“I’ve got goosebumps!” Inger Upchurch said last Friday afternoon. “He talked to us like he was one of us … a brother.”
Upchurch, librarian with the Memphis Public Library, was leaving a meeting room on the ground floor of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library after listening to Luis Herrera speak. But Herrera, city librarian of the San Francisco Public Library (and a man named Librarian of the Year by Library Journal in 2012), was in town to hear from Memphis’ librarians too. Herrera’s immediate reaction:
“You’ve got a strong talent pool here. I was impressed.”
It was a “soft opening” this past Saturday but a good, steady turnout, according to Eddie Burton, general manager of the Booksellers at Laurelwood. “We’ve had a good reaction. We’re already really positive about it,” he said.
There may be other stories in Southern Sin as true to life as "Mad Love: The Ballad of Fred & Allie" by Sonja Livingston. But is there one to compete with the climactic scene in that story, with snow falling in downtown Memphis on a day in January 1892? That's the day Allie took one last look at Fred and said a gory good-bye.
If you watched The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross, a documentary series shown last fall on PBS, perhaps you remember it.
"We're here in the heart of the black community in Greenwood, in the deep heart of Mississippi," Aram Goudsouzian says to the program's host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., as they walk in Greenwood's Broad Street Historical Park.
"The tensions within the march are starting to manifest themselves," Goudsouzian says, just as the voice of Stokely Carmichael is about to interrupt him. "Twilight is coming. This park is filled with the Meredith marchers. Stokely Carmichael gets up to give a speech."
["We've begged the federal government. That's all we've been doing. Begging. Begging. It's time we stand up and take over. Take over."]
"I was sitting at lunch with John one day, and he asked how my writing was going," Tony Vanderwarker said. "I didn't want to tell him that I was on my seventh unpublished novel, so I just said it's been a little bit of an uphill. He said he'd be glad to mentor me, write a thriller with me."
Sleeping Dogs (AuthorsPress Publishing) is the name of that thriller. Vanderwarker's the author. And the friend who helped him with it is John Grisham. What's it like to have John Grisham as mentor?
Find out, because in addition to Sleeping Dogs, Vanderwarker has written Writing with the Master (Skyhorse Publishing), and let the subtitle say it all: "How One of the World's Bestselling Authors Fixed My Book and Changed My Life."
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You've heard of astronomical figures. Consider UDFj-39546284. That's the name of a galaxy 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles from Earth. Light from it takes billions of years to reach us, which makes that galaxy one of the oldest in the observable universe.
And what happened exactly when our universe first formed? Maybe, according one theory, the cosmos rapidly expanded a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after t = 0, after which time it returned to a slower rate of expansion.
But what happened when Alan Lightman watched as two ospreys left the nest and made their maiden flight? Lightman saw them circle his house, then veer straight toward him and make, for a split second, eye contact with him before resuming their flight.