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

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Famous Astronauts and Their Lives After NASA

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

Topics: American History

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon and for the first time, mankind took its first physical steps out in the universe. The 50th anniversary of the lunar landing is fast approaching. The things NASA has learned from that first landing and the numerous following expeditions into space have changed the face of scientific understanding. To celebrate  NASA and the brave astronauts who have made history throughout the years, let's take a look at the lives of some of the most famous astronauts after they ended their careers in space exploration.

     
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Top Books by State: Colorado

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

Topics: Books collecting

This month we are continuing our literary road trip through the United States by taking a look at some of the great books set in Colorado. Now there are many amazing writers that come from Colorado, but a surprising few of them set their books in their home state. While only one of the authors mentioned on this list hails from the Centennial State, all of them embody something of the beauty of Colorado. The western state is known for its amazing geographical features. Within its borders are mountains, plains, and deserts. In Colorado, you can experience the bustle of a busy city or the majestic isolation of a snowy mountain. There is history and beauty there, and the books on this list all showcase that, even if one of the selections may surprise you. Check out these books to see some of what makes Colorado so special.      
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Book Spotlight: Tales From Shakespeare by Tina Packer

Seventeenth century poet and playwright William Shakespeare penned some of the most well-known stories in the world. The conflict, romance, comedy, and wordplay have captivated audiences for over four hundred years, and Shakespeare's plays continue to be performed on stage and screen in both their original form and in new, adapted forms. The varying forms shed a different light on the stories, introducing them and making them more accessible to a new audience.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Leo Politi

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Each year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a book that represents the best of children's illustration. The illustrious list of winning books contains a massive variety, from the style of the illustrations to the subjects of the books, to the backgrounds of the illustrators who poured themselves into the creation of these amazing pieces of art. The latest illustrator to be featured in our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series is Leo Politi. Politi won the award in 1950 for his book Song of the Swallows.

     
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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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