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Five of John McCain's Fascinating Books

By Abigail Bekx. Aug 29, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

Born in 1936, John McCain dedicated his life to serving the United States. He graduated from Naval Academy in Annapolis and received a commission from the U.S. Navy. During his time serving in the Navy, McCain worked as a naval aviator and was captured during the Vietnam War, remaining a prisoner of war for five and a half years before his release in 1973. After retiring from the Navy in 1981, he entered politics, where he served in both the House and the Senate until his death in 2018. Many of his writings were done in collaboration with Mark Salter, who served for a time as McCain’s chief of staff.  

     
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Sunning: Bad for Your Skin, Bad for Your Books!

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

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Book Care

Summer is in full swing, and along with all that sun comes the joy of summer reading! But the sun can cause irreversible damage to your skin⁠—and your books. It's important to protect your rare and collectible books from heat, humidity, and sunning.

     
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Top Books By State: Connecticut

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Today we continue our literary tour of the United States by looking at some of the best books from Connecticut. This New England state is known for its beautiful coastal towns, charming cities and villages, and for being home to the illustrious Yale University. But Connecticut is more than just its collegiate connections. It is both rural and urban, coastal and pastoral. Some of the best Connecticut books hone in on these details that make the state stand out. Join us as we take a closer look at two books set in Connecticut thatthrough gorgeous detailembody some of what makes The Constitution State special.

     
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Happy Birthday, Sean Connery!

By Brian Hoey. Aug 25, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond, Movie Tie-Ins

Today, “The Greatest Living Scot” (according to The Sunday Herald), turns 89. Just as much as author Ian Fleming, Sir Sean Connery brought James Bond to life and forever defined him as a character—so much so that Fleming eventually began writing details from Connery’s life into Bond’s backstory. Those of us here at Books Tell You Why who appreciate a good literary adaptation (read: all of us), can’t help but recognize the role that Connery played not just in bringing Bond himself to life, but to bringing the whole world of past and future literary superspies into the greater public consciousness. Without him, it’s hard to imagine a universe in which Tom Clancy and John le Carré entered the realm of blockbuster films. Connery himself even starred in the 1991 film adaptation of The Hunt for Red October (1984).

     
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Book Spotlight: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

By Abigail Bekx. Aug 22, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 has become a cultural phenomenon since its publication in October of 1953. Many adaptations, from film and theater to computer games and comics, have kept cultural references to the novel consistent and relevant, despite over 50 years having passed since publication. A common inclusion in school curriculum, the novel captures the imaginations of readers, forcing them to compare the society presented in the pages to the society of reality.

     
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A Quick Guide to Bill Clinton and His Autobiography, My Life

By Matt Reimann. Aug 19, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton received a $15 million dollar advance for his autobiography, My Life (2004)⁠—one of the largest advances ever received for a book. By all measures, the book was a great financial success, selling 2,250,000 copies and earning Clinton $30 million dollars. Yet this achievement did not come easily; it took Clinton over two years to write the book, written in longhand in sixteen notebooks, with no help from a ghost writer.

     
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V.S. Naipaul and Other Writers Who Hated Their Biographies

By Matt Reimann. Aug 17, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Biographies

Writers are often meticulous and private people. Thus, the creation of authorized biographies can be a contentious matter. Some authors, like Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul, allowed a biographer into their home and shared personal information only to find that the resulting biography presented a person foreign to themselves. Although the biographer has a greater duty to his work than to his subject, one can understand why many authors feel betrayed at the end of the process. This article will catalog a few bitter episodes between authors and their biographers including V.S. Naipaul, William S. Burroughs, and Vladimir Nabokov.

     
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Julia Child: We Are Pleased to Have Known You

By Shelley Kelber. Aug 15, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Most of us have a sense of Julia Child's biography and style, at least from the movie with Meryl Streep as Julia and Stanley Tucci as Paul. But there is so much more to Julia Child than the movies that represent her. A look at the innumerable, wonderful quotes that encapsulate her personality and style leave all of us feeling like we have known her, even a little bit.

     
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A Reading Guide to Alice Adams

By Abigail Bekx. Aug 14, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Literature

Best known for her short stories, Alice Adams wrote eleven novels and published over 25 short stories in The New Yorker. Over the course of her career, she won many awards, including the O. Henry Special Award for Continuing Achievement and Best American Short Stories Awards. Her work unflinchingly explores platonic and romantic relationships and the happiness and disappointments that accompany them.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Ludwig Bemelmans

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a children's book that exemplifies the best work being produce in the field of children's book illustration. The award is a massive professional accolade and often results in a certain desirability from the reading public and from collectors. It is hard to imagine a book more enduring and beloved than 1955's winner, Madeline's Rescue, written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. Come learn more about this iconic illustrator and his beloved Madeline series as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrator Series.

     
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Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate and Song of Solomon Author, Has Died

By Brian Hoey. Aug 7, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Nobel Prize Winners

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language.
That may be the measure of our lives.”
-Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture 1993

Toni Morrison, author of Beloved and Song of Solomon, died peacefully in her home on Monday, surrounded by her family. Morrison was the first African American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her books were commercially and critically acclaimed and rightly find their way onto many collectors' shelves. Today, we honor Ms. Morrison's life and work.

     
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Unexpected Meetings Between Legendary Authors and Celebrities

By Matt Reimann. Aug 6, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Authors are contributors to their culture, and as part of the job, they tend to cross paths with their famous contemporaries. These can be other authors, artists, actors, leaders, and cultural icons, and at times can create some rather unlikely pairings. Here are a few of these moments immortalized on camera.

     
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The Controversy Behind Neil Armstrong's Moon Landing Speech

By Claudia Adrien. Aug 5, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Science

On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew left Kennedy Space Center and entered the Moon's orbit. On July 19, after spending a full day in lunar orbit, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. boarded the lunar module. It was not an easy decent to the surface of the Moon, but when they landed, they made history.

     
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Ten Beautiful Percy Shelley Quotes

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry

Percy Shelley is considered one of the greatest and most influential English poets. Like many authors, Shelley did not live to see his fame. During his life, he kept good company with other writers and poets, including his wife Mary Shelley née Godwin, author of Frankenstein, the Lord Byron, and John Keats. Due to the radical themes in his work, Shelley had difficulty finding a publisher, but he is now considered one of the paragons of English Romanticism.

     
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Happy Birthday to Writer and Activist James Baldwin!

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 2, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Movie Tie-Ins

Writer and activist James Baldwin was born on August 29, 1924 in Manhattan. His plays, essays, novels, poems, and short stories embodied issues of race, class, and sexuality that were common in the mid-20th century and in many cases still exist today. After becoming disillusioned with the way African Americans were treated in his home country, he moved to France where he could be seen as more than just his race.

     
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Herman Melville: Literary Giant Who Died In Obscurity

By Ellie Koczela. Aug 1, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

When Herman Melville was seven years old, his father warned his teachers that he was “very backwards in speech and somewhat slow in comprehension.” Luckily for the rest of us, he appears not to have been deterred by this description. A prolific writer of both novels and poetry, he is now among the most renowned authors in the American canon.

     
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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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