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A James A. Michener Tribute

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 3, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, History

February 3 is James A. Michener's birthday. The legendary American author wrote nearly 50 books in his lifetime, and though he passed away in 1997 at the age of 90 years, he has a strong following to this day. We are big fans of Michener at Books Tell You Why, and it seems many of you are, as well. One of our most read and debated posts to date lists some of our picks of the top Michener works. We followed that post up to include a couple more favorites. In honor of Michener's birthday, we're linking to these posts today. Take a read and let us know if you agree or disagree with our selections. And in honor of Michener's life, pick up a copy of one of his lengthy tomes and get started reading it this month.

     
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James Joyce and the Ulysses Publication Saga

By Shelley Kelber. Feb 2, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Learn About Books

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was one of 10 children of May and John Joyce. He was born in Dublin in 1882. The family is described as a bourgeois Catholic family. James attended a Jesuit boarding school until 1891 when financial worries meant the family could no longer afford to send him there. He was home-schooled for a while, spent a short time at a Christian Brothers school, and started at Belvedere College, a Jesuit day school.

     
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The Six Wives of Norman Mailer

By Neely Simpson. Jan 31, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

"Notorious philanderer," "egomaniac," "pugnacious" and "pompous" are a few of the milder epitaphs that have been used to describe controversial and larger-than-life Norman Mailer. His New York Times obituary was even titled, "Norman Mailer, Towering Writer With Matching Ego, Dies at 84." Known in the literary world as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, Mailer won two Pulitzer Prizes in literature and one National Book Award. He is credited with having pioneered creative nonfiction as a genre, also called New Journalism. During his life he became as famous for his relationships with women as he did for his literary work. He was married six times and fathered eight children. Here is a brief look at the six wives of Norman Mailer.

     
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How Do I Establish a Rare Book Collection?

By Audrey Golden. Jan 29, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Collecting guide

Are you thinking about starting a rare book collection? The prospect of establishing a collection of rare books, ephemera, and other print objects can be daunting when you do not have much background knowledge about the subject. Yet we want to emphasize that anyone can create a rare book collection. If you have an interest in rare books and the desire to establish a collection, you’re already on your way. We want to give you some important tips concerning the logistics of starting your collection.

     
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Susan Sontag: Controversial Cultural Critic

By Carrie Scott. Jan 28, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

“Words alter, words add, words subtract.”

Susan Sontag: philosopher, literary critic, academic, political commentator, humanist, essayist, novelist, celebrity, diva, activist, zeitgeist; there is no one label in her repertoire that she didn’t engender a polarizing opinion on. With her trademark hair boasting an austere white stripe, Sontag shot to celebrity status in the 1960s, when she not only branded herself physically, but also made sure to be seen at shows, launches and Hollywood parties, laying the framework for a diva's reputation for haughtiness and mercurial behavior. She was observed berating any clerk or waiter who didn’t treat her with proper deference and imperious reverence. She was either venerated or villainized, either as a counter-cultural hero or a posturing pop celebrity. Never one for people pleasing, Sontag voiced her opinion on culturally controversial issues. 

     
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Lewis Carroll: A Man of Many Talents

By Shelley Kelber. Jan 27, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Perhaps best known as the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the man born as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and known as Lewis Carroll was truly a Renaissance man of the Victorian era.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Marie Hall Ets

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

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Reading is one of the most fundamental and important skills we learn as children. The books we encounter as children teach us lessons, offer us comfort, and hopefully build a foundational love of reading and story that stay with us for the rest of our lives. For these reasons, children's books are some of the most valued and beloved books in literature. To that end, each year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a children's book that exemplifies the best and most innovative work in the field of children's book illustration. These books are vibrant, relevant, and crucial stories whose merit goes beyond just the skill with which they were illustrated and often have long lasting appeal for the children for whom they were written, becoming favorites for years to come. Today we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series by taking a closer look at the 1960 winner, Marie Hall Ets.

     
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7 Interesting Facts About Jack Nicklaus

By Brian Hoey. Jan 21, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: First Editions

Jack Nicklaus is such a wildly accomplished golfer that listing out his achievements almost seems tedious. Though, perhaps it would reflect the slow, systematic nature of golf itself to cite each of his 18 major championship victories, his 73 PGA tour victories, and his double and triple career grand slams. After the spirit of his own writings (more on those later), however, we’ll keep the introduction brief: Jack Nicklaus is probably the greatest golfer of all time, and throughout his long and varied life and career he's done and accomplished a number of odd, surprising, and delightful things. Here are 7 of the most interesting.

     
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A.A. Milne: More Than Just Winnie the Pooh

By Kristin Wood. Jan 18, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger have been enchanting children for decades. While these imaginative characters are certainly the most popular creations to come from author A.A. Milne, they are not his only or first work. In fact, Winnie the Pooh came pretty late in the game, quickly overshadowing the collection of writing Milne had already produced. Along with children's literature, this versatile writer also penned adult novels and works of nonfictions, magazine articles, poetry, and scripts for stage and screen.

     
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What is a Rare Book?

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

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Collecting guide

We often hear about people who are starting or adding to rare book collections, but it can be difficult to know exactly what counts as a “rare” book. Indeed, you may find yourself wondering: What is a rare book? The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines something that is “rare” in a variety of ways, and some of them certainly apply to rare books. For example, the OED defines a rare object as “a thing or things . . . occurring infrequently, encountered only occasionally or at intervals, uncommon,” or “of a kind seldom found, done or occurring; unusual, uncommon, exceptional.” These definitions can help us to understand why a book might be rare—it is found infrequently, is uncommon to see or to hold, and is exceptional in some capacity. Yet, as you might guess, not all rare books are exceptional in the same ways.

     
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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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