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Ten Inspiring Quotes From Henry David Thoreau's Walden

By Abigail Bekx. Jul 12, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Born in 1817, Henry David Thoreau spent most of his life in Concord, Massachusetts. He was sent to Harvard, where he did very well and in 1837, graduated in the top half of his class. Despite his high placement and due to the economic depression, lack of job opportunities, and Thoreau’s disinterest in available careers, he began teaching at the Concord public school. He left after two weeks due to a disagreement over how to discipline students. From there, he started working at his family’s pencil factory. In 1838, Thoreau and his brother John opened and operated a school until it closed in 1841. A second stint in the pencil factory ended when Thoreau was invited to work for and live with his mentor and friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, which led to aspirations of writing.

     
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Top Picks: Rare Books for Summer Reading

By Kristin Masters. Jun 21, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

The first day of summer is officially here! Vacation has started for many students and the mercury has already risen to summery temperatures. Now's the time to start thinking about the best part of this season: summer reading. The best summer reading books transport us to another place, like a vacation without ever leaving the sofa.

     
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Famous Authors Who Wrote Only One Novel

On March 30, 1820, Anna Sewell was born into a devoutly Quaker family. Her mother, Mary Wright Sewell, was a successful children's book author. Sewell was mostly educated at home and did not attend school for the first time until she was twelve years old. Two years later, she seriously injured both ankles in an accident. From then on, Sewell had extremely limited mobility; she required crutches and could never walk great distances. 

     
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Five More Literary Fathers and Why We Love Them

By Abigail Bekx. Jun 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Happy Father’s Day! One day a year dads are officially recognized for the endless amounts of work they do throughout the year. It is a rare day indeed when fathers are properly appreciated. To show our appreciation, we prepared a second list of literary fathers who we love and who we love to hate. To see our previous list, click here.

     
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Ten Patriotic Reads for Memorial Day

By Andrea Diamond. May 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

For many in the U.S., Memorial Day is the calendar date that marks the beginning of sweet summertime. Students become restless at their desks, pontoon boats are pulled out of winter storage, and Dads across the Midwest poke their head outside and casually suggest “throwing something on the grill" for dinner. In the midst of sunny afternoons spent living the American Dream, it is easy to forget that our freedom has never been free. Memorial Day is a time to honor those fallen in service to our country.

Unless one has served in the military, it can be difficult to equate those who've served and especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice with real people. Both fiction and non-fiction accounts of war have the power to put a name and a face with the often anonymous heroes of our past and present. Should you find yourself with an opportunity to sit outside with a good book this Memorial Day, we would suggest one of these ten patriotic titles:

     
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Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

By Kristin Masters. May 22, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Today is the birthday of Scottish author and doctor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His character Sherlock Holmes has inspired generations of crime fiction writers. Collectors who are interested in mystery and crime fiction on the whole, as well as those focused on specific authors within the genre, would do well to pay  Arthur Conan Doyle some attention. He has had a wide-reaching impact, and his books fit well in to a myriad of different collecting categories. 
     
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Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, and a Pulitzer Kerfuffle

By Kristin Masters. May 21, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, Literature

Edith Wharton's accomplishments included not only authorship, but also design and philanthropy. Wharton was an active participant in literary circles, befriending personages like Henry James and Jean Cocteau. She would go on to forge relationships with Theodore Roosevelt and other important figures. Yet the most fascinating of Wharton's connections is possibly the one with Sinclair Lewis.

     
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The History of May Day and May Day in Literature

By Nick Ostdick. May 1, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature, Book History, History

For many bibliophiles, the month of May means the beginning of summerlonger days, warmer weather, and the unofficial start of “beach read” season. But May 1 packs a much more significant historical and cultural punch, the essence of which many authors have tried to capture in their stories and novels during the last 100 years.

     
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Washington Irving: Champion of American Literature at Home and Abroad

By Matt Reimann. Apr 2, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature

When "The Legend of Sleep Hollow" was published in 1820, the United States of America was a young nation. American-born authors were decades away from producing central classics like Leaves of Grass and Moby-Dick, and the cultural direction of this brave new world was anyone’s guess. The country was in need of a strong and talented writer to steer her on the right course. This author was Washington Irving.

     
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John Fowles, A Solitary Non-Conformist

By Andrea Koczela. Mar 31, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

"What interests me about novelists as a species is the obsessiveness of the activity, the fact that novelists have to go on writing. I think that probably must come from a sense of the irrecoverable. In every novelist's life there is some more acute sense of loss than with other people, and I suppose I must have felt that. I didn't realize it, I suppose, till the last ten or fifteen years. In fact you have to write novels to begin to understand this. There's a kind of backwardness in the novel…an attempt to get back to a lost world." ~John Fowles, 1977 BBC interview

This week we celebrate author John Fowles, named by The Times as one of Britain's greatest writers. Best known for his novels The Collector (1963), The Magus (1966), and The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969), Fowles' work is most often categorized between modernism and postmodernism. 

     
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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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