Famous Writers – Zoo Book Sales http://zoobooksales.com/ Wed, 20 Oct 2021 20:35:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://zoobooksales.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/zoo-book-sales-150x150.png Famous Writers – Zoo Book Sales http://zoobooksales.com/ 32 32 The vampire in the library https://zoobooksales.com/the-vampire-in-the-library/ https://zoobooksales.com/the-vampire-in-the-library/#respond Wed, 20 Oct 2021 20:31:46 +0000 https://zoobooksales.com/the-vampire-in-the-library/

Abraham “Bram” Stoker was born on November 8, 1847 in Clontarf, Ireland, a suburb of Dublin. The third of seven children, he overcame a childhood illness and later became a successful athlete at Trinity College, University of Dublin. After graduation he joined the Irish Civil Service, which allowed him to travel, and then worked as a part-time theater critic in Dublin and London.

His positive reviews of famous actor and theater director Henry Irving’s performances in Dublin led to a friendship and an offer in 1878 for Stoker to join Irving at the Lyceum Theater in London as acting director and then commercial director. Stoker agreed, and their close association lasted 29 years, until Irving’s death in 1905.

During this time, he began to write short stories and work on novels. “Dracula”, published in 1897, was his fifth novel. He has written four non-fiction books, including a two-volume reminiscence of Irving.

Perhaps surprisingly, the master of horror also wrote eight children’s fairy tales, published in 1881 in a book called “Under the Sunset”.

Stoker spent years researching vampirism while writing “Dracula”, and copies of texts he was known to have consulted as part of his early research are included in this collection, such as the earliest documents printed on vampirism, reports from related theatrical performances and the like. materials.

With “Dracula”, Stoker wanted to reach out to the masses rather than limiting his work to a wealthy audience. The novel’s circulation included the yellow back market, which allowed it to reach the working class and helped spread its popularity. The yellow backs, with their yellow blankets, were cheap and sensational novels sold in railroad stalls.

Dracula’s story has been adapted into plays, films, operas and ballets. Interest in vampire culture has remained persistent throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, with a noticeable peak in recent years. Vampire-themed books have surged, with two young adult series, “Twilight” and “Vampire Diaries,” becoming a hugely popular film franchise and TV series, respectively.

The popular television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003) reached a level of success that far surpassed the 1992 film on which it was based. “Dark Shadows”, the American Gothic soap opera that aired in the late 1960s, inspired a remake in the 1990s and a movie in 2012.

In the film industry, notable “Dracula” tales have included everything from a classic 1931 Bela Lugosi version to a 1979 remake starring Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier, to a 1992 rework with Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins.

The enduring appeal of “Dracula” can be attributed in part to the themes that run through it and that still resonate today.

These include the battle between good and evil, science and religion, female innocence and sexual assertion, madness and reality, and modern knowledge and “old” ways, among others. . The items in the Stoker Collection will provide students, faculty and researchers with many avenues to explore.

“The hope is that students will engage in all parts of the collection, some of which feature the famous vampire and others that provide insight into the important literary and dramatic worlds inhabited by Stoker,” says the English teacher. Sheila Cavanagh, who will co-teach a spring collecting-based class.

“In ‘Dracula’, Stoker clearly created a figure that resonates deeply with future generations. Our students will have the opportunity to explore the dark appeal of this character as well as countless other topics embedded in the archives. “

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“Gilded Edge” by Catherine Prendergast on Bohemian California https://zoobooksales.com/gilded-edge-by-catherine-prendergast-on-bohemian-california/ https://zoobooksales.com/gilded-edge-by-catherine-prendergast-on-bohemian-california/#respond Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:00:12 +0000 https://zoobooksales.com/gilded-edge-by-catherine-prendergast-on-bohemian-california/

On the bookshelf

The Gilded Edge: two daring women and the cyanide love triangle that rocked America

By Catherine Prendergast
Dutton: 352 pages, $ 28

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One afternoon in 2014, academic Catherine Prendergast was rummaging through the archives of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library when she came across a letter. “Motherhood! What an indescribably huge thing for all my fluttering butterflies to drown! A still pond, holding the sky,” wrote the poet Nora May French. As I read Prendergast, the writing became more trembling; French was in distress. She wrote to her lover, Henry Anderson Lafler, and told him – in real time – the effects of the drugstore-bought abortifacient that was now ending the pregnancy they had conceived together.

