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John Milton, Political Activist and Poet

By Andrea Koczela. Dec 9, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

“I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,
Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend”
                -Paradise Lost

 

 

Today we celebrate literary giant John Milton, author of Paradise Lost. His poetry profoundly influenced English literature and in particular the works of William Wordsworth, William Blake, Alexander Pope, and John Keats. Now, over three centuries since his death, Milton remains one of the greatest of all English poets.

     
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James Thurber's Life and Work

By Shelley Kelber. Dec 8, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

James Thurber became one of the most popular humorists of his time by shining a comedic light on the everyday man and his daily, mundane frustrations and idiosyncrasies. In his work, Thurber often asked his audience to consider how their minds shaped their view of reality.

     
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The Real Man Behind Santa Claus (And the Books That Made Him Famous)

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 6, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Christmas Books

At this time of year, it is common to hear cheery adults ask wide-eyed children, “What do you want from Santa Claus?” In the lead-up to Christmas day, one can find a white-beard wielding, red suit wearing, rosy-faced man at most every shopping center and holiday event, and whether the young children are excited to tell him their Christmas wishes or run screaming in terror at the thought of sitting upon his lap, imagining Christmas without Santa Claus is incredibly difficult. Indeed, Santa has become so intertwined with the Christmas holiday that for many, he takes center stage on December 24 and 25. What are the origins of the modern day Santa Claus? Who was the real St. Nicholas? And who helped bring the image of the man in the red suit into popular culture?

     
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Five of Disney's Best Adaptations

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 5, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins

It has long been a tradition to adapt older, well-loved works into more modern versions. From the re-telling of fairy tales, each with their own flair, to the use of popular tropes instituted by some of the most popular authors, the practice of making the old new has long held reader’s and author’s interest. Technology has allowed for this tradition to transform into new medias. One of the best known providers of adapted classics is The Walt Disney Company. While sometimes they change little and sometimes they change much, Disney’s productions are all masterfully created to inspire and draw audiences into the classic tales. 

     
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David Macaulay: A Mind To Be Reckoned With

From the time he was a child, David Macaulay evidenced a fascination with how machines operated. He soon began to make models of machines and began drawing illustrations of these machines. Soon he was constructing elevators out of shoe boxes, tape, and string and devising intricate systems of moving cable cars made with empty thread spools.

     
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Jan Brett: More Than Pretty Pictures

Jan Brett decided she would be an illustrator when she was quite young. As a child, she felt that she could enter the pages of her beautiful picture books. Her goal as an illustrator is to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary places really exist. Her beautiful pictures allow children and the adults who love them to experience this magic in the 41 million copies of her books in print. She is both an author and illustrator, but it’s her illustrations that truly set her books apart from other players in the world of children’s literature.

     
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Who Were Mark Twain's Publishers?

By Audrey Golden. Nov 30, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book History, First Editions

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain as he is known to many readers, wrote nearly two dozen books over the course of his career, not to mention the wide variety of essays that appeared in various literary magazines. He’s a popular author for new and seasoned collectors alike, and his fiction and essays have appeared in dozens of different editions for more than a century. Yet unless you’re extremely familiar with particular editions of Twain’s work, you may not be too knowledgeable about his many publishers. So, who were his publishers?

     
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Louisa May Alcott and the Continuing Relevance of Little Women

By Audrey Golden. Nov 29, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Movie Tie-Ins

As you may know, a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved novel Little Women will appear in U.S. cinemas on Christmas Day of 2019. The recent film adaptation, directed and adapted by Academy Award-nominated Greta Gerwig, stars Meryl Streep as Aunt March, Emma Watson as Meg, Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Timothée Chalamet as Laurie, and Florence Pugh as Amy. Given the recent fascination with and interest in Little Women, we thought it would be a fantastic time to revisit the numerous cinematic adaptations of the novel across the last century, and to consider how the continuing relevance of Little Women might inspire you to start a single-author, single-novel book collection.

     
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On Gratitude: Ten Quotes for a Literary Thanksgiving

By Nick Ostdick. Nov 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and that means friends and families are coming together to give thanks and express gratitude for what and whom they have in their lives. A day focused on gathering around a shared table to indulge in extravagant food and drink, one could argue Thanksgiving is the purest of all holidays where the pressures of a commerce-driven culture are set aside in favor of breaking bread, telling stories, and celebrating a communal moment of peace and good will—that is, at least until the Black Friday sales begin. 

     
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Caroline Kennedy’s Poetry Collections

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Book Collecting

Born in 1957 to President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy spent her childhood after her father’s assassination in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After graduating with her J.D., she worked as an attorney, politician, and advocate for educational reform. Under the Obama administration, Kennedy served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017. Throughout her career, she has published books on politics, American history, constitutional law, and poetry. If you're interested in collecting poetry or collecting books associated with the Kennedy family, the following list is for you.

     
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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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