Authors

Kent Haruf, 1943-2014

National Book Award finalist Kent Haruf passed away on Nov. 30, 2014 at age 71. Haruf created the fictional town of Holt, Colorado in his first novel The Tie That Binds. He would return to the small High Plains town again in Plainsong, his most beloved work.

Gulf Coast Reads Author Stephen Harrigan at Museum of Fine Arts - Houston

Gulf Coast Reads, Harris County Public Library and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston invite you to a special evening with author, Stephen Harrigan at the MFAH on Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m.

After introducing and reading from his novel, Remember Ben Clayton, Mr. Harrigan will sit for a lively and wide-ranging conversation with Houston Chronicle columnist and features writer, Lisa Gray, to be followed by a Q and A with the audience.

Popular Children's Author, Michael Dahl, Swoops into South Houston

Harris County Public Library is pleased to announce that Michael Dahl, bestselling author of books for children and young adults, will visit South Houston Branch Library on Saturday, September 27, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Mr. Dahl has written more than two hundred books and is a three-time winner of the Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award.

We have many of his books in our collection--ranging from board books for your youngest to YA mysteries. So, check some out, read them with your kids, and then bring the family out to enjoy what promises to be a high-energy entertaining and educational event. Michael Dahl's visit is sponsored by myON, a division of Capstone.

Author, Gary L. Stewart, Visits Freeman Thursday, Aug. 28

On Thursday, August 28th, at 7:00 PM, the library will be pleased to host national bestselling author Gary L. Stewart.  Mr. Stewart is the author of "The Most Dangerous Animal of All," published early this year.  Mr. Stewart's book, written along with Susan Mustafa, chronicles his decade-long search for his birth parents, which led him to a chilling conclusion about his father and potential connection with the Zodiac Killer. 

Book Hunters in Brief #31: Jane Austen

BHinB#31: Jane AustenChances are pretty good that Jane Austen didn’t imagine the industriousness she would inspire two centuries after she went to that great cotillion in the sky.

Maya Angelou 1928 - 2014

Maya Angelou was a memoirist, poet, and activist, but more significantly, she was a keen, measured public voice of a kind that is increasingly rare in this ever widening, ever more shallow puddle that is early 21st century American culture. That she became the iconic figure and social force she was is all the more remarkable when one thinks of the place and time from which she rose.

Tom Clancy (1947 – 2013)

Cover Art: Executive OrdersTo say that Tom Clancy was a creature of his times is not a put-down. It is a sovereign fact that he capitalized in a big way on the resurgence in capital P-style patriotism of the Reagan years, as well as the long-hoped-for healing of the nation’s wounds inflicted by the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and the rise of the Rust Belt where our Industrial Might once stood. But that zeitgeist booster rocket he rode to vast fame and still vaster fortune would not have mattered one bit were Clancy not a first rate novelist—a master of the military thriller, a genre that if he did not invent, he made his own so thoroughly that he might as well have.

Clancy passed away Tuesday of undisclosed causes at the age of 66. To say he was an industry unto himself is not hyperbole. Seventeen of his novels sat atop the New York Times Best Seller List and one hundred million copies of his books are currently in print, but perhaps most culturally significant is that many of the movie adaptations of his books were not only wildly profitable, they were watchable as well (which probably had as much to do with Clancy's signature tight plotting, complex conflicts and memorable characters as anything the film makers did).

Author Peter Heller Kicks off Gulf Coast Reads 2013

An Evening with Peter Heller
Clear Lake City – County Freeman Branch Library
Thursday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Author photo by Tory ReadHarris County Public Library gets Gulf Coast Reads 2013 off to a flying start when Peter Heller, author of this year’s selection The Dog Stars, visits Clear Lake City – County Freeman Branch Library on October 3 at 7:00 p.m. He will give a brief talk about how he came to write the novel, followed by a Q & A, and book signing.

Gulf Coast Reads is an annual regional reading initiative that encourages everyone living near the upper Texas Gulf Coast to read (or listen to) a selected title during the month of October.

Peter Heller’s appearance, made possible by the Friends of Freeman Library and a bequest from the estate of Jocelyn H. Lee, is just one of many events across the area in conjunction with Gulf Coast Reads and related to themes explored in the novel. Programs include sustainable gardening seminars, disaster preparedness workshops, a visit from the Houston Police Department canine unit, and many more—including, of course, plenty of discussion groups where you can share your thoughts on the book. Check your branch's events calendar for complete local listings, and ‘Like’ Gulf Coast Reads on Facebook to keep up-to-date on all the happenings in October.

Elmore Leonard (1925 - 2013)

cover art 52 Pickup

I hate that in its obituary for Elmore Leonard, the New York Times felt the need to sniff down its long, blue-blooded corporate nose, and call him “a modern master of American genre writing” [italics mine]. I’m sure no offense was intended, and I suspect Leonard wouldn’t have objected, but still, the qualification is wholly unnecessary. He was a master. Period. And the fact is, he didn’t aspire to the literary pantheon. He preferred to be read, and his influence was not limited to other "genre" writers. There are a lot of people referred to as "writer's writers," Elmore Leonard was a writer's writer's writer. He was that good. He was not only the consummate craftsman, he was a bit of a visionary. Leonard was one of those people who come along when an art form has gone a little soft, become a little too reliant on convention and its practitioners a little too pleased with themselves, who strips the form down and re-imagines it, and in so doing revitalizes the art. Elmore Leonard did that twice, for the western and then crime fiction.

If you regularly write anything more complex than a grocery list and you haven’t memorized Leonard’s 10 Rules for Good Writing, do it now...

No, really. I'm serious. NOW

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