Marylaine Block

Books Too Good To Put Down
[annotated reading lists]

Columns I've Written about Books

How To Find Out-of-Print Books

Book Dealers

Book Recommendations

Visit My Other Sites

Ex Libris: a Weekly E-Zine for Librarians and Other Information Junkies

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My Word's Worth

my column on books, words, libraries, American culture, and whatever happens to interest me.

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Observing Us

The column about the oddities of American life that I wrote for Fox News Online

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My personal page

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My resume

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A complete list of my published writings

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Drop me a Line

Want to comment or ask questions? Contact me at: marylaine at

Who I Am and Why I Run This Page

Volumes have secrets. Take them on holidays.
[The Church]

I'm a book person. I've spent a lot of my life reading and thinking about books. As a mom, I spent years reading aloud to my kid, teaching him to love words and books. As someone who's always trying to make sense of the world, I use books to find out stuff and to think about and organize what I know. I became a librarian because I loved to put people together with the perfect books for them. As a librarian, I got to choose books for our collection (what fun to spend someone else's money on books!), and show people the books that will help them.

As a writer, I hope someday my columns will be collected in a book or two. I love the immediacy of writing columns on the net, because so many people click on the mailto button and tell me how they responded to what I wrote. But for me, unless ink and dead trees are involved, it still doesn't quite seem like REAL writing.

I always told my son that while I didn't make a whole lot of money, I made enough to keep us in the three basics of life--food, shelter, and books. I have joked from time to time that I tithe to my favorite bookstore, but, as my son has grown up and the phenomenon of "disposable income" has entered my life, I think this isn't actually a joke anymore.

As a regular reviewer for Library Journal since 1980, I have to put quick little labels on books--this is terrific, this is drecchh, buy this, don't buy this, all in 125 words or less, which is nowhere near enough space to tell people about really wonderful books. So here are some columns I've written about books I know and love, books that have entertained me, delighted me, scared me, made me think, and shown me how, in an ideal world people, treat each other. I have also put in some annotated reading lists I created originally for a class of reluctant readers, on books too good to put down, as well as links to really good book sites on the web.

Since so many people wrote to ask me how they could get their hands on some of the books I recommended which have gone out of print, I added a page of strategies for finding the books that died too young. Welcome to my world, fellow book-lovers.

Columns I've Written about Books

Last updated March 3, 2014