Reading Room Blog
One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Love predated the invention of language, but love poetry got its start as soon as we had words through which to express our feelings. Here’s a lovely example of a contemporary poem of love and longing by George Bilgere, who lives in Ohio.
Though as a librarian I'm constantly reading new books and other materials, I, like most people, have those books to which I turn time and again. I know exactly how they're going to end, I know most of the plot details, and I feel I have a close, personal connection with the protagonists. Some of these I have read to the point that the cover has torn away, but I keep them anyway. Why? Because I love them dearly.
Most of my favorite novels are science fiction or cyberpunk. Probably my favorite of all these books is Accelerando by Charles Stross, in which the transition of mankind from biological lifeform to almost purely informational and back again is deeply influenced by three generations of the same family across several centuries. Its follow-up, Glasshouse, is set in the same universe, but rather than focusing on the future of humanity, this book sets its main characters in a far-future simulation of what twentieth century life was like; its extrapolation of modern life as viewed by our long-removed descendents is endlessly fascinating.
The second movie in the Twilight saga, New Moon, hits theaters this Friday, November 20.
Check out this movie review in the Washington Post.
In the many literary magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, detective fiction was extremely popular, and numerous subgenres emerged. One of the most prolific was the Asian detective story, which was first popularized by Earl Derr Biggers through the Charlie Chan character. The portrayals of Asian characters in the various Asian detective stories have become a major source of controversy today, preventing the works from enduring the decades as readily as the earlier Holmes and Dupin stories.
William Kamkwamba first encountered the magic that ruled Malawi when he was six. Herd boys found a sack in the road; it was filled with bubblegum! What a treasure! "Should we give any to this little boy with leaves in his hair?", they asked. Of course they did, a double handful of gumballs: so many colors. William ate them all.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Lots of contemporary poems are anecdotal, a brief narration of some event, and what can make them rise above anecdote is when they manage to convey significance, often as the poem closes. Here is an example of one like that, by Marie Sheppard Williams, who lives in Minneapolis.
Detective fiction is such an integral part of the current literary landscape that many people have difficulty remembering all its subgenres, popular works, and notable authors. This series explores the history of detective fiction, the authors who were a major influence on its development, and books and films in its major subgenres.
Join CRRL volunteeer John Gaines for a study in sleuthing.