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How a Signature Increases a Book's Value

By Kristin Masters. Jan 30, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

How much is a baseball worth? Maybe a dollar or two, right? Get that same baseball signed by Alex Rodriguez, and you have a collectible item. If that baseball happened to be a home run ball, you've hit the jackpot! Signatures and autographs in books work much the same way. The rarity of both the book and the signature help determine the value of a book.

     
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Five Things You Might Not Know About Janet Evanovich

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 29, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Janet Evanovich was born in South River, New Jersey in 1943. Evanovich has become a household name thanks to her much beloved adventure series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. A prolific writer, she has published over sixty novels, many of which have topped the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her novels are published all over the world and have been translated into over 40 languages. In celebration of this writer's amazing career, here are five things you might not know about one of America's most loved adventure novelists.

     
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And the Award Goes To: 2019 Caldecott and Newbery Winners

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 28, 2019. 12:56 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Today is one of the most anticipated days of the year for children's book enthusiasts. This morning, the the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, announced the winners of the 2019 Caldecott Medal and Newbery Medal, among other children's literature awards. These coveted prizes go a long way in cementing their authors and illustrators as fixtures in the children's literary landscape. Their books will be found on our shelves and in libraries the world over for years to come. Without further ado, the winners of the 2019 Caldecott and Newbery medals are...

     
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Virginia Woolf's Legacy and Influence

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 25, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Virginia Woolf is undoubtedly one of the most important literary figures in both English literature and feminist literature. Her novels, essays, criticism, and work toward education reform have made her a frequent subject of study, even today, nearly sixty years after her death. Her work makes her a pillar of both feminism and modernism. Today, on the 132nd anniversary of her birth, lets take a closer look at her life and the ways in which she has remained firmly relevant.

     
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Isabel Allende: The Interesting Life of a "Raging Feminist"

By Ellie Koczela. Jan 24, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Literature

“She sowed in my mind the idea that reality is not only what we see on the surface; it has a magical dimension as well and, if we so desire, it is legitimate to enhance it and color it to make our journey through life less trying.” ~Isabel Allende, Eva Luna

Isabel Allende once said she “didn’t want a happy life but an interesting one.” Raised in Peru, Chile, Lebanon, and Bolivia, and eventually forced into exile when her cousin, Salvador Allende, was deposed as President of Chile, it is safe to say that she is achieving her goal. 

     
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The Origin of Donaldists: How Micky Maus Became a Bestselling Magazine

By Brian Hoey. Jan 23, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins

In Germany, to this day, there are so-called Donaldists: men and women who apply rigorous scientific and anthropological methods to understanding the world of Donald Duck and Duckburg, his hometown. That’s right, in Germany, Donald Ducknot Mickey Mouseis the star. He’s the reason that Micky Maus, the German-language Disney comic magazine, is the fourth best-selling comic magazine of all time, surpassing a billion sales over the course of its 60+ year run. Considering that no other Disney comics rank so highly in their respective formats, the tremendous ongoing success of Micky Maus warrants some explanation. How did these magazines become best-sellers—and how did Donald Duck surpass the world’s most iconic small rodent in popularity?

     
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Five Facts About Writer and Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 20, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Science

Edwin Aldrin Jr, better known as Buzz Aldrin, is perhaps one of America's best known explorer heroes. In 1969, he became one of the first men to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He has served as one of the most prominent faces of NASA for many years, inspiring generations of people to go into the fields of aerospace and astronautics through his outspoken advocacy for space travel and exploration. Even after his retirement from NASA, he has continued to further his belief in the importance of understanding space as a writer, authoring eleven books for a variety of age groups, including Footsteps on the Moon, The Return, Look to the Stars, Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet, and most recently, 2016's No Dream is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the MoonThough we all know Buzz Aldrin the astronaut and Buzz Aldrin the writer, here are some lesser known facts about one of NASA's biggest names.

     
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Ten of the Best Quotes From Edgar Allan Poe

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 19, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Edgar Allan Poe is a household name. His influence on poetry and the genres of detective fiction (he is considered its creator), science fiction (which his work helped forge a path for), and Gothic literature in general cannot be overstated. His works are well-known in popular culture, as most all of us were required to read at least some of them throughout our schooling. It follows, then, that Poe remains quite quotable. In honor of his birthday, we've compiled ten of the best quotes from Edgar Allan Poe. Have you read these works? Share with us your favorite Poe title or quotation in the comments below.