Such a first-hand narrative was extraordinarily rare at the time, but its style was equally stunning. “She found me,” Prendergast said. “I felt like I knew her. You know, like those other writers I hang out with who are incredibly intelligent, writing about their own lives and their traumas and always turning it into something… her voice was amazing.

Prendergast and I were talking via Zoom last month about “The golden edge», His first publication for the general public. Perhaps without diplomacy, I described the book, which came out this month, as “bonkers.” She couldn’t be more thrilled. “Like I told my editor,” she told me, “my goal is for someone to say ‘Shit’.”

“The Gilded Edge”, Catherine Prendergast’s first general public book, tells a scandalous story from the perspective of the female victim.

(Courtesy of Catherine Prendergast)

Nora May French is only part of the story. “The Gilded Edge” revisits the early 20th century settlement in Carmel-by-the-Sea: famous for hosting writers like Upton Sinclair and Jack London; scandalous in its time for drunken orgies; infamous for a love triangle and suicide that inspired several imitators not only within the colony, but across the country.

Prendergast is Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been a Guggenheim Fellow and Fulbright Fellow, and generally deals with academic monographs on topics such as school desegregation, racial justice, and human rights. with disabilities. But as a self-proclaimed “archive rat”, she couldn’t resist the rabbit hole of a mysterious poet who died by her own hand – or is she?

French was an extremely talented poet surrounded by male counterparts who were, to put it simply, hacks. Prendergast pits poems written by the French against another member of the Carmelite group of writers, George Sterling. The difference is clear even for a non-poet. “This is rambling,” Prendergast said of the man’s verse.

Yet it was Sterling who secured the patronage of famed writer Ambrose Bierce, who was named the San Francisco Poet Laureate. Carrie Sterling, George’s wife, grew up in poverty. After their marriage, the two socialized with the wealthy elite of San Francisco. Eventually, they settled in Carmel, where they set out to create an artists’ enclave.

There, the couple spent much of their time charming writers and artists whom they hoped to buy property in their “colony”. Prendergast sees Sterlings as the prototype of what we now call influencers. That is, people who take advantage of their fame to sell things. What they were selling, in short, was a “bohemian chic” lifestyle – a fictionalized version of artistic poverty that must have privately angered George’s once impoverished wife.

The Sterlings have hosted nationally renowned authors and given them the tough selling of real estate marketing on many levels; their early redemption would attract lesser-known artists and increase the value of their property in the process. As Prendergast discovered, Asian Americans and wealthy blacks were actively discouraged from living there. The dark side of the pastoral ideal promoted by such settlements was the implicit escape of the multi-ethnic masses from the cities.

The Sterling met French and, taken by both her beauty and her talent, settled her into a guesthouse on their property. A single woman living with a married couple in 1907 raised her eyebrows. George already had a reputation as a serial womanizer, and true to himself, he and Nora became lovers. One weekend, while George was away, Nora swallowed cyanide and died. Carrie found the body of the poet, and hers is the only eyewitness testimony to the events of that night. But what really happened?

French’s death is often believed to have precipitated the collapse of these early 20th century gypsies. But Prendergast says his research does not support this conclusion. “The truth behind what happened is both more intimate and sordid and sadder and more important than what has become a good selling Carmel story.”

