Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?

Ms. Marvel, White Wolf, Mantis, Drax, Falcon, Peter Dinklage as Pip the Troll!… Just when you thought the burgeoning cast of characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe couldn’t get any more crowded, Hollywood Insider has gained access to leaked scripts for an as-yet-untitled Avengers movie due out in April 2020 that reveal a veritable avalanche of new characters, and a stunning new merger of beloved comics franchises. Continue reading “Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?”

Shakespeare’s Skull Found …in Brooklyn!

As reported in Smithsonian and The New York Times, archaeologists using ground penetrating radar have recently discovered that despite its dire inscription of “Curst be he moves my bones,” William Shakespeare’s tomb was probably disturbed in the late 18th century by grave robbers out to steal the genius’s skull. In a startling turn of events reminiscent of the astonishingly lucky find of Richard III’s remains on the very first day of digging, we now know that this missing skull has come to light half a world away, in Brooklyn!

tomb

Continue reading “Shakespeare’s Skull Found …in Brooklyn!”

Kids Agree: Books are no longer cool

                 ~ Posted by David W.

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“If it isn’t cuneiform, it just doesn’t speak to me.” Photo by flikr user M1K3Y

To many it came as a shock. Just as conventional wisdom chorused that in our increasingly plugged-in society print books were destined to get left behind, a series of studies and articles from such sources as Nielsen, Publishing TechnologyHewlett Packard, The Pew Research Center, and The Washington Post overwhelmingly agreed that not only was print as popular as ever, but that younger digital natives are some of its most devoted fans. But the very latest data suggests this is starting to change, as hip young readers are forsaking paper for the retro-cool of parchment, papyrus, clay and stone. “I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.” observed cultural commentator DuPrise Blevins of the Myrick Millennial Institute, “Once it became clear that books were still hot, kids just naturally try to top each other. So we had the incunabula craze, and illuminated monk-punk. Then papyrus scrolls were popping up everywhere, in malls and at the clubs. This year, it’s clay. Everything is clay.” Continue reading “Kids Agree: Books are no longer cool”

Pulit-Surprise! Pulitzer Prize winners leaked.

April Fool!Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger with the Pulitzer Prize, a list of this year’s award winners and finalists has been leaked a full two weeks before their scheduled announcement on April 15. Continue reading “Pulit-Surprise! Pulitzer Prize winners leaked.”

My Favorite Women Writers and Artists

 Advance Weekend Edition for Sunday, April 1, 2012

I’m always amazed at how an artist’s personality and distinctive voice come through in their work, especially with some of my favorite women authors. Case in point: Joyce Kilmer. She’s most famous for her beautiful poem “Trees,” which has also been set to music by Oscar Rasbach. Writing in the early 1900’s—not an easy time for a woman to forge a career—she penned some marvelous essays and letters, as well as numerous other poems that speak to her personal experience.

Another of my favorite women writers is Beverley Nichols, the prolific author of more than 60 books. In addition to writing many delightful gardening tomes and personal remembrances, she also contributed a weekly column to Woman’s Own magazine for more than 20 years. Interestingly, she ghost-wrote the “autobiography” of one of her female contemporaries, the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba.

Although she was a literary critic rather than a novelist or poet, Irish writer Vivian Mercier is another standout for me. Her deft analysis of Beckett, among others, brings a much-needed woman’s perspective to the work of this playwright.

No list of female authors would be complete without mentioning Evelyn Waugh, truly one of our literary greats. It’s hard for me to choose just one of her many works, but I can’t omit the wonderful Brideshead Revisited. This classic novel has even been adapted as a TV miniseries and more recently, a feature film—a testament to its enduring popularity. Evelyn was also a talented visual artist, as evidenced by her drawings in this book.

Speaking of visual artists: one of my all-time favorites is Joan Miro. Her delicate, often whimsical, abstract paintings are unforgettable, and she was also a gifted sculptor. Joan Miro: Snail Woman Flower Star offers many gorgeous images of her artwork. In addition to the library’s extensive collection of books about Joan, we have a great documentary about her life and work, where you can learn more about the woman who created these masterpieces.

Finally, let’s not forget about novelist Robin Cook, whose heart-stopping medical thrillers reveal our essential fragility in the cold grip of clinical science, the way only a woman can. My personal favorite of hers is Coma, an eerily prescient work which was also made into a fantastic movie with Genevieve Bujold playing the strong female lead.

The caliber of all these creative individuals is such that we needn’t qualify their achievements by designating them “women writers” or “women artists”—they are simply great artists, period. Yet a distinctly feminine voice does come through in their work, which only adds another layer of insight and appreciation to their impressive accomplishments.

~Michael E., Central Library