The news that Ray Bradbury had passed away on June 5, 2012 saddened me. Along with authors Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, I credit Mr. Bradbury for introducing to the realms of science fiction, horror, and fantasy more years ago than I care to remember.
His works took on social problems in a thought provoking way. Mr. Bradbury wrote of segregation, censorship, and a society that is overly dependent on technology. His characters range from Martians to firemen who start fires instead of putting them out. He had the ability to draw the reader into his world by sympathetic characters and well-written prose.
Two new biographies present the stranger-than-fiction true tales of men who changed the food industry.
Brat Pack member Rob Lowe has written an autobiography entitled, "Stories I Only Tell My Friends." I checked out the eAudiobook version which is read by the author. In the beginning, the strongest part of the biography, Lowe discusses his difficulties getting started in show business. You might think that his undeniable good looks made his an easy life, but such is not the case. Young Rob Lowe had trouble until his parents divorced and the family moved from Ohio to Malibu, California. Living in the same neighborhood as Martin Sheen and his roustabout sons, Rob Lowe started catching breaks. He gradually became a movie star but the dysfunction of his early life manifested itself in adulthood with scandals, dissolution, profligacy and, luckily, rehab.
Are you suffering from "Downton Abbey" withdrawal? Spending sleepless nights worrying if Matthew and Lady Mary will overcome their past and find true love? If so,
"The American Heiress" by Daisy Goodwin may be just the tonic to assuage your Gilded Age malaise.
Cora Cash -as in cash, money - is the richest heiress in Newport. Beleaguered by tons of dough but not so much social standing, Mama Cash is intent on marrying off her only daughter to a titled Englishman, thereby snagging the credibility to rule the scene. Enter Lord Wareham, a dark and brooding Duke with a threadbare estate and shadowy past. He and Cora meet cute, marry and produce an heir, all the while battling cultural differences and scheming ex-lovers.
Suddenly, nothing was funny anymore and I began waking to nightmares. So, I searched the SLCL catalog with the keyword, "humor."
The end of the world begins when the sun rose late one morning. Scientists are baffled by this celestial phenomenon. The next disturbance occurs when bottomless sinkholes began to appear. When night fell, flesh-eating monsters appeared to attack the New York populace. The following pages are filled with intense action, terror, loss of hope as the world is bombarded with attacks from "The Otherness."
Mankind is doomed unless a small band of fighters led by centuries old, Glaeken, can reforge an ancient weapon to combat the evil. This is a classic battle of good versus evil or order versus chaos. Who will fall? Who will be victorious? You'll have to read this suspenseful book to find out.
If you haven't already seen the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis production of Othello in Forest Park, there's still time to read or reread the play before you go. The library has several editions of this unsettling tragedy, including one that features the original text displayed side-by-side with a translation into contemporary English. Many of these books have introductory essays and notes throughout to make the play more readable for the non-academic.
Seeking a little help in the romance department? SLCL carries a wide selection of books on every topic. Don't forget to sign up Literary Speed Dating on June 16 and Literary Speed Dating for Boomers on July 14 @ the Thornhill Branch. Find the literary love of your life and some new book recommendations.