Author Birthdays – The End (of May) Is Near!

Ian Flemming (b. May 28, 1908, London, UK; d. August 12, 1964, Canterbury, UK)

Ian Fleming“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Casino Royale

For more information on Ian Flemming, click here.


Walker Percy (b. May 28, 1916, Birmingham, AL; d. May 10, 1990, Covington, LA)

Percy“You live in a deranged age, more deranged that usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Love in the Ruins

For more information on Walker Percy, click here.


Maeve Binchy (b. May 28, 1939, Dalkey, Ireland; d. July 30, 2012, Dublin, Ireland)

Binchy“I have always believed that life is too short for rows and disagreements. Even if I think I’m right, I would prefer to apologize and remain friends rather than win and be an enemy.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Glass Lake

For more information on Maeve Binchy, click here.


Max Brand (real name: Frederick Schiller Faust) (b. May 29, 1892, Seattle, WA; d. May 12, 1944, Italy)

Brand“When in doubt, head into the wind.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Luck

For more information on Max Brand, click here.


Walt Whitman (b. May 31, 1819, West Hills, NY; d. March 26, 1892, Camden, NJ)

Whitman“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Leaves of Grass

For more information on Walt Whitman, click here.


Allen Ginsberg (b. June 3, 1926, Newark, NJ; d. April 5, 1997, New York, NY)

Ginsberg“The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Howl: and Other Poems

For more information on Allen Ginsberg, click here.


Larry McMurtry (b. June 3, 1936, Archer City, TX)

McMurtry“Incompetents invariably make trouble for people other than themselves.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Lonesome Dove

For more information on Larry McMurtry, click here.


Author Birthdays

Alexander Pope (b. May 21, 1688, London, UK; d. May 30, 1744, Twickenham, UK)

Pope“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: An Essay on Man

For more information on Alexander Pope, click here.


Arthur Conan Doyle (b. May 22, 1859, Edinburgh, UK; d. July 7, 1930, Crowborough, UK)

Doyle“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Study in Scarlet… or anything with Sherlock Holmes

For more information on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, click here.


Mitch Albom (b. May 23, 1958, Passaic, NJ)

Albom“If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it’s going to happen anyhow.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Tuesdays with Morrie

For more information on Mitch Albom, click here.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (b. May 25, 1803, Boston, MA; d. April 27, 1882, Concord, MA)

Emerson“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Nature

For more information on Ralph Waldo Emerson, click here.


Robert Ludlum (b. May 25, 1927, New York, NY; d. March 12, 2001, Naples, FL)

Ludlum“Life is extremely complicated.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Bourne Identity

For more information on Robert Ludlum, click here.


Tony Hillerman (b. May 27, 1925, Sacred Heart, OK ; d. October 26, 2008, Albuquerque, NM)

Hillerman“You write for two people, yourself and your audience, who are usually better educated and at least as smart.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Blessing Way

For more information on Tony Hillerman, click here.


Harlan Ellison (b. May 27, 1934, Cleveland, OH)

Ellison_H“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

For more information on Harlan Ellison, click here.

Author Birthdays – And let’s hear it for their mothers too! Happy Mother’s Day!

L. Frank Baum (b. May 15, 1856, Chittenango, NY; d. May 6, 1919, Los Angeles, CA)

Baum“Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

For more information on L. Frank Baum, click here.


Mikhail Bulgakov (b. May 15, 1891, Kiev, Ukraine; d. March 10, 1940, Moscow, Russia)

BulgakovCowardice is the most terrible of vices.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Master and Margarita

For more information on Mikhail Bulgakov, click here.



Peter Shaffer (b. May 15, 1926, Liverpool, UK; d. June 6, 2016, County Cork, Ireland)

Shaffer“Tragedy, for me, is not a conflict between right and wrong, but between two different kinds of right.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Amadeus

For more information on Sir Peter Shaffer, click here.



Malcolm X (b. May 19, 1925, Omaha, NE; d. February 21, 1965, New York, NY)

X“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

For more information on Malcolm X, click here.


Lorraine Hansberry (b. May 19, 1930, Chicago, IL; d. January 12, 1965, New York, NY)

Hansberry“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Raisin in the Sun

For more information on Lorraine Hansberry, click here.


Honoré de Balzac (b. May 20, 1799, Tours, France; d. August 18, 1850, Paris, France)

Balzac“Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Human Comedy

For more information on Honoré de Balzac, click here.

Author Birthdays – May!

David Hume (b. May 7, 1711, Edinburgh, UK; d. August 25, 1776, Edinburgh, UK)

Hume“What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call ‘thought’.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Treatise of Human Nature

For more information on David Hume, click here.


Gene Wolfe (b. May 7, 1931, New York, NY)

GWolfe“You seem to think that the only genuine existence evil can have is conscious existence – that no one is evil unless he admits it to himself. I disagree.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Shadowthe  of the Torturer

For more information on Gene Wolfe, click here.


