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Kicking Off Tombstones: Henry James' Life and Work

By Leah Dobrinska. Apr 29, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting

Henry James was born in New York City on April 15, 1843. He had three brothers and one sister, and his parents were rich, thanks to their inheritances. Though he held no official job of his own, Henry James’ father, Henry Sr., used his wealth to move his family abroad when Henry was just twelve years old. His motivation was to ensure his children had the best academic opportunities provided for them. The result was a four year tour of Europe where the family sought out the best schools and tutors for the James children. Henry Jr. ended up as a primarily self-taught young man. The influence of his European childhood—as well as his time spent living abroad throughout the majority of his adult years—can be seen in his works, both in his style of writing and in the subject matter he explores.

     
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Ten of Walter de la Mare's Poetic Quotes

By Abigail Bekx. Apr 25, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Children's Books

Throughout his career as a writer, Walter de la Mare created many works for audiences of all ages, from poetry to prose to literary criticism to anthologies. He collaborated with other authors, including Rudyard Kipling to produce St. Andrews, Two Poems. Much of de la Mare’s work focused on themes of dreams, death, and emotion with an emphasis on creating a feeling of transcendent reality through a dreamlike tone, showing the importance de la Mare places on imagination.

     
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Book Spotlight: Tales From Shakespeare by Tina Packer

Seventeenth century poet and playwright William Shakespeare penned some of the most well-known stories in the world. The conflict, romance, comedy, and wordplay have captivated audiences for over four hundred years, and Shakespeare's plays continue to be performed on stage and screen in both their original form and in new, adapted forms. The varying forms shed a different light on the stories, introducing them and making them more accessible to a new audience.

     
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Top Books By State: Arizona

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

Topics: Literary travel

Arizona: the land of scorching desserts and swimming pools in every backyard. Of hot, dry temperatures and the deep, majestic Grand Canyon. But what about the literary output from or about Arizona? Which authors have made this southwestern state their home, and what sorts of works have they crafted with Arizona as their setting? Continuing our series of the top books in each state, today, we focus on Arizona. We have actually pulled two books by one, well-known Arizonian author and one book by another. These titles impress us with the vivid imagery of the setting alongside the griping stories present in each of these books.

     
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The Kupfer Bibel and an Epic Struggle for the Danish Crown

By Kristin Masters. Apr 18, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, History

Rare book sellers and collectors often talk about the provenance of a book, that is, it's chain of ownership. Knowing a book's provenance offers practical benefits, such as ensuring that a book isn't stolen and lending credibility to a volume's inscription. But exploring a book's provenance also has another benefit: it can unlock fascinating stories connected with the book itself, enriching our understanding ofand appreciation forthe book as an object with its own special history. One example of a book with fascinating provenance is our edition of the Kupfer-Bibel.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Leo Politi

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Each year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a book that represents the best of children's illustration. The illustrious list of winning books contains a massive variety, from the style of the illustrations to the subjects of the books, to the backgrounds of the illustrators who poured themselves into the creation of these amazing pieces of art. The latest illustrator to be featured in our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series is Leo Politi. Politi won the award in 1950 for his book Song of the Swallows.

     
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The History and Importance of the Pulitzer Prize

By Kristin Masters. Apr 15, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

The Pulitzer Prize—set to be awarded today—was established over 100 years ago to honor exceptional achievements in journalism. Since its inception, the award has grown to include 21 different categories, ranging from literature to musical composition. The prize is named for Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper journalist with a fascinating life. 

     
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An Introduction to Legendary Chess Player Garry Kasparov

By Abigail Bekx. Apr 13, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

Garry Kasparov was born in 1963 in Baku, Azerbaijan in the Soviet Union. At the age of 12 he became the USSR’s under-18 chess champion and at 17, he was the world under-20 champion. In 1985 at the age of 22, he achieved fame for being the youngest world chess champion. Throughout his chess career, he defended his title five times, broke Bobby Fisher’s rating record, andperhaps most famouslyplayed against the IBM super-computer Deep Blue. Outside of his work as a professional chess player, Kasparov was vocal about his support for democratic and market reforms and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

     
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Climbing Into Jon Krakauer, Legendary Mountaineering Author

By Lauren Corba. Apr 12, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins

American writer and outdoorsman Jon Krakauer was born April 12, 1954. He was raised in Corvallis, Oregon and was first acquainted with mountain climbing when he was eight years old. He attended Hampshire College in Massachusetts where he graduated in 1976 with a degree in Environmental Studies. Following his time at university, Krakauer moved around the States, living in Colorado, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. He worked as a commercial fisherman and a carpenter to support himself while he pursued his love for nature and rock climbing.

