Friday, August 31, 2007

This Week in Reading September 2 - 8

From a week of powerhouse names of authors born last week this week turns out to be somewhat milder. Though bestselling authors like Taylor Caldwell and Cleveland Amory appear, they are decidedly from an earlier era and are not read as much as before except by older persons reclaiming past pleasures. Today's fiction readers who prefer more complex and modern relationships may well prefer award winners Alison Lurie and Ann Beattie.

It's Labor Day week, traditionally the start of school and the end of summer vacation, though more and more schools and colleges start before Labor Day now than before. It is also the first of each year's college football weekends, new seasons in the arts, in publishing, in television, and the end of wearing white until next May. (Unless you have become free of old fashion cliches which may not be needed anymore.) But do you know how Labor Day was created and what labor unions and working people's movements have meant to America? Read From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend to find out.

This Week's Question: This week marks the twenty-first anniversary of the Oprah Winfrey show which gave writers Oprah's Book Club. To be chosen to be interviewed and have one's work as a book for viewers to read and discuss means instant bestsellerdom for any author, though some older books are chosen as well. What is the current book in Oprah's Book Club?

Answer to Last Week's Question: William Saroyan wrote this at the beginning of his Pulitzer prizewinning play The Time of Your Life. In the college production in which I played the main character, Joe, a Broadway actor recorded this and we played it before the curtain opened every night. Hope some group does this show around here in Saroyan's centennial year. "In the time of your life, live – so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and where it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed."

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