Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Authors who've died since 2000

This broad variety of books made for one of our most rowdy (in a good way!) meetings to take place in quite a while.  I believe we all discovered something unexpected or lost to memory.  Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 18th and it is our biannual Salon Discussion so there is no assigned topic.  Bring any book you'd like to share with us!

On to the list!

The Early Stories, 1953-1975 by John Updike (Specifically, the stories "A & P" and "Early Easter")
His pen rarely at rest, John Updike began publishing fiction, essays, and poetry in the mid-fifties, when he was a staff writer at the New Yorker, contributing material for the “Talk of the Town” sections. “Of all modern American writers,” writes Adam Gopnik in Humanities magazine, “Updike comes closest to meeting Virginia Woolf’s demand that a writer’s only job is to get himself, or herself, expressed without impediments."  He is known to many first as an author of short stories, with dozens having graced the pages of the New Yorker before being published in collections. Many other readers know his shorter fiction either through the O. Henry Prize Stories or anthologies of American literature, where they would have entered into the at times sad, at times triumphant thoughts of, say, a certain check-out clerk at the local grocery store; “A & P” serving as a model of dramatic irony for at least two generations of English literature teachers. (from

2061: Odyssey Three by Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clark, creator of one of the world's best-loved science fiction tales, revisits the most famous future ever imagined in this NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, as two expeditions into space become inextricably tangled. Heywood Floyd, survivor of two previous encounters with the mysterious monoliths, must again confront Dave Bowman, HAL, and an alien race that has decided that Mankind is to play a part in the evolution of the galaxy whether it wishes to or not.

Minority Report and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick (Specifically, the story "Minority Report)
This volume covers a wide span, from late 1954 through to 1963, the years during which Dick began writing novels prolifically and his short story output lessened. The title story of this collection has been made into the Steven Spielberg-directed movie of the same name, while "The Days of Perky Pat" inspired one of Dick's greatest works, the novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; The Penultimate Truth grew from "The Mold of Yancy". Philip K. Dick is shown at his incomparable prime in this fourth volume of the definitive collection of short fiction.

"Minority Report" is about a future society where murders are prevented through the efforts of three mutants who can see the future. Paradoxes and alternate realities are created by the precognition of crimes when the chief of police intercepts a precognition that he is about to murder a man he has never met. The story also touches upon the dangers of a powerful post-war military during peacetime. Like many stories dealing with knowledge of future events, "The Minority Report" questions the existence of free will.  In 2002, the story was adapted into a film directed by Steven Spielberg.

I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections by Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten.  Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing is pure joy.

Here is a link to a 2006 interview of Nora Ephron about her book I Feel Bad About My Neck on The Diane Rehm Show.  Click here.

Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities by Elizabeth Edwards

She’s one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she’s no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line. Days before the 2004 presidential election—when her husband John was running for vice president—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away—only to reoccur in 2007.

While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in Resilience, she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life’s biggest challenges. This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better.

Mr. Food's Favorite Cookies by Art Ginsburg
Television's Mr. Food offers quick and easy recipes for a delicious assortment of cookies, including no-bake cookies, "dunkers," "rollouts," and innovations, plus tips on mailing cookies and a special section for kids.

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
When asked, Maurice Sendak insisted that he was not a comics artist, but an illustrator. However, it's hard to not notice comics aspects in works like In the Night Kitchen. The child of the story is depicted floating from panel to panel as he drifts through the fantastic dream world of the bakers' kitchen. Sendak's use of multiple panels and integrated hand-lettered text is an interesting contrast to his more traditional children's books containing single-page illustrations such as his wildly popular Where the Wild Things Are.

Coyote Waits by Tony Hillerman
The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez—a bullet did. And the old man in possession of the murder weapon is a whiskey-soaked shaman named Ashie Pinto. Officer Jim Chee is devastated by the slaying of his good friend Del, and confounded by the prime suspect's refusal to utter a single word of confession or denial.

Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn believes there is much more to this outrage than what appears on the surface, as he and Jim Chee set out to unravel a complex weave of greed and death that involves a historical find and a lost fortune. But the hungry and mythical trickster Coyote is waiting, as always, in the shadows to add a strange and deadly new twist.

The following Hillerman novels were adapted to the movie screen: The Dark Wind, Skinwalkers, Coyote Waits, and A Thief of Time.

Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales by Ray Bradbury
For more than sixty years, the imagination of Ray Bradbury has opened doors into remarkable places, ushering us across unexplored territories of the heart and mind while leading us inexorably toward a profound understanding of ourselves and the universe we inhabit. In this landmark volume, America's preeminent storyteller offers us one hundred treasures from a lifetime of words and ideas -- tales that amaze, enthrall, and horrify; breathtaking journeys backward andforward in time; classic stories with the undiminished power to tantalize, mystify, elate, and move the reader to tears. Each small gem in the master's collection remains as dazzling as when it first appeared in print.

There is magic in these pages: the wonders of interstellar flight, a conspiracy of insects, the early bloom of love in the warmth of August. Both the world of Ray Bradbury and its people are vivid and alive, as colorfully unique as a poker chip hand-painted by a brilliant artist or as warmly familiar as the well-used settings on a family's dining room table. In a poor man's desire for the stars, in the twisted night games of a hateful embalmer, in a magnificent fraud perpetrated to banish despair and repair a future, in a writer's wonderful death is the glowing proof of the timeless artistry of one of America's greatest living bards.

The one hundred stories in this volume were chosen by Bradbury himself, and span a career that blossomed in the pulp magazines of the early 1940s and continues to flourish in the new millennium. Here are representatives of the legendary author's finest works of short fiction, including many that have not been republished for decades, all forever fresh and vital, evocative and immensely entertaining. This is Bradbury at his very best -- golden visions of tomorrow, poetic memories of yesterday, dark nightmares and glorious dreams -- a grand celebration of humankind, God's intricate yet poignantly fallible machineries of joy.

The Cat Who Wasn't There by Lilian Jackson Braun
Qwill's on his way to Scotland--and on his way to solving another purr-plexing mystery. But this time Koko's nowhere the scene of the crime. He and Yum Yum are back in Pickax being coddled by a catsitter...but Koko won't sit still once Qwill's traveling party returns--minus one member. He's behaving oddly, and Qwill knows what that means: Koko may have been miles away from the murder scene, but he's just a whisker away from cracking the case!

Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints by Phyllis Diller (Not available in the JCLC system)
If you've ever seen the Surveyor moon pictures, you've seen Phyllis Diller's living room. But disasters like this don't just happen, They're planned. How? Here are just a few examples of the diligent Diller method for guaranteeing total abstinence from the curse of housework.

Here is a link to an interview with Phyllis Diller from the Comedy Hall of Fame Archives.  Click here.

I Didn't Come Here to Argue by Peg Braken (Not available in the JCLC system)

Here is a link to an interview with Peg Bracken in 2007 on the NPR show, All Things Considered.  Click here.

Star Ghosts by Hans Holzer (Not available in the JCLC system)

According to Hans Holzer, an expert in psychic phenomena, the ghosts of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow and other top stars still inhabit the Hollywood mansions in which they once lived.

Compelled to seek the peace that eluded them when they were alove, they now roam the corridors of their former homes, lost in the shadowy world between life and death.


Is This You, Jean Harlow?
A Visit With Carol Lombard, Thanks to Julie Parrish
Word From Marilyn Monroe
Do the Barrymores Still Live Here?
Rudolph Valentino is Very Much Alive
Elvis Presely: Death is Not the End!
James Dean and Lesser Hollywood Ghosts
The Last Adventures of the Late Clifton Webb
The Two Lives of Gaye Spiegelman, Topless Mother of Eight
Hello There, Harry Houdini!
The Hollywood Psychic Scene

The works of Edward Gorey
A truly prodigious and original artist, Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000), gave to the world over one hundred works, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest and The Wuggly Ump; prize-winning set and costume designs for innumerable theater productions from Cape Cod to Broadway; a remarkable number of illustrations in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times, and in books by a wide array of authors from Charles Dickens to Edward Lear, Samuel Beckett, John Updike, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, Florence Heide and many others. His well known animated credits for the PBS Mystery series have introduced him to millions of television viewers. Gorey's masterful pen and ink illustrations and his ironic, offbeat humor have brought him critical acclaim and an avid following throughout the world. (from

Happiness is a Warm Puppy by Charles Schulz
These collector’s editions perfectly recreate the original look and feel of the best-loved Peanuts books—their paper, their ink, even their lamination.  And of course, the heartwarming content that charmed the world, sold millions, and launched the career of Charles M. Schulz remains untouched. On every spread there’s a tiny tidbit of wisdom from one of the gang, along with one of Schulz’s irresistible drawings.  It’s a trip down memory lane that every Peanuts fan will cherish.

