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Archive for July, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #28
Hello folks. It’s that time again. For this week’s Thursday Thirteen I thought I’d take a look at Pseudonyms, and the authors hidden behind them. It’s always fun to know who really wrote a book, eh? I did a bit of research over at the Biography Resource Center (my favorite database, as you have no doubt gathered by this time.)

One author that I did not add to my list is Carolyn Keene. For the record, Ms. Keene is actually a corporate author, and several folks have written under that name over the years. Well, I hope you find my list useful. Enjoy!

13 Pseudonyms and their Corresponding Authors:

1. Richard Bachman (Stephen King) – He has also written under the names “Eleanor Druse,” “Steve King,” and “John Swithen.”

2. Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz) – Another popular pseudonym of this author is “Barbara Michaels.”

3. Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) – Mr. Handler has written a few books for adults under his own name. Did you know that he was from San Francisco?

4. Jenny Carroll (Meg Cabot) – Ms. Cabot also writes under the names “Patricia Cabot” and “Meggin Cabot.”

5. Alisa Craig (Charlotte MacLeod) – Ms. MacLeod also wrote under the name “Matilda Hughes.”

6. Victoria Holt (Eleanor Hibbert) – Ms. Hibbert is also known as: “Eleanor Burford,” “Philippa Carr,” “Elbur Ford,” “Kathleen Kellow,” “Jean Plaidy,” and “Ellalice Tate.” *whew* Shame she wasn’t prolific or anything.

7. Paul French (Isaac Asimov) – Asimov also used the pseudonym “George E. Dale.”

8. Monica Ferris (Mary Pulver Kuhfeld) – Ms. Kuhfeld is also known as “Mary Monica Pulver.” Her Peter Brichter series is one of my favorites.

9. J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts) – Did you know that she was once rejected by Harlequin?

10. Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte) – Charlotte outlived all of her siblings. *sniffle*

11. Steffie Hall (Janet Evanovich) – Did you know that Mrs. Evanovich has a Bachelor’s degree in art? It took a while, but she finally decided that Painting was not the career for her.

12. Anne Rampling (Anne Rice) – Did you know that her birth name was “Howard Allen O’Brien”? She has also written under the name “A. N. Roquelaure.”

13. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) – Mr. Clemens also wrote under the names “Sieur Louis de Conte” and “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass.”

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Two for One

You need not choose. Celebrate the birthdays of two lovely ladies of classic film. Both Ginger Rogers and Barbara Stanwyck share July 16 as their birthday. Ginger was born in 1911 and Stanwyck in 1907.

Stanwyck had a long career in films and in television. Probably my favorite movie with her is The Lady Eve with Henry Fonda. That’s the one where she and Charles Coburn play a pair of con artists who are out to take the wealthy, but socially anemic Henry Fonda for plenty of cash. Plans go awry and in an attempt to exact revenge, Stanwyck ends up pretending to be her own sister. Henry Fonda doesn’t realize the obvious and when pressed about the unmistakable resemblance, quips, “They look too much alike to be the same.” There’s also Ball of Fire, Christmas in Connecticut, Double Indemnity, and Sorry Wrong Number among many others. How can you really choose a favorite?

Ginger Rogers was quite a good actress in addition to being quite a good dancer. She was in many movies without Fred Astaire (and vice versa), although their names are almost unavoidably linked. She’s very funny in Bachelor Mother and Vivacious Lady, and won an Oscar for her role as Kitty Foyle in the 1940 movie of the same name. And without further ado, the incomparable Fred and Ginger.

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If you have read yesterday’s Argus, you know from the front page of the Local News that the Children’s Summer Reading Game is being well played at the Alameda County Library. Besides reading, the library always extends the summer fun to many educational and entertaining programs. On June 24, kids at Centerville Library watched an exciting 3-in-1 show that contained magic tricks, juggling, and acrobatics. Here are a few pieces of the performace if you missed it or wanted to watch it again. Enjoy!

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Gotta love that Cover Art.

The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill is lucky enough to have a cover containing art by K. Y. Craft. I have yet to read this book, and I know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this cover really makes me want to read the book. Heck, there is already some talk of making it into a movie.

