Ages 18+.

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.

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.

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)

Basketball is not just about the NCAA

Streetball:All the Ballers, Moves, Slams and Shine by Chris Palmer is a flashy spread on the urban streetball phenomenon, also featured on ESPN's program Palmer has collaborated with And 1, a highly successful basketball apparel company, to produce this overview and to promote their Mix Tape Tours dvd's. You can read about the rise of streetball players like Rafer Alston to the NBA and other players who started out at the now famous New York's Rucker Park. In years past, many of these players succumbed to drugs but with the support of sports organizations, this is not a current trend. Many pictures of guys like Sik Wit It, Prime and Escalade fill these pages along with a fascinating history of the sport.

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.

Clooney: The Next Redford?

30 years ago, Robert Redford was the politically progressive Hollywood hunk making movies like The Candidate and All the President's Men. This year George Clooney is credited with reviving the political hot-button genre with Good Night, and Good Luck (which he directs and acts) and Syriana (in which he stars). Although he tones down his good looks for the camera, he hasn't bothered to tone down his political views in the press. Sure, he irritates conservatives, but outspoken actors like Sean Penn and Tim Robbins have taken far worse beatings than Clooney far. So what is it? Good looks? A good sense of humor? How about The Redford factor?

Looking for insipration in all the right (?) places

Are you poking around on so that you won’t have to face an empty canvas, or page, or monitor? Well, maybe your “research” just paid off.

Check out Letters to a Young Artist by Julia Cameron fashioned after Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. Maybe Letters to a Fiction Writer might help you.

Letters not your thing?

Maybe you’re more of a project person. 52 Projects might fan your creative fire. Or you can go back to Julia Cameron, have you done The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.

Who painted the portrait of George Washington on the $1 bill?

The Answer: Gilbert Stuart, 1755-1828.

George Washington posed for Gilbert Stuart, the son of a Newport, R.I. snuff grinder and a student of Benjamin West on April 12, 1796. Stuart replicated this portrait over and over again, including the one used on the $1 bill.
Two other Washington portraits by Gilbert Stuart are currently generating much controversy as the New York Public Library offered them up for auction, hoping to fetch up to $23 million for an endowment fund.

Richard Bak Talk on Community Access Television

Local author, historian and journalist Richard Bak can be seen on CTN Channel 17 during the week of December 6 through 10 speaking on his fascinating book A Distant Thunder: Michigan in the Civil War. The talk was recorded last December at Mr. Bak’s appearance in the Library’s Sunday Edition book talk series. The book is a comprehensive, well-illustrated chronicle of the contributions and sacrifices of the people of Michigan during the war between the states. Videos of the presentation are also available for home viewing. Mr. Bak is also the author of The Corner: A Century of Memories at Michigan and Trumbull, Detroit: Across Three Centuries and Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire.

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