The disappearance of the beautiful poet was reported breathlessly by the national press, leading to imitated suicides. Eventually, the two Sterlings would also meet premature endings. It was in keeping with Carmel’s scandalous reputation, including accounts of Jack London’s debauchery. What’s astonishing about Prendergast’s research is that it revealed crazier stories the yellow press missed – including a brawl that broke out during French’s memorial service.

Ultimately, “The Gilded Edge” takes on the cast of a great detective story – albeit without an orderly conclusion. One of the barriers to shedding light on the deaths was the lack of material on women, compared to the glut of news on men. “I had a one-on-one with my history colleague, Donna Ravine, about what I was trying to rebuild,” recalls Prendergast. “And she said, ‘You have a choice in women’s lives. They are not as well recorded. So what are we going to do? Are we going to write about men over and over again? Or will we try to make a good faith effort to fill in the gaps? “

Prendergast does this by recounting her personal reactions to the material she has discovered – as well as responses that have eluded her. “I made a conscious choice that I was going to find as much as possible and then write my way through the gaps,” she said. “The more transparent we are, the more transparent it becomes. »Stories are always works of interpretation. Prendergast wanted to make sure readers know this.

Nora by a river

Nora May French by a river; Catherine Prendergast investigates her cyanide death a century later.

(Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley)

The reader as a detective can draw their own conclusions, and the author listened patiently as I told him what I thought happened to Nora May French. She said her agent and publisher – the book’s two closest readers – had “completely different views” on French’s fate.

Seven years after discovering French’s letter, Prendergast has ample proof of the continued relevance of this neglected poet surrounded by smaller men: for doing exactly what Nora French did, to claim that we have somehow progressed since. that woman a hundred years ago? “

One more continuity: In 2021, literary gossip can dominate Twitter for days. In 1907, the national press coated its pages with photos and French drawings. Yet 100 years later, most of us have never heard of her, despite her obvious talent and outrageous ending. The mystery surrounding the Prendergast mystery is why French disappeared from public debate so quickly after the hubbub ended. This disappearance is an integral part of the story told by Prendergast. What it reveals about genre and the arts is perhaps the least surprising aspect of this unpredictable and addicting story.

Berry writes for a number of posts and tweets @BerryFLW.

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Can the MasterClass teach you everything? https://zoobooksales.com/can-the-masterclass-teach-you-everything/ https://zoobooksales.com/can-the-masterclass-teach-you-everything/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 10:02:33 +0000 https://zoobooksales.com/can-the-masterclass-teach-you-everything/

People sign up to the site to learn from Alicia Keys or Gordon Ramsay, but they renew their subscriptions to adult classes. Of course, being in control of everyday life can in itself be a form of virtuosity. In the book “Mastery,” George Leonard, an Aikido master, notes how difficult it is to vacuum a room without hitting furniture or being frustrated with all the disconnections and reconnections. “The person who can vacuum an entire house without losing his temper once,” he writes, “is a person who knows something about bending.”

Yet Schriber told me, “We don’t necessarily try to change a lot of what people to do, but more how they see the world. We don’t say, “In this course, you’re going to spend a lot of time describing before you start writing”; we market the James Cameron listing. He added, “All classes are subversive of mastery. It’s not ten thousand hours, it’s four. We don’t ask you to give up your life, and we don’t promise that you will become that professional you look to. We ask you if you like to learn.

In March, MasterClass filmed spray paint and graffiti artist Futura in Brooklyn. The producers of the site seek to turn instructors where they work or would feel comfortable. For David Mamet’s class, they built a set that reproduced his journal writing booth for journal. For Futura’s class, they filmed him in his studio, while he was making a painting called “Tempo Tantrum”. Then they moved on to a set built to evoke one of the metro cars he started tagging in the 1970s. Nekisa Cooper, who oversees the content team and was on Zoom with me watching the live stream from the set, said: “Watching the instructor at work is the gold standard, it makes the other content much, much richer. “

