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William Steig

In the very funny novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Paul O’Rourke, a New York dentist, explains that his favorite book as a child was Doctor De SotoDoctor De Soto is a real children’s book by William Steig about a mouse dentist who out foxes a fox. Dr. O’Rourke refers to the mouse dentist as being Hippocratically bound to provide dental care to a fox.

An Unlikely Ballerina

Misty Copeland, soloist for the American Ballet Theatre, writes with candor, balance, and warmth about the racial and socioeconomic biases she had to overcome in her inspirational Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. Misty came to ballet late, as a 13-year-old, via a Boys and Girls Club community class. Now, at thirty-two, she has performed some of the most coveted and challenging roles in classical ballet, including Swan Lake this year.

What's the Matter with Kansas?

First published in 2004, Thomas Frank's classic What's the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America recaps how conservatives took over what was once a moderate Republican haven in the American heartland. Kansas had a long tradition of producing pragmatic, centrist Republicans, from President Dwight Eisenhower to senators like Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum. But things began to change in the 1990s.

Who is Longmire?

The fictional Walt Longmire is a lot like Craig Johsnon, author of the mystery series about the modern-day sheriff of an obscure Wyoming county. Sheriff Longmire and his creator both love the High Plains. Both have a best friend who’s Northern Cheyenne. Both have daughters who are lawyers in Philadelphia. And both author and character majored in literature.

Crazy for Gershwin

Working both individually and in collaboration, George and his lyricist brother Ira Gershwin composed some of the most famous music of the 20th century. Their songs include Someone to Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, Our Love is Here to Stay, Fascinating Rhythm and much more.

National Reading Group Month

October marks the fourth annual celebration of National Reading Group Month which celebrates shared reading by promoting reading groups.The 26-member committee composed of writers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, publicists and readers makes an effort to choose 20 underrepresented titles.

Think Like a Freak

In a world that is getting more complicated and anxious for answers, it is no surprise that self-help books are one of the best-selling genres in the world. In the United States, $549 million is spent on these kinds of books annually, according to the research firm Marketdata Enterprises.

The Chelsea Hotel

In this star-studded chronicle of Manhattan’s fabled Chelsea Hotel, Inside the Dream Palace, The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel, you learn that idealistic French architect Philip Hubert established the city’s first cooperatives, and designed the Chelsea Association Building on Twenty-Third Street specifically to attract artists, musicians, and writers.  The “mammoth red-brick edifice” did just that from its 1884 opening to its 2005 closing for renovations.

Cassatt and Degas

Both Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas were realist painters who drew their inspiration from the human figure and the depiction of modern life, while they eschewed landscape almost entirely.
 Both were highly educated, Paris-based, known for their intelligence and wit, and from wealthy banking families. Three years before meeting Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas encountered one of her portraits and declared, “There is someone who feels as I do”.


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