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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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Tim Russert: Journalist and Author

By Adrienne Rivera. May 7, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

As the long-time host of Meet the Press and commentator on presidential elections, Timothy Russert was a household name during his lauded career at NBC. Russert is credited with popularizing the terms “red and blue states” to refer to states that primarily tend to vote Republican or Democrat, respectively. During his time as a journalist with NBC, he covered numerous presidential elections and the Iraq war. Let's take a closer look at the career and books by this legend of televised political journalism.

     
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James Patterson: Master of the Thriller

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 22, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

For fans of mystery and thriller novels, there is perhaps no bigger name than James Patterson. With over 147 books under his belt, Patterson is often considered the most prolific writer working in the field. Since the publication of his first novel in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number, Patterson has produced a steady stream of mysteries and thrillers popular with both adults and young adults alike, While Patterson has come under fire for his extensive collaboration with co-writers, a practice which many suspect has not called for Patterson to do much of the writing, he has maintained a presence on the New York Times Best Seller list for years, with numerous books topping the charts. From his Alex Cross series to the Women's Murder Club series, his thrillers have made him a must-read author for decades. Even non-readers likely have a familiarity to his work due to numerous television and film adaptation based on his novels. Let's take a closer look at some of the best novels by this author and philanthropist for those wishing to add to their collection or break into this massive body of work for the first time.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Maurice Sendak

Every year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the illustrator of a children's book that represents the best and most innovative work being done in the field. Critically acclaimed and—more importantly—beloved by children, these books often go on to hold important places on the shelves of libraries and families for years. Even so, it is fair to say that while many of the books achieve a notable status and have great staying power, it isn't often that the illustrators themselves become household names. However, there are a few exceptions. Join us as we take a look at the winner of the 1964 Caldecott Medal: the legendary Maurice Sendak.

     
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The History and Importance of Women's Literature

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

Women's literature has often been defined by publishers as a category of writing done by women. Though obviously this is true, many scholars find such a definition reductive. What makes the history of women's writing so interesting is that in many ways it is a new area of study. The tradition of women writing has been much ignored due to the inferior position women have held in male-dominated societies. It is still not unheard of to see literature classes or anthologies in which women are greatly outnumbered by male writers or even entirely absent. The onus of women's literature, then, is to categorize and create an area of study for a group of people marginalized by history and to explore through their writing their lives as they were while occupying such a unique sociopolitical space within their culture.

     
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Top Books by State: Iowa

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 8, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Movie Tie-Ins, Literary travel

Next up on our trip through America by book is the state of Iowa. The Hawkeye state is known for football, farmland, andin election yearsfor the caucus. While there are metropolitan centers in Iowa like Des Moines, the Quad Cities area, and Iowa Citythe latter of which is known as a literary hub due to the Iowa Writers Workshop, one of the most prestigious writing programs in the countrymuch of Iowa is rural farmland. While much of Iowa used to be covered in prairies, an emphasis on an agriculture-based economy decimated much of the original landscape. In recent years, there has been an attempt to reclaim some of the lost prairie ground and to provide a safe space for the return of native flora and fauna. Whether city or small town, farmland or prairie, Iowa is a beautiful state well worth visiting, either in person or in books. Let's take a look at some of the best books set in and inspired by Iowa.

     
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Chronicling the American Presidency: Bob Woodward

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 25, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Pulitzer Prize

While not many print journalists bear the distinction of being a household name, there are likely few people who have not heard of investigative reporter Bob Woodward. WoodwardHarvard educated and a Navy veteranhas spent the majority of his career at The Washington Post, where he currently serves as associate editor. He initially applied for a position as a reporter at the Post and was given a two week trial period. He was not hired on a continual basis due to a lack of experience, since he applied right out of school. Woodward applied again after one year of working as a journalist at the Montgomery Sentinel. Not even a full year later, Woodward, along with Carl Bernstein, was assigned to cover a burglary at the soon to be infamous Watergate Building. This would make him a household name.

     
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Top Books by State: Indiana

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 10, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary road trip through the United States by taking a closer look at my home state, Indiana. For many people, the Midwest is little more than a flyover region and simply considered farm country. It's easy to think of Indiana by the things its most known for: NASCAR, basketball, corn, and perhaps the infamous level of violence located in the Gary, Indiana area. While Indiana is definitely known for those things, it's also a state rich in history. Abraham Lincoln lived a large portion of his childhood in southern Indiana, and President William Henry Harrison and Native American leader Tecumseh led their respective sides in the Battle of Tippecanoe. Indiana is also a beautiful state, home to the Indiana Dunes near Lake Michigan, numerous protected areas of woodlands like the Hoosier National Forest and the Lincoln National and Lincoln State forests, and a rich network of limestone caves. One of America's oldest theme parks, Holiday World, is also in Indiana. Let's take a look some of the best books set in the Hoosier state.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Ezra Jack Keats

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 5, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the illustrator of a children's book that showcases the best work being produced in the field. Ezra Jack Keats' book The Snowy Day was awarded the medal in 1963. Keats' beloved book not only ushered in a much-needed influx of multiculturalism in the world of children's literature, but also has grown to be one of the most beloved children's books of all time. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series by taking a closer look at this incredible illustrator.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Nicolas Sidjakov

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 24, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded every year to a book that represents the finest achievement in children's book illustration that year. Often times these awards go to titans in the field of children's book illustrating, artists who go on to create art for some of the best loved books for children. One winner, however, was not primarily an illustrator for children's books, and in fact considered himself to be mostly an advertising artist, illustrating only a handful of children's books during his career. Let's take a closer look at 1961's winner Nicholas Sidjakov, who achieved the highest honor in American children's book illustration even while not pursuing the field as his primary vocation.

     
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The Essential Amy Tan

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 19, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Awarded Books

Amy Tan is arguably one of the most famous Chinese American writers today. Her novels, short stories, and essays are filled with intimate details about growing up as a first generation American and about what it is like to be both separate and a part of Chinese culture. Her unique yet honest and heartfelt examination of the American experience has led to the majority of her books topping best seller lists. She is often lauded and loved, and her work has been anthologized and studied in numerous text books and classrooms in the decades since her first novel was published. Join us as we take a closer look at some of the books that make Tan worth collecting.

     
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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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