Ages 18+.

The women behind poets dying young

I know Halloween overshadowed (no pun intended) everything on October 31, but we must also remember John Keats who was born on that day, as well as his cronies Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. John Keats was born on October 31, 1795 and died an untimely death from tuberculosis on February 23, 1821. Shelley and Byron also died young, leaving only William Wordsworth, the father of the Romantic poets to live to a ripe old age.

A new novel, Passion by Jude Morgan looks at the lives of their wives and lovers including Mary Shelley and Fanny Brawne.] Morgan's novel gives us a glimpse of early nineteenth century life where these women flouted the more rigid conventions of the time and created their own identities apart from the men they loved.

Michigan Football: Recent Books

Ball State has played two Big Ten teams already this season, losing to Indiana 24-23 (a far better showing than displayed by the team from East Lansing) and to Purdue 38-28. They have played before a total of 74,178 fans in five home games and a total of 104,593 fans in four away games.

Brady Hoke, a Ball State grad and their head coach, was a Michigan assistant coach for eight years. In his remarks about the game Coach Hoke said “Coach Carr is a great man who I admire more than anybody in football. He is an outstanding football coach, but even more important he is a better man.”

He also said “We are playing 11 players and they are playing 11 players.” That sounds like a distinct disadvantage for Ball State. He should have negotiated that they could have at least 12 players.

Halftime Reading:

A Season in the Big House: an Unscripted Insider Look at the Marvel of Michigan Football by George Cantor
Game Day: Michigan Football: the Greatest Games, Players, Coaches and Teams in the Glorious Tradition of Wolverine Football by Athlon Sports
Tales from Michigan Stadium, Volume 2 by Jim Brandstatter

And No One is Looking Ahead, But:

The Ten Year War: Ten Classic Games Between Bo and Woody by Joel Pennington
Unrivaled: Michigan vs. Ohio State by The Ann Arbor News
The 100-Yard War: Inside the 100-Year-Old Michigan – Ohio State Football Rivalry by Greg Emmanuel

William Styron, Pultizer Prize author, has died

William Styron, Pultizer Prize author, has diedWilliam Styron, Pultizer Prize author, has died

A powerful voice of American letters has been silenced.

William Styron, author of The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice, two important novels that changed the national discussion about slavery and the Holocaust respectively, died November 1, 2006 in Martha’s Vineyard of pneumonia.

Often labeled the ‘new William Faulkner’, a comparison he strongly protested, he published Lie Down in Darkness, his first novel. in 1951. In 1968 he was awarded the Pulitzer for The Confessions of Nat Turner, based on an actual uprising by slaves in 1831. Nat Turner originally was highly praised and then later renounced as a misrepresentation of that chapter in African American history.

Sophie’s Choice, the wrenching story of a Holocaust survivor driven to despair from the impossibly horrific choice she was forced to make at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, won the American Book Award for Fiction in 1980 and was made into a powerful movie starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline.

Mr. Styron was 81.

Youmacon is here!

Youmacon, “Metro Detroit's first and only anime con,” is being held this weekend, from November 3-5, 2006 at the Hilton Detroit/Troy. The full programming schedule has now been posted on the con web site. Be sure you don’t miss the featured guests, who include Caitlyn Glass, voice actress for Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist, and Matt Hill, voice actor for Kero in Cardcaptor Sakura.

Don’t worry if you missed pre-registration--on-site registration will be available!

125th Anniversary of the Gunfight at the OK Corral

Last week marked the 125th anniversary of the gunfight at the OK Corral. The shoot-out that pitted the Earps and Doc Holliday against the Clanton and McLaury boys is one of the most famous events in the history of the old west. Scores of books and movies have been created based on the event. About a decade ago, two films about it came out that offer very different interpretations and are definitely worth watching, especially together.

Wyatt Earp was directed by Lawrence Kasdan and was nominated for several awards—although one of these was a Razzie Award for Worst Actor for lead Kevin Costner as Earp.

Tombstone, my favorite, has Kurt Russell as Earp. This one is worth watching just to see Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday sporting an unidentifiable accent that Kilmer seems to have invented just for the part.

Tom Brady Book Due Out Today

Tom BradyTom Brady

Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything by Charles P. Pierce is scheduled to be released today at bookstores. Why Halloween?

Last night on Monday Night Football Tom Brady picked apart what was thought to be a very good Minnesota defense, throwing four touchdown passes among his 29 completions in 43 attempts for 372 yards. He has three Super Bowl rings and has twice been the Super Bowl MVP.

Brady started every game for the Wolverines in 1998 and 1999. The Wolverines were 20-5 in games that Brady started, with a Big Ten co-championship and an Orange Bowl victory.

From the Publishers Weekly review: “Pierce offers a genial look at the unlikely rise of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from embattled Michigan player through draft afterthought to multiple Super Bowl MVP. But while the book might seem late considering the Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years in 2004, it actually benefits from Pierce using the team's trying 2005 season as a backdrop against which to highlight his main argument: that Brady's intangible abilities as a leader under any circumstances are worth far more than what can be measured with a stopwatch. In addition to stories from Brady's coaches and teammates that bear out this assessment, journalist Pierce serves up some entertaining prose.”

Theodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has died

Theodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has diedTheodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has died

Theodore Taylor, author of the enduring 1969 classic The Cay, about a racist white boy marooned on an island in World War II with a wise black man, died Thursday, October 26, 2006, in California.

Taylor, a high school dropout who joined the merchant marines during World War II, earned a commission in the Navy, and then was called back to service during the Korean War. He used his wartime experiences and observations to write The Cay, which resonated so strongly across this country that 38 states put it on their required or recommended lists. It received a dozen literary awards and was made into a TV movie starring James Earl Jones.

Taylor, a prolific writer who penned fiction and non-fiction books for teens and adults, was 85 when he died.

All About Barack Obama...

Barack Obama is...the hottest name in politics these days! You've probably heard that Senator Obama may run for President in '08 (if Oprah has her way!) A lot is being written about Obama...and by Obama! Take a look at Harper's Magazine, November 2006 or Time Magazine, October 23, 2006, both available in the Library's Periodical Room. Or check out Obama's own writing in his autobiographical Dreams from My Father, and more recently in his new book calling for a 'new brand of politics'. All fascinating reads!

Diddy Comes Back

It does not matter if you call him Diddy or P. Diddy. He is back on the Billboard 200 Chart with his first number one cd in nine years entitled Press Play. Even though the cd is number one, it is the lowest first week sum of his solo career. Will the cd be number next week?

Fabulous Fiction First #39

When a young girl is murdered and mutilated and another disappears in Wind Gap, Mo., Chicago Daily Post reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the story. She is less than surprised with the cold reception after her long absence, especially at her mother's house.

Fans of Shirley Jackson and Minette Walters will welcome this debut psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. In Sharp Objects, she writes "fluidly about small-town America", but what distinguishes this gruesome tale is the skills with which she misdirects the reader, allowing secrets to unfold only towards the shocking ending.

Flynn (Author interview) is the lead television critic for Entertainment Weekly, and Sharp has been endorsed by both Stephen King and Harlan Coben. Starred review in Library Journal. Can the film rights be far behind? Stay tuned.

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