Here’s a library conundrum we’d like your advice on: Kevin Trudeau, the guy who promises to tell you the secret of everything from speed reading to growing hair, has been convicted of and spent time in jail for fraud and larceny, fined by the FTC for false claims, found to be in contempt for agreeing to stop cheating people and then not stopping, and last Monday, March 17, sentenced to federal prison for ten years for refusing to pay fines and restitution.
The City of Austin has been sponsoring a short-film showcase during SXSW since 2005, and I blush to admit it, but this is the first year I’ve heard of it. You’re too late to attend this year; the public screening was last Saturday at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre (used to be the Lincoln), but keep an eye out for it next year. It’s not downtown in the mosh pit, and it’s FREE FREE FREE! You don’t need no stinkin’ badges!
One of our duties here at Austin Public Library is to cull old books. We call it "weeding". We do it continuously, just as new books are published continuously, because if we didn't, we wouldn't be able to fit the new books on the shelves. If we didn't weed, we'd still have astronomy books, for example, that say the sun goes around the earth, that dragons lurk in the skies at the edges of the oceans, that Pluto is a PLANET!
The city opened late again today. That’s the fourth ice day this year. Is the globe warming and making the weather weird? Is the weather weird? How come we’re cold if we’re warming up? Won’t warming up improve things? I mean, everybody wants to vacation in the Bahamas, don’t they? Don’t plants grow better when it’s warm? Won’t farmers have year after year of double bumper crops? Wouldn’t the birds appreciate not having to migrate every year? They could stay where they are; it’ll be warm. Wouldn’t long, warm summers mean bug smorgasbords for the bats?
Do you think these are good questions? These books might change your mind:
Stuck for a Valentine’s Day gift idea? Here’s something guaranteed to earn you points with your sweetheart. The first person to call the downtown library at 512-974-7400 option 1, and ask for the Romance Package can reserve a nice Valentine bag with a lovely new copy of Pride and Prejudice and a DVD of the Keira Knightley movie, with a Valentine card and forget-me-nots. Please note: You must pick up the bag at the Faulk Central Library. The DVD and book are library materials that you will check out and need to return to the library, but the card and forget-me-nots are yours to keep!
Three really good showbiz memoirs I know of now, all of them about getting famous, not so much about being famous. The most recent is A Story Lately Told by Anjelica Huston. (The other two are Moss Hart’s Act One and Just Kids by Patti Smith.)
It’s Christmas and we have Charles Dickens to thank (or blame, if it comes to that) for the Victorian manner in which we strive to celebrate it; so appropriately we’re being offered two new Dickens movies this season. I haven’t seen either of them; the scant information I have is based on their trailers: one is a new version of Great Expectations that looks like it takes itself very very seriously, and the second is a biography of Dickens that focuses on his May-December romance with Ellen Ternan. Both movies employ Ralph Fiennes.