Category Archives: Literary News

Green Reading…

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, the day that many Americans recognize and celebrate the many contributions of the Irish to our nation’s history and culture. We tend to wear green, go to parades and festivals for some craic (“fun” in modern Irish), and perhaps drink a green beverage or two——but have you ever read a novel by an Irish author? This month at the Brown Library, we decided to highlight some of the wonderful writers of the Emerald Isle, including:

  • James Joyce
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Maeve Binchy
  • Edna O’Brien
  • W.B. Yeats and more

The Irish are known for good storytelling, so come on by today to see our Irish-themed displays and check out a wee book or two!

To learn more about Irish literature, surf on over to the Wikipedia entry or search CELT, the free online resource for Irish history, literature, and politics.

Best-Selling Author Michael Crichton Dies

Available in the library for check-out

jurpark1Earlier this month, widely known author Michael Crichton died at the age of 66, after a battle with cancer. His novels are wildly popular and often adapted into film versions, such as Jurassic Park and Disclosure, while his ventures into television——he created the award-winning ER in 1994——have often been just as successful. Been meaning to read Jurassic Park but just never got around to it? Perhaps The Terminal Man has been on your “to-read list” for a while now. For some exciting holiday reading, come on over to the Brown Library’s stacks and check one out!

The Brown Library’s collection of works by Michael Crichton includes:

  • Congo. Call number PS3553.R48 C6 1980
  • Jurassic Park. Call number PS3553.R48 J87 1990
  • Rising Sun. Call number PS3553.R48 R57 1993b
  • Sphere. Call number PS3553.R48 S6 1987
  • The Terminal Man. Call number PS3553.R48 T4 1972

For more information, read the AP article Jurassic Park Author Michael Crichton Dies at 66.”

NaNoWriMo, Anyone?

This November is the Tenth Annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and the Roanoke Public Libraries have issued a challenge to Roanokers——to write a 50,000 word novel in a month! You heard that right!

To help feed your creative fires, check out these books on creative writing available in the Brown Library:

  • Le Guin, Ursula K. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. Call number PN212.L44 1998
  • Prose, Francine. Reading Like a Writer: A guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. Call number PE1408.P774 2006
  • Hughes, Riley. How to Write Creatively. Call number LB1631.H83
  • Hogrefe, Pearl. The Process of Creative Writing. Call number PN145.H55 
  • Garrison, Roger H. A Creative Approach to Writing. Call number PN145.G36
  • Chinn, Mike. Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel: Everything You Need to Know to Create Great Graphic Works. Call number PN6710.C45 2004

LOCAL EVENT: The Roanoke Public Libraries are offering a series of free Write-Ins to all Writers. There’s also the possibility of having your book professionally printed and shelved in the Roanoke library’s stacks! For more information, check out the library’s informational page on NaNoWriMo.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

This image was downloaded, with permission, from the Dayton Metro Library East Branch’s page on Flickr.

According to the American Library Association, Banned Books Week “celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.” Held annually during the last week of September since 1982, it is sponsored by the ALA, as well as the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, and the National Association of College Stores and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

The Brown Library has many books which have been challenged and banned at some point in history, including:

  • Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Circulating collection, call number E185.97.A56 A3 1971
  • Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Circulating collection, call number PS3537.T3234 O4
  • Voltaire. Candide, or, Optimism. Circulating collection, call number PQ2082.C3 E5 2005
  • Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Circulating collection, call number PS3563.O8749 B55 1993
  • Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Circulating collection, call number PR6023.A93 L2
  • Walker, Alice. The Color Purple: A Novel. Circulating collection, call number PS3573.A425 C6 1982
  • Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Circulating collection, call number PS3537.A426 C32 1961
  • King, Stephen. Christine. Circulating collection, call number PS3561.I483 C4 1983
  • Eliot, George. Silas Marner; : The Weaver of Raveloe. Circulating collection, call number PR4670.A1 1967

For a short history of attempts at censoring books, please see The Online Books Page Presents Banned Books Online at the University of Pennsylvania. Included in this page are links to the actual texts of these works, available for free online.

International Literacy Day

Did you know that more than 780 million people cannot read or write, two-thirds of whom are women? Did you know that between 94 and 115 million children have no access to a basic education?

Founded in 1967 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Literacy Day is an annual event on September 8th which draws attention to the world’s literacy needs. According to the International Reading Association’s Fact Sheet, “On International Literacy Day, individuals, organizations, and countries throughout the world renew their efforts to promote literacy and demonstrate their commitment to providing education to all.” The theme for 2008 is “Literacy and Health.” Learn more about the link between literacy and health.

The Brown Library has many books and resources about literacy, including:

  • Nielsen-Bohlman, Lynn et al. (editors). Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. Circulating collection, call number RA440.H43 2004
  • Goodman, Yetta M. and Sandra Wilde. Literacy Events in a Community of Young Writers. Circulating collection, call number PE1130.5.A5 L57 1992
  • Puchner, Laurel D. and Daniel A. Wagner (editors). World Literacy in the Year 2000. Circulating collection, call number H1.A4 v.520
  • Winterowd, W. Ross. The Culture and Politics of Literacy. Circulating collection, call number LC151.W53 1989
  • Wagner, Daniel A. (editor). Child Development and International Development: Research-Policy Interfaces. Circulating collection, call number HQ767.9.C444 1983

LOCAL OPPORTUNITY: Want to volunteer or know someone who may want tutoring? Contact the Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley, an accredited affiliate of Pro-Literacy America

Other Literacy Programs in Virginia