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Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

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.

I Believe I Can Fly!

In commemoration of Black History Month we are celebrating some of Black America’s firsts in aviation and aerospace. Through the month of February, stop by and view our display case near the Receptionist Desk highlighting some of these pioneering aviators. From the first known Black pilot to the youngest African American (12 yrs) flyer. Their lives and stories are a celebration of the human spirit and an inspiration to all that against all odds and great adversity you can achieve your dream… you can touch the sky! To learn more about blacks in aviation visit some of these exciting resources:

African American Biographies

African Americans are at the heart of the greatest achievements of our history, from music to law, from politics to sports, from literature to religion.

Congratulations, Walter Dean Myers!

The first winner of the Printz Award in 2000 and author of amazing novels before and since, Walter Dean Myers, has been named the next national ambassador for young children's literature.

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.

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.

Book Club Choices: December 2011

The perfect book for a book discussion is one that's not too easy, not too hard, that will hold the interest of a diverse group of readers and will also inspire a lively discussion. For additional book club resources check out CPL's Book Club in a Bag kits.

The true memoirs of Little K by Adrienne Sharp

The tiger's wife: a novel by Téa Obreht

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope

It was nearly a year ago when a tragic shooting took place at a political event in Tuscan, Arizona. Six people died and many more were wounded, including first time congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. She was horribly wounded with little chance of survival, let alone recovery. This is the extraordinarily moving story of public service, love, strength, hope and the long, hard road toward recovery as told by Gabby Giffords, her space shuttle commander husband, Mark Kelly and author and Wall Street Journal columnist, Jeffrey Zaslow.

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, and Jeffrey Zaslow

National Book Awards 2011

The National Book Awards 2011 will be webcast live from New York City on Wednesday, November 16 at 8:00 PM. Actor, author, and musician John Lithgow will host this year's award ceremony. No registration necessary. Check the National Book Foundation's website for more information.

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.

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