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Caging the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Tennessee Williams

By Lauren Corba. Mar 26, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Drama

Thomas Lanier (Tennessee) Williams was a man before his time, drawing attention to social issues rather than politics; focusing on mental health, sexual orientation, domestic violence, and family issues. He is one of the greatest American playwrights and largely undervalued.

     
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Chronicling the American Presidency: Bob Woodward

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 25, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Pulitzer Prize

While not many print journalists bear the distinction of being a household name, there are likely few people who have not heard of investigative reporter Bob Woodward. WoodwardHarvard educated and a Navy veteranhas spent the majority of his career at The Washington Post, where he currently serves as associate editor. He initially applied for a position as a reporter at the Post and was given a two week trial period. He was not hired on a continual basis due to a lack of experience, since he applied right out of school. Woodward applied again after one year of working as a journalist at the Montgomery Sentinel. Not even a full year later, Woodward, along with Carl Bernstein, was assigned to cover a burglary at the soon to be infamous Watergate Building. This would make him a household name.

     
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James Patterson: Author or Brand Manager?

By Shelley Kelber. Mar 22, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, American Literature

Is he beloved by his critics and peers? Not so much. But James Patterson's popularity among readers remains incontrovertible. He is an industry. It's not so much all that he has written. "Written" isn't a precise enough verb. Maybe conceived, outlined, or curated would be more descriptive of his process.

     
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How to Buy Rare Books Online

By Audrey Golden. Mar 20, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

Buying rare books online can be tricky, but it can also be a lot of fun. While browsing in rare and antiquarian bookstores should still remain one of your favorite pastimes, sometimes buying online can also be exciting. We want to give you some advice about where to buy, what to be wary of, and how to know you’re getting what you want.

     
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Exploring Philip Roth's Memorable Protagonists

By Leah Dobrinska. Mar 19, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

The best stories have memorable protagonists. Over the course of his illustrious career, Philip Roth has fashioned numerous standouts. Roth said in a 2014 interview republished in the New York Times that his “focus has never been on masculine power rampant and triumphant but rather on the antithesis: masculine power impaired…[His] intention is to present [his] fictional men not as they should be but vexed as men are.”  A look at some of the great Rothian main characters reveals that perhaps it’s the characters’ realistic struggles and less-than-picture-perfect lifestyles that make them as memorable as they have become.

     
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Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library

By Audrey Golden. Mar 17, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Libraries & Special Collections, Libraries

Whether you’re an academic researcher, an archivist, or simply someone who has an interest in rare books, you should visit the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at least once in your life. While the collections at the Beinecke, like those within other special collections libraries, are open only to researchers, there’s still a lot to see even if you’re just passing through New Haven, Connecticut on a weekday afternoon. Indeed, the Beinecke keeps a variety of items from its collection on display within its incredible building at Yale University. And don’t get discouraged by the idea that you need to be a researcher in order to view any of the collections. While academics certainly visit the Beinecke with frequency, researchers do not have to be affiliated with a college or university to access the collections. To be sure, researchers come from a variety of backgrounds to engage in work related to the papers held at the library.

     
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Virginia Hamilton's Life and Work

By Shelley Kelber. Mar 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Virginia Hamilton was a master storyteller who preserved black oral tradition through her intensive research uncovering riddles, stories, and traditions. Her career would span for more than 40 years, but her first book was published in 1967, a time when most books devoted to the African American experience dealt with issues of segregation and poverty. She termed her novels “liberation literature” and instead of problem storylines, her tales underscored the experiences of ordinary people. Among her works were picture books, folk tales, science-fiction stories, realistic novels, biographies, and mysteries.

     
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How to Find Rare Books?

By Audrey Golden. Mar 11, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

Depending upon your previous experience buying rare books, the answer to a question about how to find them might seem either obvious or baffling. So, how does one find rare books? In brief, you can find rare books in a number of places, but knowing precisely where to look can get more complicated than you'd think. Depending upon what kind of rare books you’re looking for, you may need to consult a rare book dealer who specializes in the particular type of text you’re seeking. And to ensure that you’re buying what you think you’re buying (and not a reproduction, for example), it’s important to know how to identify a reputable seller. So, if you’re still looking for rare books, let us give you some ideas of how you can locate what you seek.

     
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Top Books by State: Indiana

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 10, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary road trip through the United States by taking a closer look at my home state, Indiana. For many people, the Midwest is little more than a flyover region and simply considered farm country. It's easy to think of Indiana by the things its most known for: NASCAR, basketball, corn, and perhaps the infamous level of violence located in the Gary, Indiana area. While Indiana is definitely known for those things, it's also a state rich in history. Abraham Lincoln lived a large portion of his childhood in southern Indiana, and President William Henry Harrison and Native American leader Tecumseh led their respective sides in the Battle of Tippecanoe. Indiana is also a beautiful state, home to the Indiana Dunes near Lake Michigan, numerous protected areas of woodlands like the Hoosier National Forest and the Lincoln National and Lincoln State forests, and a rich network of limestone caves. One of America's oldest theme parks, Holiday World, is also in Indiana. Let's take a look some of the best books set in the Hoosier state.

     
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Mickey Spillane: Hardboiled Detectives and Salted Peanuts

By Brian Hoey. Mar 9, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

"Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.” Mickey Spillane

For a writer, one of the most depressing literary pantheons is the “books written in a matter of weeks” category. This includes such classics and arguable classics as Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930, written in six weeks while the author worked as a security guard), Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957, written in three weeks on a 120 foot long roll of paper), and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day (1989, written in a 28 day “crash” during which time he didn't see anyone, answer any mail, answer the phone, etc.). While not a classic by anyone definition, Dostoevsky’s The Gambler (1866) was written in about a month in order to pay off a gambling debt. Also on that list is hardboiled mystery writer Mickey Spillane’s 1947 first novel, I, the Jury—which marked the debut of the iconic private eye Mike Hammer.

     
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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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