The Wit and Wisdom of Snoopy by Charles Schulz (not available in the JCLC system)

Kids Say the Darndest Things by Art Linkletter
Almost 50 years since its first printing, this famous collection of children's wisdom and witticisms is now back in print in a facsimile edition to entertain a whole new generation. KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS! includes the best of the unconsciously funny, everyday thoughts and reactions kids shared with kid-at-heart Art Linkletter on his long-running radio and television series House Party .Gems include tips for conjuring up a sibling: "Give Mommy a lot of real sweet food so she'll get fat -that's how you get a baby ";and hysterical observations: "Our pussycat has got some kittens and I didn't even know she was married. "Illustrated with cartoons by Charles Schulz (yes, that Charles Schulz) and with a new introduction by Bill Cosby, KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS! will prove as popular with the readers of today as it was when it first was published five decades ago.

The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
Never had there been as close a bonding as the one that existed between the daring and adventurous young Lord Jaxom and his extraordinary white dragon, Ruth. Pure white and incredibly agile, Ruth was a dragon of many talents, though almost everyone on Pern thought he was a runt that would never amount to anything. But Jaxom knew better, knew he could teach his dragon to fly and to destroy the deadly silver Threads that fell from the sky. Disobeying all rules, Jaxom and Ruth trained in secret. Their illicit flights seemed but a minor disobedience - until they found themselves in the path of danger and in a position to prevent the biggest disaster of all.

Jeffrey's Favorite 13 Ghost Stories by Kathryn Tucker Windham
This is the first anthology of the author's own favorite ghost stories from the highly successful Jeffrey series of books that began in 1969 with 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. Hundreds of thousands of these books have been sold. The present volume includes 13 of the best of Mrs. Windham's stories, representing mysterious and supernatural doings from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Most of the stories are related to historical places and sometimes to historical people.

Count Those Buzzards, Stamp Those Grey Mules: Superstitions Remembered from a Southern Childhood by Kathryn Tucker Windham

Murder Runs in the Family by Anne George

Mary Alice has spared nothing for her only daughter's wedding -- from seventy-five yards of bridal train to gourmet food for over three hundred guests and enough glittering elegance to make Mary Alice think about finding herself a fourth rich husband to pay for it all.

Practical Patricia Anne has put away her aunt-of-the-bride blue chiffon and settled back into domesticity when fun-loving Mary Alice calls to say they have a post-wedding date with a genealogist from the groom's side of the family. Lunch is a fascinating lesson on the hazards of finding dirty linens in ancestral boudoirs that ends abruptly when their guest scurries off with the local judge, leaving the sisters with their mouths open -- and finishing their luncheon companion's cheesecake -- when the police arrive.

Their mysterious guest has taken a plunge from the ninth floor of the courthouse building -- an apparent suicide. But given the scandals a nosy genealogist might have uncovered, the sisters are betting that some proud Southern family is making sure their shameful secrets stay buried. . .along with anyone who tries to dig them up.

The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
Carnegie medal-winning supernatural romance from Margaret Mahy. The face in the mirror. From the moment she saw it, Laura Chant knew that something dreadful was going to happen. It wasn't the first time she'd been forewarned. But never before had anything so terrible happened. The horrifyingly evil Carmody Braque touched and branded her little brother -- and now Jacko was very ill, getting steadily worse. There was only one way to save him. Laura had to change over: had to release her supernatural powers. And that meant joining forces with the extraordinary and enigmatic Sorenson Carlisle!

A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney by Andy Rooney
The first of these collections of Rooney's satirical TV pieces and syndicated newspaper columns "can be moving, as in 'D-Day,' or can fall flat, as in 'The Faces of Christ,' which is maudlin," said PW . The second, an anthology of only his newspaper work that discusses topics from faulty home appliances and dieting to cliches and celebrity endorsements, is more successful: "Every entry is trenchant and telling and, best of all, fun to read." (from Publishers Weekly)

The Proud Princess, from The Best of Barbara Cartland by Barbara Cartland

Having survived the 1871 siege of Paris with her mother the Queen of Dabrozka, Princess Ilona is summoned back to the war-ravaged kingdom of her father, a tyrannical monarch whose unjust rule has divided the nation into two factions: her own Radák people and the Sáros. Worse still, Russia threatens to march on Dabrozka to impose their iron-clad style of order.

