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Ten Books to Read in a Day

By Abigail Bekx. Sep 6, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Read a Book Day is one of the best days of the year, other than, perhaps, Talk Like a Pirate Day. Celebrated on September 6, Read a Book Day encourages everyone, both book lovers and ambivalent readers, to read, and it provides yet another excuse to sit down with a good book and escape from the world. It can be difficult to narrow down what to read in a day when there are so many options. From YA to classics, here are ten possibilities to consider when choosing a book to read in a day.

     
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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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J. R. R. Tolkien, Inkling and Hobbit

By Andrea Koczela. Sep 2, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien, Science Fiction

 

“I would that I might with the minstrels sing
and stir the unseen with a throbbing string.”
-J. R. R. Tolkien, “Mythopoeia”

 

Today we celebrate the life of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955).  The tremendous success of these novels has earned Tolkien the title “father of high fantasy”, yet he did more than create tales of elves and dragons. An Oxford professor and expert in Old English and mythology, Tolkien believed that all myths contain “fundamental truths” that speak deeply to the human condition. He imbued his novels with these primordial themes, and it is perhaps for this reason that his works have maintained such enduring popularity.

     
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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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J.D. Salinger's Place in Modern Literature

By Kristin Masters. Aug 29, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Modern First Editions

J.D. Salinger authored Catcher in the Rye (1951) and numerous short stories. Known for being reclusive following the massive fame garnered by The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger rarely gave interviews. In 1974, after a 20 year break from the media, Salinger spoke via telephone to the New York Times. The interviewer asked him about his absence from publishing and the public eye and he responded: "There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It's peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure." 

Because Salinger fiercely guarded his privacy, we're left with many more questions than answers about his life and experiences. We can turn to Salinger's biographers or to the memoir written by his daughter, Margaret, titled Dream Catcher for some telling information, but each written discussion of his life has in turn been disputed by other family members. 

     
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Book Collecting Basics: What is Collation?

By Brian Hoey. Aug 28, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History

The study of Shakespeare has, historically, thrived off of small inconsistencies in the great playwright’s printed editions. When you pick up a Folger edition of the Bard’s work and find that your favorite soliloquy out of the Pelican Shakespeare is ever so slightly altered, you experience the fruits of a literary labor that is as much a science as it is an art. The foundation of this science is called collation. 

     
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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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Books That Inspired Award-Winning Movies and Performances

By Kristin Masters. Aug 25, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Modern First Editions

Since the invention of cinema, directors and producers have borrowed stories from the pages of books to grace the silver screen. And exceptional books often make exceptional films, as evidenced by the number of award-winning moviesand performancesbased on books. In honor of legendary actor Sean Connery's birthday, here's a look at some favorites, which have remained popular both on screen and among collectors of modern first editions. 

     
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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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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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