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Seven Perfect Summer Reads by Nelson DeMille

By Andrea Diamond. Aug 23, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

As summer slowly comes to an end, lazy afternoons feel stickier than usual. The air is still, the trees are quiet, and humidity hangs over the front porch like a blanket. On days like these, I find a box fan and a suspenseful novel help pick up the pace. For a quick and captivating read, consider one (or many!) of these seven Nelson DeMille novels.

     
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The Brontë Society's Bicentennial Brawl

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 20, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Literary societies have been around for hundreds of years. Cornell's Browning Society dates back to 1877. The society, dedicated to the study and promotion of Robert Browning's poetry, led to more widespread popularity of the poet to the point that he acknowledged the society's critical role in his career. Similar societies sprang up, inspired by the Browning group, and today many groups exist for a variety of writers. Some groups focus mostly as social clubs in which hobbyists gather with other like-minded fans to discuss the objects of their literary affection, while others are more scholarly, focusing on discussion, research, and in some cases publication and preservation of texts and estates. The Brontë Society is more like the latter.

     
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VLOG: The Art of Fine Bookbinding

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 19, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book Making

Few simple things in life are as satisfying as opening the cover and flipping through the pages of a brand new book. This is perhaps exponentially more true for those who work in the art of bookbinding by hand. Indeed, bookbinding is something to behold. Binders must be meticulous with every bit of stacking, folding, glueing, and stitching; and there is also the design aspect of the binding to consider. For those who are unfamiliar with bookbinding, we've compiled a few introductory videos to give you a taste of the beautiful work being done by fine binders.

     
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Specialist Announces Earliest Dust Jacket Dates from 1819

By Andrea Koczela. Aug 18, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book News, Dust Jackets

Even among bibliophiles, the subject of early dust jackets is an often unexplored area of knowledge. Yet early dust jackets have an important place in book history: they reflect historical attitudes towards bookbinding, publishing, and advertising. The mystery and challenge of the dust jacket is that as they were initially intended to be disposable, few early examples remain today. In fact, no one knows with any certainty when dust jackets were first produced by publishers. Early dust jacket specialist, Mark Godburn, suggests that less than one percent of the total number issued now survive and writes that there is no archival record of dust jacket use before 1870. It's not surprising, then, that title holder of "earliest dust jacket" has changed many times according to new discoveries.

     
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Eight Fascinating Facts about V.S. Naipaul

By Brian Hoey. Aug 17, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

Born in Trinidad in 1932, V.S. Naipaul earned a Nobel Prize in Literature “for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." Naipaul struggled in the fledgling years of his writerly life to find a distinct voice, first in Trinidad and later during his tumultuous years at Oxford. He would show off that vaunted scrutiny in his earlier comic novels before taking the same blend of high style and high insight to a career’s worth of more tragic novels and travel writing. For the sheer power with which colonial histories are unearthed in his writing, Naipaul remains one of the most lauded writers alive. Here are some interesting facts about him.  

     
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Why We Can Stop Reading Charles Bukowski

By Matt Reimann. Aug 16, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, American Literature

In certain cases, the persona of the writer outsizes the body of writing itself. There are few examples of this clearer than the one set by the poet and novelist Charles Bukowski. He committed to his pages the environment he knew bestthat of lowlifes, the forgotten, and the destitute. This sort of lifewith all its modest adventures to be found in saloons, motels, booze, and sexhas captivated the adolescent mind for years. And it should not surprise us that these readers are the chief reason Bukowski is kept alive at all.

     
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William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury in Color

By Audrey Golden. Aug 13, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Literature

Each year, The Folio Society publishes a number of limited editions. Each of the books, according to The Folio Society, are “strictly limited, bound to order and numbered by hand”, and they are “outstanding works of literary or historical significance.” Back in 2012, a Folio Society limited edition of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (1929) became available to collectors. What was so unique about this limited edition was that it reproduced the colored print pattern—in all 14 colors imagined by Faulkner—to guide the reader through the novel. Yet in the 1920s, such printing practices were nearly unheard of. In The Folio Society’s limited edition, however, readers finally could gain access to Faulkner’s original vision for The Sound and the Fury. And due to the popularity of the limited edition, The Folio Society just this year released an “exclusive colourised text version of an American literary masterpiece . . . [p]ublished the way William Faulkner wanted it to be published.”

     
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Walter Dean Myers' Impact on Young Adult Literature

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 12, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Newbery Award

Walter Dean Myers wrote over one hundred books for children and young adult readers. The author dedicated his life to writing books that accurately portrayed life in an urban environment, creating realistic portrayals of African American youths in stories that appeal to children of all races and backgrounds.

     
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Science Fiction Book by A.I. Written in Japan

By Audrey Golden. Aug 11, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Science Fiction, Literary travel

How unique are individual novelists? Are works of fiction the products of distinct, creative minds, or could an algorithm actually produce some of the texts we’ve all come to know and love? According to an article* in Slate, a novel co-written in Japan by A.I. (or, artificial intelligence) recently competed for a Japanese literary prize. Should we be excited or concerned about the latest development? Or, should we be more critical of attempts to use technology for cultural production?

     
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Postwar Germany in the Works of W.G. Sebald

By Audrey Golden. Aug 10, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Literary travel

Whose role is it to write postwar German fiction? Since World War II ended, numerous writers of great acclaim have come out of West Germany and the GDR, and later from reunified Germany. For instance, you might be familiar with the works of the West German novelists Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass, or with the GDR literature of Christa Wolf. While many writers of the immediate postwar period returned to the rise of Nazi Germany and its aftermath in their works, W.G. Sebald is a bit of an interesting case.

     
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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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