The Play Ground

That sultry, smoky, soulful singer performing in George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck will be at Hill Auditorium for a live University Musical Society performance on Saturday, December 10th at 8pm. This time Dianne Reeves is singing the season as she and her trio offer "Christmas Time." Tis a reason to be jolly!

The Poet's Voice

andrew motion

A spanking new website will now allow you to listen to your favorite English-language poets read their own works.
The Poetry Archive, under the auspices of Andrew Motion, the poet laureate of Britain, is nothing if not impressive.
You can browse by poets, titles, theme and poetic forms. Try out ones by Margaret Atwood; Seamus Heaney and Allen Ginsberg.
There is even an entire archive for children.

Rosetta, Rosetta, Sit by Me by Linda Walvoord

Frederick Douglass enrolls his nine-year-old daughter Rosetta, in an all white private school. She is put in a class by herself and is not allowed to play or learn with the other girls. After her famous father returns from a business trip, he confronts the principal and begins the process of integrating Rochester public schools. This fictional portrayal of Rosetta Douglass touches on the life and times of her famous father. A comprehensive timeline and a detailed synopsis of the great orator's life are included.

It Was 25 Years Ago Today

What album should mark the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death? Plastic Ono Band, a critical favorite from Lennon's uneven solo career? Nah, I vote for A Hard Day's Night, which includes some of Lennon's best Beatles-era songs. As for individual songs, I suppose most fans would pick "Imagine", but my vote goes to his definitive cover of "Twist and Shout" which is one of the best, infectious rock vocal performances of all time. And this time of year there's always "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". (I wonder what Lennon would have said about McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time").

Pearl Harbor Day

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, a "date which will live in infamy". Below are three recent titles to commemorate December 7, 1942: Lightning Strike: The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamoto and Avenge Pearl Harbor, by Don Davis, The Eagle and the Rising Sun: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1943, by Alan Schom, and the fictional Day of Infamy, by Harry Turtledove.

U.S. Postal Service Honors Children's Literature Stars

Starting in January, the United States Postal Service will be honoring some of children's literature's most beloved characters. Eight different animals will be featured on the 16-stamp sheets.

Appearing on the stamps will be Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar, Lucy Cousin's Maisy from Maisy's ABC, the Wild Things from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Curious George from Margret and H.A. Rey's Curious George Flies a Kite, the pig Wilbur from E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, Leo Lionni's mouse Frederick, Ian Falconer's Olivia and Dr. Seuss's tongue-twisting Fox in Socks.

2005 Whitbread Literary Awards shortlist

The 35th Annual Whitbread Literary Awards announced its 2005 shortlist on November 16, 2005.

The Whitbreads, one of the most prestigious book awards in the British Isles, was begun in 1971 by Whitbread PLC, a leader in the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom.

The shortlist winners in their respective categories are:

Whitbread First Novel Award

Tash, Aw. The Harmony Silk Factory
Evans, Diana. 26a
Hobbs, Peter. The Short Day Dying (this title will be ordered on December 15, 2005)

Earth Mother

When Earth Mother blows across the deserts she becomes the wind beneath hawk’s wings. She fills the waterholes and sharpens the thornbushes. She flings spears of lightening into the sky and powders the trees with snow. She takes complaints from man how frogs nourish his belly, but “bad, bad, bad mosquito” torments him. From frog, she hears how “sweet, delicious mosquito” makes him happy but how he fears "bad, bad, bad Man” who eats him. She listens to Mosquito as he tells how delicious Man tastes if only there were no useless frogs. At day’s end, she spangles the trees with fireflies and goes to sleep in a perfect world. Earth Mother written by Ellen Jackson and beautifully illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, is a quietly magical book, perfect for ages 3-10.

The Worst Hard Time

Today on The Diane Rehm Show, author Timothy Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, discusses his book The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (on order). Despite our recent spate of hurricanes and floods, Egan's stories about individuals who survived the dust storms during the height of the Great Depression reveal Mother Nature at her most devastating. The Worst Hard Time received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly.

Not Here to Hear and Here's Why

There are authors who will not allow their works to be “dramatized”, “performed by” or read as audiobooks. The most notable is the notably reclusive J.D. Salinger. After a disastrous film adaptation of Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut (My Foolish Heart, 1949), Salinger refused to allow any of his works to be adapted to film and apparently he feels equally adverse to audio. Franny and Zooey, Nine Stories and Catcher in the Rye are classics not to be missed. So put down the earphones, pick up the print and you’ll still hear them for years to come.

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