Patti Page, 1950s pop and country singer, has died

Patti Page, who topped the 1950s charts selling 100 million records, died yesterday in Encinitas, California.

Ms. Page was the first singer to overdub her own harmonies, with the help of Mitch Miller, musician and record producer. In 1948, she was strapped for funds so she used the overdub technique for Confess, which became her first hit single.

Her second number one hit is the beloved Tennessee Waltz . It has sold more than 15 million copies and enjoyed renewed popularity as part of the sound track for the 1983 movie, The Right Stuff, starring Glen Scott, Ed Harris, and Dennis Quaid.

Another of her signature tunes was the popular children's tune, (How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window, her fourth million-copy seller in 1953.

Until recently, Ms. Page who had maintained a busy performance career throughout the decades, gave 50 concerts a year. She was 85 years old when she died.

Robert Bork, controversial legal scholar, Supreme Court nominee, and judge, has died

Robert Bork, an influential conservative legal presence in American history for many decades, has died.

Bork, a former Marine, segued from an attorney in private practice to a professor at Yale Law School. Some of his notable students were Bill and Hillary Clinton, Robert Reich, Anita Hill, and Gov. Jerry Brown.

Bork made first headlines on October, 20, 1973. Richard Nixon, embroiled in the Watergate scandal, demanded that Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox be fired, triggering the Saturday Night Massacre. Both U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than carry out this order. Bork then immediately became Acting Attorney General and complied with Nixon's order, which was found to be illegal in a lawsuit filed in November by Ralph Nader.

Fourteen years later, President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork (who by then was a Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.) for a seat on the Supreme Court. The pushback from Senate Democrats was fierce in light of Bork's support for the South's wish to impose poll taxes and for rolling back key aspects of civil rights. His nomination was rejected and Judge Anthony Kennedy won unanimous approval.

Bork then resigned from the Court of Appeals, accepting a position as senior fellow at the conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

He was back in the news for endorsing Governor Mitt Romney for President on August 2, 2011 for the second time (he had also endorsed Romney on December 15, 2007).

Mr. Bork, who was 85, died of heart complications.

Ravi Shankar, sitarist and Friend of The Beatles, has died

Ravi Shankar, India's most famous sitarist due to his embrace of and collaboration with many well-known Western artists, especially the Beatles, died yesterday in California.

In 1952, Shankar performed with Yehudi Menuhin and 15 years later they recorded West Meets East. In 1965, George Harrison began sitar lessons with Shankar. When Harrison then used the sitar on the Beatles' 1965 album, Norwegian Wood and its popularity took off.

Other notable Western musicians who worked with Shankar were: saxophonist John Coltrane (who named his son Ravi]; Jean Pierre Rampal (flutist); and composer Philip Glass.

Two DVDs highlight Shankar's influence on the world of music: Ravi Shankar in Portrait was a live concert that took place in London on July 22, 2012 in Union Chapel. Exactly five months later, again in London,Concert for George was filmed. This event honoring George Harrison was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 22, 2002.

Shankar, who had undergone heart surgery last Thursday, was 92.

Sir Patrick Moore, astronomer, has died

England's Sir Patrick Moore has died at the age of 89. For 55 years, the entertaining, monocled people's astronomer introduced viewers to the wonders of the night sky as host of the popular series, The Sky at Night, making this the longest-running TV series in the world with the same host. And oh, what a host. Moore delighted with his ill-fitting suits, his raised eyebrow, and his fervent discourses on astronomy, which he could deliver at 300 word per minute.

His passion began at the age of 7 with a book on the solar system. By the age of 13 the self-taught Moore was publishing papers on the moon's surface based on detailed observations made through his first 3-inch telescope. After serving with the RAF during WWII, he built his own telescope and made further detailed drawings of the moon which were later used by NASA as part of the preparations made for the 1960s-70s moon landings. A first book on the moon soon followed, after which writing took over his life. He produced some 70 books in his lifetime, including this year's The New Astronomy Guide: Star Gazing in the Digital Age.

Beyond astronomy, Moore held a deep passion for cricket and music - notably the xylophone, which he often played in public. And in one historic encounter, Moore played piano while his musical partner, Albert Einstein, played the violin.

The Best of 2012

If you have read all of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2012, you could certainly find something on 100 Notable Books of 2012.

Here is the NPR Complete List of Best Books of 2012 which includes Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar, Nancy Pearl's Picks For The Omnivorous Reader.

As the days get shorter and there is just too much to do, try Jane Ciabattari's picks of Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend. For a bit of seasonal reading, there is A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season's Best.

The thoughtful and expert picks in Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2012, and the Library Journal 2012 Best of Genre Fiction are always right on. Bear in mind also, The Guardian(UK) Best Books of the Year for some adventurous reading.

On the road this holiday season? Track down one of these Top 10 Crime Fiction Audiobooks, or the The Washington Post Best Audio Books of 2012.

For the ebook readers on your list, here are the current hot titles. They are always available and no gift wrapping necessary.

FOR THE YOUNG READERS IN YOUR LIFE :

Worth another look is NPR's 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels.

American Library Association's 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults and Top 10 List, the complete list of 2012 Notable Children's Books

The New York Times 100 Notable Children's books covers titles for young adults to picture books.

And who could blame them if they want TOYS? Check out Parenting magazine's Best New Toys 2012 and the Best Wii games for kids.

Dave Brubeck, jazz giant, has died

Dave Brubeck, known for as a mesmerizing improv jazz pianist and for merging many elements of the classical and jazz genres for a uniquely appealing sound, has died.

