Thursday, April 30, 2009

This Week in Reading April 26 - May 2

Authors born this week:

Nobel Prize Winners
Poet Vicente Aleixandre (1977)

Novelists and Story Writers

Poets and Playwrights
Roberto Bolano, Rod McKuen Playwrights: Jerome K. Jerome, Clyde Fitch, Anita Loos, August Wilson

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: David Hume, Herbert Spencer, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Ludwig Wittgenstein Scientists: Benjamin Spock Historians: Edward Gibbon, Aviva Chomsky

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, and Others
Humorists: John Arbuthnot Essayists: Joseph Addison, Mary Wollstonecraft, Coretta Scott King Journalists: Karl Kraus, Hedda Hopper, Maury Allen, Rowland Evans Officials: Marcus Aurelius Media and others: Alice B. Toklas, Lorenz Hart, Jack Paar, Alice Waters, Jay Leno, Larry Elder, Jerry Seinfeld

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Jill Paton Walsh, Ian Rankin Suspense: Alistair MacLean

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Terry Pratchett, Joel Rosenburg Science Fiction: E. E. Smith, Jack Williamson, A. E. van Vogt, Larry Niven, Robert J. Sawyer

Visual Artists
John James Audubon

Young People’s Writers
Teen Authors:
Lois Duncan

Events to read about, as always.

This Week’s Questions:

Science fiction is strongly represented this week. In fact, there is someone known as the "Dean of Science Fiction." There is also the "Father of Space Operas." Another created some "Laws of Science Fiction." More than one credit libraries for inspiring their imaginations. Who are they?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:

Most Shakespeare companies and festivals perform on stages named after donors or founders. Two were named the Globe, such as the Old Globe in San Diego and the newly built London replica called Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on the site of the original. Although there may be smaller ones somewhere, the only prominent performance stage named the Royal Shakespeare Theatre are the ones used by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. It is currently closed for reconstruction until next year and performances are in the Courtyard Theatre and at other stages in London and Newcastle.

Classic mystery novelist Ngaio Marsh, known as one of the four "Queens of Crime" of the Golden Age of English detective novels, wrote over thirty mysteries set around the stage in the first half of the twentieth century. Marsh was a theatrical director herself in New Zealand. The University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, named the Ngaio Marsh Theatre to honor her endeavors there. Marsh's novels were set in England, primarily in London's West End. Marsh's genttlemanly detective, Roderick Alleyn, was not an actor (like Simon Brett's amateur detective Charles Paris) but he loved theatre and the actresses he met there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Week in Reading April 19 - 25

This Week in Reading

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday, April 20 with many awards for journalism and one for music. Here are the literary awards this year:

Fiction - Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Drama - Ruined (to be published) by Lynn Nottage

History - The Hemingses of Monticello: an American family by Annette Gordon-Reed

Poetry - The Shadow of Sirius by W.S. Merwin


Science Fiction novelist, story writer J. G. Ballard (1930 – 2009), was a strong influence on cyberpunk and music with particularly dystopian themes.

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Immanuel Kant, Max Weber Believers: Shirley MacLaine, James Dobson Scientists: John Muir, Otto Rank, J. Robert Oppenheimer Biographers::Patricia Bosworth

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, and Others
Artemus Ward Essayists: Helen Prejean, Phillip Longman, Dinesh D’Souza Editors Fiona Kelleghan Journalists: Edward R. Murrow, Andrew Tobias Others: Aaron Spellling, John Waters, Michael Moore

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Mystery Ngaio Marsh, John Mortimer, Sue Grafton

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Peter S. Beagle, Avram Davidson Science Fiction: Steven Silver

Young People’s Writers
Children’s: Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Events to Read About

It’s all about preservation this week. The Library of Congress exists to preserve the written word, and the Mosaic browser helped us preserve words and graphics on the Internet. We also need to preserve our memories of what did happen to a past generation in Armenia and we need to preserve the earth for future generations.

This Week’s Questions

There are old and new Globe Theatres, and there are many Shakespeare companies, of course, and Shakespeare Festivals, but can you name one theater named after William Shakespeare?

Who else born this week, has had a theatre named after them?

