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Toaster-Criminal: the Most Uncommon Murder Weapons in Literature

21 Oct 2021

Every crime story enthusiast knows: the key to solving a murder is the murder weapon. Brave detectives are the first to rush out to find it. Carving knives, hunting rifles, all sorts of ropes and arsenic are familiar and common ways of killing a literary hero. But the authors' imagination is limitless and unpredictable! So, watch your heads and your backs: 11 of the most unconventional instruments of crime await you.

Author's Point of View

Trains in Literature: Time, Blood and Detective Love

28 Sep 2021

Do you like trains? Rhythmic sound of the wheels, rapidly changing landscapes, occasional travelling companions and aluminium cup holders... Writers are crazy about this kind of road romance. Trains are responsible for a fair share of all criminal incidents in detective stories and fateful encounters in romance novels. What makes this type of transport so appealing and what is it all about? Let's look into it.

Author's Point of View

Sustained Silent Reading: How to Stop Being Afraid and Teach Children to Love Literature

10 Sep 2021

To you, an accomplished book lover, it may seem that the new generation is lost to culture. They don't read anything other than social media posts. This is terrible – mainly because it is not true. However, it is true that getting children to read is becoming harder and harder. What can be done about it? First, take your child to the Children's Room classes in the National Library. Second, recall experiences from the past. Take, for example, an interesting practice from the US school curriculum, which in the distant 1960s distracted children from televisions and put them back on the proper path of book lovers.

Author's Point of View

Tove Jansson: Love, War and the Moomins

7 Sep 2021

“It must have been late in the afternoon one day at the end of August...” – this is the beginning of one of the iconic series of books, on which three generations of children have grown up around the world. Little white Moomintroll, his mom and dad, Sniff, Snufkin and other inhabitants of the Moominvalley have become the hallmark of Finland, and their creator Tove Jansson has become a real sorceress. But do you know how the Moomins actually came to be? Today we will dive into the fairy tale, and into the story of real perseverance, inspiration and a sincere desire to create.

Author's Point of View

"No, Thanks": 12 Rejection Letters to Famous Writers

3 Sep 2021

Not everything works out right away. Yes, even for the most talented, smart, famous and assertive people. It didn't work right on the first try even for your favourite writer. Before his or her book was on the bookshelves (and in your heart), surely it went a long way of editing, agreeing, and... rejections. Today we will take a look at a few letters from publishers that almost robbed us of great writings.

Author's Point of View

7 Reasons to Read "Kultura" Newspaper Archive

27 Aug 2021

Think about this: when was the last time you read a newspaper? Quite long ago, right? I suppose you don't even remember how to hold large-format editions in your hands. Now we learn the news mainly on the Internet, while newspapers and magazines are rather rare and you don’t read them regularly. Thirty years ago, however, things were completely different. As we approach the anniversary of "Kultura", we invite you to take a look at its early issues (and visit our Periodicals Reading Room, of course). It would be a great chance to experience the cultural life of the 1990s and the spirit of a true Belarusian renaissance.

Author's Point of View

Almonds, Vanilla, Aging: What Books Smell Like and Why We Like it so Much

24 Aug 2021

Be honest: you love the smell of books, too. We all have at least once buried our faces in a newly bought book, which smells of printing ink and a new story, or in an old, shabby book, which smells of dust and pleasant memories. The smell of paper books is so fascinating that perfumers are desperately trying to replicate it. Why do we like it so much? What do books really smell like? Take a deep breath: now we'll get to the bottom of this.

Author's Point of View

Brest, Ovid and Printing Presses: How to Buy a Book, if you Live in the 16th Century.

18 Aug 2021

What do you think was the turning point in the entire history of publishing and reading as such? The invention of the printing press is the first thing that comes to mind. But what did actually change in book life with the emergence of printing houses – not now, but then? Has it changed at all? Let's take a brief tour of the past and see what it was like to be a book lover…. Let's say, in Brest of the 1580s. What they read, what the bindings looked like, and how much book cost – nothing will be left out.

Author's Point of View

8 Mark Twain Quotes he... Never Said

12 Aug 2021

Mark Twain is one of the funniest, wittiest, most intelligent and misquoted writers in history. Probably few people were misinterpreted as cruelly as Twain. Omissions, typos, misappropriation... And yet we have relied so much on his sayings! What is there to trust now? Now let's figure out which of his quotes was real, and which was a misunderstanding.

Author's Point of View

Buzz and Radiance: Why Antiquity was Thrilled about Cicadas and What it all Means

4 Aug 2021

Hot summer nights bring coolness, but not silence: as soon as you open the window, you can immediately hear absolutely everything, from someone's verbal battles to the hum of flying beetles. We fall asleep to the grasshoppers singing or stay awake, as luck would have it. In hotter countries, it is quite a disaster: there are cicadas, noisy, shrill, buzzing from dusk till dawn. But why were the ancient Greeks so thrilled about them that they even wrote poems in honour of cicadas? Let's figure it out: this is more interesting than it seems at first glance.

