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Agatha Christie: Queen of Crime with Continuing Appeal

By Shelley Kelber. Sep 15, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Everybody knows Agatha Christie wrote an amazing number of books, and lots of movies and TV shows have been based on them. She is considered a genius for her plotting and understanding of the psychology behind her characters. But not as many know that she and her first husband were among the first Brits to surf standing up. And they did this in Hawaii, in the 1920s, while touring the world promoting the British Empire Exhibition.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Marcia Brown

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 12, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Every year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a committee-selected children's book that showcases the best work being produced in the field of children's book illustration. One of the biggest awards in American children's literature, to even be named a Caldecott Honor book is a massive accolade. In 1955 Marcia Brown received this honor for her book Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper. And then she won again in 1962 for Once a Mouse. She won a third time for Shadow in 1983, making her one of only two illustrators in the history of the Caldecott Medal to be awarded three times. Brown continued to make history by being named a Caldecott Honor recipient six times as well. She is the most Caldecott-decorated illustrator of all time. Let's take a closer look at this icon of the industry as we continue with our Caldecott Winning Illustrator Series.

     
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A Glimpse of Understanding: A Look at Post 9/11 Novels

By Nick Ostdick. Sep 11, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Some moments in history are so monumental, so seismic, they seem impossible for fiction to get its arms around. These are moments that defy logic, that render conventional and unconventional methods of storytelling obsolete in trying to uncover the truth of the human condition. Take, for example, the horrific events of September 11: a calculated, strategic assault on some of the country’s most iconic images — The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and The White House, though thankfully that last image was left unharmed due to the courage of those aboard the plane bound for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

The inherent problem in fiction dealing directly with national tragedies like 9/11 is that the tragedy itself seems something born out of a writer’s imagination, not moments recounted for decades to come in history books. With instances like September 11, there are often more questions to begin with and even fewer answers to be found as the pages turn. 

     
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Great Golf Collectibles - Happy Birthday, Arnold Palmer!

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 10, 2019. 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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Raymond Benson, the First American Writer of James Bond

By Claudia Adrien. Sep 6, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Strong film screenplays provided the foundation for Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and other actors to bring James Bondor 007to life. These movies have captured the imaginations of movie-goers for decades. Of course, many of the screenplays derived from original James Bond books and short stories. Ian Fleming was the first James Bond author, the originator of the series. However, there have been seven other authorized James Bond authors; the first American writer was Raymond Benson.

     
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How Jesse James Became an American Myth

By Brian Hoey. Sep 5, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Movie Tie-Ins

This blog post is not the first place it’s been pointed out that the Wild West era lasted a scant few decades—compared to the century-plus of folk songs, dime novels, movies, TV shows, and other forms of myth-making that take up (and sometimes interrogate) the inherent romance and drama of the era. Given all that, it shouldn’t really surprise us that Wikipedia’s article on “Cultural depictions of Jesse James” is almost as long as the article on James himself. And yet, the piece leaves out what is arguably the first piece of popular culture that took up the life (and death) of the one of the West’s most notorious outlaws: the touring stage show put on by Robert Ford, James’ assassin, dramatizing the moment when Ford himself put a bullet in the back of James’ head.

     
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Writer and Golf Legend: Tom Watson

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 4, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

This July, legendary golfer Tom Watson told reporters the British Senior Open would be his final senior open, ending a career of big-stage performances, chock full of personal triumphs and exciting victories. Throughout the golf community, fans and other professionals have voiced their immense respect and gratitude for what Watson has brought to the timeless game. Though golf enthusiasts will no longer be able to enjoy watching Watson's signature play style on the senior open stage, we are still able to take many lessons from the famous pro's career thanks to his large body of work in his other career: that of author. Let's take the look at the life and career of this amazing player, as well as some of the excellent books on golf he has written along the way.

     
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Collect What Your Kids Read

By Kristin Masters. Sep 3, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Biographies

It's that time of year! Kids are headed back to school, and for students of all ages that means required reading is right around the corner. Perhaps you only vaguely remember The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, and Lord of the Flies. But classroom staples can offer inspiration for enhancing your rare book collection.

     
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Five of John McCain's Fascinating Books

By Abigail Bekx. Aug 29, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

Born in 1936, John McCain dedicated his life to serving the United States. He graduated from Naval Academy in Annapolis and received a commission from the U.S. Navy. During his time serving in the Navy, McCain worked as a naval aviator and was captured during the Vietnam War, remaining a prisoner of war for five and a half years before his release in 1973. After retiring from the Navy in 1981, he entered politics, where he served in both the House and the Senate until his death in 2018. Many of his writings were done in collaboration with Mark Salter, who served for a time as McCain’s chief of staff.  

     
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Sunning: Bad for Your Skin, Bad for Your Books!

By Kristin Masters. Aug 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Book Care

Summer is in full swing, and along with all that sun comes the joy of summer reading! But the sun can cause irreversible damage to your skin⁠—and your books. It's important to protect your rare and collectible books from heat, humidity, and sunning.

     
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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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