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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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Celebrating the Legacy of Illustrator Arthur Rackham

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, illustrations

English artist Arthur Rackham is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential illustrators from the Golden Age of British Illustration. What really cemented his position as one of the preeminent illustrators of his day were his color illustrations for Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle and J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Some of his notable works include illustrations for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market, and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, which was published after Rackham's death. On the anniversary of his birthday, let's take a look at the enduring legacy of one of England's most beloved illustrators. 

     
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Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie!

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

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie is the most popular mystery writers of all time. Her two most well-known characters, Mrs. Marple and Hercule Poirot, are icons in the world of detective fiction, on par with literature's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Christie has served as inspiration for generations of writers who came after her, and her books are still tremendously popular years after the publication of her final novel. In honor of what would have been her 128th birthday, let's take a look at the life of one of fiction's most beloved authors.

     
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Seven Books We All Read in School

It's the day after Labor Day, and that means for many, it's time to go back to school. Books and school go hand-in-hand. Whether they were on summer reading lists, sprinkled throughout the general curriculum, or assigned for a book report, the following books represent some of the most common novels we all read in school. Check out some of these classic novels and relive your school days.

     
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Book Spotlight: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Newbery Award-winning novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill was published in 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers. This middle grade novel appeals to both young and old readers with it's important message and compelling fairy tale feel. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a magical story that's perfect for lovers of magic, fairy tales, and for Newbery collectors. What is it about this book that captures the imagination and has lead to it's massive success and popularity?

     
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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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