Author's Point of View

My Reading List: Why Sharing It and What's the Big Deal

28 Jul 2021

In the era of the Internet, our entire life is in plain sight. Travel photos, social media emotional outpourings, notes on hobbies and favourite films as well as books are quickly becoming public. What makes us keep a reading diary? The itch to show off, the desire for self-assertion, or just the thirst for self-expression? Let's sort it out – in lists, books and ourselves.

Author's Point of View

Garden Magic: How Cicely Mary Barker and the Flower Fairies Changed Book Illustration

23 Jul 2021

Have you ever noticed how good illustrations are in children's books? How light, gentle, pretty to look at, – sheer pleasure... We do not take them seriously at all, though. After all, illustrations are for children, which means there are lots of simplifications, conventions and no depth, right? Nope. Book illustration can be serious, accurate, and even quite scientific without losing its magic. Today we will talk about Cicely Mary Barker, the real queen of the flower fairies.

Author's Point of View

Flower Paradise: 9 Best Literary Gardens

19 Jul 2021

Summer is in full swing, and everything around is bright, blooming, and fresh. But what city lacks is real countryside! If you've already walked around the park around the National Library and still want to feel closer to the earth, here are some books that can take you to flowering gardens – wherever you may be.

Author's Point of View

What did Ciotka Hide from Us: Exclusively for the Writer's Anniversary

16 Jul 2021

July 15 marks the 145th anniversary of the birth of Alaiza Pashkievich (Ciotka), a famous Belarusian writer, author of poetry, prose and publicistic writing, the founder of children's didactic literature in Belarus, as well as a public figure who made a significant contribution to the development and popularization of the Belarusian culture, language, and understanding national identity. Many of her words still touch the heart and remain relevant today, and her works are immortal classics.

Author's Point of View

How Nosferatu Stole Everything from Dracula and Became a Perfect Example of Plagiarism

15 Jul 2021

Haven't you ever thought that the classic horror film "Nosferatu" looks too much like a classic novel about Dracula? Of course, you have. They are literally twin brothers! Stories of mysterious earls in dark castles and clerks who accidentally reveal their sinister secret. It seems obvious. Is "Nosferatu" an adaptation of Bram Stoker? It's not all as easy as it sounds. Today, we will figure out how Dracula changed his name and face and what came of it in general.

Author's Point of View

Gatsby and Steak: Why You Should Read Epigraphs

9 Jul 2021

The first lines in a book are always very important. They set the tone, catch the reader's attention, lead him or her by the hand into a wonderful world of literature. But few people remember that just before the beginning of the story, there is a small epigraph huddled in the corner of the page, waiting for you to finally pay attention. And you are scrolling, scrolling... That's a pity. Today we will figure out what's good about epigraphs and why you'd better not ignore them.

Author's Point of View

Summer List: 19 Books for the Right Mood

6 Jul 2021

You must have noticed: it's already been a month of summer outside. The sun, unbearable heat and a sudden passion for cherries and watermelons are included. In such weather, the heart craves for a walk, while the body begs to stay at home, in coolness and shade. So what will you do? The answer is read. The National Library has compiled for you a large selection of the most real summer reading material for every taste – from romance to popsci You will love it!

Author's Point of View

Medieval Poetry You'll Love

30 Jun 2021

The Middle Ages are fascinating. Magnificent knightly tournaments, noble ladies, legends about King Arthur, and plague, after all! The entourage is more than exciting, but we are familiar with it mainly through prose works. What about poetry? Real medieval poetry. Put on your armor, gallant poetry lovers: today we will recall seven stunning European poets and heroic epics that you will fall in love with at first sight.

Author's Point of View

For sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn: the Shortest Story Hemingway Never Wrote

28 Jun 2021

Each of us has at least once heard the story of how Ernest Hemingway wrote the shortest and yet the most touching story, consisting of only six words: "For sale, baby shoes, never worn." The audience is crying, news reporters are scribbling articles about this extraordinary work. But what if we told you that Hemingway... never wrote this story? Let's check where this literary legend is coming from.

Author's Point of View

Medieval Miniature, Diabolic Hares and Marginalia: What it is and Where to Read About it

21 Jun 2021

You probably love illustrations. Who doesn't? Pictures have always been absorbed much easier and faster than multi-page texts, and if they are also pleasant to the eye, then looking at them is a double pleasure. People in the Middle Ages thought so too, and therefore generously gave their books coloured miniatures. You have seen at least one of those – mad hares with spears, serene people in strange poses, knights fighting with snails... Let's bring to our lives some suffering Middle Ages and understand why the book miniature is so crazy.

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Events

Rebel, Provoker, Genius

20 Oct 2021

A book and illustration exhibition "Rebel, Provoker, Genius" dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the birth of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) is on show in the Fine Arts Reading Room (room 306) from October 20 to November 30.

The First Belarusian

20 Oct 2021

An exhibition "The First Belarusian" dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Belarusian State University is on show on the third floor of the circular corridor from October 20.

Peace, Dignity and Equality on a Healthy Planet

19 Oct 2021

A thematic exhibition "Peace, Dignity and Equality on a Healthy Planet" dedicated to United Nations Day is on show in the Official Documents Service Department (room 207) from October 14 to November 30.