Franz Kafka: A Dark and Surreal Tale

By Kristin Wood. Jul 23, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

With a name that has become synonymous with the complicated and the surreal, Franz Kafka had a distinctive voice that set him apart from his literary contemporaries. His knack for creating stories reminiscent of nightmares – both in terror and senselessness – resulted in a legacy that continues to ensnare new readers in each coming generation.


A Retrospective on Suspense Novelist John D. MacDonald

By Claudia Adrien. Jul 22, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery & Crime

Crime and suspense novelist John D. MacDonald published more than 78 books, with more than 75 million copies in print by the time of his death in 1986. Among his varied achievements, his novel, The Executioners, was adapted into the Hollywood film Cape Fear. Novelist Stephen King called MacDonald "the great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller."


Collector Spotlight: Acquiring an Authoritative Stephen King Collection

By Andrea Koczela. Jul 21, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

David A. Williamson began collecting Stephen King novels and memorabilia in the 1980s and has amassed a collection that ranks as one of the largest in the world. In 2009, he bought Betts Books and one of his greatest joys is helping other King collectors find that “special” collectible for their own collections. He lives in Fairfield, CT, is married and has three children. He has generously shared his collecting experience and expertise with Books Tell You Why in the following interview. 


John Gardner and the Art of Fiction

By Andrea Koczela. Jul 20, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature

John Champlin Gardner (not to be confused with the James Bond author John Edmund Gardner) was a successful American writer and academic. Born July 21, 1933, he is best known for Grendel, his retelling of Beowulf, and On Moral Fiction, his controversial volume of literary criticism.


Ten Tidbits About Ernest Hemingway

By Kristin Masters. Jul 19, 2014. 9:05 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

Born on July 21, 1899, Ernest Hemingway distinguished himself as a journalist and fiction writer. A winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize, he's considered a legendary author of the twentieth century. Also known as "Papa," Hemingway earned a reputation as a "man's man." He loved hunting, drinking, and women. But there's much more to Hemingway than you might think! 


The Controversy Behind Neil Armstrong's Moon Landing Speech

By Claudia Adrien. Jul 18, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Space Travel

On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew left Kennedy Space Center and entered the Moon's orbit. On July 19, after spending a full day in lunar orbit, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. boarded the lunar module. It was not an easy decent to the surface of the Moon, but when they landed, they made history.


5 Great Exploration Stories: From Everest to the Moon

By Anne Cullison. Jul 17, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Space Travel, Mountaineering Books, Adventure

What makes a great exploration story? Is it bold? Is it real? Or is it just something that makes you experience your very own adrenaline rush?


Ten Things You Didn't Know About Cormac McCarthy

By Claudia Adrien. Jul 16, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

Cormac McCarthy has been described as the best unknown novelist in America. Although lauded in literary circles as a "writer's writer" and the William Faulkner or James Joyce of this era, McCarthy became better known later in his career with his Pulitzer-Prize winning work All the Pretty Horses. Further notoriety came when his book No Country for Old Men was adapted for film by the Coen brothers. The movie won four Academy Awards.


Ephemera and Your Rare Book Collection

By Kristin Masters. Jul 15, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book Conservation

If you'’ve chosen a theme or focus for your rare book collection, eventually you'’ll want to move beyond books and collect related items as well. These may include magazines, posters, or other paper objects. Known as ephemera, such items can add depth, interest, and value to a personal collection.      

Remembering Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer

By Andrea Koczela. Jul 14, 2014. 1:01 PM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Laureate and anti-apartheid activist, died peacefully in her home Sunday evening with her children at her side.


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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