David Cherry's blog

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary: 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominations

Mystery Writers of America Logo-copyrighted materialAnnually, on the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth, the Mystery Writers of America announce the nominations for the aptly named Edgar Awards honoring "excellence in mystery." Prize categories include Best Novel, Best First Novel by an American Author and Best Fact Crime, as well as Best Juvenile and Young Adult Mysteries.

The list of past winners is chock full of above-the-title names such as James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard and S. J. Rozan. So just because you haven't heard of some of this year's nominees, doesn't mean you won't be hearing a lot more about them in the future.

Americans in Paris (Before Hemingway, Stein and the Fitzgeralds)

Cover Art: The Greater Journey by David McCulloughIt is all too easy for successful writers to slide into a comfort zone and never want to leave it. Writing is such an iffy proposition, working from a formula isn’t just easier and safer for the psyche, it’s often the smartest business decision one can make--if it worked once, chances are pretty good it will work again.

The historian, author, PBS mainstay and owner of the most avuncular voice this side of Bob Ross, David McCullough has found his formula and shows no inclination to tinker with it. He's not out to stretch our minds or question the foundations of American Civilization. He's at heart a weaver of tales and he's exceedingly good at it.

Go Viral: Enter Story Tubes 2012

Official Story Tubes 2012 Logo - Copyrighted MaterialWhen you read a really good book, you just naturally want to tell people about it. So you do—on the bus, at lunch, maybe even on Facebook. But, in the end, how many people have you reached? 100? 500? What if you could double or triple that number? What if you could go viral and win a prize too? Harris County Public Library can’t guarantee you’ll be the next Keyboard Cat or Annoying Orange, but you never know…

Beyond 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Holiday Poetry for the Harried

Photo Credit: Blue Lights, Snowy Night by William KlosFor many adults Christmas has become a rote observance of traditions wholly estranged from their original meanings. For others it is a sort of annual moral mulligan, a time to shower attention, gifts and good cheer on those who rightly deserve those things year-round. For still others it is a time to take stock of their lives—to measure themselves against the pervasive messages of the season and to inevitably judge themselves lacking.

The message of every “very special” Christmas Special on TV is that Christmas is not at all about the gifts and tinselly excess, but the advertisements strewn liberally throughout make an utterly convincing counter-argument.

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” Traveling Exhibition Visits Cy-Fair

President Abraham Lincoln, from Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes. Courtesy Flickr Commons and Library of CongressBeginning December 28, Cy-Fair College Branch Library will host a unique traveling exhibition focusing on President Abraham Lincoln’s struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the most turbulent era in the nation’s history.

Using period photographs, posters, historical documents and artifacts--including the Bible used during Lincoln’s first inauguration, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” explores how the president used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the war—the secession of Southern states, slavery, and wartime civil liberties.

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” Traveling Exhibit Visits Cy-Fair

Presiden Abraham Lincoln from Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes. Courtesy Flickr Commons and Library of CongressBeginning December 28, Cy-Fair College Branch Library will host a unique traveling exhibition focusing on President Abraham Lincoln’s struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the most turbulent era in the nation’s history.

Using period photographs, posters, historical documents and artifacts--including the Bible used during Lincoln’s first inauguration, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” explores how the president used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the war—the secession of Southern states, slavery, and wartime civil liberties.

World Wide Read: Post Your Pictures on our Facebook Wall

Photo Credit: Reading in Rome by snickclunk via Flickr Creative CommonsChances are good that some of you will be taking a well-deserved vacation over the holidays, and if you are reading this, chances are even better you will be taking a book or two along. We have a (fun) assignment for all of you globetrotters out there: we want a picture of you reading a book in whatever exotic locale you visit. Whether you’re on the ski slopes of Vail, a cruise ship in the Caribbean, a double-decker bus in London, even a La-z-boy in Peoria—we want you to post your photo on our Facebook wall.

HCPL: The Host of Christmas Present

Photo Credit: Untitled (Mr. and Mrs. Claus in Hawaii by Cliff1066It is probably safe to say that the “Winter Wonderland” of song is not forthcoming here in Harris County, Texas. Sad, maybe, but a fact of life in the subtropics, and truth be told a lot of folks moved down here for that very reason. They will tell you that behind the snowy Currier & Ives idyll is hours of shoveling and scraping in soggy socks.

While we may not be dashing through the snow anytime soon, it doesn’t mean Texans can’t whip up a whole lot of old-school, tinsel-strewn holiday cheer complete with chestnuts roasting and eleven pipers piping when we put our minds to it. HCPL is doing its part again this year with some special events guaranteed to keep your holidays merry and bright.

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