Answers to Last Week’s Questions

Anatole France was born in France and lived there all his life. There is no record in the biographies of these authors (in Biography Resource Center) of Samuel Beckett changing his Irish citizenship for French though he lived in France for the rest of his life after moving there for World War Two. J. M. G. le Clezio was born in France to parents who were still citizens of Mauritius and thus had two citizenships, French and Mauritian, though he called himself a Frenchman.

Beckett was born in the Republic of Ireland, and Seamus Heaney was born in the country of Northern Ireland, the two countries that now co-exist more or less peacefully on the Emerald Isle we call Ireland.

Beckett taught in French at the University of Dublin before moving to France for the remainder of his life; le Clezio has taught in the French language in several countries, including recent posts in the United States.

Heaney has not published novels (and we apologize profusely for having said so incorrectly on our this week list). Le Clezio does not yet write plays, nor poetry, but he has written books for children which may have elements of both. Beckett and France wrote all three. All four Nobel prizewinners wrote essays and nonfiction books as well.

The Index Liborum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books), was a list of books condemned by the Catholic Church. It existed in various forms from the sixteenth century until it was abolished by Pope Paul Vi in 1966. Its last edition was published in 1948 and included at least two works by Anatole France after he had won the Nobel Prize.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This Week in Reading April 12 - 18

This Week's names in the library.

Nobel Prize in Literature
Novelist Anatole France (1921), Playwright, novelist Samuel Beckett (1969), Poet Seamus Heaney (1995), Novelist J. M. G. LeClezio (2007)

American Library Association director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom, creator of Banned Books Week, Judith Krug (1940 – 2009)

Novelists and story writers
Henry James, Richard Harding Davis, Robert Walser, Isak Dinesen, Nella Larson, Eudora Welty, Kingsley Amis, John Braine, Cynthia Ozick, Scott Turow, Nick Hornby

Poets and Playwrights
Poets: Tristan Tzara Playwrights: Edward De Vere, Thomas Middleton, John Ford, Alexandre Ostrovski, John Millington Synge, Thornton Wilder, Lanford Wilson, Alan Ayckbourn

Thinkers, Spiritualists, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: Emile Durkheim George Lukacs Scientists: Thomas Szasz Historians: Niall Ferguson

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, and Others
Journalists: Margaret Adler Officials: Thomas Jefferson Others: Clarence Darrow, Charlie Chaplin, Peter Ustinov, Erich von Daniken, David Letterman, Heloise, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Mystery: Delores Gordon–Smith Suspense: Jeffrey Archer

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Science Fiction: Boris Strugatsky, Keith R. A. deCandido, Bruce Sterling

Visual Artists
Illustrators: Garth Williams

Young People’s Writers
Children’s Authors: Beverly Cleary Teen Authors: Benjamin Zephaniah

Events to read about
Easter, Passover, important dates in dictionaries and atlases, art, space, baseball, Da Vinci, and Chaucer. Oh, and by the way, this is National Library Week. So it’s also Fine Free Week. Get your books back and take out some more.

This Week’s Questions: There are four Nobel prizewinners this week, so here’s a literature question in the form of an awkward logic puzzle.

Of these four, three lived in France, and two were born there, but only one was solely a French citizen. Who was it?

Two were born on the Emerald Isle but not in the same country. Why not?

Which two taught college courses in the French language and wrote their main works in the French language while living in English speaking countries?

Three wrote novels, one did not. Three wrote plays, one did not. Three wrote poems, one did not. Who did not, in each category?

[In honor of Judith Krug] One wrote works banned by the Index Liborum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books) even after he won the Nobel prize. Who was it? And what is that index?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions: (1) As young literary critic William Hazlitt effusively praised and became a devoted follower and welcome sycophant of poet William Wordsworth by saying of him: "He is in this sense the most original poet now living, and the one whose writings could the least be spared: for they have no substitute elsewhere."

(2) But years later an older Hazlitt found he could not, even for social reasons, refrain from criticizing a poem Wordsworth had written and so Wordsworth then said of him in a letter to a friend, “I hope that you do not associate with the fellow; he is not a proper person to be admitted into respectable society.” So much for professional courtesy.

(3) Often called a “decadent” poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne was also a formidable literary critic, who, on a trip to France, found the poems of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal to be irresistible. His effusive words popularized the French poet in the English speaking world: "It has the languid lurid beauty of close and threatening weather--a heavy, heated temperature, with dangerous hot-house scents in it; thick shadow of cloud closed about it, and fire of molten light.”