The instructor’s experience during two or three day shoots is akin to that of a Hollywood star. The content team had worked out Futura’s schedule with him over long conversations, and now a replacement was ready to spell it out when the lighting needed adjusting, and an assistant was hovering to bring him everything. he needed. The team was banned from requesting selfies, and he would have approval rights on the final cut, so he could frankly relax without fear of embarrassment. Writer Roxane Gay, who was flown to Iceland and stayed in a lakeside house with his wife during her class, told me: “It was the first time that I felt that my expertise was respected and appreciated by people who wanted something from me. “

Filming and editing a MasterClass costs at least seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and the money is evident on screen. The sets are elaborate: Walter Mosley is framed by six thousand books, Questlove by ten thousand records. Up to four cameras are at work, and the main one uses an EyeDirect, which facilitates the distinctive “instructor eye contact” of classes; the instructor sees and responds to the interviewer’s face reflected in front of the lens, so they appear to be speaking directly to you. Daniel Pink acknowledges that many of his sales techniques are available for free on YouTube: “You can find certain ingredients in grocery stores around the world. But, he said, “it’s the complete meal, presented to you with perfect service.”

Although MasterClass examines “teaching ability”, it often finds that instructors cannot easily explain their process. David Schriber said: “People at dinner parties tell me, ‘Just because you’re the best in the world doesn’t mean you’re the best teacher.’ I say, “This is our superpower, our ability to help you get your point across. The filmmakers used motion graphics to break down Simone Biles’ tumbling runs and slow motion cameras to capture Tony Hawk’s skate turns. And they often write not only the interviewers’ questions, but the instructor’s answers as well.

On the set of Futura, an interviewer by the name of Dara Kell began asking questions about his youth, when he was known as Lenny McGurr. Futura kept getting lost in stories about the wild race as a young man. “Can we just back off? Kell said patiently. She had a producer and a director in her ear from Los Angeles. “How has the discipline of the Navy influenced your career? It was an invitation to explain how creeping creativity was focused by martial rigor. Futura smiles under the cap of his watch. “Did I learn anything in the military about discipline?” ” he said. “Uh no.”

Kell began to make sharp suggestions. “We need a few specific lines to start the lessons,” she explained. “Feel free to put them in your own words, but something like ‘In this course I will teach you how to use a spray can and enter the world of abstraction.’ The opening lesson, filmed at the end, usually specifies the perimeter of the class. A moment later, Kell added, “What if you could say, ‘I’m going to unlock the secrets of my talent as a painter and give you a toolkit to express yourself through abstraction and symbolism’? Futura repeated his signal, his beaten up but playful expression. “Could you add something about being prepared to paint outside the lines, to make mistakes?” He took his head in his hands. “You do it well!”

“In this class,” he said, “I’m going to teach you to paint outside the lines, to move freely, to let go.

“If you could say, ‘If you’re a creative person, this course is for you. If you are a painter, a photographer, do not hesitate to say it in your own words. Kell was looking for a trailer line that would stop idle scrollers – something “to push”, in industry jargon.

“This class is for you.” —Futura started to cry, dropping his head into his hands. “I just lost him, Dara.” Looking at him with empathy, Nekisa Cooper told me, “There is a formula and a checklist for these things, but trying to get a marketing line is a challenge because the instructor is usually emotional when they think. to the importance of it all, the legacy, and you want a sound sample.

Ultimately, Futura’s opening chapter was a cleverly edited montage, interspersing shots of him painting with old images of graffiti-strewn subway cars, as the artist expressed his thoughts in a voice. off sewn together. It ends with him telling us, in front of the camera, that his journey is traceable if you remain open to the possibility: “I’m sitting here, the end result of something that I certainly didn’t think I could do. “

