Gore Vidal, the noted author, playwright and essayist has died at the age of 86 due to complications from pneumonia. Vidal was also known as an outspoken political commentator. During his long literary career he wrote some 25 novels, several screenplays, and more than 200 essays. He also appeared in several films, including the politcal satire Bob Roberts.
1876: a novel by Gore Vidal
Burr: a novel by Gore Vidal
The 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London beginning July 27 and concluding on August 12. Officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad, the games will comprise 32 sports and 302 events. Locally, you can catch all of the exciting coverage on NBC. In the mean time, however, you can catch up on the stories of past Summer Olympians at the Library:
Rome 1960: the Olympics that changed the world by David Maraniss
Berlin Games: how the Nazis stole the Olympic dream by Guy Walters
Join the Adult Contemporary group on Monday, August 20 at 7:00 PM in the Purple Room to discuss:
A stolen life: a memoir by Jaycee Lee Dugard — In the summer of June of 1991, Jaycee Dugard was a normal 11-year old kid. Until the day her life was stolen. For 18 years she was a prisoner. She was an object for someone to use and abuse. She became a mother and was forced to be a sister. She survived an impossible situation. It's her story — in her own words, in her own way, exactly as she remembered it.
Movie and television actor Ernest Borgnine has passed away at the age of 95. His long career included many memorable roles in films such as Bad Day at Black Rock, From Here to Eternity, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, and The Poseidon Adventure. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1955 for his title role in the film Marty as a lovelorn butcher, and also appeared on numerous roles on television, including the lead on the comedy McHale's Navy from 1962 to 1966, and in the 1980s on the action drama Airwolf.
A fascinating look at personal correspondence throughout history:
Dear America: letters home from Vietnam by edited by Bernard Edelman for The New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission; [with a new introduction by Senator John McCain; foreword by William Broyles, Jr.]
The 50 greatest love letters of all time by [selected] by David H. Lowenherz
Letters of the century: America, 1900-1999 by edited by Lisa Grunwald & Stephen J. Adler
Author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron has passed away from acute myeloid leukemia at the age of 71. Ephron directed eight feature films and was credited as screenwriter on more than a dozen. She earned three Oscar nominations for writing Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and Silkwood. Perhaps her best known novel was Heartburn which was based on her marriage to reporter Carl Bernstein. She began her career in the 1960s as a reporter for the New York Post , and in the 1970s wrote columns for the magazines Esquire and New York.
Check out these inspirational stories from people who have hit rock bottom and lived to tell the tale.
Broken: my story of addiction and redemption by William Cope Moyers with Katherine Ketcham
Fall to pieces: a memoir of drugs, rock 'n' roll, and mental illness by Mary Forsberg Weiland
Guts: the endless follies and tiny triumphs of a giant disaster by Kristen Johnston
Devils & Blue Dresses by Mitch Ryder. Detroit's own, Mitch Ryder will discuss and sign his autobiography on Thursday, June 21 at 7:00p.m. at Ypsilanti District Library, 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI. Ryder will be interviewed by Martin Bandyke of Ann Arbor 107. A Question and Answer session will follow the interview. Copies of Devils and Blue Dresses will be available for purchase. The event is free, seating is on a first come, first serve basis. For more information contact the Ypsilanti District Library.
Find out what life was like growing up in bygone days:
Big Russ and me: father and son: lessons of life by Tim Russert — South Buffalo, N.Y. in the 1950s
Defending Baltimore against enemy attack: a boyhood year during World War II by Charles Osgood — Baltimore in the 1940s
A girl named Zippy: growing up small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel — Mooreland, Indiana in the 1960s
Hotel kid: a Times Square childhood by Stephen Lewis — New York City in the 1930s
The life and times of the last kid picked by David Benjamin — Small-town Wisconsin in the 1950s
The life and times of the thunderbolt kid: a memoir by Bill Bryson — Iowa in the 1950s
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812. It was on June 18, 1812 that the United States declared war on Great Britain, and although it is arguably one of America's least remembered wars, it was during this time that many legendary battles were fought, heroes made, and memorable events occurred. It was during this war that the British burned the White House and First Lady Dolley Madison helped to save several valuable items — such as George Washington's portrait and original drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It was during this war that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry. It was during this war that the infamous Battle of New Orleans was fought, making a national hero of Andrew Jackson. It was also during this war that several crucial battles were fought in the Great Lakes Region, including the surrender of the Detroit to the British. The causes for the conflict were many, including attempts by the British to restrict U.S. trade, and the desire by Americans to expand their territory — specifically into Florida and Canada. Hostilities came to an end on December 24, 1814 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.
England's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year, commemorating 60 years on the British throne. Her reign is the second longest for a British monarch after Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 7 months. Princess Elizabeth was crowned on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey after the death of her father George VI. Although she had been proclaimed queen when her father died in February, 1952, the official ceremony was not held until after a period of mourning for the late king.
All mortal flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming
The art of racing in the rain: a novel by Garth Stein
Mockingbird: a portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields
A reliable wife: a novel by Robert Goolrick
Sarah's key by Tatiana de Rosnay
17F: the life of Ian Fleming by Donald McCormick
The dead witness: a connoisseur's collection of Victorian detective stories by edited by Michael Sims
The language of flowers [sound recording]: [a novel] by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Love me to death: a novel of suspense by Allison Brennan
One was a soldier: a Clare Fergusson/Russ van Alstyne mystery by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Let there be Pebble: a middle-handicapper's year in America's garden of golf by Zachary Michael Jack
Sam Spiegel by Natasha Fraser Cavassoni
The 600th year celebration of the birth of Joan of Arc is being celebrated in 2012. Born in France in 1412, she is considered a national heroine and one of the country's patron saints. Nicknamed the "Maid of Orleans", she was a peasant girl who claimed divine guidance when leading the French army to several significant victories during the Hundred Year's War. Captured by the enemy, she was tried for heresy and burned at the stake when she was only 19. Twenty five years later the pope cleared her name and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
Joan of Arc: a Penguin life by Mary Gordon
April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the luxury liner RMS Titanic. The largest ship afloat in the world at the time — and widely believed to be "unsinkable" — the Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City on April 10. Four days later, the ship collided with an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, and sank in the Atlantic Ocean at approximately 2:20 in the morning of the 15th.
Prime time [Large print] by Jane Fonda
My song [Large print]: a memoir by Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson
Blue nights [Large print] by Joan Didion
Drama: an actor's education by John Lithgow
The complete history of American film criticism by Jerry Roberts
An uncommon history of common courtesy: how manners shaped the world by Bethane Patrick