Brubeck, born in 1922 to a cattle rancher father and a mother who was a classically trained piano teacher, was born with a musical ear. As a child Brubeck was able to hide his inability to read music by his ability to play a piece after hearing it once or twice. In fact, the University of the Pacific only agreed to graduate him with a degree in music if he promised never to teach music.

After serving in the Army during WW II, he studied under the famous French composer, Darius Milhaud, who encouraged Brubeck to pursue his obvious gifts in jazz. In 1951, Brubeck formed the The Dave Brubeck Quartet which solidified his lifelong association Paul Desmond, who wrote the iconic Take Five, Brubeck's haunting piece that blends his knowledge of European harmonies with his irresistible attraction to African rhythm.

Brubeck disbanded the Quartet in the late 1960s and focused renewed interest in composing jazz symphonies and sacred music

Despite the best efforts of harsh jazz critics to take Brubeck down a notch or two over the decades ("...[Brubeck plays]...as if a man who knew 500 words of French were to attempt a novel in that language." - Joe Goldberg. Or this: "...the galloping pomposity of his piano solos." -- Dave Gelly), his fans apparently didn't get the word; Brubeck continued to pack any venue where he performed. His sons joined him in concert tours starting in the 1970s.

Brubeck, who would have been 92 tomorrow, died of heart failure while on his way to a regularly scheduled appointment with his cardiologist.

November's Books to Film

Anna Karenina, is the adaptation of the classic 19th century novel by Leo Tolstoy It explores the capacity for love. As one woman questions her happiness and marriage, change comes to all around her. Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson star in this holiday blockbuster.

Based on Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello, Hitchcock is story of Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and collaborator, Alma Reville, during their most daring filmmaking adventure --- that of Psycho. The story of their love and marriage is interwoven with the trials and tribulations involved in changing the genre of horror forever. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson.

Director Ang Lee's new epic Life of Pi is based on the Man Booker Prize winner by Yann Martel in which Pi, a zookeeper's son finds himself in the company of a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck sets them adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

Steven Spielberg helms his long-in-the-making biopic of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role. Tony Kushner penned this adaptation of Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln which chronicles the President's time in office between 1861 and 1865 as he dealt with personal demons and politics during the Civil War.

Midnight's Children is the adaptation of Salman Rushdie's novel. On midnight of the night India declares independence, two boys are born. One to a wealthy couple and one to a poor couple. However, when the boys are switched in the hospital, they are fated to live one another's lives tied in with the new life of India as an independent country.

Life doesn't always go according to plan. Pat Solatano has lost everything - his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat's parents want is for him to get back on his feet - and to share their family's obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Julia Stiles star in this adaptation of Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook.

2012 National Book Award winners have been announced

Last night, the The National Book Award winners for 2012 were announced at a gala event at the posh Cipriani on Wall Street.

The big winners were:

Louise Erdrich, 58, received the fiction award for The Round House. An adult Joe Coutts looks back in time when, as a teenager, he went in search of the man who brutalized his mother on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. This winning title is part two of a trilogy. The Coutts family was first introduced in The Plague of Doves (2008). Erdrich's win is especially poignant as, shortly after she started writing The Round House, she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, which she has beat.Ms. Erdrich, who is part Ojibwe, delighted last night's audience by addressing some of her remarks in her tribal tongue.

Katherine Boo, 48, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the The New Yorker, received the nonfiction award for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life,Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a wrenching account of a teenage boy who lives in the slums that are hidden from view by some of India's luxury hotels.

Poet David Ferry, 88, tearfully accepted what he described as "preposterous pre-posthumous award" for his Bewilderment; New Poems and Translations. "We're all in this apart" (From FoundSingle-Line Poems). Ferry has a PhD from Harvard and is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley, where he taught for many years.

William Joseph Alexander, 36, is a first-time novelist who captured the Young People's Literature prize for his fantasy, Goblin Secrets. In this steampunk/witch-infested tale, Rownie escapes Graba who 'adopts' orphans to do her bidding, and sets out on a quest to find his missing older brother.

Rounding out the evening, host Faith Salie, a media star on NPR, the BBC and CBS Sunday Morning, bestowed two special awards. Detroit author, Elmore Leonard, 88, accepted the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters prize. New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., 61, was honored for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. NPR's Fresh Air host, Terry Gross, introduced Mr. Sulzberger and said the New York Times Book Review was like "...a shopping catalog...[for] authors I've overlooked."

Each winner received $10,000.

Tellebration Time!

Every year we celebrate Tellebration at the Pittsfield Branch. This year we have dynamic storytellers Jeff Doyle, Kathleen Wright, Darryl Mickens and
Judy Schmidt on Sunday, November 10 at 2 pm. For grown-ups looking for a captivating storytelling potpourri, check out the Ann Arbor Storyteller's Guild Tellebration QuiltTellebration QuiltNovember 9th evening program!

Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012: Tips for Voters

-Don’t forget to bring your photo ID to vote. Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID will be required to sign an affidavit in order to vote.
-Peak voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Voters who want to avoid long lines are encouraged to vote during midday hours.
-Polling place hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are standing in line by 8 p.m. then you are eligible to vote.
-In-person requests for absentee ballots will be accepted at the City Clerk’s Office, 2nd floor of City Hall, until Monday, November 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed on Election Day. Polling places located within schools are open.
-Signs will be posted at all polling locations to assist voters.

View your sample ballot, check your polling location and much more at Michigan Votes.

Washtenaw County election results are televised on Community Television Network’s CitiTV Channel 19 beginning at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012—after the polls close—and will continue throughout the night.

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