Sir Richard Francis Burton – aka Ruffian Dick, Renegade Explorer and Sexual Scholar

Richard Francis Burton was born March 19th 1821, in Torquay, Devonshire, England to a Lieutenant Colonel and an heiress. Burton traveled extensively with his family through France, Italy and England before being sent to Trinity College in Oxford in 1840. He was an adventurous and rebellious youth who loved to learn but balked at formal education, immersing himself in such studies as falconry and fencing, and challenging a fellow student to a duel for making fun of his impressive mustache. … Continued


Thomas Wolfe’s Sugar-Mama

A tour through the iconic Thomas Wolfe Memorial house in downtown Asheville and the accompanying Visitor’s Center will give you an in-depth look at Wolfe’s ‘Altamont,’ the fictional name he gave to his thinly veiled description of his hometown in his paramount work Look Homeward, Angel. During your visit you will learn how tourism in Asheville in the first part of the 20th-century led Wolfe’s mother Julia to buy the ‘Old Kentucky Home,’ in order to capitalize on the boom, and how the house and his family shaped Wolfe’s prolific writing, which by the end of his career amounted to a million pages, although the majority were edited out of final works.

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Amy C. Manikowski is a writer, bookseller, trail-diverger, history buff, and pitbull lover. She graduated from Chatham University with a MFA a while ago, and after wandering aimlessly settled in Asheville NC.

Author E.R. Braithwaite (1912-2016)

Guyanese author E.R. Braithwaite has passed away at the venerable age of 104. Braithwaite is best known for his award-winning novel To Sir, With Love. This autobiographical tale tells of his time as a schoolteacher in the East End of London. The book was made into a film starring Sidney Poitier and the singer Lulu. His writings mostly dealt with the difficulties of being a black man with a classical education in a world full of discrimination.  Braithwaite joined the … Continued


The Works of Harper Lee

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Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama on April 28, 1926, and she passed away in her hometown earlier today, February 19, 2016.

Harper Lee was best known for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and has become a classic of modern American literature.  She remained out of the public eye for decades afterwards, and did not publish anything else until 2015, a sequel to Mockingbird: Go Set a Watchman in 2015. (more…)


Women with Words: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is widely regarded as one of the great voices of contemporary black literature. Her ability to capture the moment through the idiosyncracies of language makes her poetry and prose unique in its form. Her personal experiences and social commentary blend into a work of art that raises awareness in our society today. (more…)

Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books. You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie's Pocket.

Maxine Kumin (1925 – 2014)

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Maxine Kumin

The Academy of American Poets posted the sad announcement of the passing of poet Maxine Kumin on February 6, 2014, at the age of 88.

Kumin was the recipient of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning New England writer and past U.S. poet laureate. She also served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and Poet Laureate of New Hampshire.  For her work in the literary realm, she was awarded the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern Poetry, an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Sarah Joseph Hale Award, the Levinson Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize from Poetry, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, and the National Council on the Arts. (more…)

Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books. You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie's Pocket.

The Power of Books – One Man’s Story

Brad Wirz of GoneReading.com
Brad Wirz and friends, volunteering in Honduras.

Author: Brad Wirz and GoneReading.com is the force behind the Bibliophile’s Shop here on Biblio.com.
The literary-themed gifts that he curates are fun and unique, and 10% of each purchase goes to benefit BiblioWorks.org!  Check out the bookmarks, posters, games, clothing, kitchenware, and more for holiday gifts for the bookish types on your list.


Almost four years ago I found myself curled up in the fetal position in a dark hotel room in New York City. A supercharged, 20+ year career in corporate marketing had taken its toll, putting me on the road 200 days each year, persistently eroding the great enthusiasm I had in the early years of my career.

I called my wife with a firm proclamation: One year from now I’m going to be doing something completely different. Without even blinking, she agreed, and I released a sigh of relief. (more…)

Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books. You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie's Pocket.

Emily Dickinson: American Poet

Dickinson, the Person More than 150 years after her death, Emily Dickinson is still a profound voice in American literature, with students still spending countless hours analyzing her poetry. Her poetry often focuses on themes of death and mortality, appealing to the more introspective of readers. Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts to a successful and well-known family. Emily’s grandfather, Samuel Dickinson, was one of the founders of Amherst College, which lead to her being one of the first … Continued


Oscar Hijuelos (1951-2013)

Oscar Hijuelos at the Miami Book Fair International 1993
Oscar Hijuelos at the Miami Book Fair International 1993

Author Oscar Hijuelos passed away after a heart attack on Saturday at age 62 in New York.

Hijuelos was born to Cuban parents in New York and although he was often lauded as a Latino author, he did not appreciate being compartmentalized by ethnicity.  Even so, the common themes in his books are cultural assimilation in the “melting pot” of the United States, and he is listed as an inspiration by many younger Latino authors.

Best known for “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love,” a novel that won him the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, Hijuelos was the first Latino to win that book award.  Hijuelos also was awarded the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in 1983 and the Rome Prize in 1985 for his first published novel, “Our House in the Last World.”

Oscar Hijuelos wrote a memoir in 2011 that reminisced on the 1970’s in New York and his experience of being an aspiring Cuban writer, called “Thoughts without Cigarettes.

Our condolences are extended to his wife, author and poet Lori Marie Carlson.

Collectible editions of Oscar Hijuelos work are after the jump…

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Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books. You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie's Pocket.

Tolkien’s Prolific Pen

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J.R.R. Tolkien, circa 1916

Tolkien, the Master of Middle Earth

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, or Ronald Tolkien to his friends and family, created as his life work the world of Arda, or Middle Earth. Tolkien shaped this world with incredible detail, depth and scope. The mythic layers of the stories of Middle Earth mimic in complexity those of our own world.

Tolkien wrote the heroic tales of the First Age as epic poems, inspired during his military service in the Lancashire Fusiliers in the trenches of World War I Europe. These poems and the stories evolved into The Book of Lost Tales, and later The Silmarillion, and set the stage for the events of the War of the Ring. Tolkien authored the stories of Frodo and the One Ring as a serial that was mailed to his son during the Second World War, and it is clear that the real tension of wartime and suffering inform the tales of conflict throughout Tolkien’s poetry and fiction. The events of Tolkien’s life and the drama of his stories overlap to provide a depth of history unlike any other fantasy series. Other authors have forged their own fantasy worlds but none wields the authority of Middle Earth.

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