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Soon to be a Major Motion Picture

The past year saw several popular books made into movies. The Help, Moneyball, War Horse, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Extemely Loud & Incredibly Close were just a few of the titles that were made into successful films. And 2012 is shaping up to be just as full of books-into-film productions as 2011. Listed below are only a few of the titles to be released in theaters this year. Get a head start on your reading and stay tuned for more in the coming months!

Abraham Lincoln: vampire hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith — Starring Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper. Release date: June 2012

Breaking dawn by Stephenie Meyer — Part 2. Starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Release date: November 2012

2011 National Film Registry Inductees

The National Film Registry of The Library of Congress recently announced its list of inductees for 2011. Established in 1989, the films are selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. For a history of the Film Registry you can watch the fascinating documentary These amazing shadows: the movies that made America, which is available in the Library's collection. Included among the list of 2011 entries are:

Bambi

The big heat

North Korea's Kim Jong Il

The death of North Korea's controversial leader, Kim Jong Il, was announced earlier this week by DRPK state television. Although North Korean legend claimed that Kim was born on Mount Paekdu — a cherished Korean site — Soviet records indicate that he was born in Siberia in 1941. His father Kim Il Sung was a guerilla fighter who became a communist leader in Korea in 1945 after the defeat of Japan in World War II. After the Korean peninsula was divided into two states — the North, administered by the Soviets — and the South by the United States, the stage was set for the beginning of the Korean War. After the North invaded the South in 1950, three years of bloodshed ensued, killing millions and leaving the peninsula permanently divided to this day. Kim Jong Il became the country's "Dear Leader" in 1994 upon the death of his father. Kim Jong Il was widely criticized throughout the world for devoting much of his country's resources on building up its nuclear arms arsenal, while at the same time his countrymen were suffering from a prolonged famine. His youngest son, Kim Jong Un, has been designated as his successor.

Rogue regime: Kim Jong Il and the looming threat of North Korea by Jasper Becker

Under the loving care of the fatherly leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty by Bradley K. Martin

Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel, the longtime dissident who later became the leader of the Czech Republic passed away December 18 at the age of 75. Havel was better known as a poet and playwright when he led his nation through the bloodless Velvet Revolution in 1989 that toppled the decades long Soviet regime in Czechoslovakia. Havel later went on to serve as president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992. After the federation peacefully split into two states he served as president of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. The other state became Slovakia. Among those expected to be at his Friday funeral are Bill Clinton, U.S.

Happy Birthday Diego Rivera!

Mexican artist Diego Rivera was born 125 years ago on December 8, 1886. Married to fellow artist Frida Kahlo, he was renowned for his murals which can be found in Mexico City, San Francisco, New York City, and Detroit. Between the years 1932 and 1933, Rivera painted a famous series of fresco panels entitled Detroit Industry on the walls of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Depicting industry at the Ford Motor Company, Rivera himself considered it his most successful work.

Pearl Harbor Remembered

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the surprise attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The early morning attack on December 7, 1941 on the U.S. fleet stationed in the harbor, and at Hickam Field where 51 airplanes were on the ground, was the catalyst for the United States' entry into World War II. Nine ships were sunk and twenty-one were severely damaged and nearly half of the airplanes were destroyed or severely damaged. The death toll numbered 2,403: 1,177 from the battleship Arizona alone. It is estimated that there are about 8.000 survivors from the attack who are still alive.

New Author Biographies

Check out some of the library's new author biographies which have been published recently. Place your holds now!

And so it goes: Kurt Vonnegut, a life by Charles Shields

Charles Dickens: a life by Claire Tomalin

Fiction ruined my family by Jeanne Darst

Happy Birthday Mark Twain!

Mark Twain, one of America's best-known and well-loved authors, was born on November 30, 1835. His works have been translated into hundreds of languages, and Hollywood continues to produce film adaptations of his books. The first volume of his autobiography was published in 2010 on the centenary of the author's death as he did not want some of his more scalding opinions and observations in print until he had been dead at least a century. The book was published by the staff of the Mark Twain Project — an archive that contains Twain's private papers.

Read the Book, See the Movie

The upcoming weeks will see several new films released that are based on, or inspired by popular books. Here are some of the most anticipated:

The adventures of Tintin: the chapter book by adapted by Stephanie Peters — Directed by Stephen Spielberg

Extremely loud & incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer — Starring Tom Hanks & Sandra Bullock

Evelyn Lauder, Breast Cancer Activist

Evelyn Lauder, the longtime breast cancer activist who helped to create the pink ribbon as the symbol of the fight against the disease, died November 12 at the age of 75. Born in Vienna, Austria in 1936, she came to the United States as a young child when her parents fled from the Nazis. The family settled in New York where she met her future husband, Leonard Lauder, whose parents owned a small cosmetics firm. She eventually went to work with at her mother-in-law Estee Lauder's company which today has revenues of nearly $2.5 billion. During her long career Evelyn was instrumental in developing and marketing new products, including Clinique. She was also a leading philanthropist and became very involved in the fight against breast cancer.

The Edmund Fitzgerald

The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald will be commemorated today in services across the state. Twenty nine lives were lost when the ship sank in Lake Superior 36 years ago in 1975 about 17 miles from Whitefish Point. The Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle will host a remembrance ceremony at 6:00 PM, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum will have a service at 7:00 PM. Gordon Lightfoot recorded a memorable tribute to the lost crew in his song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

J. Edgar Hoover

The highly anticipated new film J. Edgar opens this weekend. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench and Armie Hammer, it explores the public and private life of J. Edgar Hoover — one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. Hoover was considered the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years.

In Memoriam

Two notable figures from recent American history passed away this week. Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes for more than 30 years, died November 4 at the age of 92. Rooney died one month after he had signed off from "60 Minutes" in October after a 33-year run. A statement from CBS News stated that he died of complications following minor surgery. Rooney began his journalism career as a correspondent for the Stars and Stripes newspaper and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work during the Normandy invasion. He joined CBS News in 1949 and joined "60 Minutes" in 1968, first as a producer, then as a commentator ten years later.

New Celebrity Biographies

If you're looking for some great new reads about your favorite actors, sports stars or musicians, then you're in luck. There have been a plethora of celebrity biographies and autobiographies published this fall on everyone from Shaquille O"Neal to Spencer Tracy. More great titles can be found below:

The Garner Files: A Memoir by Garner, James/ Winokur, Jon/ Andrews, Julie (INT)

Happy accidents by Jane Lynch