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Ten Walt Whitman Quotes From "Song of Myself"

By Abigail Bekx. May 31, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry

First published in 1855, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was a continuous labor. Whitman spent much of his professional career creating and changing his work, resulting in vastly altered editions being printed. Included in Leaves of Grass, “Song of Myself” is written in Whitman’s usual free verse and simple language, appealing to a vast audience. Like the work as a whole, “Song of Myself” underwent many revisions throughout the years before becoming the poem now considered one of the most influential pieces of American poetry.

     
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Happy Birthday, Ian Fleming!

By Kristin Masters. May 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Biographies, James Bond

Today we celebrate the birthday of Ian Fleming, the legendary author who created James Bond. Seven different actors have played 007 in 26 different movie adaptations. The runaway success of Fleming's books can be attributed to the author's background as a journalist and naval intelligence officer. Fleming certainly drew on these experiences as he crafted classic tales of espionage and intrigue.

     
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Ten Patriotic Reads for Memorial Day

By Andrea Diamond. May 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

For many in the U.S., Memorial Day is the calendar date that marks the beginning of sweet summertime. Students become restless at their desks, pontoon boats are pulled out of winter storage, and Dads across the Midwest poke their head outside and casually suggest “throwing something on the grill" for dinner. In the midst of sunny afternoons spent living the American Dream, it is easy to forget that our freedom has never been free. Memorial Day is a time to honor those fallen in service to our country.

Unless one has served in the military, it can be difficult to equate those who've served and especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice with real people. Both fiction and non-fiction accounts of war have the power to put a name and a face with the often anonymous heroes of our past and present. Should you find yourself with an opportunity to sit outside with a good book this Memorial Day, we would suggest one of these ten patriotic titles:

     
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Book Conservation, Book Preservation, Book Restoration

By Kristin Masters. May 25, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Care, Learn About Books

When you think of conservation and preservation, you may think of the environment. But for rare book collectors, conservation and preservation are the key to maintainingand sometimes even increasingthe value of your prized investments. But what do the terms "conservation" and "preservation" actually mean in the world of rare books? Furthermore, what happens when you throw the idea of "restoration" into the mix? 

     
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A (Very) Subjective List of the Top Ten Children's Books

By Abigail Bekx. May 23, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

Books are magical, especially for children. They are able to transport readers to strange worlds they could never have imagined on their own, and they're able to help readers grow. Without books, life would be duller with fewer friends to meet. All readers have their own preference: some prefer fantasy, while others wish only for realism. But what each book has in common is its ability to reach readers and change their lives. We've compiled a (very) subjective list of the top ten children books of all time. What would you add to the list? What would you remove?

     
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Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

By Kristin Masters. May 22, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Today is the birthday of Scottish author and doctor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His character Sherlock Holmes has inspired generations of crime fiction writers. Collectors who are interested in mystery and crime fiction on the whole, as well as those focused on specific authors within the genre, would do well to pay  Arthur Conan Doyle some attention. He has had a wide-reaching impact, and his books fit well in to a myriad of different collecting categories. 
     
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Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, and a Pulitzer Kerfuffle

By Kristin Masters. May 21, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, Literature

Edith Wharton's accomplishments included not only authorship, but also design and philanthropy. Wharton was an active participant in literary circles, befriending personages like Henry James and Jean Cocteau. She would go on to forge relationships with Theodore Roosevelt and other important figures. Yet the most fascinating of Wharton's connections is possibly the one with Sinclair Lewis.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Katherine Milhous

By Adrienne Rivera. May 17, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

For American illustrators, one of the highest honors is The Caldecott Medal. The medal is awarded yearly to a book that exemplifies the very best in children's book illustrations. To even be named a Caldecott Honor book is to be deemed one of the best artists in the business. Children's books are one of the rare types of literature that appeal to everyone at one point in their life or another (and, in many cases, for one's entire life!). Whether a person comes to a children's book as a child or as an adult reading to a child, the stories and illustrations touch the hearts of many. Often, Caldecott-winning illustrators and books go on to be remembered far longer than an unhonored book might. We continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series by examining one such illustrator—Katherine Milhous—who earned the award for her illustrations in the 1951 Caldecott winner, The Egg Tree.

     
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Why Pierce Brosnan Would be Borges’ Favorite Bond

By Brian Hoey. May 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond

Argentine literary giant Jorge Luis Borges died in 1986 at the age of 86 having left a behind a legacy that any writer would envy. His being snubbed for the Nobel Prize in Literature is, in its way, more memorable than the victories of other writers (how many of us remember Jaroslav Seifert’s 1984 win?), and even at the time of his death, it was pretty clear that his short stories had a much better shot at literary immortality than most of his contemporaries’ work. Still, his death came several years before the release of 1995’s Goldeneye, which means that for all of his tremendous importance to 20th century culture, he was denied the chance to see Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal of the iconic superspy, James Bond. This is a shame, because Borges would have loved him. 

