Book Challenge, Day 4

I have accepted a challenge from Lisa Mills Walters to post seven books that I love, one book per day, no exceptions, no reviews, just covers. (This is a Facebook thing, and I’m posting them there, but it couldn’t hurt to get the word out on this site too.)

Each day I will ask a friend to take up the challenge. Let’s promote literacy and a book list! Today, I nominated Allison Stein.

January 31 Writer Birthdays

1624 – Arnold Geulincx, controversial Belgian author and philosopher who tried to work out more detailed versions of a generally Cartesian philosophy.

1735 – J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (born Michel Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur), French-American essayist famous for his book Letters from an American Farmer, which drew on his experience farming in Orange County, N.Y.

1872 – Zane Grey, American author of western novels and short stories, known for his idealized depiction of the American West; many of his works have been made into films. He was also a dentist.

1879 – Helena Ivanovna Roerich (born Shaposhnikova), Russian writer, translator, philosopher, theosophist, and explorer who created, in cooperation with the Teachers of the East, a philosophic teaching of Living Ethics (“Agni Yoga”) and took part in expeditions to remote regions of Central Asia; she was also Honorary President-Founder of the Institute of Himalayan Studies “Urusvati” in India.

1893 – Dame Freya Madeline Stark, French-born Anglo-Italian explorer, essayist, and travel writer who wrote more than two dozen books on her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan as well as several autobiographical works and essays; she was one of the first non-Arabs to travel through the southern Arabian Desert.

1902 – Alva Myrdal, Nobel Prize-winning Swedish writer, politician, diplomat, and sociologist who was a prominent leader of the disarmament movement.

1905 – John O’Hara, American writer who started in short stories, continued into novels, and dabbled in screenplays.

1915 – Thomas Merton, Anglo-American Catholic writer, monk, poet, and social activist whose autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, became a bestseller.

1923 – Norman Mailer, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, filmmaker, actor, cultural commentator, critic, and liberal political activist; he is considered a key figure in creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, which uses the style and devices of literary fiction in fact-based journalism.

1935 – Kenzaburō Ōe, Nobel Prize-winning Japanese author who “with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today.”

1941 – Gerald McDermott, American children’s author known for colorful treatments of mythological subjects.

1950 – Denise Fleming, American author of children’s picture books.

1959 – Laura Lippman, bestselling American author of detective fiction.

1979 – Daniel Tammet, British writer whose memoir Born on a Blue Day describes his life as an autistic savant.

Book Challenge, Day 3

I have accepted a challenge from Lisa Mills Walters to post seven books that I love, one book per day, no exceptions, no reviews, just covers. (This is a Facebook thing, and I’m posting them there, but it couldn’t hurt to get the word out on this site too.)

Each day I will ask a friend to take up the challenge. Let’s promote literacy and a book list! Today, I nominated Reba Smith Winstead.

January 30 Writer Birthdays

  • 1590 – Lady Anne Clifford, English diarist, patron of the arts, women’s rights activist, and High Sheriff
  • 1866 – Frank Gelett Burgess, artist, art critic, poet, author, and humorist; coined the term “blurb” for a quote about a book, printed on the cover to spur sales.
  • 1878 – A.H. Tammsaare, writer whose work is among the most important in Estonian literature.
  • 1912 – Barbara Tuchman, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author.
  • 1924 – Lloyd Alexander, Newbery-winning American author of children’s and young-adult fantasy.
  • 1925 – Jack Spicer, Beat poet of the San Francisco Renaissance movement.
  • 1931 – Allan W. Eckert, Newbery-winning American naturalist and writer.
  • 1931 – Shirley Hazzard, National Book Award-winning Australian/British/American novelist, essayist, and short-story writer.
  • 1935 – Richard Brautigan, author of parody and black comedy.
  • 1941 – Gregory Benford, Campbell Award and two-time Nebula Award-winning astrophysicist, professor, editor, and science-fiction author.
  • 1945 – Michael Dorris, professor and author of Native American-themed literature; he was married to novelist Louise Erdrich.
  • 1955 – Judith Tarr, fantasy author who also writes as Caitlin Brennen and Kathleen Bryan.
  • 1974 – Jemima Khan, writer, editor, heiress, and human-rights activist.

Book Challenge, Day 2

I have accepted a challenge from Lisa Mills Walters to post seven books that I love, one book per day, no exceptions, no reviews, just covers. (This is a Facebook thing, and I’m posting them there, but it couldn’t hurt to get the word out on this site too.)

Each day I will ask a friend to take up the challenge. Let’s promote literacy and a book list! Today, I nominated Ami Cwalina Schroder.

(Actually, I inadvertently skipped a day. Sorry about that. So this really should have been Day 3, but instead it’s Day 2.

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1937

January 29 Writer Birthdays

1737 – Thomas Paine, influential English-American political activist, writer, philosopher, and revolutionary, best known for his pamphlets, “Common Sense,” which demanded the American colonies’ independence from Britain, and “The Age of Reason,” which argued in favor of free thought and against organized religion, and which got him arrested in Paris.

1860 – Anton Chekhov, Russian dramatist, author, and doctor, widely considered one of the greatest short-story writers who ever lived.

