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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