Okay. So, maybe we didn’t actually come up with the idea of birthdays but you should still be intrigued, and so…
We love books here at the library. Little books and big books, paranormal mysteries and exam prep books, audio books and ebooks, all of them. And where do all these books come from? Authors! So, by extension, we love authors too. We think they, and their hard work, should be celebrated. So, starting today, with this very post, we are going to regularly highlight the upcoming birthdays of notable authors (or at least as many of them as we can think of – there will inevitably be some that fall through the cracks and I apologize in advance to them and to you for the oversight). If this inspires you to pick up a book by one of those authors then great (especially if you were to pick it up at your favorite library), if not then at least you will learn a little bit about them and that’s good too.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (b. July 4, 1804, Salem, MA; d. May 19, 1864, Plymouth, NH)
“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Read more quotes here.
Hawthorne was a contemporary of the American Transcendentalism movement but never fully got on board – his time as a part of a utopian, agrarian community did not turn into his Walden but rather The Blithedale Romance, viewed by many as critical of transcendentalist ideas. His writing is generally seen as more closely aligned to the Romanticist movement, more specifically Dark Romanticism. Hawthorne’s novels and short stories often showed his Puritan roots (he was, after all, the descendant of one of the judges at the Salem witch trials, much to his chagrin) and were heavy with themes of morality and sin. Today, he is probably best known for his novel, The Scarlet Letter. For more on Nathaniel Hawthorne, click here.
Barbara Cartland (b. July 9, 1901, Birmingham, UK; d. May 21, 2000, Hatfield, UK)
“A historical romance is the only kind of book where chastity really counts.” More quotes to be had here.
Barbara Cartland is one of the most successful and prolific
romance authors in history. During her 98 years she published more than 700 romance novels, with more published after her death in 2000. She holds that Guinness World Record for the most novels written in a single year (that would be the 23 that she wrote in 1976) and sold more than 750 million copies of her work. Given the sheer number of titles and span of years that her career included it is pretty unlikely that any normal library would have anywhere close to all of her works but, given the sheer number of titles and span of years that her career included, it is pretty likely that any normal library would have at least some of her works. Here is what you can find at Moline Library. For more information on the lady herself, click here.
Robert A. Heinlein (b. July 7, 1907, Butler, MO; d. May 8, 1988, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA)
“Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.” You can find more quotes here.
Robert A. Heinlein was one-third of the much lauded “Big Three” of science fiction in the second half of the 20th century (along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke). A former Navy man turned sci-fi writer, much of his work focused on self-reliance and individuality set against a military or space-traveling background (often both). Starship Troopers is quite possibly his most well known novel but if you are a fan of 60s style cultural revolutions and social experimentation you can dive into the deep end and start with Stranger in a Strange Land. For more Heinlein information, click here.
Dean Koontz (b. July 9, 1945, Everett, PA)
“Nothing gives us courage more readily than the desire to avoid looking like a damn fool.” More Koontz quotes here.
Dean Koontz, the only author this week that is still writing (read “living”), is a best-selling author of suspense-thrillers. Many of his books include elements of the horror, dark fantasy and mystery genres as well, drawing inevitable comparisons to other authors that write on similar topics; most notably (and sometimes controversially) Stephen King. Koontz is best known for his successful Odd Thomas and Frankenstein series. For up-to-date information on Dean Koontz and his books you can go to his website, here.