Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This Week in Reading August 23 - 29

Authors born this week -

Nobel Prize in Literature
Poet, playwright Maurice Maeterlinck (1911)

Novelists and story writers
Theodore Dreiser, Zona Gale, Jules Romains, Jean Rhys, Jorge Luis Borges, C. S. Forester, Christopher Isherwood, Robertson Davies, Julio Cortazar, Brian Moore, Janet Frame, Thea Astley, A. S. Byatt, Howard Jacobson, Paulo Coehlo, Martin Amis, Oscar Hijuelos

Poets and Playwrights
Robert Herrick, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., William Ernest Henley, Guillaume Apollinaire, John Betjeman, Thom Gunn, Charles Wright, Rita Dove Playwrights: Johann Wolfang von Goethe, Edgar Lee Masters, Preston Sturges, Ephraim Kishon, Willy Russell, Charles Busch

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
John Locke, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Believers: Mother Teresa Scientists: Bruno Bettelheim, Roger Tory Peterson, Clifford Geertz, Nathan Pritkin Historians: Arnold Toynbee, Sr., Howard Zinn, Jeremy Schaap Biographers: Chris Offutt

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Humorists: Bret Harte, Will Cuppy, Mark Russell, Stephen Fry Essayists: Jo Freeman, William Least Heat Moon Editors: Malcolm Cowley Journalists: Ben Bradlee Officials: Lyndon Baines Johnson, John McCain Media and Others: Malvina Reynolds, Robert Greenwald, Rachel Ray, Sam Stern

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Earl Derr Biggers Crime: Suspense: Ira Levin, Frederick Forsyth, Nelson DeMille

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
J.S. Le Fanu Science Fiction: James Tiptree, Jr., Jack Vance, Michael P. Kube-McDowell

Romance / Historical Fiction Writers
Historical Fiction: Antonia Fraser

Visual Artists
Illustrators: Tasha Tudor Graphic Novelists: Jack Kirby Cartoonists: Max Beerbohm, Walt Kelly

Young People’s Writers
Children: Charles Ghigna, Karen Hesse Teens: Orson Scott Card

Novelist, memoirist, journalist Dominick Dunne (83)

Events to read about this week:
Vesuvius erupted and covered the city of Pompeii, the White House was burnt in the District of Columbia, Paris got liberated, and New Orleans was devastated. The Gutenberg Bible and the motion picture camera both changed how information was shared, and two vital social movements, black civil rights and woman’s suffrage changed how human space was shared.

This Week’s Questions:
Speaking of the printing press and the motion picture camera, no less than fifty-two authors born this week had something to do with the medium of film, either as writer of a story, poem, or novel that was made into a movie or television program, or have appeared as themselves in documentary footage - sometimes even as a performer - or were portrayed by others on film or television. A few are outright filmmakers to begin with. You could probably do this every week, but in this special week see if you can match the author with the film.

Authors -
  1. Preston Sturges
  2. Earl Derr Biggers
  3. Willy Russell
  4. Frederick Forsyth
  5. Christopher Isherwood
  6. A. S. Byatt
  7. Julio Cortazar
  8. James Kirkwood
  9. Jean Rhys
  10. Paulo Coehlo
  11. Jorge Luis Borges
  12. Nelson De Mille
  13. Janet Frame
  14. Jack Kirby
  15. J.S. Fanu
  16. C.S. Forester
  17. Ira Levin
  18. Theodore Dreiser
  19. Oscar Hijuelos
  20. Brian Moore

Films -

A. Torn Curtain
B. The Mambo Kings
C. A Chorus Line
D. An Angel at My Table
E. Iron Man
F. Rosemary's Baby
G. The African Queen
H. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
I. A Place in the Sun
J. Blow Up
K. Possession
L. Educating Rita
M. Wide Sargasso Sea
N. Veronica Decides to Die
O. Sullivan’s Travels
P. The Day of the Jackal
Q. Charlie Chan movies
R. Cabaret
S. The Gospel According to Mark
T. Word of Honor

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
Candy / Is Dandy / But liquor / Is quicker has often been attributed to Dorothy Parker, because she was that witty, but it was written by Ogden Nash. On the other hand, the poem about everybody attributing every epigram to Oscar Wilde was written by Ms. Parker.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This Week In Reading August 16 - 22

