John Titus Discusses His Book "Losing Alicia: A Father's Journey After 9/11"

Tuesday November 8, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

On September 11, 2001, local resident John Titus lost his daughter Alicia, a flight attendant on United Airlines 175, when the plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. It was the second plane to hit the World Trade Center.

At this special event, John will share memories of Alicia and discuss how faith and love helped him cope with the years following the attacks and assisted him in writing his new book Losing Alicia: A Father's Journey After 9/11. This event includes a book signing and books will be on sale.

John Titus is a retired college administrator and mental health counselor who divides his time between Michigan and Ohio. Since Alicia's death, John has become a strong advocate for peace and social justice - writing articles, participating in documentaries and political activism and giving talks throughout the United States, Canada and Italy.

Famed TV Writer Mark Rothman Reads From His New Book of Essays

Tuesday November 1, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Remember laughing to hit shows such as "Laverne and Shirley," "Happy Days," and "The Odd Couple"? Come to the library and meet the man behind the humor! Famed TV sitcom writer Mark Rothman reads from his book "Mark Rothman's Essays: Many About Show Biz and All About Life."

Whether you watched the shows in the 1970s or saw them in reruns, Rothman's work has made many generations of tv-viewers laugh and escape in his memorable characters.

Books will be available for sale with a book signing following the presentation.

Last Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of October 16 to October 22

October 16 Freedom From Bullies Week starting from the 16th to 22nd

October 17 Black Poetry Day

October 18 National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 19 Mother Teresa Day

October 20 44th anniversary of the Patterson-Gimlin filming of Sasquatch

October 21 National Reptile Day

October 22 International Stuttering
Awareness Day

Celebrate each and every day, punctuality may or may not make a difference.

A New Story Behind the Starry, Starry Night

For over 120 years, the world has thought it knew the story of the life and death of perhaps its most popular painter, Vincent van Gogh. But now, a new biography by Pulitzer prize-winning authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith may flip the art world's understanding of the troubled painter upside-down. After a 10-year forensic investigation involving a large team of assistants, the pair is questioning the until-now, accepted fact of Van Gogh's cause of death having been a suicide. They now believe he may have been shot by someone else.

A recent report from TV's 60 Minutes delves into the story behind the authors' research and why they've come to this conclusion. The story continues in part 2, and the website offers a virtual tour of some of Van Gogh's art.

Naifeh and Smith's new biography is being published today, so be sure to reserve your copy at the library for when it comes in.

In the meantime, check out these other great books about Van Gogh, his work or related movies.

Or take a look at some of Van Gogh's contemporaries and learn about some of the other impressionist artists and the movement itself.

The Eichmann Trial

Masterful writing and analysis with 50 years of hindsight grabs from the start as author Deborah E. Lipstadt recounts Adolf Eichmann’s capture in Argentina, the trial and, finally, the impact the proceedings generated worldwide.

The prosecution’s case, led by Israeli attorney general Gideon Hausner, set out to prove Eichmann’s claim of “just obeying orders” as a mid-level pencil pusher was a lie, using documentation, the testimony of interrogators, Eichmann’s own undeniable written recollections, and quite effectively, survivors’ testimony (most of whom never saw or even knew who Eichmann was).

Robert Servatius, a defense attorney previously at the Nuremberg Trials, represented Eichmann by objecting to the court’s jurisdiction, claiming no direct link to many atrocities, and oddly, asking the court “not to pardon and to forget” but to “heal wounds” by handing down a judgment that would erase the “blemish” caused by Israel’s abduction of Eichmann in Argentina.

Lipstadt’s strong suit is her analysis of the trial’s influence on concepts we think commonplace today that were not in 1961. The “We Must Never Forget” testimony of the survivors and the term “Holocaust” was cemented into worldwide consciousness, and the acceptance of universal jurisdiction for genocide provided direction to a world wrestling with meting out justice for barbaric acts of inhumanity.

Author Birthdays: Potter, Ashbery, Davis

July 28th marks the birthday of authors Beatrix Potter, John Ashbery, and Jim Davis.

Beatrix Potter was an English author known for her children's books, most notably The Tale of Peter Rabbit. There are actually over 20 tales of Peter Rabbit and his fellows, like Mrs. Tittlemouse and Mr. Tod.

Potter's other works include The Fairy Caravan, about a guinea pig who runs away from home to join the circus, and the sort-of-autobiography Letters to Children From Beatrix Potter, edited by Judy Taylor.

John Ashbery is an American poet. According to the Academy of American Poets, he has won nearly every major American award for poetry, and has quite a few other awards as well.

Ashbery's collections include the Griffin Poetry Prize winner Notes From the Air, and the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle and National Book Award winning Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.

Jim Davis is an American cartoonist. You've probably at least heard of his most famous strip, Garfield. In addition to the actual strip, he also helped to write and produce the many TV shows, specials, and CGI movies starring the lazy cat.

