Case Studies in Collecting: Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven

By Kristin Masters. Oct 22, 2014. 9:26 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, American Literature, Mark Twain

"I'd rather travel with that old portly, hearty, silly, boisterous, good-natured sailor...than with any other man I've ever come across." 
- Mark Twain, of Captain Edgar "Ned" Wakeman

 

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, met Captain Edgar "Ned" Wakeman in 1866 aboard the Americas, after already having heard much about him. Twain found Wakeman a most amicable traveling companion, and the celebrated sea captain would live on in a number of Twain's books, most notably Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven

     
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Five Books That Brought Michael Crichton Fame and Fortune

By Claudia Adrien. Oct 21, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Science Fiction

Michael Crichton was one of America's most popular science fiction writers, known not only for his books but also for many successful film adaptations. His novels have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide and the movies have grossed billions in revenue. Beyond working as a novelist, Crichton was also a physician, director, and screenwriter. Here we highlight five of Crichton's bestselling novels.

     
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Doris Lessing and the Power of Life-Long Learning

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 20, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

Nobel laureate, Doris Lessing, is one of the great literary minds of the twenty-first century. Lessing's genius is undeniable: her writing merges staggering quantity with incredible quality. Perhaps what makes Doris Lessing such an interesting study, though, is the unique way in which she garnered the insights, lessons, and beliefs which seep into her writing.

     
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Out at First: The History of the World Series Novel

By Brian Hoey. Oct 19, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Literature

“(It) belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life.” - Walt Whitman on baseball

With this year’s World Series rapidly approaching, it is not difficult to see what Whitman means.  Even after falling behind football in popularity, baseball dominates America’s October conversations.  And, if we take a look at recent literary releases like Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding (2011), Michael Chabon’s Summerland (2002), and David James Duncan’s The Brothers K (1992), it is clear that baseball dominates not just our national attention, but our national imagination.

     
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John le Carré: From Spy to Spy Novelist

By Lauren Corba. Oct 18, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Bestselling spy novelist, David John Moore Cornwell—John le Carré—was born October 19, 1931, in Poole, England. He had a rough childhood characterized by betrayals and dishonesty. His mother abandoned the family when he was five and the family was frequently uprooted due to his father's penchant for fraud. As a child, his father actively discouraged reading. "Anyone caught reading a book," le Carré said, "was not being loyal."

     
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Philip Pullman, Impassioned Storyteller for All Ages

By Matt Reimann. Oct 17, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature

Author Philip Pullman is a master of modern children's literature. His trilogy, His Dark Materials, is one of the most beloved fantasy series of the last twenty five years, although Pullman himself considers the books "stark realism" not fantasy. Writing for children, Pullman believes, enables him to engage his readers in ways he would otherwise be prohibited - he revels in intricate plots and characters. He has won the Carnegie Medal (1995), Guardian Prize (1996), and Astrid Lindgren Award (2005). 

     
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How Terry McMillan Got Her Groove Back

By Lauren Corba. Oct 16, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

Terry McMillan, author of bestselling novels Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, was born October 18, 1951 in Port Huron, Michigan. She was the oldest of her four siblings and after her parents separated, she was left  to care for her brother and sisters. Although forced to grow up at an early age, she found solace in her personal retreat: the Port Huron library. There, she fell in love with reading—relishing the works of classic writers including Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. As much as she enjoyed their writing, she was discouraged that great works of literature seemed produced only by white men. Then, she discovered James Baldwin’s Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953).

     
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The Fickle Fortunes of Oscar Wilde

By Katie Behrens. Oct 15, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Oscar Wilde is often remembered for his bright wit and lavish lifestyle as well as his works The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Master of the epigram, he coined phrases such as "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" and "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much." He lived much of his life as an evangelist for the Aesthetic movement in art, believing that life should be beautiful. What life delivered him, however, was not so idyllic.

     
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The Princess Bride Back in the News

By Andrea Koczela. Oct 14, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fantasy, Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

Cult classic, The Princess Bride, is back in the news. Today—over forty years after the book was published and 27 years after the movie was released—star Cary Elwes has released his first-hand account of the making of the film. Titled, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Elwes shares behind-the-scenes anecdotes and photographs. When asked if it was as much fun to make the film as it looked, Elwes responded, “It was more fun than it looked.”

     
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The Impressive Levity and Longevity of P. G. Wodehouse

By Matt Reimann. Oct 13, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

When it comes to comedic writing, P.G. Wodehouse was one of the greats. His body of work extends from novels and short stories to Broadway musicals. Yet, his legacy chiefly relies on two series of books: “The Blandings Castle Saga” and stories about valet extraordinaire, Jeeves. Both worlds were created by Wodehouse in the 1910s, but he added to the stories for sixty years, until he passed away in 1975. 

     
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About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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