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Adrienne Rivera
Adrienne Rivera received her MFA in fiction from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She currently lives in southern Indiana.

Recent Posts:

The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's Tree and Leaf

By Adrienne Rivera. Jul 17, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien

English fantasy writer and J.R.R. Tolkien is widely considered to the be the father of the modern fantasy genre. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are some of the most enduring and beloved novels in the genre. In the years since readers were first introduced to Middle Earth (The Hobbit was published in 1937), the novels have served as in inspiration to countless writers, filmmakers, video game creators, and even the creator of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role playing game. His most famous works have remained in print since their publication, and even some of his lesser-known posthumous publications have garnered attention. For example, The Silmarillion, a history of the mythology of Middle Earth, won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy in 1978. One volume that has remained mostly under the radar, however, is the charming Tree and Leaf. What exactly about this book makes it such a treasure?

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Robert Lawson

For the past eighty-one years, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually to one book out of a carefully curated selection. The Caldecott-winning illustrators and the images they so lovingly craft are representative of the best and most innovative aspects of the genre. These books are desirable for both parents and collectors alike, but also serve as a benchmark of quality, pushing the industry forward to greater heights each year. Continuing our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series, we take a closer look at one of these amazing illustrators: Robert Lawson, who won the medal in 1941 for his book They Were Strong and Good.

     
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Four Facts About Julia Child

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 27, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Food

Julia Child is arguably the most well-known cookbook author in America. Child launched her impressive career in 1961 with the publication of her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking co-authored with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. The goal of the book was to make French cooking accessible to home cooks in America, and it was an unprecedented success. Its precise style and measurements changed the entire cookbook industry in the U.S., which had until then focused more on loose sketches of recipes. The success of the book as well as promotional television show appearances helped launch Child's career as a television cooking instructor.

Though people had cooked on TV before her, Child quickly became the most loved and well-known. Child went on to write seventeen more cookbooks, including The French Chef, The Way to Cook, and Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, as well as a successful autobiography, My Life in France. She continued to appear on television, starring in thirteen different cooking shows, spanning 1963 to 2000. Child passed away in 2004 at the age of 91, but her books continue to be published today, and her television shows still appear on public television stations. In an age of celebrity chefs, she is perhaps THE celebrity chef. Read on for more details about this beloved and enduring culinary powerhouse.

     
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Literature's Best Quotes About Fathers and the History of Father's Day

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 15, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Rare Book Gift Ideas

Celebrations of fatherhood exist around the world. The U.S. celebration of Father's Day has become popular in many nations and most commonly is celebrated on the third Sunday in June (that's in two days, if you still need to purchase a gift!). While the U.S. celebration has its modern roots in the early 20th century, days devoted to celebrating fatherhood can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

     
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An Economist for the People: John Kenneth Galbraith

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 5, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

John Kenneth “Ken” Galbraith was one of the most well-known economists and diplomats of the 20th century. Born in Ontario, Galbraith received his masters and doctorates in agricultural economics from University of California Berkeley. He went on to teach at both Harvard and Princeton University, and he held fellowships at the University of Cambridge in England. Galbraith published widely and became well known for his positions as a diplomat and as the editor of Fortune magazine during World War II. His role was exceedingly important at a time when understanding the politics and economy of agriculture was necessary for a nation at war and a people who had not yet recovered from the harsh impact of the Great Depression.

     
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Five Books for Children on Memorial Day

While decorating the graves of the deceased is a common and ancient custom, the American practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers dates back to the end of the Civil War. The first recorded instance took place in Virginia in 1861. Women in Savannah, Georgia did the same the following year, decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers, and in 1863, a commemoration was held in Gettysburg. Honoring soldiers lost in battle became even more common after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. While the practice, originally referred to as Decoration Day, became very common in the south, it did not start taking hold in the north until 1868. It soon spread to a national day, celebrated each year on May 30 and always honored by an address at Gettysburg. The shift toward the Memorial Day name did not come about until after World War II and was made official in 1967.

The following year, the date was officially moved to the third Monday in May to create a three day weekend in spite of protests from the VFW and others arguing that the change trivialized the holiday. And indeed, Memorial Day is often celebrated with cook outs, camping trips, swimming, boating, and massive sales at car dealerships and furniture stores; unfortunately, the core meaning of the holiday falls to the wayside for many people. Here are five books you can read with your children this Memorial Day to keep patriotism as your focus. Some will even help teach them the real meaning behind the holiday—honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

     
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Collecting Books by Buzz Aldrin

By Adrienne Rivera. May 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Science

In 1969 American astronaut Buzz Aldrin inspired people all across the nation when he and Neil Armstrong became the first two people to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He was born Edwin Aldrin Jr. in Glen Ridge, New Jersey in 1930, and he got the nickname “Buzz” (which he legally adopted in 1988) from his sister who struggled to pronounce the word “brother” and said “buzzer” instead. Upon graduation from high school, Aldrin turned down a full academic scholarship to MIT in favor of attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and entered the air force as a second lieutenant. He went on to serve as a fighter pilot in the Korean War.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Thomas Handforth

By Adrienne Rivera. May 17, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal was first awarded in 1937 and in the years since, it has honored some of the best and and most innovative artists working in the field of children's literature. For collectors, Caldecott Medal books are some of the most sought-after picture books. Likewise, these titles serve as a guidepost for parents searching for quality books to purchase for their children. Continuing our series on Caldecott Medal winners, we turn our attention to illustrator Thomas Handforth.

     
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Six Interesting Facts About Anne Rice

By Adrienne Rivera. May 8, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror

Horror novelist Anne Rice is best known for her Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series. Since publishing her first novel, Interview With the Vampire in the 1970s, she has published extensively in both the horror and erotic fiction genres, becoming one of the most popular writers living today. Her work has explored the nature of good, evil, and humanity through the lens of horror fiction and monsters like vampires, witches, werewolves, and mummies. Her work has been adapted into movies, comics, musicals, and she and her son Christopher Rice are currently working to adapt her fiction into a television series focusing on her most beloved character, the vampire Lestat. Here are some lesser-known facts about one of horror's modern masters.

     
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Book Spotlight: The Last Stop on Market Street

The Last Stop on Market Street, published in 2015 by Penguin, was written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. The book tells the story of CJ who is taking a bus ride with his grandmother after church, as they do every Sunday. While riding the bus, CJ glimpses one of his friends riding in a car with his family and asks why their family doesn't have a car, thus beginning a series of questions CJ asks his grandma based on the things and people he observes on their ride. Why do we love this book so much? Why should you add it to your collection? Read on.

     
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