Thomas Pynchon (b. May 8, 1937, Glen Cove, NY)

Pynchon“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Gravity’s Rainbow

For more information on Thomas Pynchon, click here.


Peter Benchley (b. May 8, 1940, New York, NY; d. February 11, 2006, Princeton, NJ)

Benchley“Fascinations breeds preparedness, and preparedness, survival.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Jaws

For more information on Peter Benchley, click here.


J.M. Barrie (b. May 9, 1860, Kirriemuir, UK; d. June 19, 1937, London, UK)

Barrie“Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Peter Pan

For more information on J.M. Barrie, click here.


Richard Adams (b. May 9, 1920, Wash Common, UK; d. December 24, 2016, Oxford, UK)

RAdams“The thinker dies, but his thoughts are beyond the reach of destruction. Men are mortal; but ideas are immortal.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Watership Down

For more information on Richard Adams, click here.


Daphne Du Maurier (b. May 13, 1907, London, UK; d. April 19, 1989, Fowey, UK)

DuMaurier“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Rebecca

For more information on Daphne Du Maurier, click here.


Stephen R. Donaldson (b. May 13, 1947, Cleveland, OH)

Donaldson“I may not yet be as old as dirt, but dirt and I are starting to have an awful lot in common.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Lord Foul’s Bane

For more information on Stephen R. Donaldson, click here.

Author Birthdays – Welcome May flowers!

Larry Niven (b. April 30, 1938, Los Angeles, CA)

Niven“The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Ringworld

For more information on Larry Niven, click here.


Joseph Heller (b. May 1, 1923, New York, NY; d. December 12, 1999, East Hampton, NY)

5.1.3“Some people are born mediocre, some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Catch-22

For more information on Joseph Heller, click here.


Benjamin Spock (b. May 2, 1903, New Haven, CT; d. March 15, 1998, La Jolla, CA)

Spock“Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Baby and Child Care

For more information on Dr. Benjamin Spock, click here.


Niccolo Machiavelli (b. May 3, 1469, Florence, Italy; d. June 21, 1527, Florence, Italy)

Machiavelli“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Prince

For more information on Niccolo Machiavelli, click here.


Robin Cook (b. May 4, 1940, New York, NY)

Cook“There is a connection waiting to be made between the decline in democratic participation and the explosion in new ways of communicating. We need not accept the paradox that gives us more ways than ever to speak, and leaves the public with a wider feeling than ever before that their voices are not being heard.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Coma and/or Outbreak

For more information on Robin Cook, click here.


Karl Marx (b. May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany; d. March 14, 1883, London, UK)

Karl Marx Archive“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Communist Manifesto

For more information on Karl Marx, click here.

Genre Friday! Presents Historical Romance

It’s a romance set in the past. Well, sort of, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

Three MusketeersFirst, there are the different meanings of romance to consider. “Romance” in the days of yore was pretty much the same thing as what we would call a novel today – a story that someone made up and, to keep it interesting, filled with a bit more drama and action than most people would find typical to everyday life. Thus a historical romance can technically be most any novel written prior to the first half of the 20th century (although particularly in late medieval Europe). This gets even more confusing because some historical romances (read “novels”) focus on a love story, making it qualify as the modern definition of a romance as well.

Of course, this ambiguity is mostly avoided these days due to the simple fact that 99% of the people who go looking for historical romance are looking for books about romantic love that are set in the past. I may have been overstating how complicated it was to take advantage of a teachable moment… Librarian.

Still, even if you are looking for the modern definition of a historical romance, there are choices to be made; mostly involving which time period is you favorite. Most popular are the stories set in the late historical periods of Europe and Great Britain (there is a lot of attention paid to Scottish Highlanders). The American Civil War is also popular, but it doesn’t stop there; ancient Egyptians, Caribbean Pirates, Vikings, you name it, it’s out there somewhere – something for everyone.


Traditional Definition:

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Rogue by Any Other NameModern Definition:

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Author Birthdays – Still April somehow…

William Shakespeare (b. April 23, 1564, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK; d. April 23, 1616, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK)

Shakespeare“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Any of them really…

For more information on William Shakespeare, click here.


Anthony Trollope (b. April 24, 1815, London, UK; d. December 6, 1882, London, UK)

Trollope“Never think that you’re not good enough. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Way We Live Now

For more information on Anthony Trollope, click here.


Mary Wollstonecraft (b. April 27, 1759, Spitalfields, UK; d. September 10, 1797, London, UK)

Wollstonecraft“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

For more information on Mary Wollstonecraft, click here.


Harper Lee (b. April 28, 1926, Monroeville, AL; d. February 19, 2016, Monroeville, AL)

Lee“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: To Kill a Mockingbird

For more information on Harper Lee, click here.