Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This Week in Reading June 8 -14

On a week that sees the birthday of arguably the inspiration for the Nobel prize, this week gives us two earlier Nobel prize winners, Irish poet and playwright Williiam Butler Yeats and Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata, as well as a recent one from America, Saul Bellow. For strict literary tastes we get Willam Stryon, Athol Fugard, and Jerzy Kosinski also in the week along with a few popular genre and children's writers.

Fitting specialized levels of honor among fans and followers in two of those categories are Maurice Sendak, illustrator extraordinaire of children's books, and Dorothy L. Sayers, whose Peter Whimsey mysteries have always transcended the genre label and have never been matched as a series that satirizes general society as well as fulfilling cracking mystery expectations.

This Week's Question: Which author born this week wrote a famous dedication sentence that might well hold true for readers of, and the authors symbolized in, This Week in Reading? "Reader, look / Not at his picture, but his book."

Answer to Last Week's Question: In the week that ex-presidential Press Secretary Scott McClellan's book came out, there was also the birthday of Bill Moyers, who served as a speech writer in the Kennedy administration and was President Lyndon Baines Johnson's Press Secretary from 1965-1967. His predecessor in both administrations, by the way, was born this week. He is Pierre Salinger. Public issues brought up weekly on PBS's Bill Moyers Journal are discussed monthly (except this month) at an open meeting of Moyers Talkers in our computer lab at the Central Library. The next one is Thursday, July 17 at 7PM. All points of view are welcome and will be challenged politely.

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