Biography and Genealogy Master Index: Who Would You Like to Learn About?

The Biography and Genealogy Master Index offers a comprehensive index of current, readily available reference sources, as well as the most important retrospective works that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world.

This database meets research needs by giving you access to an index of major biographical resources that have been published over the last 40 years as well as newly published biographical works. Source citations are included with each article to make your research projects even easier.

Here is a helpful tip for finding accurate search results in the database: several listings for the same individual, with slight name and date variations, may sometimes be found. In other words, a search for a particular biography may result with a variety of articles to choose from on the same person. Small differences in subject names may result in completely different search results. While searching, it is important to consider all possible forms under which a name may be listed. For example, stop to consider if the middle name, prefix, suffix, or initials of the person should be included. Such small adjustments can widely broaden database results.

Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access the Biography and Genealogy Master Index, go to the research page, and select the Biography and Genealogy Master Index from the History and Biography category.

The 5th Beatle

Looking through the new DVDs list in the catalog, I was excited to see that AADL will soon have copies of the movie, Backbeat! As a huge Beatles fan, this is one of my favorite movies because of how funny and also fairly accurate it is in its portrayal of the early days of the group.

In general, the story follows the band's start in the seedy nightclubs of Liverpool and Hamburg. More specifically, it chronicles the close friendship between John Lennon and "Fifth Beatle," Stuart Sutcliffe. The film is touching in its honesty towards this relationship and Lennon's struggle with Sutcliffe's decision to leave the Beatles in order to pursue a promising painting career (you can view some of his art at the link above...). Sometimes with all the "peace and love" Lennon tributes and memorials out there, it's easy to forget that the icon was once an angry, smart-aleck teenager with all kinds of abandonment issues. For me, understanding this Lennon makes me appreciate all the more the person he grew into later in life.

"Backbeat" is R-rated and as gritty and raw as the streets in which it takes place. The music, of course, is great. It's well worth checking out (if only to learn all about how the group got its famous hair-cut...), along with other John Lennon videos and albums. Or you can always buff up on your Beatles history with the wide range of books and videos at the library. And, of course, there will ALWAYS be the music.

Musician Aaron Dworkin, Founder & President Of The Sphinx Organization, Discusses His Memoir

Tuesday December 13, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

AADL is extremely proud to host violinist, arts educator, and President of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, Aaron Dworkin, as he discusses his long-awaited inspirational memoir "Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership." The book is a harrowing yet moving account of Aaron's personal journey through social isolation and discrimination to found one of the nation's cultural jewels, the Sphinx Organization. Books will be on sale at the event and the evening will include a book signing.

"Uncommon Rhythm" is a tapestry of stirring narrative, precious photos and poignant poems. A MacArthur Fellow, Aaron is driven by the single vision of inclusion for all, and hopes that this book will inspire all people who have ever felt like outsiders to nurture their own gifts and make valuable contributions to society.

An author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen and an avid youth education advocate, Dworkin has received extensive national recognition for his vast accomplishments.

December's Books to Film

Steven Spielberg directs the animated film adaptation of The Adventures of TINTIN. This first of a planned triogy is base on a very popular comic book series created in 1929 by a Belgian artist who called himself Hergé. Clever and ever-curious, TINTIN is a reporter-turned-detective whose pursuit of villains, criminals, treasure and the occasional artifact takes him all over the world, along with a colorful cast of friends. Hergé based his stories on real-world events and cultures - from space exploration to Arab oil wars.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer's critically acclaimed novel in which 9 year-old Oskar Schell embarks on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York in order to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

I was perfectly happy with the original film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first in his Millennium Trilogy. But I could be persuaded to take in the American remake coming this month with some irresistible big names (Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer) and a sizzling newcomer (Rooney Mara).

Benjamin Mee's memoir is adapted in the feature film We Bought a Zoo. Benjamin Mee, a former newspaper columnist, known for his humorous "Do It Yourself" column in the UK’s Guardian Weekend moved his family to an unlikely new home: a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a dream to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. Nothing was easy, given the family’s lack of experience as zookeepers, and what follows is a magical exploration of the mysteries of the animal kingdom, the power of family, and the triumph of hope over tragedy.

November's Books to Film (You KNOW! the season is upon us)

Brian Selznick's charming Caldecott Medal winner The Invention of Hugo Cabret : a novel in words and pictures (2007) is one for the whole family to hit the big screen on November 23rd. In this moving and entertaining film adaptation, an orphaned boy secretly lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station and looks after the clocks. He gets caught up in a mystery adventure when he attempts to repair a mechanical man. Martin Scorsese directs a star-studded cast of Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law.

Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is the highly anticipated next chapter of the blockbuster The Twilight Saga. The new-found married bliss of Bella Swan and vampire Edward Cullen is cut short when a series of betrayals and misfortunes threatens to destroy their world. Wide release on the 18th, savvy fans know the drill.

The gritty noir novel London Boulevard (2001) by Ken Bruen has been adapted into a feature film starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone. An ex-con hired to look after a reclusive young actress finds himself falling in love, which puts him in direct confrontation with one of London's most vicious gangsters.

In A Dangerous Method, adapted from the book by John Kerr, on the eve of World War I, Zurich and Vienna are the setting for a dark tale of sexual and intellectual discovery. Drawn from true-life events, it explores the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein, the beautiful but disturbed young woman who comes between them. Starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, and Viggo Mortensen.

George Clooney, Judy Greer, and Matthew Lillard star in The Descendants, adapted from the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Wealthy Hawaiian landowner Matt King has his life upended when his wife, Joanie, is involved in a boating accident. King struggles to reconnect with his two daughters as the three of them take a journey to deliver the news of Joanie's imminent death to the man with whom she was having an affair.

My Week With Marilyn, is based on Colin Clark’s (played by Eddie Redmayne) controversial memoir. The film centers on the tense relationship between Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) during production of The Prince and the Showgirl. In the early summer of 1956, 23-year-old Colin Clark, just down from Oxford and determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. In his diary, one week was missing, and this is the story of that week when Colin introduced Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life.

Next Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of November 15 to November 21

November 15 The King’s Feast is celebrated in Belgium.

November 16 Learn a new word or two on Icelandic Language Day.

November 17 Try to set a new record on Guiness World Record Day.

November 18 Latvian Independence Day.

November 19 Gettysburg Address Day.

November 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance.

November 21 Start of Better Conversation Week running from the 21st to the 27th.

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.

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