     
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The Most Relatable Winnie the Pooh Characters

By Abigail Bekx. Jan 18, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

When thinking of A. A. Milne, the usual first association is Winnie the Pooh. As a children’s book, there are many lessons to be learned and shenanigans to be entertained by. Like many children’s stories, there are parts that are relatable to adults. One example of this is the characters. Each animal possess a uniqueness that makes them singularly situated to be compared to humans of the reader’s acquaintance. Most will, at some point, have known the lovable, ditzy friend, the overenthusiastic ball of energy, the gloomy Gus, the very particular organizer, and the font of stories and advice. Which Winnie the Pooh character do you relate most to?

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Leonard Weisgard

One of the finest achievements an illustrator of children's books can receive is the illustrious and much-lauded Caldecott Medal. Established in 1938 by the American Library Association, the award is given out as a means to find and honor the greatest contributions to the field of American children's book illustration. The Caldecott Medal is given annually to “the most distinguished American picture book for children,” whether that be for innovation in the field, incredible beauty, a unique sense of whimsy, or anything else that might cause the book to stand out to children. In 1948, this honor was given to Leonard Weisgard. Continuing our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrator Series, let's explore the career of this talented and notable illustrator:

     
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Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 15, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Today, we remember the life of minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. King was a man of action and moral conviction. He led by his example and sought a better world for his children and his fellow man. We would all do well to follow his lead and work towards his goals which are, sadly, yet to be realized. However, his legacy remains one of courage and nonviolence in the face of hatred. We've rounded up several of our past posts to pay tribute to the late, great MLK Jr. We've also included the video of King's I Have a Dream speech. We hope this post inspires you today.      
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Jack London and Living the American Dream

By Dawn Morgan. Jan 12, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” ~Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Writer and social justice activist Jack London turned every life adventure into a published story. A master of fiction, his writings ran the gamut from novels and short stories, to poems, and plays, and he also wrote nonfiction essays and worked as a journalist. Born on January 12, 1876 in San Francisco, to an unwed mother, London never knew his father. He grew up poor, which was among the conditions he attributed to his success as a writer. London would become one of the most widely read and financially successful writers of his time.

     
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Top Books By State: Alabama

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 10, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

In a sort of literary tour of the United States, we’d like to begin highlighting some of the top books from each state. What does a book have to do to make the list for each particular state? Our criteria is twofold: either the book must be set in the state, or the author must be from the state or have written the book while living in the state. Obviously, the book must also be a good one! Understandably, our list of top books from each state is subjective. We may leave out a title you feel should be included. Be sure to add your own thoughts and tell us your favorites in the comments below. For today, we begin at the beginning with Alabama. We've picked two great books from this sweet home, southern state. 

     
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The Man Behind the Newbery Medal

By Matt Reimann. Jan 9, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

The Newbery Medal is given out each year by the American Library Association (ALA) for outstanding achievement in American children's literature (watch for our post announcing this year's winner later this month!). For over ninety years, it has been a significant authority on the reception and evolution of children's books. Its impact is well known. Winning books receive widespread attention in libraries, schools, and book stores, and the publisher is wont to emblazon the shiny medallion on the cover of every printed copy of the winning book. While the award itself receives ample public attention, the man for whom it is named remains relatively obscure.

     
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The Friendship of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens

By Kristin Masters. Jan 8, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Charles Dickens

On January 8, 1824, author Wilkie Collins was born. He'd rise to veritable stardom as one of England's best loved authors. Collins enjoyed the tutelage and collaboration of "the inimitable" Charles Dickens, who would become a fast friend to Collins.      
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Book Spotlight: Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting

Throughout his life, Umberto Eco worked as novelist, literary critic, and academic. In much of his work, Eco makes literary and historical references, exemplifying a subtle intertextuality, the connection between different works of literature.  The Name of the Rose , originally published in Italy in 1980, uses Eco’s previous study to make many such references to medieval sources that the reader must solve, adding a certain Sherlock Holmes feeling to the work.      
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A Quick Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth

"Eala Earendel, engla beorhtast ofer middangeard monnum sended"

The above quote comes from a line of Anglo-Saxon poetry. J.R.R. Tolkien, a linguist and scholar of Anglo-Saxon culture, encountered the line in his research and became fascinated with the word "earendel." Though his Anglo-Saxon dictionary translated the word as "shining light," Tolkien believed that the word sounded like it came from a language "far beyond ancient English." 

     
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Five Book-Based New Year's Resolutions for 2019

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 1, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literary travel

Happy New Year! We hope you awoke this morning full of hope and excitement for what 2019 holds. For many of us, the turning of the calendar is an opportunity to reflect on the past year and set goals and plans for the upcoming one. These may be health and fitness related, social and relational, work-based, or any of the many other types of resolutions you hear being thrown around by January 1 optimists. We’ve been thinking of some resolutions of our own, specifically book-based resolutions. Whether you’re a seasoned bibliophile, a novice collector or reader, or an avid fan of all things written word, what follows are some suggestions that might be right up your New Year’s resolution alley.

     
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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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