After the shoot, I spoke to Futura in his studio in Red Hook. “I was so nervous,” he said. “It was weird having to talk about what I do in a way that isn’t really me. I feel like the best way to teach someone is to give them physical instruction, to be with them. And, even then, I cannot impart that knowledge of “It’s thirty percent pressure on the nozzle, or sixty percent mixture of propellant and color.” He had cracked, he explained, because “I wanted to express something about the passion, about the fact that it is not about getting paid, but I think I was overwhelmed. They will only have me and Jeff Koons to teach painting. . . . “His voice was shaking. He was wearing the watch cap and imitation military flight suit that MasterClass had dressed him for the shoot, and he had brought most of the subway trains into his studio. He was getting MasterClass’s idea of what it should be. “Being in their archives is a Bruce Lee moment. People will say, Oh, you’re like a Jedi, you’re Yoda,” he said. “That’s the most thing. prestigious that I have ever made. “

In MasterClass’s early years, teaching was a speculative endeavor, a way for instructors who had written their memoirs, or who had maximized on Instagram, to connect with passionate fans. It quickly became an elite guild. Rogier said to me, “I said to Steph Curry, ‘Why are you doing this? You don’t need it. He said, ‘I saw who you had on the shelf, and I want to be on the shelf with these people.’ ”(Financial incentive is a relatively small part of the appeal; instructor fees, which topped $ 100,000, have plummeted as the company’s audience has grown.)

The site is less a school than a club house, whose members lend each other prestige. Schriber said: “I still laugh at David for pursuing people from his youth, like Usher,” who taught a first class. “But people who actually know Usher say they to do Think of him as an expert and Usher is a class that a lot of people take. Rogier said to me: “I am very good, apparently, at discovering people who other people will think they are experts. It’s the kind of empathetic projection that can make you money on “Family Feud”. “Or I might be an average person.”

Tan France, best known for upgrading his wardrobe on “Queer Eye,” said to me, “People might have thought, Ah, that’s a joke, he does nothing but put on a costume on someone who looks terrible, so of course they look better afterwards. MasterClass has been so beneficial – well, I feel like I’ve been vindicated. Ron Finley, a gardener Urban whose class teaches students how to make a planter from a dresser drawer, said her class instantly changed their profile: because, the rest of your life, it’s the dresser drawers. got all these marriage proposals on social media: ‘He can plant my garden all day!’ Oh my God . . . “

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Ron and Clint Howard reveal Hollywood success story https://zoobooksales.com/ron-and-clint-howard-reveal-hollywood-success-story/ https://zoobooksales.com/ron-and-clint-howard-reveal-hollywood-success-story/#respond Sun, 17 Oct 2021 03:23:19 +0000 https://zoobooksales.com/ron-and-clint-howard-reveal-hollywood-success-story/

The boys

by Ron Howard and Clint Howard (William Morrow)

“What was it like growing up on television?” It was the question, along with their father’s death in 2017, that prompted Ron Howard and his brother Clint to co-write a memoir about their childhood.

“The Boys” is exactly what you would expect from the big brother who played Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham and his younger brother, most famous as a child actor for his three year old role facing a bear in “Gentle Ben. “. It’s healthy, serious, and has just enough goodies on Mayberry and “Happy Days” to satisfy ardent fans.

The brothers take turns writing parts of most of the chapters, sharing their stories, and reflecting on how lucky they are to survive in Hollywood as child actors. The book is dedicated to their parents, Rance and Jean Howard, who deserve all credit for helping their children navigate to stardom. At one point in the 1960s, Ron – his name was Ronny then – was one of the most famous people on television. He did the math one day during Sandy Koufax’s contract dispute and realized he was making more money than the Dodgers left-handed ace.

It’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid still in elementary school, but the Howards aren’t your typical Hollywood family. Rance moved the family west to New York City (he and Jean actually grew up in Oklahoma and pursued their own acting dreams in the Big Apple) to capitalize on the growing popularity of television. The intention, of course, was to support his family as a middle-aged actor in westerns, military dramas, and crime shows. “But the Howard who kept getting picked was me,” Ron writes. “I’ve had almost every role I’ve auditioned for. Thanks to my freckles and red hair, I had the perfect, healthy look for the late Eisenhower era gee-willikers.”