Authors born this week -

Nobel Prize in Literature
Poet Salvatore Quasimodo (1959), novelist V. S. Naipaul (2001)

Novelists and story writers
Samuel Richardson, Albert Cohen, Vilhelm Moberg, James Gould-Cozzens, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Vasily Aksyonov, Melvin Van Peebles, E. Annie Proulx, Roger Stone, Greg Bear, Jonathan Coe

Poets and Playwrights
Edgar Guest, Ogden Nash, Charles Bukowksi, Ted Hughes, Li Young Lee Playwrights: James Kirkwood, Jr.

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Paul Tillich Scientists: Margaret Murie Biographers: T. E. Lawrence, Frank McCourt

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Dorothy Parker, X. J. Kennedy Essayists: Mary Matalin Editors: William Maxwell, Malcolm Forbes Officials: Bill Clinton, Tipper Gore

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Vincent Bugliosi

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, M. M. Kaye Science Fiction: Hugo Gernsback, Brian Aldiss

Romance / Historical Fiction Writers
Romance: Jacqueline Susann Historical Fiction: Georgette Heyer

Visual Artists
Aubrey Beardsley, Ivan Bilibin, Chynna Clugston Graphic Novelists: Brian Michael Bendis Cartoonists: Otto Messmer, Stephen Hillenburg

Young People’s Writers
Dianna Wynne Jones, Will Shetterly

Events to read about this week: The Salem witch trials, Nat Turner's rebellion, the Lincoln – Douglas debates, the women's suffrage amendment, Darwin's theory of evolution, Hawaii's statehood, tjhe death of Elvis, and the births of Sam Goldwyn and Gene Roddenberry.

Columnist Robert Novak (78), news producer Don Hewitt (85)

This Week’s Questions:
Which author born this week wrote which of these?

Is Dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.

If with the literate I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
Julia Child, born and raised next door in Pasadena, received the National Book Award for Julia Child and More Company in 1980. This was an outgrowth of her later television program called Julia Child and Company. Her first PBS program, The French Chef, based on her first co-written book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was the first national program to be captioned for deaf viewers. Her kitchen from that program is on display at the Smithsonian, in the National Museum of American History. Julia Child's influence on American cuisine after the 1960s is incalculable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some Bestsellers You Might Have Missed

Need something to read soon, but are waiting lists for current best sellers too long? Check out these titles from previous bestsellers (from Publishers Weekly):

My Cousin Rachel (Daphne Du Maurier)
The charming widow of Philip's uncle comes to Cornwall from Italy, but soon Philip suspects she might have poisoned his uncle.
Sweet Thursday (John Steinbeck)
A group of California alcoholics, whores, and idlers form bonds of affection among themselves and with a biologist in post-World War II Monterey.
Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
The decisions of a few industrial leaders shake the roots of capitalism and reawaken man's awareness of himself as a heroic being.
Kon Tiki (Thor Heyerdahl, 910.45 H)
Photographs illustrate the author's account of his voyage from Peru to Tahiti on a balsa raft to test a theory concerning the origins of the Polynesian race.
The Power of Positive Thinking (Norman V. Peale, 248.4 PEA)
In one of the earliest contemporary self-help books, Peale explains how you can overcome any obstacle, internal or external, through the dynamic combination of the "science of faith" with psychological counseling and modern medicine.
Gift from the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 818 L)
The author's incisive reflections on life, its stages, and its states compares them with the natural treasures of life in the sea.

Hawaii (James Michener)
Hawaii's prehistory and history appears through the eyes of its natives and the missionaries and Asians who came to influence it.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (John Le Carré)
Alec Leamas wants to stop being a spy but he agrees to take a final assignment in order to prove to the enemy that their leader is a double agent.
This Rough Magic (Mary Stewart)
A fledgling actress vacationing in Corfu, Lucy Waring witnesses the murder of one of England's theater luminaries and becomes embroiled in a dangerous offstage drama.
Sex and the Single Girl (Helen Gurley Brown, 301.424 B)
A nice single woman has no sex life? Think again, says
Helen Gurley Brown.
Happiness is a Warm Puppy (Charles M. Schultz, 741.5 S)
A tiny tidbit of wisdom from one of the gang on every spread, along with one of Schulz’s irresistible drawings.
A Moveable Feast (Ernest Hemingway, 813 Hemingway)
Hemingway records his five years in Paris, describing his own creative struggles and providing portraits of such fellow expatriates as Scott Fitzgerald, Pound, and Gertrude Stein.

