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By Nina Stibbe

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20670378-love-nina
"Breezy, subtle, hilarious, impolite and aching with sweetness: LOVE, NINA should be the main fascinating publication I've ever read." --Maria Semple, writer of Where'd You move, Bernadette In 1982, 20-year-old Nina Stibbe moved to London to paintings as a nanny to 2 opinionated and vigorous younger boys. In common letters domestic to her sister, Nina defined her trials and triumphs: there's a cat not anyone likes, suppertime visits from a well-known neighborhood playwright, a mysteriously unpaid milk invoice, and repeated misadventures parking the relations automobile. Dinner desk discussions disguise the gamut, from the greats of English literature, to swearing in German, to sexually transmitted ailments. There's no finish to what Nina can examine from those boys (rude phrases) and their broad-minded mom (the who's who of literary London). an enthralling, hilarious, sweetly inspiring get together of undesirable nutrients and sturdy corporation, "Love, Nina" makes a tender woman's adventures in a brand new global come alive. (less)

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But for what they tell us about the host society in which, briefly, they came good, bestsellers are among the most informative literary-historical evidence available to us. The mass-market paperback originated around the same period, in the 1930s, in the UK and the US, but in markedly different national forms. In the UK, the mass-market paperback pioneer was Allen Lane, with his Penguin Books, launched in 1935. After a quickly aborted experiment with Woolworth’s 3d and 6d department stores, Lane’s stylish reprints established themselves in conventional bookshop outlets.

The first, since the books are spit-new, tends to be the slipperier. Few titles survive in either list more than a few months; most dip in (briefly) and out (forever). Demographic factors clearly come into play. Syllabus-makers in the educational system tend to occupy their career places for 40 years – exercising a stabilizing effect over that period. New reading publics, with subtly different tastes, will reach adult literacy levels every 15 years or so. Death thins out the cohort at the other end.

But the list itself is a peculiar kind of tabulation. It is not, for example, the same as the sales figures recorded in a publisher’s ledger. Nor is it the same as digitized compilations like Bookwatch, which have been made possible by ISBN identification and point of sale monitoring – modern technological innovations that can chart the patterns, tides, and surges of book purchase 33 Fields and lists Bestsellers offer the equivalent of a new canon every year. If one wanted to do a Tristram Shandy, it would, quantitatively, require three years’ hard work to study one year’s output conscientiously – even if one could work full-time at it.

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