1866 – Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize-winning French novelist, playwright, art historian, and mystic.

1867 – Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Spanish politician, journalist, and bestselling novelist.

1895 – Muna Lee, American/Puerto Rican poet, author, translator, and activist, best known for her writings promoting Pan-Americanism and feminism.

1915 – Bill Peet, American children’s book author and illustrator who also wrote for Disney.

1923 – Paddy Chayefsky, American screenwriter, playwright, and novelist; he is the only person to win three solo Oscars for Best Screenplay.

1927 – Edward Abbey, American novelist, nonfiction author, essayist, and anarchist who wrote on environmental issues.

1930 – Christopher Collier, Pulitzer Prize-nominated American historian who is also a Newbery Honor-winning author of history-based novels for children and teens.

1939 – Germaine Greer, Australian journalist, professor, social commentator, and bestselling author of books on feminist issues.

1943 – Rosemary Wells, beloved National Book Award-nominated American author and illustrator of children’s books; creator of the “Max & Ruby” series.

1954 – Oprah Winfrey, American media magnate, television personality, philanthropist, author, magazine publisher, actress, and inspiration for book clubs all over the country.

1957 – Grazyna Miller, Polish/Italian poet and translator.

January 28 Writer Birthdays

1582 – John Barclay, French-born Scottish writer, satirist, and neo-Latin poet.

1608 – Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist, physicist, mathematician, and author; Father of Biomechanics; and first person to design a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus; he became head of Mathematics at the University of Pisa, though Galileo recommended against hiring him.

1841 – Sir Henry Morton Stanley, journalist and explorer who found missing missionary David Livingstone and said, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

1853 – José Martí y Perez, poet, essayist, journalist, revolutionary philosopher, and Cuban national hero.

1873 – Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, known as simply, “Colette,” French author best known for “Gigi.”

1915 – Nien Cheng, Chinese author whose memoir recounts her experiences during the Cultural Revolution.

1927 – Vera Williams, American peace activist and author/illustrator of children’s books.

1928 – Philip Levine, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet.

1929 – Richard Clement Charles “Clem” Thomas, Welsh rugby player who became a rugby journalist and author.

1935 – Manuel dos Santos Lima, Angolan poet, dramatist, novelist and revolutionary.

1935 – David John Lodge, English literature professor and satirical novelist.

1936 – Ismail Kadare, bestselling Albanian novelist and poet.

1945 – John Perkins, controversial American author and conspiracy theorist who also wrote about mysticism in indigenous cultures.

1954 – Rick Warren, evangelical pastor and self-help book author.

1959 – Megan McDonald, American author of children’s books, best known for the “Judy Moody” series.

1961 – Arnaldur Indriðason, Icelandic author of crime fiction.

1973 – Carrie Vaughn, American short-story writer and novelist who is known for urban fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal romance.

D.O.E. Applauds Student Reflections Heroes

The U.S. Department of Education celebrated the national winners of the 2018-19 PTA Reflections contest earlier this month with a recognition event, art show, and student performances at the D.O.E.’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

With seven National winners in our Northern Virginia District, we felt well-represented by our talented kids! Entrants could use any of six artistic media to interpret the contest theme, “Heroes Around Me.” The categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts.

Here are the national PTA Reflections winners who were present at the D.O.E. event, including most of our Northern Virginia winners. (My son is the tall one in the back row, in the purple shirt.)

Book Challenge, Day 1

I have accepted a challenge from Lisa Mills Walters to post seven books that I love, one book per day, no exceptions, no reviews, just covers. (This is a Facebook thing, and I’m posting them there, but it couldn’t hurt to get the word out on this site too.)

Each day I will ask a friend to take up the challenge. Let’s promote literacy and a book list! Today, I nominated Tammy Mannarino.

Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell (1960)

January 27 Writer Birthdays

1741 – Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi (born Hester Lynch Salusbury), Welsh diarist, author, salon holder, and patron of the arts; her diaries and correspondence are an important source of information about Samuel Johnson and 18th-century English life.

1858 – Cornelia Hubertina “Neel” Doff, Dutch-Belgian author who wrote mostly in French and who is a key figure in proletarian literature.

1832 – Lewis Carroll, pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, English writer, poet, children’s author, logician, and deacon who is most well known for his classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

1931 – Mordecai Richler, Canadian novelist, screenwriter, and essayist.

1939 – Julius Lester, American author primarily of books for children and young adults; he was also a professor, civil rights activist, photographer, and folk musician.

1949 – Judith Forrai, Hungarian writer, editor, science and medical historian, professor, and dentist.

1949 – Ethan Mordden, American novelist, essayist, literary critic, and nonfiction author, many of whose works center around musical theater and on contemporary gay culture in New York City.

1952 – Tam Elizabeth O’Shaughnessy, American children’s science writer and former professional tennis player who co-founded, with astronaut Sally Ride, the science education company Sally Ride Science.

1955 – Alexander Stuart, British-born, Los Angeles-based novelist and screenwriter.

1958 – James Grippando, American novelist and lawyer, known for his crime and legal fiction; winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

1969 – Éliette Abécassis, French novelist, historian, and philosopher.