It could be worse…

crusoeAs the weather starts to turn chilly and the leaves begin to fall some may be inclined to bemoan the loss of yet another summer. But take heart! It could be worse!

You could be Robinson Crusoe, who was shipwrecked alone (well, with a dog and two cats) on a deserted island 357 years ago today, September 30, in fictitious history. It was rough at first – he named the island The Island of Despair – but he pulls himself up by his bootstraps and the story becomes the ultimate guide to making lemonade from life’s lemons (and cannibals). Intrigued? Stop by the library and pick up Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. It will make you feel better – if nothing else, it takes place on a tropical island.

Already read Robinson Crusoe? Afraid of shipwrecks? There are plenty of books on survivalist skills too. You know, just in case you ever find yourself on a deserted island.

Author Birthdays – When September ends

Samuel Johnson (b. September 18, 1709, Lichfield, UK ; d. December 13, 1784, London, UK)

John Madden?“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Any of his essays or poems

For more information on Samuel Johnson, click here.


William Golding (b. September 19, 1911, Newquay, UK; d. June 19, 1993, Perranarworthal, UK)

Like Gandalf's younger brother“The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.” You can find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Lord of the Flies

For more information on William Golding, click here.


H.G. Wells (b. September 21, 1866, Bromley, UK; d. August 13, 1946, London, UK)

More lost Earp brothers.“While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness in not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds

For more information on H. G. Wells, click here.


Stephen King (b. September 21, 1947, Portland, ME)

Growing on me“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings – words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.” Read more quotes here.

What you should read: The Stand, The Shining, Misery, 11/22/63, The Green Mile, and The Dead Zone

For more on Stephen King and  his work, both new and old, click here.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (b. September 24, 1896, Saint Paul, MN; d. December 21, 1940, Los Angeles, CA)

This BEFORE his hair got really crazy, believe it or not“The easiest way to get a reputation is to go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Great Gatsby

For more information on F. Scott Fitzgerald, click here.


Jane Smiley (b. September 26, 1949, Los Angeles, CA)

Aptly named“If to live is to progress, if you are lucky, from foolishness to wisdom, then to write novels is to broadcast the various stages of your foolishness.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age

For more information on Jane Smiley and her books, click here.


Miguel de Cervantes (b. September 29, 1547, Alcalá de Henares, Spain; d. April 22, 1616, Madrid, Spain)

Look at this BAMF“One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world will be better for this.” Read more quotes here.

What you should read: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

For more on Cervantes, click here.


Truman Capote (b. September 30, 1924, New Orleans, LA; d. August 25, 1984, Los Angeles, CA)

He looks so normal in an intense sort of way“Friendship is a pretty full-time occupation if you really are friendly with somebody. You can’t have too many friends because then you’re just not really friends.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood

For more information on Truman Capote, click here.

Browncoats! Time to celebrate your favorite captain’s birthday!

“We may not have parted on the best of terms. I realize certain words were exchanged. Also, certain… bullets.” Captain Malcolm Reynolds

Yes. Yes I am proud of myself for making this a blog post.According to Firefly, a short-lived but still wildly popular sci-fi series from Joss Whedon, Captain Malcolm Reynolds will be born 452 years from today, September 20. I can’t think of a reason not to celebrate one of the best fictional captains to ever fictionally live (definitely one of the top 10 imaginary captains ever, probably top 5) a little early.

And what better way to celebrate than reliving all of your favorite Captain Mal adventures, heists and hijinks. Or, alternatively, if you have no idea what or who I am talking about, what better time to find out? Either way, the library can help you out. Check out the Firefly TV series, or Serenity (the big screen wrap up for the series) on DVD at the Moline Public Library today.


Author Birthdays – Busy week

William Sydney Porter (aka O. Henry) (b. September 11, 1862, Greensboro, NC; d. June 5, 1910, New York, NY)

The littlest Earp brother?“Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man’s starving!” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Gifts of the Magi and his other short fiction

For more information on O. Henry, click here.


David Herbert Richards Lawrence (aka D.H. Lawrence) (b. September 11, 1885, Eastwood, UK; d. March 2, 1930, Vence, France)

Before the beard got out of control“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” You can find more quotes here.

What you should read: Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Sons and Lovers

For more information on D.H. Lawrence, click here.


Sherwood Anderson (b. September 13, 1876, Camden, OH; d. March 8, 1941, Colón, Panama)

Off center picture... does it bother you too?“If people did not want their stories told, it would be better for them to keep away from me.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Winesburg, Ohio

For more information on Sherwood Anderson, click here.


Roald Dahl (b. September 13, 1916, Cardiff, United Kingdom; d. November 23, 1990, Oxford, United Kingdom)

Why did I picture him with a beard?“I find that the only way to make my characters really interesting to children is to exaggerate all their good or bad qualities, and so if a person is nasty or bad or cruel, you make them very nasty, very bad, very cruel. If they are ugly, you make them extremely ugly. That, I think, is fun and makes an impact.” Read more quotes here.

What you should read: Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG

For more on Roald Dahl, his life and his work, click here.


John Knowles (b. September 16, 1926, Fairmont, WV; d. November 29, 2001, Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Megamind?“There are simply more young people than there ever were. You get this feeling of strength. Also, large numbers can be a drawback, making it difficult to lose one’s anonymity.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Separate Peace

For more information on John Knowles, click here.


Robert B. Parker (b. September 17, 1932, Springfield, MA; d. January 18, 2010, Cambridge, MA)

Crime author“College had little effect on me. I’d have been the same writer if I’d gone to MIT, except I’d have flunked out sooner.” You can find more quotes here.

What you should read: Night Passage, The Godwulf Manuscript, Family Honor and Appaloosa

For more information on Robert B. Parker and his books, click here.


Ken Kesey (b. September 17, 1935, La Junta, CO; d. November 10, 2001, Eugene, OR)

Doesn't normally look this normal“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

For more information on Ken Kesey, click here.