Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This Week in Reading July 5 -11

Authors born this week

Nobel Prize in Literature
Poet, novelist Verner van Heidenstam (1916)

Novelists and story writers
Marcel Proust, Margaret Walker, Frederick Buechner, Alice Munro

Poets and Playwrights
Playwrights: Lion Feuchtwanger, Jean Cocteau, Fredricka Sago Maas

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: Peter Singer Believers: the Dalai Lama Scientists: Robert Chambers, Nikola Tesla, Franz Boas, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Oliver Sacks, Howard Gardner Historians: Frederic Lewis Allen, Richard Krautheimer, David McCullough, Laura Thatcher Ulrich

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Humorists: Jean Kerr Essayists: William Blackstone, Harold Acton, Joel Siegel, Howard Rheingold, Harold Bloom Journalists: David Brinkley, Anna Quindlen Officials: Nancy Reagan, George W. Bush Media and others: P. T. Barnum, Satchel Paige, Earl Hamner, Jr, Merv Griffin, Wolfgang Puck, Cindy Sheehan

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
True Crime: John Gilmore Mystery/ Suspense: Dean Koontz

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Jean de la Fontaine, Anne Radcliffe, Mervyn Peake, David Eddings, Jeff Vandermeer Science Fiction: John Wyndham, David Hartwell, Robert Heinlein

Romance / Historical Fiction Writers
Romance: Barbara Cartland

Visual Artists
Graphic Novelists: John Byrne, Thomas Ligotti Manga: Ken Akamatsu, Natsuki Tayaka Cartoonists: Joe Shuster, Bill Watterson

Young People’s Writers
Children’s: E. B. White

Events to read about this week:
Quite a week, indeed: Spam, bikinis, Elvis, the Roswell Incident, cloned animals, a duel between founding fathers and the lowest point in the Depression, but on the other side, the fourteenth amendment, the Hollywood Bowl, Tom Hanks, Gustav Mahler, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, and McCartney meets Lennon.

This Week’s Questions:
There are very few novelists or poets this week, though at least one writer writes in many genre categories. None of this week’s authors has won a National Book Award for fiction but one has won one for biography. One was the subject of a book which won a National Book Award, and one won another major literary prize this year. Who were they?

Also, to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary the National Book Foundation has begun a daily blog celebrating the seventy-seven fiction winners of the award. Check it out.

The blog will run from July 7 to September 21 highlighting information and reviews about one of the winning books and its writer each day. Writers connected to the foundation will choose the top six books, and then, between September 21 and October 21, 2009, for the first time ever the public will be able to vote online for the best of the sixty years from those six nominees. Winning online voters will win a trip to the National Book Awards, to be announced in New York on November 1, and there will be an exhibit at the Library of Congress.

As suggested: “Visit [the National Book Awards blog] every day for the next 77 days, and get your copies of these American classics from your local bookstore, online bookseller, or library.” And comment here, which of the seventy-seven fiction books at the National Book Award blog do you think deserves to win?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
"It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect." - Hermann Hesse

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ... A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."Franz Kafka

"Woe to him who doesn't know how to wear his mask, be he king or pope!"Luigi Pirandello

"I write fiction because it is a way of making statements I can disown. I write plays because dialogue is the most respectful way to contradict myself."Tom Stoppard

"In youth men are apt to write more wisely than they really know or feel; and the remainder of life may be not idly spent in realizing and convincing themselves of the wisdom which they uttered long ago."Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish."Hermann Hesse

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