While his main cartoon is Garfield, Davis also wrote U.S. Acres, also called Orson's Farm, which you still might recognize if you have ever watched the animated series Garfield And Friends.

If you're looking for Summer Game points, try taking a look at some of those titles!

Author Birthdays: Stone, Garfield, Howatch

July 14th marks the birthday of authors Irving Stone, Leon Garfield, and Susan Howatch.

Irving Stone was an American historical fiction author. His most well known novel may be The Agony and the Ecstasy, a book about the Renaissance artist Michelangelo. The book was also made into a movie starring Charlton Heston.

Stone's main works are all fictionalized biographies. In addition to Michelangelo, he also wrote books on artists Vincent Van Gogh and Camille Pissarro. The novel of Van Gogh was also made into a movie.

Leon Garfield was a British children's historical fiction writer. He also adapted many Shakespearean tales for children, which we have in both written and audio formats, as well as the television show Shakespeare: The Animated Tales.

Garfield's original works include Smith, which is about a 18th century London pickpocket, and The Empty Sleeve, a ghost story featuring protagonist twins.

Susan Howatch is a British fiction writer known for her family sagas and religious themes. Her most popular series is probably the Starbridge Series of six books about a fictional Anglican diocese called Starbridge. The first book in the series is Glittering Images.

Howatch also wrote many stand-alone books. These include The Waiting Sands, which Library Journal described as "three tales of romantic suspense," and Penmarric, a novel set in medieval Cornwall.

Author Birthdays: Heinlein, Eddings, McCullough

July 7th marks the birthday of authors Robert A. Heinlein, David Eddings, and David McCullough.

Robert A. Heinlein was an American author of science fiction and first winner of the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. He still holds the record for winning the most Hugo Awards for Best Novel, awarded for Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and the Retro winner Farmer in the Sky.

Heinlein also had a few Hugo Best Novel short-listed books: Have Space Suit--Will Travel, Glory Road, Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long, Friday, and Job: A Comedy of Justice.

David Eddings was an American writer mostly known for his fantasy series. Many of these series, including The Dreamers, were co-written with his wife, Leigh.

Eddings also wrote some non-fantasy novels. Regina's Song, also written with his wife, is a fictional work about twins and their relationships. Booklist called it "a story of murder and revenge sporting supernatural overtones."

David McCullough is an American author and historian, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has also won the Pulitzer twice for his biographies of Harry S. Truman and John Adams. The HBO television series John Adams and the film Truman were both based on his books.

McCullough has also written non-biographies. His The Path Between The Seas : The Creation Of The Panama Canal, 1870-1914 won four awards in 1978. Library Journal noted that in it "McCullough's careful research and genius for narrative come brilliantly through."

Author Birthdays: de Saint-Exupéry, Toland, Fallaci

June 29th marks the birthday of authors Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, John Toland, and Oriana Fallaci.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French author most known for his children's fairy tale The Little Prince. The story has also been turned into a graphic novel and opera.

de Saint-Exupéry also wrote some things for adults, including the memoir Wind, Sand and Stars and the posthumous The Wisdom of the Sands, printed four years after his disappearance in 1944.

John Toland was an American historian, known for his works on WWII, especially the Pulitzer-winning The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945. He also wrote a book on the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese. In regards to the Japanese people, he was known to have said, "You don't have to take sides. All you have to do is get people's motivations."

Toland also wrote a biography of Adolf Hitler; in order to write the book, he actually interviewed people who had known Hitler. The biography is thought to be something of a "myth-buster."

Oriana Fallaci was an Italian writer and journalist, and opponent of the fascist regime during WWII. Interviews with History and Conversations with Power was compiled after her death and includes interviews with powerful leaders.

Fallaci also wrote some fictional works. These include A Man, which is a historical novel based upon the would-be assassin of a Greek leader, and Inshallah, a novel about Italian soldiers stationed in Beirut.

Author Birthdays: Haggard, Remarque, Brown

June 22nd marks the birthday of authors H. Rider Haggard, Erich-Maria Remarque, and Dan Brown.

H. Rider Haggard, also known as Sir Henry Rider Haggard, was an English author, mainly known for his works featuring the character Allan Quartermain, most notably the novel King Solomon's Mines.

Haggard's writing and characters have been the basis for many things: Quartermain was the prototype for Indiana Jones; his character Ayesha influenced psychologists and other writers; and his adventurous story lines influenced the "Lost World" genre's later writers.

Erich-Maria Remarque was a German author. His best known work was the WWI novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which was also made into a film.

Remarque's other novels include The Night in Lisbon, which tells the story of German refugees during the beginning of WWII, and Arch of Triumph, which was also made into a movie (starring Ingrid Bergman).

Dan Brown is an American novelist, best known for his book The Da Vinci Code, and the other novels starring the character of Robert Langdon.

Brown's first novel was Digital Fortress, which, like The Da Vinci Code, features code-breaking, though the main character is a mathematician rather than a "symbologist." In 2007, Brown also published a memoir about his work as a New York teacher.

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