Monday, April 13, 2009


Join us for a
special presentation
and book signing
by Gregory Paul Williams

Saturday, April 18, 5 pm

Library Connection
@Adams Square
1100 E Chevy Chase Drive
Glendale, CA 91205
(818) 548-3833

The Adams Hill Homeowners Association and the Library Connection are proud to present Gregory Paul Williams, author of the award winning book, The Story of Hollywood. Mr. Williams will present a slide show and take you on an armchair tour of one of the most famous places on earth. This National Best Book Award winner features over 800 vintage photos from the author’s private collection.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cloris Leachman

The Emmy and Oscar-winning actress discusses her new autobiography and her recent experiences as the Grand Marshal for the Tournament of Roses and as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

Cloris Leachman is an Emmy and Oscar-winning actress best known for her roles as the self-involved neighbor, Phyllis, on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and as Frau Bl├╝cher in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. She was recently paired with professional dancer Corky Ballas as a contestant on season seven of Dancing With The Stars and lasted seven weeks before being voted off. Her list of awards is record-setting, with eight Primetime Emmy Awards--more than any other female performer--and one Daytime Emmy Award; she has been nominated more than 20 times. She also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show.

Cloris was Grand Marshal at the Rose Parade and did the coin toss at the Rose Bowl game between Penn Sate and USC. If all this wasn't enough she managed to travel to Berlin to shoot the new Quentin Tarantino film, Inglourious Bastards, also staring Brad Pitt.

Thursday, April 16, 7 pm
Free at the
Glendale Public Library Auditorium
222 East Harvard Street, Glendale
(818) 548-2042

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This Week in Reading April 5 - 11

Literary names of note this week

Nobel Prize in Literature: Poet Gabriela Mistral (1945)

Poets and Playwrights
: Christopher Smart, William Wordsworth, Charles Baudelaire, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Johannes Bobrowski, Mark Strand Playwrights: Clare Boothe Luce

Thinkers, Spiritualists, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Husserl Historians: David Halberstam

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, and Others
Leo Rosten Essayists: William Hazlitt, Booker T. Washington, Montague Summers, Lev Kopelev Journalists: Lincoln Steffens, Lowell Thomas, Walter Winchell, Tony Brown, Vladimir Pozner, Seymour Hersh, David Frost, Ellen Goodman, David Helvarg Officials: Jerry Brown, Christopher Darden Others: Linda Goodman, Hugh Hefner, Robert Kiyosaki, Julia Phillips, Neil Boortz

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Suspense: David Westheimer

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Robert Bloch, Mike Ford Science Fiction: Henry Kuttner, James White, James Patrick Kelly

Visual Artists
Photographers: Eadweard Muybridge

Events to read about, as always.

This Week’s Questions:

There're more journalists than anything this week and LA novelist John Fante is getting his centennial, but April is Poetry Month, after all. Come in to see our display.

(1) Which author born this week said this about a poet born this week when they became friends?

"He is in this sense the most original poet now living,and the one whose writings could the least be spared: for they have no substitute elsewhere ..."

(2) And what did that poet say about that author when they no longer were friends?

(3) Which poet born this week is credited with “discovering” and making famous the poems of which other poet this week?

Answers to Last Week’s Question:

(1) Maya Angelou said she aspired to be the first, black, American Proust, and was born in Saint Louis. Marge Piercy was born in Detroit and wanted to change the world by bringing people to consciousness. Both wrote poetry and are strong advocates of women's rights and civil rights.

(2) Probably most American-bred readers know from childhood that Washington Irving created the headless horseman who chased mild mannered schoolteacher Ichabod Crane around Sleepy Hollow in the early 1800s. But they don’t likely know about the other one. People whose families come from Russia or other countries know about Mayne Reid’s Headless Horseman , a novel based on a Texas folk tale about "el Muerto", the headless corpse of a defeated soldier placed on a steed set to run to scare the enemy.

The reason for this is, though Reid was one of America’s most prolific pulp fiction storytellers in the nineteenth century between Poe and Twain, his fame did not succeed him in this country, and he was largely forgotten. Very few libraries in America have any of his once cheap books. However, several of his novels were translated into Russian and advertised there as the work of “America’s favorite author.” If he was, it was only for a time.

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