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Ten Favorite Irish Authors

By Kristin Masters. Jun 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book News

Today, we're feeling lucky! We thought it would be an ideal time to turn our attention to Ireland and celebrate some of the Emerald Isle's most accomplished authorsand their quirks. 

     
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Top Books by State: California

Today we continue our Top Books by States series by talking a closer look at California. California is one of the most diverse states in the country, containing deserts, mountains, cities, beaches, and farmland all within its borders. It also serves as the heart of the American entertainment industry. California writers are just as diverse as their state. The books featured here are of a variety of genres, but what makes them some of the best and most representative of the state aren't just that their writers live in California, but that they all exemplify something of the beauty and spirit of the Golden State.

     
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Book Spotlight: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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

Topics: Legendary Authors

Published on August 17, 2019, Animal Farm was George Orwell’s first bestseller and helped cement his place among timeless authors. Born June 25, 1903, as Eric Arthur Blair, Orwell spent much of his career after his experiences during the Spanish Civil War speaking against totalitarian governments. His works, from Animal Farm to Nineteen Eighty-Four, are still influential and widely studied nearly 70 years after his death.  

     
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Lawrence Block: Master of Crime

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 24, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Renowned novelist Lawrence Block has been intriguing and mystifying readers since the 1960s with his beloved crime novels and short stories. Though he has been publishing almost constantly since the publication of his first novel, Grifter's Game, which was published in 1961, Block actually got his start writing in an unconventional way. Before becoming the legend of crime fiction that he is today, Block actually wrote erotic novels under a variety of pen names. He had some skill for writing and at nearly two hundred dollars per erotic story and upwards of fifty jobs a year, the job was fun and easy. Block credits this early experience with forging many of the writing skills that led him to break out into the genre of crime fiction.

     
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Dan Brown’s Rules for Storytelling Are… Actually Pretty Sound?

By Brian Hoey. Jun 22, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins

Love him or hate him, Dan Brown has had an outsized impact on Anglophone pop culture since his breakout novel, The Da Vinci Code (2003) was released 16 years ago. Harvard Professor of Religious Symbology Robert Langdon burst onto the scene like an apres-garde Indiana Jones and gave a generation of readers and filmgoers a slightly dubious lesson in religious history. Since then, things like the Malthusian Tragic (Thomas Robert Malthus—the population growth alarmist who bears a striking philosophical resemblance to Marvel’s Thanos—figures prominently in Da Vinci’s 2013 follow-up, Inferno) and The Gnostic Gospels (a series of Coptic texts that present a portrait of Jesus Christ that diverges sometimes radically from the four canonical gospels) have become (comparatively) common nodes in the cultural consciousness.

     
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Top Picks: Rare Books for Summer Reading

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

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

The first day of summer is officially here! Vacation has started for many students and the mercury has already risen to summery temperatures. Now's the time to start thinking about the best part of this season: summer reading. The best summer reading books transport us to another place, like a vacation without ever leaving the sofa.

     
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Famous Authors Who Wrote Only One Novel

On March 30, 1820, Anna Sewell was born into a devoutly Quaker family. Her mother, Mary Wright Sewell, was a successful children's book author. Sewell was mostly educated at home and did not attend school for the first time until she was twelve years old. Two years later, she seriously injured both ankles in an accident. From then on, Sewell had extremely limited mobility; she required crutches and could never walk great distances. 

     
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Five of Chris Van Allsburg's Best Works

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

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, Children's Books

Best known for his children’s books, Chris Van Allsburg is a well-loved author who inspired many young readers through his work. In addition to his two Caldecott Medals, a Caldecott Honor, a nomination for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, and his contribution to Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Van Allsburg’s work has been adapted into movies and audiobooks, helping his work reach a wider audience. Here are five of our favorite titles.

     
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Five More Literary Fathers and Why We Love Them

By Abigail Bekx. Jun 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Happy Father’s Day! One day a year dads are officially recognized for the endless amounts of work they do throughout the year. It is a rare day indeed when fathers are properly appreciated. To show our appreciation, we prepared a second list of literary fathers who we love and who we love to hate. To see our previous list, click here.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Nicolas Mordvinoff

Every year a book that represents the best that children's book illustrations have to offer is awarded the Caldecott Medal. The Caldecott Medal is considered one of the most prestigious awards that an American children's book can receive and illustrators awarded this honor are widely acknowledged to be the best in the business. Often times, the medal is an indicator of an already impressive career or a sign of great things to come from the illustrator. The Caldecott Medal often ensures continuous print for an awarded book, and good things for the illustrator's future work. Even so, sometimes the illustratordespite the impressive nature of their workdoes not necessarily achieve household name status. The 1952 winner of the Caldecott Medal, Nicholas Mordvinoff, is one such illustrator. Though he had great success within his field, providing beautiful art for dozens of books during his career, the majority of the books to which he contributed are no longer in print. Let's continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series by taking a closer look Mordvinoff, who has in recent years become one of the more obscure winners.

     
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Boris Pasternak, Thwarted Nobel Laureate

By Carrie Scott. Jun 13, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

If English literary critic William Hazlitt was correct in his assertion that “When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest,” we can assume that the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Boris Pasternak will remain relevant through the ages.

     
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Print Making Processes: Relief and Intaglio

By Shelley Kelber. Jun 11, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Making

There are four major classes of printmaking techniques: relief printing, intaglio printmaking, stenciling, and lithography. Let’s look into some detail about the relief and intaglio printmaking processes. These are the two oldest and best known of the major classes of printmaking techniques.

     
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A Saul Bellow Round-Up

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

If you've been reading our blog for any length of time, you know that we have a strong appreciation for Saul Bellow. Bellow was an extremely prolific writer in his lifetime, and his works have become prized collectibles. He is perhaps best known for the titles The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Henderson the Rain King. Bellow was also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize (in the same year!). We've written about him at length, so in honor of his birthday, we've rounded up several of our favorite Saul Bellow posts for you to enjoy. 

     
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Five Interesting Facts About D-Day

By Abigail Bekx. Jun 6, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, History

On June 6, 1944, the Allied forces began their invasion of German occupied France through Normandy. Through this operation, the foundation for victory on the Western Front was laid, leading to the eventual Allied victory over Germany. To commemorate the 75th anniversary, here are five interesting facts about D-Day.

     
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Preserving Rare Books: Preventing and Repairing Fire Damage

By Kristin Masters. Jun 5, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Book Care

Bookworms, mildew, water. These are the most common culprits of rare book damage. But if you've invested in your personal library, you'll also want to prepare for a more serious threat: fire. Though fires are certainly more rare than other destructive forces, they can cause far more damage.

     
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A Quick History of Book Binding

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

Topics: Book Collecting, Book Making, Book Care

If you collect rare and antiquarian books, you're well aware that a book's binding can significantly impact its value. The craft of book binding has evolved over time, and modern book conservators often use both contemporary and ancient methods to restore and preserve antiquarian books. Those methods date back much further than you may have thought!

     
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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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