Ages 18+.

Trevanian, 1931-2005

Trevanian, author of The Eiger Sanction, Shibumi, and several other titles considered the thinking man’s airport fiction, died December 14, 2005 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The Eiger Sanction, published in 1972, was a spoof on the James Bond novels. One critic declared that Trevanian’s first novel was “…more intelligent, witty, and stylish” than the original 007 tales.

Trevanian was one of at least five pseudonyms that Rodney Whitaker used to write on a wide variety of topics, including the law, religion, and the movies.

What's a six letter word for.....?


Did you know that December 21 is the anniversary of the first crossword puzzle ever printed? It was compiled by Arthur Wynne for the New York World newspaper in 1913. And that was the beginning of an addiction that drives spouses mad and squanders hours of time perhaps better spent washing the kitchen floor. But we love them and so does Marc Romano, author of Crossworld:One Man's Journey into America's Crossword Obsession. Romano gives us an entertaining history of this pasttime and also gives us a bird's eye view of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament hosted by Will Shortz, creator of the New York Times puzzles. He meets the quirky players, and enters himself the next year. He provides anecdotes, gives tips on competing and even lets us in on the little know fact that Shortz has the only degree in "enigmatology." I don't have a clue.

The Winter Battle: Remembering the Bulge

On December 16, 1944 eight German armored divisions and a total of 250,000 men launched a surprise attack in foggy, rainy weather in the Ardennes Forest initiating what became known as the ‘Battle of the Bulge.’ Ultimately, more than a million men were involved, with nearly 200,000 total casualties inflicted. It was Nazi Germany's last major offensive campaign on the Western Front and briefly succeeded in penetrating up to 65 miles into the allied lines, the so-called 'bulge,' before it was stopped, reversed and the original lines were reestablished by January 21, 1945.

New Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (12/4/05 and 12/11/05)

Outside of four new books by well-known authors, there was little movement on the list the last two weeks. 'Tis the season to be scary.

On the 12/4/05 list:
At #1 is Mary, Mary by James Patterson: another nursery rhyme title with Alex Cross chasing an email killer in Hollywood.

At #6 is The Regime:Evil Advances by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins: the second prequel in the Left Behind series continues its harrowing story of the Antichrist.

Whitbread announcement stuns literary world

Whitbread

The Whitbread Literary Prize, one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious honors to be bestowed on authors, is up for sale.

The Whitbread company, which has sponsored this prize since 1971, has undergone a radical transformation and no longer uses the Whitbread brand on any of its products. This month its Board of Directors announced that, with metamorphosis into the UK’s leading hospitality business, it is time to find a new sponsor. “[Our] number one priority is to find a like-minded organization that shares our vision for this award and is committed to developing and nurturing it.”

The New Usher?

The latest release in R&B is 16 year old Chris Brown’s self-titled debut CD. His first single 'Run It' is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album itself is #2 on the Billboard 200. If you've seen the music video for 'Run It,' you’ll know that Chris Brown has some awesome moves, somewhat reminiscent of Usher. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we can expect more from this promising new artist.

Smart Gifts

books

Need some ideas for that special reader on your list?

“Reader Perfect” suggestions cover many categories, formats and genres, as well as age groups.

Amazon.com gives you not only the Best Books of 2005, but also the
Top 50 Editors' Picks.

For the wee bookworms on your list, there's the age-appropriate Parents’ Choice Holiday Gift Guide.

And don't forget The New York Times Editor's Choice and the 100 Notable Books of the Year.

A book is a gift you can open again and again. ~ Garrison Keillor

Richard Pryor: 1940-2005

Actor and comedian Richard Pryor died over the weekend. He was 65. Last year's two-disc, 65-track compilation of some of his best performances, Evolution 1966-1968; Revolution, 1971-1974, shows why he was one of the most influential comedians of the 20th century. The Library also owns Live and Smokin' on DVD and his 1995 memoir Pryor Convictions: And Other Life Sentences, which Publisher's Weekly calls "Profane, profound and poignant...." Read more about Richard Pryor.

John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth

What group will be remembered for being one of the most significant music creators of the twentieth century?
If you answered, the BEATLES, you'd be right. How many other music stars can put together a CD of just Number One Hits? Recently was the 25th Anniversary of John Lennon's death. Elizabeth Partridge, an award-winning author, wrote Lennon a photographic biography, with over 140 black-and-white photos bridging his life. There's also in-depth coverage of John's adolescence and stories from those who knew him best.

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!

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