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Leah Dobrinska
Writer, editor, and lover of a good sentence, a happy ending, and the smell of books, both old and new. Enjoys reading children's lit to her daughters, home-improvement magazines with her husband, and Shakespeare by herself.

Recent Posts:

O.J. Simpson's If I Did It: The Road to Publication

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 18, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book History

We are always fascinated by a book’s road to publication. From its author’s efforts to get his or her story on paper, to its editor’s work, to the actual publishing of the book, it’s a nuanced process, filled with highs and lows. O.J. Simpson—the most notorious subject in a criminal trial in the last century—penned If I Did It (with the help of a ghost writer), and the book’s publication history is an interesting one, making first editions highly collectible.

     
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A Glimpse of Understanding: A(nother) look at Post 9/11 Novels

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 11, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

September 11, 2001. A day which—much like December 7, 1941—will live in infamy. Most everyone you ask can remember exactly where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing when they heard or saw the news of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, many of us who lived through the day and were tuned into the news can remember the moment the second plane hit the south tower because we watched it happen.

     
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Great Golf Collectibles - Happy Birthday, Arnold Palmer!

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 10, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

Only a handful of names come to mind in a discussion of truly great golfers—those athletes whose accomplishments are time-tested and serve to inspire the generations of golfers who follow in their wake. Jack Nicklaus. Gary Player. Byron Nelson. More recently, Tiger Woods. But perhaps no man has had such success as a golfer while at the same time endearing himself so fully to golf fans as Arnold Palmer.

     
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Lesser Known Facts About The Publication of Harry Potter

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 1, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

Two decades ago, “the boy who lived” soared across the ocean and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone made its way into the hands of American readers for the first time. Now, twenty years later, almost everyone knows the stories, and the beloved characters from the Harry Potter series feel like old friends. Many of us know the history of J.K. Rowlings’ writing process, and how she went from single mother, struggling to make ends meet, to literary superstar. Most readers of the Harry Potter Generation can identify the books by their cover art, even by their color schemes. But what are some of the lesser known facts about the Harry Potter series, particularly the first and subsequent U.S. editions in comparison to their U.K. counterparts? In honor of the twentieth publication anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, here are some pieces of Harry Potter trivia that’ll help you ace even the most challenging “History of Magic” exam.

     
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John McCain: Remembering An American Hero

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 30, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

The world lost a good man on Saturday. John McCain passed away at the age of 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. McCain was many things: husband, father, Navy pilot, prisoner of war, senator, presidential candidate, and author. Moreover, he served as an inspiration for scores of Americans who looked to the war-hero as a no-nonsense patriot who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth and get the job done, party-lines notwithstanding. Countless former colleagues and friends have come forward to pay tribute to John McCain through articles and videos. Two past presidents have been tapped to speak at his funeral events, happening over the course the next few days. If you’re looking for a way to pay tribute to McCain and to honor his legacy, the following list contains a selection of his books. No other politician in recent memory is as deserving of a place on our book shelves as John McCain.

     
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Happy Birthday, Lyndon B. Johnson!

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 27, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States, would be 110 years old today. Few persons in positions of executive power have experienced such an unthinkable, history-making event as LBJ did. Of course, we’re talking about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and what followed. Another example occurred on September 11, 2001, when then President George W. Bush faced the news of a domestic terrorist attack. How a president—or soon-to-be president, in the case of Lyndon B. Johnson—handles himself in the wake of such a moment, for better or worse, tends to define his legacy.

So, in honor of LBJ’s birthday, let’s examine his presidency and beyond.

     
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Ray Bradbury and the Power of Books

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Ray Bradbury, whose birthday we celebrate today, was a lifelong proponent of books and literature. He fought for the preservation of libraries, and only allowed his physical books to be formatted for e-readers when he was given no other option. This love of books as physical objects is only natural, you might say, for one who made his living as an author. But Bradbury and books are even more connected. After all, his most famous book takes as its focus books themselves, or, rather, a society that burns books. Fahrenheit 451 is a mainstay on most high school English reading lists, and for good reason. It's a cautionary tale, reminding readers of all ages of the risks of simply conforming, doing what they're told, and failing to use their minds to think for themselves. Bradbury's warning goes beyond just the burning of books. As he writes in  Fahrenheit 451, “You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Robert McCloskey

Winning the Caldecott Medal is one of the highest honors an illustrator can receive. Winning the Caldecott Medal numerous times is a feat only a few can boast. Robert McCloskey is one of only a handful of artists who were awarded the Caldecott Medal on two different occasions (the others who have won twice are Barbara Cooney, Nonny Hogrogian, Leo and Diane Dillon, Chris Van Allsburg, and Chris Raschka, and only Marcia Brown and David Wiesner have won the award three times). In fact, he was the first ever two-time winner. So who is Robert McCloskey? What made him such an enduring figure in the world of children’s literature?

     
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Best Books About Weddings

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 8, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Charles Dickens

Wedding season is upon us. Indeed, August recently surpassed June as the most popular month for couples to walk down the aisle making now a perfect time to look at books that center around weddings. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own affair, trying to pass the time before the big day, or searching for a wedding-themed book to add to your collection, here are some of our favorite books about weddings.

     
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A Harry Potter Birthday Round-Up

By Leah Dobrinska. Jul 31, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Children's Books

July 31 is an important day in the Wizarding world. Not only is it Harry Potter’s birthday—which, of course, before the age of 11 didn’t mean much of anything seeing as the Dursleys either forgot about it or knowingly ignored the day’s significance—but it’s also the day which Harry found out about his past, and with a single proclamation from Hagrid (“Harry—yer a wizard!”), his life was changed forever. If you ask the generation of readers who grew up alongside “the boy who lived”, they’ll tell you Harry’s story changed their lives, as well.

     
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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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