Ronny wore Opie’s Keds for eight years on “The Andy Griffith Show,” adhering to California child labor laws and attending elementary, middle and high school when not supervised on the job. tray. But it wasn’t all whistling theme songs and laughter tracks. Ron shares quite a few examples of what he calls “Opie shaming” and thanks his father for teaching him to be tough enough to occasionally fight bullies.

Clint’s story is also flawless. He didn’t sail to fame as skillfully as his older brother and started abusing drugs as a teenager. But he’s been sober for decades now and still works as a character actor, in part because that’s what his father always did, taking care of the housework while “waiting for the phone to ring.” In fact, throughout the book, it’s clear that both brothers revere their father – for the careers he provided for them, the guidance he gave them throughout their lives, and the shining example of his marriage to their mother.

There’s a lot more to recommend, but, alas, AP reviews don’t last as long as popular serial TV. Readers will therefore have to buy it if they want gossip about “Happy Days” or details on how Ron managed to go from a successful child actor to an Oscar-winning director. Ultimately, this is the remarkable story of a family who chose a very public job but managed to live by their own private values ​​in an America that gave them the space to do so.

–By Rob Merrill

The Associated Press

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Books and David Baldacci raise funds for Friends of the James V. Brown Library | Community https://zoobooksales.com/books-and-david-baldacci-raise-funds-for-friends-of-the-james-v-brown-library-community/ https://zoobooksales.com/books-and-david-baldacci-raise-funds-for-friends-of-the-james-v-brown-library-community/#respond Fri, 15 Oct 2021 22:00:00 +0000 https://zoobooksales.com/books-and-david-baldacci-raise-funds-for-friends-of-the-james-v-brown-library-community/

Williamsport, Pennsylvania – Not many people may know that the Friends of the James V. Brown Library (JVB), a public membership program that sponsors the library’s current book sales in Williamsport, is responsible for attracting well-known writers and authors to the library’s annual gala.

The events could not take place without the contributions of the community. The Friends of JVB “are the premier sponsor of the Author’s Gala by funding the featured author’s speaker honorarium,” said Dana Brigandi, Director of Development for the library.

The role of the Friends of the JVB is “to assist the library by funding materials, programs and services beyond the regular library budget, to encourage volunteer service, to promote the value of the library to the public. citizens of Lycoming County and to advocate for support for the library, ”according to their website.

Internationally renowned writer and bestselling novelist / screenwriter David Baldacci came to Williamsport at one of his first public events since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baldacci entertained audiences with accounts of his travels and experiences during his layover in Williamsport on October 6, including stumbling over “David Baldacci day” in Barga, Italy, chatting with a senior medical examiner from the commission of a murder and the famous actor who will play the main role. in the next films he writes.

In a previous interview with NorthcentralPa.com, Baldacci said, “I’ve always been really into this writing thing; that’s what I’ve always wanted to do with my life. I spent decades doing other things because I couldn’t make a living writing, but I was still writing full time and so I think it’s really… extra planning and thinking. “

Associated reading:

According to Brigandi, director of development for the James V. Brown library, the library’s authors’ gala raised more than $ 30,000 to support programming.

The Ongoing Book Sale, another fundraiser for the library held at Christ Episcopal Church, 426 Mulberry St., Williamsport, ends Saturday, October 16. The book sale will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Our content is free, but our journalists work hard. 100% of your contribution to NorthcentralPa.com goes directly to helping us cover important news and events in our area. Please say local news matters!

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Why Stormont kept procrastinating on corporate tax https://zoobooksales.com/why-stormont-kept-procrastinating-on-corporate-tax/ https://zoobooksales.com/why-stormont-kept-procrastinating-on-corporate-tax/#respond Thu, 14 Oct 2021 14:57:41 +0000 https://zoobooksales.com/why-stormont-kept-procrastinating-on-corporate-tax/