Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Week in Reading December 14 - 20

We have an alphabet of well known events and people to read about this week. We’ve got Antarctica, George Bailey, basketball, Beethoven, the Bill of Rights, the Boston Tea Party, and Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol.” And that’s only the a-b-c’s. There’s also flight, football, Franklin's "Poor Richard," Marian the Librarian, Nostradamus, and poets laureate.

Authors fall into the a-b-c’s as well, with some extra alliteration going on in their names. We begin with
Edwin Abbott Abbott (Really. He wrote “Flatland.” What else, with a name like that?) Then there’s Maxwell Anderson, Jane Austen, Abe Burrows, Erksine Caldwell, Hortense Calisher, Sandra Cisneros, Arthur C. Clarke, Noel Coward, Philip K. Dick, (and you see where this is going,) on to Ford Madox Ford, Margaret Mead, Michael Moorcock, H. H. Munro, (known as “Saki,”) Steven Spielberg, and all the way to poet John Greenleaf Whittier, with no Nobel prizewinner among them, for once. But, of course, there are many other fine authors, as always.

This Week’s Question: There are some unspoken themes this week. Among them, several of the authors born this week had war and antiwar connections. One was fired from teaching for supporting a student conscientious objector, another was a Quaker. And while a few also served in the military, one was actually a spy and one was killed on the battlefield. Who are they?

Also, while several authors this week won Pulitzer prizes, one author won one for a book he didn’t even get published. Who’s that?

Answer to Last Week’s Question:Every fine story must leave in the mind of the sensitive reader an intangible residuum of pleasure, a cadence, a quality of voice that is exclusively the writer’s own, individual, unique.” –
Willa Cather

You don’t know what it is to stay the whole day with your head in your hands trying to squeeze your unfortunate brain so as to find a word … Ah! I certainly know the agonies of style.” -- Gustave Flaubert


Anonymous said...

OK, I 'll bite. Why is there a label la crescenta for this entry??? Nora

Bill, Reference Librarian said...

Because, if you follow the link to THIS WEEK and look under events for December 20 you'll discover that one scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" was filmed there.

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