Well, I suppose that the book description also has something to do with my interest. Amazon.com lists the description thusly: “After the death of her beloved father, headstrong princess Thirrin Freer Strong-In-The-Arm becomes warrior queen of her homeland, Icemark, defending it from a formidable invader. Despite Thirrin’s bravery and the support of Oskan, the Witch’s son, the task proves more difficult than Thirrin ever dreamed. She must assemble a force to rival her opponent. And, in the chill winter of Icemark, she only has until spring to unite the strange beasts and frightening creatures who live just outside her country. Ultimately, it is Thirrin’s vision and determination that will see her through to victory.”

Have any of you read this book? What did you think? Is it as good as its cover would suggest?

Check it out for yourself

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is due in theaters on 21 November 2008. While we’re waiting, here is a sneak peak behind the scenes. Enjoy!

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13 Places Called Paris

Thursday Thirteen #27
Not that long ago I did a Thursday Thirteen about Fremont and someone happened to mention that there were several towns out there with the same name. This got me to thinking about Paris…because my brain is random like that. Conveniently, there turned out to be more than thirteen towns of that name out there. Here is what I found…

I like Paris in the Summer when it sizzles…
1. Paris, France – (City website) The City of Light is so full of history and character that I will simply have to gove it a Thursday Thirteen of its own sometime. Vous savez?

2. Paris, Ontario, Canada – (tourism website) This version of Paris was once voted “the Prettiest Town in Canada.”

3. Paris, Idaho, USA – (county tourism website) This Paris is located in the bottom right hand corner of Idaho. Their most well known landmark is the Paris Tabernacle.

4. Paris, Maine, USA – (town website) Paris, Maine has been the home of four Governers of the state and one Vice President.

5. Paris, Kentucky, USA – (tourism website) I’ll bet that you didn’t know that this Paris is home to “the most beautiful courthouse in the state of Kentucky.” Well…now you do.

6. Paris, New York, USA – (county tourism website) Colonel Isaac Paris is the one that this particular Paris is named after. He was an early benefactor.

7. Paris, Missouri, USA – (city website) As a certain “Samuel Clemens” was born in the same county as Paris, you will find any number of thinks bearing the name of Mark Twain in the area. For example, “Mark Twain Country Club.”

8. Paris, Yukon, Canada – As near as I can tell, this Paris was one of those towns that sprang up during the Klondike Gold Rush. It eventually became a ghost town. (The Wikipedia says that it is now completely gone.)

9. Paris, Kiribati – (tourism website) According to the Wikipedia, this Paris is an abandoned settlement on Kiritimati, otherwise known as Christmas Island.

10. Paris, Tennessee, USA – (city website) This Paris is home to the “World’s Biggest Fish Fry” which involves over 12,500 pounds of catfish being served.

11. Paris, Texas, USA – (city website) According to the city website, Paris, Texas the “Best Small Town in Texas.” Also, their Eiffel Tower has a cowboy hat on it.

12. Paris, Virginia, USA – (Ashby Inn website) This particular Paris has a population of a whole 49 folks. Don’t worry. They do have an Inn and Restaurant.

13. Paris, Arkansas, USA – (chamber of commerce website) This town’s nickname is the “Gateway to Mt. Magazine.” They also have a Butterfly festival each year.

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Annotated Alice JacketWant to see a copy of the original 1215 version of the Magna Carta? How about taking a peek at Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook? You can do that and more without leaving your computer thanks to the British Library’s online gallery of English Literature. Its many treasures include the Magna Carter, Shakespeare’s first folio and the original manuscript version of Alice’s Adventures Underground (a.k.a Alice in Wonderland). Not only do the online exhibits give you background information on each of the documents, but you can also view some of the documents in their entirety in 3-D; others are available as static images. It’s a great resource to explore, and all without even having to leave home.

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I like to cook and experiment with new recipes.  Summer brings new food. But I have to admit that when it gets hot, I  spend more time watching the Food network , than I do cooking. I also like to read cookbooks. I did a random check of various food network stars and here are just a few of their cookbooks that I found in the Alameda County Library: Rachael Ray , Barefoot Contessa, Ellie Krieger, Alton Brown, and Tyler Florence.  Click on any of these authors/chefs and reserve a book today. 

Not really in the mood  for a cookbook, but you still want  to read about food? How about that fearless eater, Anthony Bourdain.  We even  have copies of his  television show , No Reservations , which is on the Travel Channel.  Need a taste of his writing?  Try one of his blogs.