Only Ilona can save her country from this fate – by making a terrible sacrifice. At the Prime Minister’s request, she must marry the Prince of Sáros, their union bringing together the people. This she will do; this she must do – but what her pride will not allow her is to love the aloof, indifferent Prince. Humiliated by the Prince’s evident disregard, and beaten by her own father on the eve of her wedding, it seems that love will never fill her heart – but as war clouds gather over Dabrozka, both the Prince and the Proud Princes are about to share a dramatic change of heart!

(This was the description of the Amazon Kindle edition)The Barbara Cartland Eternal Collection is the unique opportunity to collect as ebooks all five hundred of the timeless beautiful romantic novels written by the world’s most celebrated and enduring romantic author. Named the Eternal Collection because Barbara’s inspiring stories of pure love are just the same as love itself, the books will be published on the Internet at the rate of four titles per month until all five hundred are available. The Eternal Collection, classic pure romance available worldwide for all time.

Here is a link to the website maintained by Barbara Cartland's son, Ian McCorquodale.  Click here.

Every Day by the Sun: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi by Dean Faulkner Wells
In Every Day by the Sun, Dean Faulkner Wells recounts the story of the Faulkners of Mississippi, whose legacy includes pioneers, noble and ignoble war veterans, three never-convicted murderers  the builder of the first railroad in north Mississippi, the founding president of a bank, an FBI agent, four pilots (all brothers), and a Nobel Prize winner, arguably the most important American novelist of the twentieth century. She also reveals wonderfully entertaining and intimate stories and anecdotes about her family—in particular her uncle William, or “Pappy,” with whom she shared colorful  sometimes utterly frank, sometimes whimsical, conversations and experiences.

This deeply felt memoir explores the close relationship between Dean’s uncle and her father, Dean Swift Faulkner, a barnstormer killed at age twenty-eight during an air show four months before she was born. It was William who gave his youngest brother an airplane, and after Dean’s tragic death, William helped to raise his niece. He paid for her education, gave her away when she was married, and maintained a unique relationship with her throughout his life.
From the 1920s to the early civil rights era, from Faulkner’s winning of the Nobel Prize in Literature to his death in 1962, Every Day by the Sun explores the changing culture and society of Oxford, Mississippi  while offering a rare glimpse of a notoriously private family and an indelible portrait of a national treasure.

Here is a link to a 2001 interview with Dean Faulkner Wells on The Diane Rehm Show.  Click here.

A False Sense of Well-Being by Jeanne Braselton

At thirty-eight, Jessie Maddox has a comfortable life in Glenville, Georgia, with the most responsible husband in the world. But after the storybook romance, “happily ever after” never came. Now Jessie is left to wonder: Why can’t she stop picturing herself as the perfect grieving widow? As Jessie dives headlong into her midlife crisis, she is joined by a colorful cast of eccentrics. There’s her best friend Donna, who is having a wild adulterous affair with a younger man; Wanda McNabb, the sweet-natured grandmother who is charged with killing her husband; Jessie’s younger sister Ellen, who was born to be a guest on Jerry Springer; their mother, who persistently crosses the dirty words out of library books; and of course the stuffed green headless duck. . . .

When a trip home to the small town of her childhood raises more questions than it answers, Jessie is forced to face the startling truth head-on–and confront the tragedy that has shadowed her heart and shaken her faith in love . . . and the future.

Dead-Eye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut
Deadeye Dick is Kurt Vonnegut’s funny, chillingly satirical look at the death of innocence. Amid a true Vonnegutian host of horrors—a double murder, a fatal dose of radioactivity, a decapitation, an annihilation of a city by a neutron bomb—Rudy Waltz, aka Deadeye Dick, takes us along on a zany search for absolution and happiness. Here is a tale of crime and punishment that makes us rethink what we believe . . . and who we say we are.

What are YOU reading?

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