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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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Philip Roth, Philip K. Dick, and the Man in the High Castle

By Audrey Golden. Apr 19, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

What would our world look like if the Axis powers had won World War II? How would our daily lives have been transformed if the United States had been sympathetic to Nazi Germany? Posing “what if” questions about World War II and its aftermath has been popular among some of America’s most widely read authors. Notably, both Philip K. Dick and Philip Roth have imagined alternate histories in which Nazi Germany won the war. While the series The Man in the High Castle takes its title and storyline directly from Dick’s novel of the same name, we’d like to explore the literary precursors to the show and to consider the ways in which writers wield great power in the writing (and rewriting) of our histories.

     
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A Tribute to John Updike

By Kristin Masters. Apr 18, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Literature

Best known for the Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom series, John Updike published in a variety of genres beyond fiction, including poetry, literary criticism, short stories, and even children's books.

     
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Rare Books By Women Writers

By Audrey Golden. Apr 15, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Collecting guide

A large majority of books collected are not books by women writers. But right here, right now, you can help to change that! While book collecting historically has been a pastime, passion, and even mania inhabited largely by men for so many problematic reasons, many women collectors and women writers are helping to shape a shift. More women should collect, and more people in general should collect rare books by women writers. While there are so many novelists, poets, and short story writers to choose from, we want to offer you a broad sampling of some of the rare books by women writers that you, too, could be collecting.

     
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Fowl Play with Eoin Colfer

By Lauren Corba. Apr 14, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Science Fiction

Eoin Colfer, writer of various children’s novels, is most acclaimed for his thrilling adventure series, Artemis Fowl. Beloved by readers and collectors alike, these books have become modern classics. But Colfer has also written a number of other notable children's books. 

     
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Collecting Interesting Editions of the Work of Leo and Diane Dillon

Leo and Diane Dillon are world-class illustrators, Caldecott Award winners, and a formidable team. The couple met at the Parsons School of Design in New York where both were students. Leo came upon a still life of an Eames chair displayed among student work at a school exhibition. He was struck by it, and set out to find who had done the work. That person—whom he assumed was a “he”—was, in fact, Diane Sorber. The two entered in to a sort of rivalry, trying to place higher than each other at competitive art shows. In the end, they married and joined creative forces.

     
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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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Seattle's Rare Book Scene

By Audrey Golden. Apr 7, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literary travel, travel guides

Whenever we’re traveling for business or pleasure, we make sure to carve out a few hours—or more!—to visit local rare bookstores. When it comes to a stop in Seattle, there are some fantastic shops that specialize in a range of rare books and ephemera. While Seattle is often remembered as a city that introduced the rest of the country (and the globe) to grunge music and the sounds of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, it’s also a city with a rich cultural and literary history. The rare book scene in Seattle should interest both casual and serious collectors alike.

     
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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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