Islands in the Stream (Ernest Hemingway)
An American painter living on an island in the Gulf Stream becomes involved in anti-submarine reconnaissance and warfare during World War II.
The Passions of the Mind (Irving Stone)
Sigmund Freud works and develops his psychoanalytic theories in Vienna.
Something Happened (Joseph Heller)
A middle-aged man attempts to cope with the pressures of family life and work.
Sleeping Murder (Agatha Christie - mystery)
Although Gwenda and Giles Reed are determined to solve a macabre puzzle involving a hauntingly familiar Victorian villa and a terrifying vision of a strangled woman, Miss Jane Marple advises them not to uncover a long unreported murder.
Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut)
Recently released from a prison for white-collar criminals, Walter Starbuck tries to rebuild the life that was ruined during the Communist witchhunt of the 1950s.
Ragtime (E.L. Doctorow)
In America at the beginning of this century three families become entwined with Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, Theodore Dreiser, and Emiliano Zapata.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Dee Alexander Brown, 970.5 BRO)
Documents and personal narratives record the experiences of the American Indian during the nineteenth century.
All Things Bright and Beautiful (James Herriot, 92 H5675-1)
A Yorkshire veterinarian describes the adventures and experiences of his career as he tends to sick cattle, pregnant ewes, ailing dogs, and their eccentric owners, in a celebration of the relationships between human and animal.
The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank
(Erma Bombeck, 817 B)
Lays bare the truth about the people of suburbia and their extraordinary way of life.

Noble House (James Clavell)
The setting is Hong Kong, 1963. Under the eyes of the KGB, the CIA, and the People's Republic of China, British and American businessmen maneuver for control of Hong Kong's oldest trading house.
The Parsifal Mosaic (Robert Ludlum)
Czech-born CIA agent Michael Havelock discovers a maniacal, potentially disastrous conspiracy at the highest levels of the U.S. government and must act on his own to thwart that conspiracy and ensure his own future.
The Little Drummer Girl (John Le Carré)
Israeli intelligence agent Kurtz--aka Schulman, aka Gold, aka Raphael--assembles a private army to trap the most dangerous Palestinian terrorist, a trap that perilously involves a brilliant, young English actress.
The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)
In the early 14th century, the English monk William, visiting at a Clunic abbey in Italy, solves a murder.
The Sands of Time (Sidney Sheldon)
Four nuns, suddenly severed from the security of convent life by the turbulence of Spanish political unrest, find themselves fighting their enemies and their own desires and struggling to sustain their friendship and their lives.
The Queen of the Damned (Anne Rice)
Intertwines the stories of rock star and vampire Lestat, beautiful twins haunted by a gruesome tragedy, and Akasha, mother of all vampires, who dreams of godhood.
The Dark Half (Stephen King)
Thad Beaumont comes under suspicion when clues concerning a murder lead to George Stark, the fictional alter ego under whose name Beaumont used to write.
Cosmos (Carl Sagan, 520 SAG)
The well-known astronomer presents an illustrated guide to the universe and to Earth's relationship to it, moving from theories of creation to humankind's discovery of the cosmos, to general relativity, to space missions, and beyond.
The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome (Jeff Smith, 641.59 SMI)
Focuses on recipes from ancient China, Greece, and Rome.

