Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

Top Books by State: Maryland

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 27, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Newbery Award, Science Fiction

As one of the thirteen original colonies, Maryland's history is as old as America itself. Know primarily around the country for mining Annapolis, and The Chesapeake Bay, Maryland is a beautiful state with much to offer both in the way of tourism and literature. In today's continuation of our Top Books by State series, we take a look at two books both set in Maryland but that explore two very different sides of the state. Set respectively in a fishing village in World War II or an antebellum plantation, both of these Maryland books belong on everyone's must-read list.

     
Read more...


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Uri Shulevitz

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

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Each year, thousands of children's books are published in America to the delight of parents and children alike. While many of those books are wonderful, an ALA committee comes together each year to honor the best illustrated books of the year. The most innovative books are nominated for the Caldecott Medal. In 1969, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, illustrated by Uri Shulevitz was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series by examining Shulevitz' long and honored career:

     
Read more...


Alice Adams: Master of the Short Story

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 24, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature

Short story writer and novelist Alice Adams was born in 1926 in Virginia. She studied at Radcliffe College during which she also attended writing classes at Harvard University. She worked clerical positions in medical offices for many years and throughout her marriage. Toward the end of her marriage, a therapist suggested she quit writing and continue with her marriage. Adams applied the exact opposite advise and to great success. Throughout her career, she published numerous novels and short stories, twenty-five of which were originally published the prestigious magazine, The New Yorker. Though Adams' novels were never particularly critically acclaimed, she absolutely shone the short story form. She is one of only four authors to be granted the O. Henry Special Award for Continued Achievement, along with such other masters of the form as Alice Munro, John Updike, and Joyce Carol Oates. Consider starting your own collection of works from this amazing writer, who passed away in 1999 at the age of seventy-two.

     
Read more...


Top Books by State Series: Maine

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 6, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror, Awarded Books

Maine, the northernmost state in New England is known for its beautiful woodland, mountain, and coastal landscapes, lobster harvesting, lighthouses, and rich history. The state has a rich literary  history as well, beginning with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and continuing on to today where numerous writers call Maine home or choose to set there novels in the beautiful and still quite wild state. Come with us today as we take a closer look at some of the best books set in Maine for our Top Books by State series.

     
Read more...


Pablo Neruda: Rarest Spanish Language Editions

By Audrey Golden. Aug 4, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Awarded Books, Nobel Prize Winners

Many of the Chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda’s books are extremely collectable. Nearly any edition of a Neruda book can see its market value enhanced significantly if it’s signed or inscribed by Neruda. Indeed, speaking of the latter, a presentation copy or association copy of a mass-produced paperback marked by Neruda’s hand can fetch thousands of dollars. Yet there are also a number of first editions, without any inscription to a particular person or in some cases even a Neruda signature, that are immensely valuable due to their rarity. Given that Neruda’s work has been translated into many different languages and employed at various political moments across the globe, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that there are many translated editions of the poet’s work that are extremely rare and valuable. We’re going to focus here on some of the rarest Spanish language editions.

     
Read more...


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Nonny Hogrogian

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 4, 2020. 10:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the children's book that best showcases the skill and innovation found in the world of children's book illustration. Today we are taking a look at writer and illustrator Nonny Hogrogian, who was not just the recipient of the 1966 Caldecott Medal, but the 1972 medal as well. Throughout her career, Hogrogian has not only written and illustrated books for herself, but has illustrated numerous books for other writers. She has also helped shape the world of children's literature from behind the scenes too with her work as a production assistant and editor. Let's take a look at Hogrigian's incredible life and career as we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series:

     
Read more...


Top Books by State: Iowa

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 8, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Movie Tie-Ins, Literary travel

Next up on our trip through America by book is the state of Iowa. The Hawkeye state is known for football, farmland, andin election yearsfor the caucus. While there are metropolitan centers in Iowa like Des Moines, the Quad Cities area, and Iowa Citythe latter of which is known as a literary hub due to the Iowa Writers Workshop, one of the most prestigious writing programs in the countrymuch of Iowa is rural farmland. While much of Iowa used to be covered in prairies, an emphasis on an agriculture-based economy decimated much of the original landscape. In recent years, there has been an attempt to reclaim some of the lost prairie ground and to provide a safe space for the return of native flora and fauna. Whether city or small town, farmland or prairie, Iowa is a beautiful state well worth visiting, either in person or in books. Let's take a look at some of the best books set in and inspired by Iowa.

     
Read more...


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.

     
Read more...


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.

     
Read more...


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.

     
Read more...


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.

Get blog notifications per email:

Download the James Bond Dossier

Recent Posts

Book Glossary
Get your free Guide to Book Care

Blog Archive

> see older posts
A Guide to Historic Libraries Part I