William Golding: From the Darkness of War to Man's Latent Evil

By Ellie Koczela. Sep 17, 2014. 10:44 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

Almost everyone who graduated from an American high school in the last few decades knows William Golding as the author of Lord of the Flies. However, his body of work - for which he was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Literature - is much more extensive. He was a poet and a playwright, as well as the author of essays, short stories, and fifteen novels.


Resources for Identifying First Editions

By Kristin Masters. Sep 16, 2014. 11:39 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, First Edition Identification

Even if you're a novice collector of rare books, you've undoubtedly heard about the importance of identifying first editions. Generally first editions were printed in smaller numbers, making them more scarce. Furthermore, there's a certain allure to having the "very first" of something. Because first edition identification is critical to building a rare book collection, it's important to invest in at least a few useful resources. 


Ken Kesey, Writer of the Counterculture and Beat Generation

By Lauren Corba. Sep 15, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature

American writer and counterculture leader, Kenneth Elton Kesey, was born on September 17, 1935 in La Junta, Colorado. His parents were dairy farmers and early in his life they moved to Springfield, Oregon. Kesey became a champion wrestler in college and nearly qualified for the Olympics until an injury brought his wrestling career to a premature end. Instead, Kesey turned to his other passion: writing.


James Alan McPherson, First African American to win a Pulitzer Prize

By Claudia Adrien. Sep 14, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

In 1978, author James Alan McPherson became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize. He won the award for his work Elbow Room, a compilation of short stories in which McPherson explored the haunting realities of race relations between blacks and whites.


A Brief History of the Mystery Novel

By Kristin Masters. Sep 13, 2014. 9:01 AM.

Topics: Literature, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Take a guess: Who is the world's most translated author? One might assume that it's a literary titan, perhaps Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. But according to Index Translationium, UNESCO's database of book translations, the honor goes to none other than Agatha Christie, whose books have been translated into 103 languages.


Make Way for Ducklings... and Robert McCloskey

Caldecott Award-winning illustrator, John Robert McCloskey, was born September 15, 1914 in Hamilton, Ohio.  At an early age he exhibited a love for music - learning the piano, drums, harmonica, and oboe. Later, he developed a unique interest in mechanics and electrical devises. However, all else was forgotten when he began to draw pictures for his school paper.


Roald Dahl: Beloved Children's Author and Spy

By Katie Behrens. Sep 11, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Children's Books, James Bond

Roald Dahl is known throughout the world as a beloved author of children’s books. What is less well known is that he also spent several years as a British spy during World War II. 

When England declared war on Germany in 1939, Dahl enlisted in the Royal Air Force (RAF). On one of his first missions, he crash landed his plane in enemy territory and was rescued by a British patrol. Dahl soldiered on for a few more months, but when it became clear that his injuries were interfering with his ability to fly, he was sent back to England to recover.


Who is Michael Ondaatje, Author of the English Patient?

By Anne Cullison. Sep 10, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

Born on September 12, 1943, Phillip Michael Ondaatje is best known for his novel, The English Patient. Winner of the 1992 Man Booker Prize and multiple Academy Awards, the book established Ondaatje as one of Canada’s most important contemporary writers and one of the country’s biggest cultural exports.


Should O Henry Get a Presidential Pardon?

By Kristin Masters. Sep 9, 2014. 10:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, History

Plenty of famous authors have written masterpieces from behind bars: Miguel de Cervantes began Don Quixote while doing time for tax irregularities in Algiers, while Fyodor Dostoyevsky narrowly missed his date with a firing squad, allowing him to write Notes from the Underground.


The Short, Controversial Life of D. H. Lawrence

By Anne Cullison. Sep 8, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

D. H. Lawrence, born September 11, 1885, is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He was a novelist, poet, and painter. Although he published a dozen novels and many short story collections, no single work brought him more fame or infamy than his book Lady Chatterley’s Lover.


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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