The Burden of Proof (Scott Turow)
Criminal defense lawyer Alejandro "Sandy" Stern copes with his wife's suicide, his three grown children and a government investigation of his brother-in-law's successful brokerage house.
Remember (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
Beautiful and fabulously successful as a television war correspondent, Nicky Wells deeply mourns the loss of her great love, only to be confronted with disturbing suspicions that this remarkable man led a mysterious double life.
The Client (John Grisham)
A US State Senator is dead, and Mark Sway is the only one who knows where the body is hidden. The FBI want him to tell them where it is at whatever cost to Mark and his family. The killer wants him silenced forever. Reggie Love has been practising law for less than five years. Only she can save Mark from these twin threats.
The Gift (Danielle Steel)
In a small, peaceful midwestern town during the 1950s, a happy family is shattered by a child's death, a loving marriage begins to unravel, and the arrival of a young woman will change many lives forever.
Paradise (Toni Morrison)
It's the 1970s, and four young women living in a convent near an all-black town have been viciously attacked.
Pretend You Don’t See Her (Mary Higgins Clark)
A young woman in the witness protection program decides to reclaim her identity because she’s fallen in love and no longer wants to live in the shadows.
Childhood (Bill Cosby, 818 Cosby, B COS)
The popular TV comic features the eternal conflict between parents and kids while comparing the dull, structured, affluent lives of today's children with his own richly adventurous, independent years growing up in the 1940s.
Embraced by the Light (Betty J. Eadie, 133.9013 EAD)
A woman is declared clinically dead only to come back to write about her near-death experience.
2000s (up to 2007)
The Rescue (Nicholas Sparks)
A volunteer fireman and a single mother join forces to find the woman's son who has been lost in a storm. While searching for the boy, the two adults find themselves increasingly close.
Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages (Tim LaHaye)
All armies of the world, including the Tribulation Force, head for the Middle East to engage in one massive battle, as the world becomes even more dangerous to live in with death, mistrust, and treachery all around.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)
Killed in a tragic accident, Eddie, an elderly man who believes that he had an uninspired life, awakens in the afterlife, where he discovers that heaven consists of having five people explain the meaning of one's life.
Mary, Mary (James Patterson)
When he investigates the murder of an actress outside of her Beverly Hills home, FBI agent Alex Cross learns that the attack was the latest in a series of celebrity killings linked to the elusive Mary Smith.
Twelve Sharp (Janet Evanovich - mystery)
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum's typically chaotic life is thrown into greater turmoil by the appearance of a mysterious female stalker with a close connection to Ranger.
Playing for Pizza (John Grisham)
A former American football star joins the Parma Panthers to play football in a small town in Italy.
Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
(Spencer Johnson, 155.24 JOH)
Relates a highly meaningful parable intended to help one deal with change quickly and prevail, offering readers a simple way to progress in their work and lives.
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
(Lynne Truss, 428.2 TRU)
See how using (or not using) a comma can change the
meaning of a sentence.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This Week in Reading August 9 - 15

Authors born this week -

Nobel Prize in Literature
Playwright Jacinto Benavente (1922), Novelist John Galsworthy (1932)

Novelists and story writers
Sir Walter Scott, Alfred Doblin, Edna Ferber, Radclyffe Hall, Eiji Yoshikawa, Angus Wilson, Ward Moore, Jorge Amado, Wallace Markfield, Daniel Keyes, Fernando Arrabal, Tom Perotta, Amelie Nothomb, Will Clarke

Poets and Playwrights
Katharine Lee Bates, Ernest Thayer, Hugh MacDiarmid, Louise Bogan, Phillip Larkin, Mary Jo Salter, Mark Doty Playwrights: John Dryden, Leonid Andreyev, Robert Bolt, William Goldman

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Jerry Falwell Scientists: Jean Piaget Historians: Goldwin Smith, Edith Hamilton, Gisela M. A. Richter, A.N. Sherwin-White Biographers: Alex Haley, Jim Beaver, Anthony Swofford

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Humorists: David Steinberg, Steve Martin Essayists: Izaak Walton, Thomas de Quincy, Andre Dubus, Marilyn Vos Savant, Rachel Simmons Editors: George Grove, Russell Baker, Norris and Ross McWhirter Journalists: Linda Ellerbee, Andrew Sullivan Officials: Robert G. Ingersoll, Vernon Jordan, Jr. Media and others: Julia Child, George Soros

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Mary Roberts Rinehart Suspense: Jonathan Kellerman

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Science Fiction: Lee Hoffman

Romance / Historical Fiction Writers
Danielle Steele

Visual Artists
Graphic Novelists:
Posy Simmonds, Jim Lee Cartoonists: Rene Goscinny, Tove Jansson, Gary Larson Photographers: Herb Ritts

Young People’s Writers
Children’s: E. Nesbit, Enid Blyton, P. L.Travers, Ann M. Martin Teens: Walter Dean Myers, Rob Thomas

Events to read about this week:
The Sistine Chapel opens to the public, Mr. Smithson bequeaths the Smithsonian, Daylight Savings time is invented, the Watts riots happen, the US gets out of Vietnam, Alfred Hitchcock, Cecil B. DeMille, Mr. Nestle, and Annie Oakley were born, Mark Phelps earns 8 medals, Social Security and Woodstock got started in the same week and now many of the attendees at that music festival are old enough to start getting on Social Security.

