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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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The Essential Amy Tan

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 19, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Awarded Books

Amy Tan is arguably one of the most famous Chinese American writers today. Her novels, short stories, and essays are filled with intimate details about growing up as a first generation American and about what it is like to be both separate and a part of Chinese culture. Her unique yet honest and heartfelt examination of the American experience has led to the majority of her books topping best seller lists. She is often lauded and loved, and her work has been anthologized and studied in numerous text books and classrooms in the decades since her first novel was published. Join us as we take a closer look at some of the books that make Tan worth collecting.

     
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Top Books by State: Illinois

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Awarded Books

Today we continue our literary journey with a stop in Illinois. This Midwestern state is known for being a mixture of urban and rural, city and farmland, as well as for being home to many of the different cultures that make up America. Illinois is famous for corn and Abraham Lincoln, for gangsters roaming Chicago in the 1930s and for sports. Illinois boasts cities, farms, wetlands and forests, all situated in the heart of country. Illinois is home to Chicago, perhaps the most important of the Midwestern cities, and while Illinois is considered by many to simply be a flyover state, in many ways, its history and people represent some of the most important aspects of America. Join us as we take a closer look at the Prairie State.

     
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A Guide to Collecting the Works of Anchee Min

By Audrey Golden. Jan 14, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Awarded Books, Modern First Editions

Whether you’re just beginning to read the works of Anchee Min or are considering starting a contemporary literature collection that focuses on Min’s works, it’s essential to know more about her background to understand the potential ways of framing your collection. While many people simply collect all books written by a particular author, Min’s life story provides an interesting background for framing a larger collection that includes texts of the Chinese Cultural Revolution or the Chinese-American immigrant community in the U.S. and elsewhere.

     
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Book Spotlight: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 14, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books

Astrid Lindgren was born on November 14th, 1907. At the age of 14 in 1921 Astrid published På vår gård (On Our Property) in the Vimmerby Tidning. In 1933, her first children’s stories were published. During WWII, she wrote “War Diary.” After her daughter Karin named Pippi Longstocking, Lindgren wrote her story down and sent it to the publishing firm Bonniers, who rejected it. She edited her work and submitted it to Rabén & Sjögren for consideration in a compassion for books for girls. Pippi Longstocking was published in 1945. Over the rest of her career, Lindgren published many children’s stories, but Pippi Longstocking remains her most loved character.

     
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Top Books By State: Connecticut

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Today we continue our literary tour of the United States by looking at some of the best books from Connecticut. This New England state is known for its beautiful coastal towns, charming cities and villages, and for being home to the illustrious Yale University. But Connecticut is more than just its collegiate connections. It is both rural and urban, coastal and pastoral. Some of the best Connecticut books hone in on these details that make the state stand out. Join us as we take a closer look at two books set in Connecticut thatthrough gorgeous detailembody some of what makes The Constitution State special.

     
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A Reading Guide to Alice Adams

By Abigail Bekx. Aug 14, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Literature

Best known for her short stories, Alice Adams wrote eleven novels and published over 25 short stories in The New Yorker. Over the course of her career, she won many awards, including the O. Henry Special Award for Continuing Achievement and Best American Short Stories Awards. Her work unflinchingly explores platonic and romantic relationships and the happiness and disappointments that accompany them.

     
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Top Books by State: California

Today we continue our Top Books by States series by talking a closer look at California. California is one of the most diverse states in the country, containing deserts, mountains, cities, beaches, and farmland all within its borders. It also serves as the heart of the American entertainment industry. California writers are just as diverse as their state. The books featured here are of a variety of genres, but what makes them some of the best and most representative of the state aren't just that their writers live in California, but that they all exemplify something of the beauty and spirit of the Golden State.

     
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Lawrence Block: Master of Crime

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 24, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Renowned novelist Lawrence Block has been intriguing and mystifying readers since the 1960s with his beloved crime novels and short stories. Though he has been publishing almost constantly since the publication of his first novel, Grifter's Game, which was published in 1961, Block actually got his start writing in an unconventional way. Before becoming the legend of crime fiction that he is today, Block actually wrote erotic novels under a variety of pen names. He had some skill for writing and at nearly two hundred dollars per erotic story and upwards of fifty jobs a year, the job was fun and easy. Block credits this early experience with forging many of the writing skills that led him to break out into the genre of crime fiction.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Nicolas Mordvinoff

Every year a book that represents the best that children's book illustrations have to offer is awarded the Caldecott Medal. The Caldecott Medal is considered one of the most prestigious awards that an American children's book can receive and illustrators awarded this honor are widely acknowledged to be the best in the business. Often times, the medal is an indicator of an already impressive career or a sign of great things to come from the illustrator. The Caldecott Medal often ensures continuous print for an awarded book, and good things for the illustrator's future work. Even so, sometimes the illustratordespite the impressive nature of their workdoes not necessarily achieve household name status. The 1952 winner of the Caldecott Medal, Nicholas Mordvinoff, is one such illustrator. Though he had great success within his field, providing beautiful art for dozens of books during his career, the majority of the books to which he contributed are no longer in print. Let's continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series by taking a closer look Mordvinoff, who has in recent years become one of the more obscure winners.

     
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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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