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V.S. Naipaul and Other Writers Who Hated Their Biographies

By Matt Reimann. Aug 17, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Biographies

Writers are often meticulous and private people. Thus, the creation of authorized biographies can be a contentious matter. Some authors, like Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul, allowed a biographer into their home and shared personal information only to find that the resulting biography presented a person foreign to themselves. Although the biographer has a greater duty to his work than to his subject, one can understand why many authors feel betrayed at the end of the process. This article will catalog a few bitter episodes between authors and their biographers including V.S. Naipaul, William S. Burroughs, and Vladimir Nabokov.

     
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Making History: A Tribute to John Glenn

By Kristin Masters. Jul 18, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting, Biographies, Science

When John Glenn became the first man to orbit around the earth, he reawakened a hope and patriotism in the citizens of the United States. Today would have been Glenn's 98th birthday, fittingly falling only a couple days before the anniversary of the first lunar landing. In his honor, we're remembering what the world was like all those years ago when he rose up and inspired a nation.

     
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Happy Birthday, Ian Fleming!

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, Biographies, James Bond

Today we celebrate the birthday of Ian Fleming, the legendary author who created James Bond. Seven different actors have played 007 in 26 different movie adaptations. The runaway success of Fleming's books can be attributed to the author's background as a journalist and naval intelligence officer. Fleming certainly drew on these experiences as he crafted classic tales of espionage and intrigue.

     
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Celebrating the (Literary) History of America's Presidents

Presidents are famously men of letters: educated, erudite, and charismatic. John Adams (whose birthday we celebrate today), Thomas Jefferson, and other founding fathers established their reputation by contributing to beautifully written documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.      
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Charles Darwin's Literary Inspirations

By Kristin Masters. Mar 30, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Biographies, History, Science

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution revolutionized the scientific world. An avid reader, Darwin built a personal library that included over 1,500 volumes of science, philosophy, and literature. Just as Darwin was influenced by what he read, he has also influenced generations of scholars and authors. A significant number of his letters, books, and papers belong to the Cambridge University Library.

     
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The Magnetic Charm of George Sand

By Matt Reimann. Jul 1, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Biographies

George Sand knew how to make people talk. Ever since she strutted onto the French literary scene, everyone in Paris turned their eyes toward this charming, strangely dressed woman of veritable artistic talent. She had a two-pronged approach: her conduct would gain the immediate attention of her peers, and her talent would sustain it. Her strategy, buoyed by her robust and wise talent, has been successful to this very day.

     
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Rethinking Form: Musician Lou Reed's Short Stories

By Audrey Golden. Mar 31, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Biographies

It has now been more than three years since Lou Reed’s death, yet fans across the globe continue to listen to his music, and musicians cover his songs in homage. We’re willing to bet that you’re at least somewhat acquainted with the Velvet Underground, the band fronted and formed by Reed in the 1960s that was once managed by Andy Warhol, and you might even be a fan of Reed’s later solo work. But what do you know about the connections between his music and the world of literature? There are more links between famous fiction and Reed’s songwriting process than you might guess.

     
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How the Founding Fathers Help Us Understand Ourselves

By Matt Reimann. Jul 4, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Biographies

The term “Founding Fathers” was coined by a speechwriter named Judson Welliver. He wrote under the administration of Warren G. Harding, who said the phrase nearly a century after the last of that group perishedthe fourth president James Madison, who died in the year 1836. Yet even before they had a collective name, the legacies of the founders were constantly being reinterpreted.

     
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The Rhythm of a Writer: The Unlikely Journey of Bill Martin Junior

By Abigail Wheetley. Mar 20, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Biographies

Most of us who have children, or have been children, can find ourselves murmuring, “A told B and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree” the way others absentmindedly hum a song from the radio. The knowledge that he once wanted his work to be compared to jazz music is no great surprise, as Bill Martin Jr. penned many books like Chicka Chicka Boom Booma story about an alphabet made up of naughty lowercase letters who climb up a coconut tree and are sent crashing down only to be rescued by their uppercase parentsall geared towards the inquisitive, rhythm-hungry minds of children.

     
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How Evelyn Waugh Tried to Save P.G. Wodehouse's Reputation

By Brian Hoey. Feb 26, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Biographies

Writers are often the best champions of other writers. In the early days of the last century, it was Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw who helped cement Henrik Ibsen’s reputation in the English-speaking world. Years later, Pulitzer Prize winner Walker Percy would play a crucial role in arranging the posthumous publication of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces (1980) after a manuscript thereof was sent to him by Toole’s mother. That Bernard Shaw and Walker Percy were, by then, quite prominent in their own rights was of course a huge help to their causes, as seems so often to be the case.That’s why it’s rather lucky for P.G. Wodehouse that his mantle was taken up by none other than Evelyn Waugh. 

     
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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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