Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Week in Reading October 11 - 17

Authors born this week -

Nobel Prize in Literature
Playwright Eugene O’Neill, (1936), novelist Francois Mauriac (1952), poet Eugenio Montale (1975), novelist Gunter Grass (1999)

Novelists and story writers
Michael Lermontov, Elinor Glyn, Katherine Mansfield, Nathaniel West, Conrad Richter, C. P. Snow, Ann Petry, Sumner Locke Elliot, Kathleen Winsor, Mario Puzo, Miguel Delibes, Italo Calvino, Colin Channer

Poets and Playwrights
Poets: Virgil, e. e. cummings, Paul Engle, R. H. W Dillard Playwrights: Georg Buchner, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, Alice Childress

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, Michael Foucault Believers: Mary Daly Scientists: Robert Atkins Historians: Arna Bontemps, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Biographers: Hugo Young

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
P.G. Wodehouse, Lenny Bruce, Dick Gregory, Stephen Clarke Essayists: John Kenneth Galbraith, John W. Dean, Thomas Boswell, Katha Pollit, Ariel Levy Editors: Noah Webster, Robert Fitzgerald, Robert Coles Journalists: Jimmy Breslin Officials: Dwight D. Eisenhower, C. Everett Koop, Sarah Ferguson Media and Others: Aliester Crowley, Lee Iacocca, Tim McCarver, Jim Palmer, Suzanne Somers, Chris Wallace, Richard Roeper

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Ed McBain, Elmore Leonard

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Robert Jordan Science Fiction: George Turner

Romance / Historical Fiction Writers
Historical Romance:
Alice Chetwynd Ley

Adventure / Westerns
Elmore Leonard

Visual Artists
Photographers: Paul Strand Cartoonists: Herbert Block Comic Book Writers: Jerry Siegel

Events to read about this week:
Initialisms abound this week, DAR, SNL, USN, and WMDs. Also the Normans conquered Britain, and Gibbons conquered Rome. The Germans found October was the best time to drink beer, but nearly half of October was taken away when the new calendar was made. (Just that one year.) Columbus found an island but thought it was Asia, the Cardiff Giant was unearthed but it was not what it was purported to be, the World Series was held in California but didn’t get started. At least we’re grateful that the Disney Company was started so that Teen Readers and the ever growing world population could ignore the bad stuff.

Mystery Writers of America
Grand Master mystery novelist, screenwriter Stuart M. Kaminsky (75). He wrote over seventy books, and is credited with helping to start the career of Sara Paretsky. His most recent popular character was Lew Fonseca, a process server who works for an investigation firm. Other characters were a Russian Inspector, Porfiry Rostinkov, and a Hollywood private investigator, Toby Peters.

This Week’s Questions:
The National Book Awards finalists for this year were announced this week. Who are they? And what other two awards are being given to persons of letters?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
James Whitcomb Riley of Indiana, the “Hoosier poet,” wrote, “When the frost is on the punkin, and the fodder's in the shock .. When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here," in a poem entitled by the first phrase. ‘Fodder’ means food for livestock, and ‘shock’ means usually the stalk it grows on, such as corn stalks that would have been harvested and put away in storage bins and barns to be used throughout the winter.

Riley, probably much forgotten now outside of Indiana and library children's rooms because of his too child friendly sing-song rhymes, also wrote a poem entitled “Little Orphant Annie,” from which has grown comic strips, books, Broadway plays and movies, and another one called “The Raggedy Man.” The dollmaker of the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, also from which grew stories, comic books, and screen features, took the name from those two poems by Riley which he found in books on his nearby bookshelf. Riley has had a huge effect on America popular culture because of his prolific writings.

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