     
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The Wonderful Adaptations of Oz

By Abigail Bekx. May 15, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins

With advancing technology, it is becoming less and less rare for an adaptation to be better known than an original work, especially if the original work is a book. First published in 1900, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and its 13 sequels, has long been a favorite of readers. The world of Oz Baum created grabs hold of the imagination. As a result, it has led many writers to add their own interpretation and work to the magical land of Oz. In addition to the written works, Baum’s world has become a cultural icon due, in part, to the many film, television, and stage productions adapted from the original story.

     
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Top Books By State: Arkansas

By Adrienne Rivera. May 13, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting

Today, we are continuing our bookish road trip through the United States by taking a look at Arkansas. The books we've chosen to highlight for our examination of this southern state were picked either for the author's Arkansas connection or because they're set in Arkansas. Arkansas is split between the Ozarks and the Gulf Coastal plain and is known for it's unique and varied landscapes as well as being home to some notable political leaders. Let's take a look at four books that make up some of the literature of Arkansas.

     
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Charles van Sandwyk: Captivating Books of Exceptional Artistry

By Andrea Koczela. May 12, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, Fine Press

The work of Charles van Sandwyk is a delight for all book lovers, but especially enthusiasts of fine press, children's literature, and exceptional illustrations. Recalling an earlier age, his artwork portrays whimsical animals, fairies, and elves in unique, and sometimes magical settings. As a child, van Sandwyk immersed himself in the works of J. M. Barrie, Beatrix Potter, and J. R. R. Tolkien. These influences are evident in his own creations, as is his admiration for classic illustrator Arthur Rackham. Take a moment to delve into the world of Charles van Sandwyk. Be enchanted.

     
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Harry S. Truman: 33rd President of the United States

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

Topics: American History

President Harry S. Truman was not always a popular president. Rather like Donald Trump in the Trump/Clinton Election of 2016, when Truman ran for reelection, most predicted a loss for him. The mainstream media had written him off, and polls inaccurately portrayed his chances. He shocked the country when he managed to pull off the victory on election day. His work as both a war time and peace time president sets him apart from many leaders who can only accomplish one leadership style. 

     
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Choosing the Perfect Gift for Mother's Day

By Kristin Masters. May 7, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Book Gift Ideas

In the United States, Mother's Day is just around the corner: the second Sunday in May. Shopping for mom can be tough! She may say she doesn't want anything in particular, or she may ask for utilitarian gifts that aren't items she'll really enjoy. But you definitely want to give a Mother's Day gift that is both meaningful and thoughtful. We've come up with a few strategies for selecting the perfect gift. Hopefully, this post will make your Mother's Day gift-giving process easier.

     
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Four Writers To Explore on Cinco de Mayo

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, History

While often confused in America for Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo is actually the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla and Mexico's victory against the French. As the name implies, it is celebrated annually on May 5th. In Mexico, it is not observed as a national holiday, though schools are closed on that day and it's often celebrated with parades and historical enactments. The holiday is actually celebrated more outside of Mexico than it is in the country itself. In the United States in particular, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a life of its own and has become more of an annual celebration of Mexican American culture. Take a look at these Mexican writers this Cinco de Mayo and get in on the cultural celebration.

     
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Ten Things You Didn't Know about Breakfast at Tiffany's

By Kristin Masters. May 4, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Modern First Editions

Truman Capote is a legendary American author who penned such classics as In Cold Blood and Other Voices, Other Rooms. But Breakfast at Tiffany's is undoubtedly Capote's most beloved work. Adapted into both a movie and a musical, the story has enraptured generation after generation. The novella remains a favorite among rare book collectors. Here are a few tidbits you probably didn't know about this iconic story.      
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A History of the Bastard Title

By Andrea Koczela. May 3, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Learn About Books

At last, it is time to read your new book. It is a crisp evening and you have made a cup of your favorite tea. You splurged and even made a fire. You sink into your chair and look at the book’s cover, tracing the title with your fingertip. You sip your tea and open to the first page. Blank. You turn the page. Nearly blank, except for the title—again. With some impatience, you turn to the next page.  Here the title is presented a third time but with the welcome addition of the author and publisher. Your tea nearly finished, you quickly flip past the table of contents, list of illustrations, author’s note, preface, introduction, and dedication. As your fire burns out, you reach page one. 

     
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The History of May Day and May Day in Literature

By Nick Ostdick. May 1, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature, Book History, History

For many bibliophiles, the month of May means the beginning of summerlonger days, warmer weather, and the unofficial start of “beach read” season. But May 1 packs a much more significant historical and cultural punch, the essence of which many authors have tried to capture in their stories and novels during the last 100 years.

     
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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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