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Anaïs Nin's Struggle for Success

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 21, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Anaïs Nin, born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell in 1903, was the daughter of Cuban expats living in France. Though her early life was spent in Spain and France, her family moved to the United States when she was young. All of Nin's work was written and published in English. As a diarist, novelist, short story writer, and critic, Nin was embraced by the feminist movement in the 1960s, bringing a renewed interest to the craft she had honed her entire life. But before this recognition, Nin struggled to achieve any kind of success, self-publishing four out of the nine books she published in her lifetime. Despite a lack of enthusiasm for her work throughout the majority of her life and a scandal that erupted after her death that caused a temporary cessation in the publication of her work, she is today regarded as a feminist icon and pioneer in the melding of fiction and autobiography. She is likewise celebrated for her bold depictions of sex, abortion, incest, and other topics that were at the time taboo.

     
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James Joyce's Dublin

By Audrey Golden. Feb 20, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Literary travel

If you’re traveling to Dublin anytime soon and are a James Joyce fan, you might want to set aside at least a couple of days for visiting the dozens of locations connected to some of Joyce’s most famous works. Most notably, visitors to Dublin can trace the path through the city that Leopold Bloom takes on June 16, 1904. In addition, visitors can walk by the house—which was listed for sale the last time we were in Dublin, if you’re in the market—that served as the setting for “The Dead,” Joyce’s last story in his famous collection Dubliners (1914). Are you interested in hearing more? Let us tell you a little bit about James Joyce’s Dublin.

     
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In Their Own Words: Books to Be Inspired by on President's Day

By Matt Reimann. Feb 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

The British have had ripe occasion recently to appreciate a leader whose oratory and philosophy were integral to his ability to improve the world. With movies like Dunkirk and Darkest Hour and TV shows like The Crown, memories of Winston Churchill, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, sting all the more sharply as they are juxtaposed against what many view as the failures of some of our current leaders to live up to truly noble aspirations. It's always good to remember our presidents and statesmen who led with a certain moral obligation, integrity of character, humanistic concern, and displayed a talent for language.

     
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How Ian Fleming Began Writing His First James Bond Novel

By Brian Hoey. Feb 16, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, James Bond

Perhaps Ian Fleming is being self-deprecating when he calls Casino Royale (1953), the first of more than a dozen Bond novels and stories he would write in his lifetime, his “dreadful oafish opus.” Or, perhaps his alliterative turn of phrase is a sincere appraisal of a work that sprung from surprisingly humble origins. After all, at the time of the book’s writing, Fleming was a newspaperman but hardly a writer in the more elevated sense. Rather than serving as a reflection of any sincere desire to become a beloved author, it seems that Fleming’s inaugural Bond installment was written primarily as a cure for pre-wedding jitters.

     
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Collecting Yoko Ono’s Artist Books

By Audrey Golden. Feb 15, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Books collecting, Art

Collecting artist monographs and exhibition catalogues can be an especially exciting endeavor. In addition, many artists’ books are, themselves, pieces of art to be collected. For example, many artists created hand bound, limited editions that can be added to any discerning collector’s shelves (and, in most cases, can and should be displayed). Yoko Ono has an interesting personal history, as well as a fascinating role in the contemporary and conceptual art worlds. Prior to meeting John Lennon, Ono was involved in performance and conceptual art movements in New York City. Most notably, she participated in “happenings” involving many performers and musicians within the Fluxus movement—a group of conceptual artists—in the 1960s. She also made and wrote books, and we’d like to tell you more about them so you can add them to your collection.

     
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Valentine's Day for Cynics: The 10 Worst Couples in Literature

By Andrea Diamond. Feb 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Children's Books

For many people, Valentine's Day is a holiday filled with roses, romance, and affection. Giant teddy bears show up on people’s doorsteps, flower delivery services are swamped, and getting a reservation for two at a nice restaurant is nearly impossible. However, for us singletons and cynics, Valentine’s Day often causes more of a dull nausea in our stomachs than the sensation of little butterflies fluttering about. So if you, like me, take a Grinch-like approach to this fluffy pink holiday, I hope you find some solace reading about 10 of the worst couples in literature.

     
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The 2018 Caldecott and Newbery Award Winners Are...

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 12, 2018. 12:45 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Book Collecting, Newbery Award

Every year, we anxiously await the selection of the Caldecott and Newbery Award-winning books. These titles are the best of the best, and every year, we can't wait to see if they're in our collection already or if we need to run out and grab a copy. The American Library Association announced the 2018 winners this morning. And the awards go to...

     
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Graphic Novels About Irish Independence

By Audrey Golden. Feb 8, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Literature, Literary travel

If you’re interested in learning more about Irish independence and also love graphic novels, we have some exciting book recommendations for you. Gerry Hunt, an Irish artist, writer, and cartoonist who founded Dublin Comics, created a series of graphic novels depicting the Easter Rising of 1916 and the subsequent fight for independence from Britain. Have we piqued your interest? Let us tell you more.

     
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Ten of the Best Quotes from Charles Dickens

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 7, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Movie Tie-Ins, Christmas Books

Charles Dickens is widely considered to be the most important writer of the Victorian age. Dickens' success came, despite the odds being stacked against him. He had to work in a factory from a young age to support his family; his father was in debtors' prison. Dickens was eventually able to spend two years in school after which he worked at a law office. An interest in theater eventually led to a job as a freelance reporter. He published the majority of his novels as weekly or monthly serials, beginning with The Pickwick Papers in 1836. He was an immediate success, reaching an unprecedented level of popularity at the time.

     
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Don’t Know Poet Rubén Darío? Here’s Why You Should

By Brian Hoey. Feb 6, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry

Jorge Luis Borges said that all writers create their own predecessors. Bold, new writing doesn’t simply reveal its own concerns, it reveals an entire literary history leading up to its creation, and sometimes that history involves works that might not otherwise be widely read. In American literature, Ernest Hemingway held up Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) as a kind of ur-novel to which all other American fiction can be traced. In Spanish-American poetry, that same considerable distinction is held by Rubén Darío.

     
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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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