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Four Philip Pullman Articles to Celebrate His Birthday

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Awarded Books

Legendary English author Philip Pullman turns 72 years old today. You know Pullman for the His Dark Materials trilogy, his thought-provoking novel The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, and, most recently, for his The Book of Dust trilogy, which is still in progress. In honor of his birthday, we've rounded-up four of our top posts about Pullman, collecting his works, and why many consider him a modern-day literary mastermind. 

     
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Five Interesting Reads About the JFK Assassination

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 18, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Some events continue to fascinate and haunt the public long after their occurrence. Even over fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the public is still interested in the actions of Lee Harvey Oswald. Many popular television shows from The Twilight Zone to The Simpsons reference the Kennedy assassination. They go about it in different ways with different results, but they each show the hold Oswald’s actions still have on the public. Films are still being made about Kennedy and his family. Novels and non-fiction books are still being published and devoured by readers. As more formerly top-secret information is released to the public, interest in the Kennedy assassination will continue to grow and remain relevant. Here are five books about the assassination that make for fascinating reads.

     
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Collecting the Works of Arthur Miller

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 17, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American History

Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915 in Harlem. He would go on to be one of the most legendary playwrights of the twentieth century. Miller's most famous plays like Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Crucible (1953) remain widely studied and have continued to be performed and adapted today. Miller won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949. Perhaps making him just as much of a household name as his plays is Miller's personal life.

     
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Happy Birthday, Oscar Wilde!

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 16, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Drama, Literature

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 and today marks the 164th anniversary of his birth. The writer was schooled first in his native Dublin, then later at Oxford where he began to subscribe to the fledgling school of thought known as aestheticism, a philosophy he would adhere to for the rest of his life. He became a sort of aestheticism poster boy, writing in a variety of genres, from poetry and novels to plays and journalism. Wilde even spent some time lecturing in the United States on the subject as well as the tangentially-related topic of interior decorating, a turn which might seem odd at the outset but actually jives quite well with Wilde's notable, larger-than-life persona.

     
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Book Spotlight: The Affluent Society

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 15, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Economics can be difficult to understand. It is rare to find authors capable of explaining complex economic theories in a way that is easy for the general reading public to understand. The Affluent Society is written in a way that allows its readers to easily comprehend the arguments set out by John Kenneth Galbraith. In his work, Galbraith provides a plan to support his theories, allowing for the practical application to further help readers understand the theories. 

     
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Seven Women Authors Who Used Male Pseudonyms

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 9, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

It's no secret that writers often publish under pseudonyms. Sometimes it's to preserve a personal identity separate from their literary persona. Other times it is to create a distinct brand from one genre to another, like Nora Roberts publishing romance novels under one name and her murder mysteries as J.D. Robb. Stephen King did it when he released his novel under the name Richard Bachman to prove that his success wasn't a fluke and that he could succeed whether or not he used his famous name. Anne Rice has published under her own name, as A.N. Roquelaure, and as Anne Rampling after suffering some backlash over some of her early novels not being initially well received. Daniel Handler wrote his famous Series of Unfortunate Events as Lemony Snickett in order to insert the narrator as a character.

Historically, many women have chosen to use pseudonyms. Due to sexism in the publishing industry, they hoped that a male or gender neutral name could help them succeed in a male-dominated field and world. Some of the most important books in all of literature were written by women who felt they could not publish under their own names. The following seven women writers have each published work under a male or ambiguous name.

     
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Crime Novels from Across the Globe

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

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

American readers have long been interested in crime fiction (as have readers from other parts of the world). In recent years, Scandinavian crime fiction, or “Nordic noir,” has become a household favorite for many English-language readers, thanks to translations of such texts as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and other novels in the series, or Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole detective books. Of course, writers from the U.S. and other parts of the world have continued to write works of crime fiction that have become immensely popular. We want to give you some recommendations of books you may know and others that may be new to you.

     
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Ongoing Scandal Causes Nobel Prize in Literature to Go Unawarded

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 4, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

This spring, the Swedish Academy announced that there would be no Nobel Prize in Literature awarded this year, stating instead that two laureates will be awarded in 2019. At the heart of this issue is photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of committee member Katherine Frostenson, who has been accused of eighteen counts of sexual harassment and assault. He is also suspected of leaking lists of possible winners for betting purposes. While this is not the first time this has happened (in 1949, the Academy famously announced that no candidates met the criteria, delaying the decision to the following year when they selected William Faulkner as the 1949 winner), this is the first time the decision has been made as a direct result of scandals surrounding the committee.

     
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Collecting the Works of Gore Vidal

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 3, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Modern First Editions

Gore Vidal was a prolific writer in many different forms from non-fiction essays to novels to screenplays. Throughout his time writing, he became a well-known cultural figure, appearing in documentaries and films. The content of Vidal’s work, despite sometimes being controversial at the time of publication, is still applicable today. His exploration of gender, sexuality, and politics keeps his work relevant and insightful years after publication. Since much of his work is newer in terms of publication, collectors can find first editions of Vidal’s work very reasonably priced. 

     
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The Importance of The Hunt for Red October

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 2, 2018. 9:00 AM.

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

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy is an an extremely important book in the world of popular fiction for many reasons. Clancy's debut novel performed way beyond the expectations of publisher Naval Institute Press, earning an unexpected paperback edition and securing Clancy a spot as one of America's best-selling authors. With The Hunt for Red October, a publishing superstar was born. The 1984 novel has stood the test of time and is widely considered one of the best depictions of Cold War-era feelings and politics in the thriller genre. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why this book continues to be such a success over 30 years after its initial release.

     
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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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