Peter O'Toole was supremely talented, a unique leading man and one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. Described by his friend Richard Burton as "the most original actor to come out of Britain since the war," O'Toole was also unpredictable, with a dangerous edge he brought to his roles and to his real life. With the help of exclusive interviews with colleagues and close friends, Robert Sellers' Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography paints the first complete picture of this complex and much-loved man. The book reveals what drove him to extremes, why he drank to excess for many years and hated authority, but it also describes a man who was fiercely intelligent, with a great sense of humor and huge energy. Giving full weight to his extraordinary career, this is an insightful, funny, and moving tribute to an iconic actor who made a monumental contribution to theater and cinema.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Richard A. Serrano's new book American Endurance: The Great Cowboy Race and the Vanishing Wild West is history, mystery, and Western all rolled into one. In June 1893, nine cowboys raced across a thousand miles of American prairie to the Chicago World's Fair. For two weeks they thundered past angry sheriffs, governors, and Humane Society inspectors intent on halting their race. Waiting for them at the finish line was Buffalo Bill Cody, who had set up his Wild West Show right next to the World's Fair that had refused to allow his exhibition at the fair. The Great Cowboy Race occurred at a pivotal moment in our nation's history: many believed the frontier was settled and the West was no more. The Chicago World's Fair represented the triumph of modernity and the end of the cowboy age. Except no one told the cowboys. Racing toward Buffalo Bill Cody and the gold-plated Colt revolver he promised to the first to reach his arena, nine men went on a Wild West stampede from tiny Chadron, Nebraska, to bustling Chicago. But at the first thud of hooves pounding on Chicago's brick pavement, the race devolved into chaos. Some of the cowboys shipped their horses part of the way by rail, or hired private buggies. One had the unfair advantage of having helped plan the route map in the first place. It took three days, numerous allegations, and a good old Western showdown to sort out who was first to Chicago, and who won the Great Cowboy Race.

No single sea battle has had more far-reaching consequences than the one fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1862. The Confederacy, with no fleet of its own, built an iron fort containing ten heavy guns on the hull of a captured Union frigate named the Merrimack. The North got word of the project when it was already well along, and, in desperation, commissioned an eccentric inventor named John Ericsson to build the Monitor, an entirely revolutionary iron warship—at the time, the single most complicated machine ever made. Abraham Lincoln himself was closely involved with the ship’s design. 

Pick up a copy of Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven at the library.  Join in one of the discussions. The Canton Seniors Book Discussion group will be discussing Station Eleven in April and the Adult Contemporary Book Discussion group in November.

Station eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the cross-hairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Hooray for Old Hollywood!

Long before Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were big names in the movies, actors such as Chaplin, Dietrich, Bogart, and Gable were considered the ultimate in star power. Read about some of the great actors and actresses who may be gone, but will certainly not be forgotten.

Robert Mitchum: "baby, I don't care" by Lee Server

Dark lover: the life and death of Rudolph Valentino by Emily W. Leider

Bogart by A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax

Great Michigan Read 2015-2016 Kickoff

you will be in the Lansing area on Thursday, October 8, please be sure to join us for the Great Michigan Read kick-off event (which will actually be Emily’s sixth appearance) at the Library of Michigan (702 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing). The 2013-14 Great Michigan Read author, Steve Luxenberg (Annie’s Ghosts), will be
interviewing Emily St. John Mandel about Station Eleven, writing, and much more. The doors open at 6:00 PM.

Great Michigan Read 2015-2016

Station eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The first author tour is coming up this week, October 5, with events scheduled in Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Lansing. For Emily St. John Mandel's full schedule please visit the 2015-2016 Great Michigan Read website.  

The Great Michigan Read is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Meijer, the National Endowment for the Humanities and a host of other sponsors. 

Murder Will Out: November 2015

Recent additions to some favorite series.

Look What's In Large Print: October 2014

Look What's In Large Print: Biographies

David Kelly, 1929-2012

Veteran Irish actor David Kelly has passed away at the age of 82. Kelly was a familiar face in British television, as well as on the Irish stage. American audiences would most likely recognize him as Grandpa Joe in Tim Burton's adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or from his role in the Irish comedy Waking Ned Devine. For more films featuring David Kelly try one of these from the library's collection:

Greenfingers [videodisc]

Into the West [videodisc]

The Italian job [videodisc]

Stardust [videodisc]

Ben Gazzara

Veteran stage and film actor Ben Gazzara died over the weekend. He was 81. Best known for his role in the classic film Anatomy of a Murder with James Stewart, he appeared in several notable films throughout his long career, including Husbands and The killing of a Chinese bookie with director John Cassavetes. He is also remembered for his starring role in the 1960s television series Run for Your Life in which he played a lawyer with a terminal illness determined to make the most of his remaining time. On stage, Mr. Gazzara originated the role of Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and was nominated for a Tony in 1955 for his performance in A Hatful of Rain. For a complete list of his films click here.


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