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The Important Life and Work of Ralph Ellison

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 1, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting, Awarded Books

Born on March 1, 1914 in Oklahoma City and named after transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, American novelist and literary critic Ralph Ellison remains an important figure and influence in American literature and scholarship. But in spite of his numerous awards and the influence he has had on African American literature, Ellison almost pursued a different field entirely.

     
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Five Rare Science Books To Add to Your Collection

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, History, Science

Today is National Science Day! We’re excited, and perhaps you are wondering why. We are, after all, in the business of books—collecting, selling, and writing about them. Indeed, we share with you who wins the Nobel Prize in Literature, not who wins the Nobel Prize in Physics or Chemistry or even Medicine. But that’s not to say we don’t love science! As a matter of fact, we love it when books and science intersect, which happens quite often. Today, we’re focusing our attention on five of our favorite rare science books. If you, like us, have an affinity to books of scientific importance or would like to build a collection surrounding this topic, read on!

     
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Of Mice and Men and Marine Biology: A John Steinbeck Round-Up

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting

If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time, you know we’re big fans of John Steinbeck. Steinbeck, through his writing, made his way into American homes and schools over the course of the 20th century. That trend has continued to present day with many of his books counted as classics and placed on required reading lists from California to Maine. Steinbeck earned the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962 "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." In many a blog post, we’ve noted some of our favorite facts about Steinbeck’s life, best ways to collect the literary giant, and perhaps some lesser known (or considered) details of his career and legacy. In honor of his birthday today, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite John Steinbeck articles from across the blog. Enjoy!

     
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Victor Hugo: An Influential Life of Political Passion

By Kristin Wood. Feb 26, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

All is a ruin where rage knew no bounds:
Chio is levelled, and loathed by the hounds,
For shivered yest'reen was her lance;
Sulphurous vapors envenom the place

Where her true beauties of Beauty's true race
Were lately linked close in the dance. ~The Greek Boy, 1828

When it comes to French literature, one name is frequently the first to come to mind: Victor Hugo. While he is known internationally for his famous novels, Les Misérables and Notre Dame de Paris (better known to many by its English translation and Disney-popularized title, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), he is widely known in his home country as a leading poet during the Romantic movement.

     
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Bob Schieffer's Newsworthy Life

By Abigail Bekx. Feb 25, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

In 2019, media—from social to news—plays an important role in the lives of consumers. People are constantly aware of newsworthy, and not so newsworthy, developments from around the world nearly as soon as they occur. With this ease of access, the time when newspapers and television were the main means of delivery for news can be easily forgotten. The men and women who spent their careers informing others and becoming household names may be all but forgotten by the new generation. Bob Schieffer dedicated his life to news. His work as a reporter and news anchor reached millions of viewers and helps define the role of television news today.  

     
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Top Ten Movies Inspired By Great Books

By Kristin Masters. Feb 22, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

The 91st Academy Awards are set to take place on February 24, 2019. Of course, this got us thinking about book-to-movie adaptations. Here's a look at some of our favorites, in no particular order. What would you add to the list?

     
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The Women of Group f/64

By Abigail Bekx. Feb 20, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Book Gift Ideas

In 1932, Ansel Adams and ten other photographers, announced their formation of Group f/64, a group devoted to straight photography and sharp focus images. It was Edward Weston and Ansel Adams at the center of the group, helping bring the group’s ideals to national attention. They adopted the name Group f/64 in reference to the smallest aperture available for large-format view cameras, which allows the picture to achieve as sharp of focus as possible. As a whole, the group focused on landscapes or close-up photographs of natural subjects. Despite differences in subjects and personal style, their efforts to perfectly show the exact features of their subjects brought them together in a shared venture. While not all official members of Group f/64, the female photographers showing their work in the first exhibit are especially interesting. Each possessed their own style, journey, and place in the history of photography. 

     
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Ten Quotes from Amy Tan

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 19, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

First generation American writer Amy Tan was born In Oakland, California on February 19, 1952 to Chinese immigrant parents. She studied at San Jose State University where she received both her BA and Masters degree. She pursued a doctoral degree at UC Berkley but eventually dropped out. Before breaking out as a writer, she worked a variety of jobs, including switchboard operator, pizza chef, and bartender. In 1989, Tan published her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, and she became an immediate and massive success. Her book was adapted into a hit film in 1993. Like much of her body of work, this first novel was partially inspired by her real life experiences: the interaction between a Chinese mother and her American daughter and the burden of family tragedy.

     
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Five Things You Might Not Know About Toni Morrison

By Abigail Bekx. Feb 18, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book News

Toni Morrison is one of the foremost leaders who brought African-American literature from the fringes of literary circles into the mainstream. Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931, Morrison grew up in Lorain, Ohio. She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she majored in English before earning a Master of Arts from Cornell University. Morrison began her career by teaching English at several universities. In 1970, she published her first novel, The Bluest Eyes. Her best known novel, Beloved, was published in 1987. In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She continues her work promoting and supporting the central theme of her novels: the experience of African-Americans in unjust societies. 

     
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Six Books About Love (From Authors Who Aren't Your Typical Romance Writers)

By Kristin Masters. Feb 14, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Valentine's Day is upon us, and while modern day readers often associate authors like Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts with romance, these writers aren't the only ones to deliver tales of love and passion. Here's a look at a few authors who aren't your typical romance writers, but who have written delightful, poignant love stories. 

     
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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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