Thursday, February 12, 2009

This Week in Reading February 8 - 14

We're winding down one of the two times of year that seem to produce the most prolific authors. There are some extremely popular frequently releasing novelists, relentless essayists, a mystery writer who published more than anyone, and fantasy and teen writers who have filled whole shelves by themselves. Also, some very important people to our culture, who also wrote a bit, were born this week.

Literary Names of Note This Week

Literary Obituaries: Playwright Robert Anderson, (1917 - 2009), Tea and Sympathy, I Never Sang for my Father; playwright Hugh Leonard, (1926 - 2009), Da.

Nobel Prize in Literature: Boris Pasternak (1958)

Novelists and Story Writers: Kate Chopin, Sidney Sheldon, Alice Walker, John Grisham

Thinkers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers: Robert Burton, Charles Darwin, Martin Buber, David Friedman.

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists: Charles Lamb, John Ruskin, Frank Harris, George Meredith.

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers: Georges Simenon, Janwillem van de Wetering.

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers: Jules Verne.

Children’s / Teen Authors: Jane Yolen, Judy Blume.

Events to read about: Both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on February 12, 1809 and are receiving bicentennial celebrations this week. Inventors Thomas Edison and Ray Kurrzweil were born a day apart, just over a century apart. Plus, there’s the Beatles, Bill Clinton, and a few literary dates to note, as well.

This Week’s Question: The writers above, and, of course, the writers from every week of the year, have filled many of the world's most beautiful libraries with their books which take us on many curious expeditions. In fact, we’ve just been sent a link to a wonderful website called, strangely enough, Curious Expeditions, which has an amazing set of photographs of some of the most beautiful libraries in the world to please those who love libraries. How many of these exquisite libraries have you visited? Which ones would you like to visit?

Answer to Last Week’s Question: According to Wikipedia, besides theme parks, museums, and festivals, (some in winter and some in summer,) in England, there are four major Dickens festivals in the United States. San Francisco has the annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair (which often includes a performer from the festival in Kent, England.); Port Jefferson, New York has a Dickens Festival in the Village; Galveston, Texas has Dickens on the Strand; and Riverside, California has the Riverside Dickens Festival which was held last weekend. We don’t know anyone who’s been to any of them but a search of the Internet reveals many smaller and more temporary ones as well.

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