Who are your favorite food writers? Are there any cookbooks you like to read for pleasure?

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Here is the July update on the current status of the “books to film” projects that have been mentioned on this blog to this point. I will try to do this once a month in order to follow each film until it reaches DVD. Please remember that release dates are subject to change, and that sometimes “Announced” films never get made.

If you have any news about an upcoming book to film adaptation, please comment and let us know.

The current “books to film” list:

1776: In development with a release date sometime in 2009.

Alice in Wonderland: This Tim Burton film is in pre-production with a release date sometime in 2010.

Angels & Demons: Filming and due in US theaters on 15 May 2009.

Atlas Shrugged: Status currently unknown, as the project has lost its director.

The Bell Jar: In pre-production witrh a theoretical release date sometime in 2008.

The Boggart: In development. US theatrical release sometime in 2009.

Born to Rock: Announced with a release date sometime in 2009.

The Butterfly Tattoo: Completed with a release date sometime in 2008.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: Currently in US Theaters.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: In pre-production with a U.S. release date of 7 May 2010.

Cirque du Freak: In post-production, this movie is reported to include the first three books of the series. The US release date is listed as “2008″ but releases throughout the rest of the world are located in February 2009.

The City of Ember: In post-production. Due in US theaters on 10 October 2008.

The Cry of the Icemark: In development with a theoretical release date sometime in 2008. (I expect that this info will change at some point soon.)

Deal Breaker: Announced with a release date sometime in 2008. (Chances are this date will change.)

Dean Spanley: In Post-Production with a UK release date sometime in 2008.

The Doubtful Guest: In development. US theatrical release expected sometime in 2009.

Dune: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Fahrenheit 451: Announced with a release date in 2010 sometime.

The Giver: Announced with a 2011 release date.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: In post-production with a US release date of 21 November 2008.

He’s Just Not That Into You: This film now finished with a new US release date of 6 February 2009.

The Hobbit: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in December 2011.

Inkheart: Due in US theaters on 9 January 2009.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (3D): Due in US theaters on 11 July 2008.

The Lovely Bones: In post-production. Due in US theaters 9 October 2009.

Marley & Me: Currently filming with a Christmas 2008 release date.

Monster Blood Tattoo: In Development. US theatrical release sometime in 2010.

Neuromancer: In Pre-Production with a release date in 2009 sometime.

Nights in Rodanthe: This film is completed and due in US theaters on 26 September 2008.

On the Road: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2009.

Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief: In development. US theatrical release sometime in 2009.

Race to Witch Mountain: Filming and due in US theaters on 13 March 2009. (Sounds less like the book all the time.)

The Screwtape Letters: In pre-production with a theoretical release date in 2008. I hear that the script is currently in the writing phase.

Shantaram: In pre-production and due in US theaters sometime in 2009.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: Completed. Due in US Theaters on 6 August 2008. (It looks like this film is actually based on the fourth book of the series.)

A Spell for Chameleon: In development with a theoretical release date of 2008.

Stargirl: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2008.

The Subtle Knife: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in 2009.

The Tale of Despereaux: In post-production. Due in US theaters on 19 December 2008.

Teen Idol: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in 2008.

Tintin: In Pre-production with a US theatrical release sometime in 2009. (Check out the writing and directing staff on this one.)

Twilight: In post-production and due in US theaters on 12 December 2008.

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I had to share this book with you all. It is luminously illustrated by one of my favorite artists of all time, K Y Craft. (Yes, I bought this version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses for the art after reading the library’s copy.) Marianna Mayer’s retelling of the classic story really lends itself to being lovingly illustrated. I also enjoy that the youngest of the twelve princesses is named Elise.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the story, I will attempt to quickly sum it up. The King’s twelve daughters are dancing their shoes to bits every night, and he can’t figure out where all this dancing is taking place. So, he proclaims that anyone that can find out where the princesses go at night may choose one for his wife. Princes come from far and wide, but they each disappear after their attempt to find out where the princesses go. Until, that is, Peter arrives at the castle to seek his fortune. He is no prince. Can he succeed where the others failed? I do love the story, but, oh, the art. It shines off the page at you. One of my goals in life is to make enough money to afford one of K. Y. Craft’s originals. Check out her website to see what I mean. Or, better yet, go directly to your local library to see the book for yourself.

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