     
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The Fascinating Inspiration Behind Favorite Horror Novels

By Kristin Masters. Apr 11, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror

Today is Thomas Harris' birthday. The legendary horror author is best known for the stories he spun surrounding serial-killer, Hannibal Lecter. Have you ever wondered what Harris' inspiration was for crafting one of the most notorious villains in all of literature? Is Lecter purely a figment of Harris' imagination? Or was there a real-life muse for the killer? Perhaps you find both options unsettling! But if you've ever been curious about the inspiration behind some of your favorite horror novels, read on.   

     
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Do You Know Where Your Signed Books Come From?

By Kristin Masters. Apr 9, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

When one thinks of fraud, the first cases that come to mind may be corrupt money managers (à la Bernard Madoff) or bankers. Businesses like Enron and WorldCom may likewise ring a bell, as well. Why are we talking about fraud on a blog about books, though? Well, sadly the book buying and selling business has not escaped instances of fraud, either. In 2012, Allan Formhals was found guilty of ten counts of fraud. But he wasn't an unscrupulous banker, he was an antiques dealer who sold books on the internet. Formhals was convicted of forging signatures in books and purveying them on eBay as the genuine article.

     
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Five of Trina Schart Hyman's Masterful Works

By Abigail Bekx. Apr 8, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, Children's Books

Born in 1939, Trina Schart Hyman spent her childhood in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. As a young adult, she studied at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art, the Boston Museum School of Art, and the Swedish State Art School in Stockholm, Konstfackskolan. She published her first work in 1961. From 1972 to 1979, Hyman started working as an artist and illustrator for Cricket magazine for children, eventually becoming the art director. Throughout her career, Hyman won the Caldecott Medal once and Caldecott honors three times. She illustrated more than 150 books.

     
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Movie Tie-Ins: Sturges' and Tracy's Old Man and the Sea

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 5, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Awarded Books, Movie Tie-Ins

Ernest Hemingway (1889-1961) is universally considered one of the most important writers of the 20th century and certainly one of the most influential writers of the American literary canon. Hemingway's career stretched over three decades of war. He wrote travel journalism, seven novels, numerous novellas, short story collections, and works of nonfiction. His novels For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms, and The Sun Also Rises are considered to be some of the most important works of literature written in the English language.

Hemingway's style has served as an influence to generations of writers and has helped form the landscape of modern American literature. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature, two of the highest honors a writer can receive. His work has been adapted numerous times for both television and film. One of the most notable adaptations of a beloved Hemingway novel is the 1958 film adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea starring Spencer Tracy.

     
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Five Interesting Facts About Maya Angelou

By Abigail Bekx. Apr 4, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry, Music

Born in April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Maya Angelou had a difficult childhood. Her parents divorced when she was three, leaving Angelou to be raised by her grandmother. When she was seven, Angelou was sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend. After testifying against him, her attacker was beaten to death in an alley, causing Angelou to believe her voice was too powerful. She decided to remain nearly mute for the next five years. During this time Angelou connected with the written word, paving the way for her future as a writer.

     
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Washington Irving: Champion of American Literature at Home and Abroad

By Matt Reimann. Apr 2, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature

When "The Legend of Sleep Hollow" was published in 1820, the United States of America was a young nation. American-born authors were decades away from producing central classics like Leaves of Grass and Moby-Dick, and the cultural direction of this brave new world was anyone’s guess. The country was in need of a strong and talented writer to steer her on the right course. This author was Washington Irving.

     
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Netflix Announces New Tolkien Adaptation Slated for 2021

By Brian Hoey. Apr 1, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, J. R. R. Tolkien

For years now, film and television producers have been battling each other to create the one piece of fantasy media that will dominate all others. There was New Line’s Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) adaptions, HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011-2019) series, New Line’s subsequent Hobbit (2012-2014) trilogy, and now, as of a blockbuster 2017 deal, Amazon Studios will be producing at least five seasons worth of television based on Tolkien’s iconic mythos and characters—a show that they, like those that have gone before them, hope will be the one series to rule them all. In this regard, it sometimes feels like these studios missed the point of Tolkien’s story entirely.

     
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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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