Music legend Whitney Houston passed away Saturday in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 48. The daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, Whitney soared to fame in the 1980s and 90s after being discovered by music executive Clive Davis in 1983. He debut album (below) was released in 1985. This was followed by a string of Billboard No. 1 hits - including "Saving all my Love for You", "How will I Know", "The Greatest Love of All", "Where do Broken Hearts Go", and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)". In 1992 she released the soundtrack to the movie: The Bodyguard, in which she costarred with Kevin Costner. It became one of the biggest selling albums of all time, and contained the probably the most memorable performance of the Dolly Parton composition "I Will Always Love You". She is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina.
Nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards were announced January 24. Several of the nominated films and performances are already available in the Library's collection. Among the nominees for Best Picture ready to check out are:
Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, the popular PBS series Downton Abbey centers on the Crawley family, their servants and their life at their grand country home. However, the death of the Crawley heir aboard the Titanic, sets in motion a succession of changes for both the family and the servants. The second season — which began on PBS on January 8 — has moved forward to the years 1916-17 and portrays the effect that World War I has on all of their lives. This Emmy Award winning series is written by Julian Fellowes and stars Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, and Elizabeth McGovern. If you enjoy this period of history try some of the following titles.
The American heiress: a novel by Daisy Goodwin — Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England.
Below Stairs — The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Powell, Margaret — The remarkable true story of a woman who served in one of the great houses of England as a kitchen maid.
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
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:
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