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Abigail Bekx
Reader, writer, and grammar nerd. Loves reading Harry Potter, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Brontë, and forcing her family to listen to her rants on how books are better than movies.

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Book Spotlight: Wag-by-Wall by Beatrix Potter

Beloved children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was a staple in many childhoods. Perhaps best known for her Peter Rabbit stories, Potter was a prolific writer with familiar, enchanting illustrations. In 1944, Wag-by-Wall, originally intended for The Fairy Caravan, was published for the first time in The Hornbook Magazine. When published as a book, illustrations were omitted since Potter did not include them in any drafts. The setting of the book is based on the Lake District Potter lived in and loved. Her detailed descriptions of the setting and characters serve as an excellent example of Potter’s skill as a storyteller and her magical ability to enrapture readers of all ages.  

     
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Hugo vs. Disney: The Changing Case of Notre-Dame

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 5, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Legendary Authors

Walt Disney and his successors have a long tradition of retelling famous stories. Their history of changing the original work is usually rationalized as making the content more suitable for children, but, in some cases, the changes go past small edits. As with most books changed into movies, in order to condense a long work into only 90 minutes, certain more unnecessary plot points must be cut. When remaking The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, however, Disney did more than simplify and streamline. Some elements were removed by necessity, such as much of the violence and many attempted seductions of Esmeralda, to make it appropriate for children, but some of the changes drastically altered characters and plot elements present in Victor Hugo’s original novel. 

     
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Four of Jan Brett's Snowy Stories

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 1, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Legendary Illustrators

As winter approaches, it is nice to curl up with a book and a blanket, or, if one is lucky enough to live someplace warm, to pretend it is cold. One author and illustrator especially suited for snowy day reading is Jan Brett. Due to her extensive research, Brett’s illustrations hold an element of realism, which helps readers connect to the characters and settings. With over 30 books, readers are presented with many options to choose from when finding a snowy story. Enjoyable by adult and child readers, Brett’s books provide a perfect winter read.   

     
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Four of Louisa May Alcott's Lesser Known Novels

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 29, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Louisa May Alcott is best known for Little Women and its sequels. The different adaptations of the March family’s adventures all too often overshadow Alcott’s other work. All of her work possesses well written, intricate plots that often—in a manner similar to Jane Austen—promote a feminist ideal of women’s role in society. She shows the importance of more wholesome, old-fashioned values rather than the opulent lifestyle free of responsibility and traditional morals many of the wealthy were participating in. All this Alcott accomplishes in her novels without sounding preachy or alienating her audience. Here are four of her lesser known works.

     
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A Reading Guide to William F. Buckley, Jr.

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 24, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: History

William F. Buckley, Jr. is well known for his conservative political views and witty writing style. With over 75 published works, it can be difficult to determine where to start when first discovering his writing. If leaning towards fiction, Buckley’s Blackford Oakes series follows a CIA operative as he fights against Communism in a style reminiscent of James Bond. His travel books tend towards the philosophical hidden in a more upfront topic. One aspect all of his books have in common is the total command of language and wit that immediately identifies Buckley’s work. 

     
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Ten of the Best Children's Books for Thanksgiving

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

Thanksgiving is known for many things: turkey, parades, football, and, of course, Pilgrims and Native Americans. With all of the distractions and celebrations, it can be easy to forget the meaning and history of the holiday. An easy, fun way to remember why we celebrate, for both old and young, is through children’s books. The simple presentation of facts and intriguing illustrations allow readers to remember what Thanksgiving means and why we celebrate. 

     
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Hilary Knight Outside of Eloise

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 1, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Legendary Illustrators

Illustrator Hilary Knight has brought joy to many children through his work. Despite his large collection of work, Eloise, easily his most popular series, tends to overshadow all of his other books. Understandably, the characters and stories in the Eloise books have been loved by many readers, allowing for the lesser known works to be overshadowed. Both original works and collaborations are often glossed over in favor of the incorrigible Eloise. Many of Knight’s works outside of Eloise are still well loved and receive high praise from readers. Let's examine some of them today.

     
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Five Interesting Reads About the JFK Assassination

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 18, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Some events continue to fascinate and haunt the public long after their occurrence. Even over fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the public is still interested in the actions of Lee Harvey Oswald. Many popular television shows from The Twilight Zone to The Simpsons reference the Kennedy assassination. They go about it in different ways with different results, but they each show the hold Oswald’s actions still have on the public. Films are still being made about Kennedy and his family. Novels and non-fiction books are still being published and devoured by readers. As more formerly top-secret information is released to the public, interest in the Kennedy assassination will continue to grow and remain relevant. Here are five books about the assassination that make for fascinating reads.

     
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Book Spotlight: The Affluent Society

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 15, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Economics can be difficult to understand. It is rare to find authors capable of explaining complex economic theories in a way that is easy for the general reading public to understand. The Affluent Society is written in a way that allows its readers to easily comprehend the arguments set out by John Kenneth Galbraith. In his work, Galbraith provides a plan to support his theories, allowing for the practical application to further help readers understand the theories. 

     
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Collecting the Works of Gore Vidal

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 3, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Modern First Editions

Gore Vidal was a prolific writer in many different forms from non-fiction essays to novels to screenplays. Throughout his time writing, he became a well-known cultural figure, appearing in documentaries and films. The content of Vidal’s work, despite sometimes being controversial at the time of publication, is still applicable today. His exploration of gender, sexuality, and politics keeps his work relevant and insightful years after publication. Since much of his work is newer in terms of publication, collectors can find first editions of Vidal’s work very reasonably priced. 

     
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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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