Reading Room Blog

If You Like Books by Kurt Vonnegut or Jonathan Safran Foer...

If you like books such as those written by Kurt Vonnegut or Jonathan Safran Foer, satirical, with "beautiful and intriguing use of language," here are some suggestions:

TC Boyle - The Road to Wellville

Great Lives Series: Rachel Carson

On Thursday, March 18, 2010, Mark Hamilton Lytle of Bard College and author of The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement, will give a talk on the scientist. The lecture, part of the University's Great Lives series, is free and open to the public.

Great Lives Series: Queen Victoria

She took the throne as a young and somewhat malleable girl, married for love, and spent the greater part of her reign as the formidable Widow of Windsor. Her children and grandchildren held thrones throughout Europe, and the Age of Victoria was known for both domestic reform and colonial conquest. Her long and fascinating life has been the subject of numerous books, films, and television series.

American Life in Poetry: Column 260

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

These days are brim full of bad news about our economy—businesses closing, people losing their houses, their jobs. If there’s any comfort in a situation like this, it’s in the fact that there’s a big community of sufferers. Here’s a poem by Dana Bisignani, who lives in Indiana, that describes what it feels like to sit through a bankruptcy hearing.


Bankruptcy Hearing

Great Lives Series: James Bond

On Thursday, April 22, 2010, Jeremy Black of the University of Exeter and author of A History of the British Isles will give a talk on the cinematic Cold War super spy. This lecture, part of the university's Great Lives series, is free and open to the public.

Learn Everything You Need to Know!

          What made Jay Leno crave an audience?  What lesson did Steve Forbes learn early and never forget? What influenced Steve Wozniak?  

          Children’s literature specialist Anita Silvey conducted interviews with these three and over 100 other people in the arts, business, and sciences to discover what inspired and influenced them as children.  The result is her new book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book, Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life.”

 

American Life in Poetry: Column 258

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

This marks the fourth time we’ve published a poem by David Baker, one of my favorite writers. Baker lives in Granville, Ohio, and teaches at Denison University. He is also the poetry editor for the distinguished Kenyon Review.

Old Man Throwing a Ball

Discovering Hidden Gems

    Some books seem to fly under the radar.  They don’t garner the big awards or make the bestseller lists, they’re just quietly checked out of libraries over and over again.  One of my new favorites in this category is “The Thumb in the Box” by Ken Roberts.


    It begins, “This is a story about a fire truck being driven into the ocean and two people taking off their thumbs.  Don’t worry, though.  Nobody gets hurt.”  No self-respecting third grade audience will let you stop reading after that!

Great Lives Series: Julia Child

She was one of the world's most famous chefs, but in her long life she had also been a high school basketball player and top secret researcher, as well as making appearances on TV shows ranging from her own myriad cooking series to The Cosby Show to Sesame Street to a beloved parody on Saturday Night Live. She was as much a cultural institution as a culinary artist.