This Week’s Questions:
Though not a literary writer per se, Julia Child wrote cookbooks that gave more detail than the traditional cookbooks she had read. She even won a National Book Award. In what year did she win it, and for which book? Also, where was she born?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
Fantasy and science fiction author Piers Anthony had various learning disabilities as a chiild and became a reader with the help of his parents who read to him every night and helped him to read for himself. "I think that nightly reading, and the daytime storytelling when we worked together outside, was the most important influence on my eventual choice of career. I knew that books contained fascinating adventures, and those stories took me away from my dreary real life..." Starting writing at age twenty, having "already read everything published in my field [science fiction and fantasy]", to date he has written well over a hundred books and has millions of fans.

JAZZ - If You Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It!

And visit Brand Library for more items in our art and music collections!

Friday, August 7, 2009

This Week In Reading August 2 - 8

Authors born this week -

Nobel Prize in Literature
Novelist Knut Hamsun (1920)

Novelists and story writers
Guy de Maupassant, Conrad Aiken, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, James Baldwin, Leon Uris, Wendell Berry, Isabel Allende, Frank Schaeffer, Jostein Gaarder, Vladimir Sorokin, Tim Winton

Poets and Playwrights
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Paul Claudel, Sara Teasdale, Rupert Brooke, John Middleton Murry, Witold Gombrowitz, Robert Hayden, Hayden Carruth

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Scientists: Louis Leakey Historians: Richard Hofstadter, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Brooks D. Simpson Biographers: Anthony Sampson

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Humorists: Charles Fort, Stan Freberg, Garrison Keillor, Richard Belzer Essayists: Wendell Berry, Benjamin Barber, Marty Appel, Anne Fadiman, Sloane Crosley Journalists: Ernie Pyle, Louella Parsons, Helen Thomas, James Fallows, Randy Shilts Officials: Ralph Bunche, Barack Obama Media and others: James Randi, Martha Stewart, Deborah Norville, Robert J. Thompson

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
P. D. James, Dennis Lehane Suspense: Caleb Carr

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Piers Anthony Horror: Wes Craven Science Fiction: Clifford Simak, John Birmingham

Events to read about this week: Freedom of the press, the Census, the NBA, the Department of Energy, and the World Wide Web all began in this week. Louis Armstrong, John Huston, Lucille Ball, and Barack Obama began their lives. Nuclear bombs ended lives until nations ended nuclear bombs, but lying to create wars continued. The Fairness Doctrine ended, air traffic controllers’ careers ended, and Barry Bonds ended his home run career

Novelist, screenwriter, playwright Budd Schulberg (95); screenwriter-director John Hughes (59)

This Week’s Questions:
After being out sick this week, nothing much comes to mind but the Chinese proverb After three days without reading, talk becomes flavorless. Have you read anything this week?

Which author, born this week, shared similar thoughts? "I think that nightly reading, and the daytime storytelling when we worked together outside, was the most important influence on my eventual choice of career. I knew that books contained fascinating adventures, and those stories took me away from my dreary real life..."

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
On July 30, 1935 the Penguin publishing company in England issued its #1 edition, the first modern paperback. Written ten years earlier by Andre Maurois, it was entitled Ariel, a life of Shelley, about the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was born in this week. There had been several other paperback crazes in the 1800s but they were cheaply done, including dime novels, and were mostly disposable in terms of both writing and format. (There had even been soft covers produced in the 1500s for traveling scholars that could be packed on horses and donkeys, but the covers weren't paper.) Penquin was the first successful company to produce quality literature in less expensive paperback editions for an increasingly literate readership, in what was called "the third paperback revolution." Maurois also said elsewhere, "In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others."

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