literature

  Alexander McCall Smith, best known for his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, is one of four writers part of The Austen Project which looks to rework Jane Austen's novels with a contemporary twist as part of a project to open up the stories for modern sensibilities.

The project was launched in 2013 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice.

The first published updating was Sense and Sensibility, written by Joanna Trollope. Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep and American Wife is already at work on Pride and Prejudice.

In Emma: A Modern Retelling, Alexander McCall Smith brings us Miss Emma Woodhouse -- and she wears blue jeans.

  Nearly twenty-five years ago, Nicholson Baker published U and I, the fretful and handwringing—but also groundbreaking—tale of his literary relationship with John Updike.

U and I inspired a whole sub-genre of engaging, entertaining writing about reading, but what no story of this type has ever done is tell its tale from the moment of conception, that moment when you realize that there is a writer out there in the world that you must read—so you read them.

B & Me is that story, the story of J.C. Hallman discovering and reading Nicholson Baker, and discovering himself in the process.

  In Huck Finn’s America, award-winning biographer Andrew Levy shows how modern readers have been misunderstanding Huckleberry Finn for decades.

Twain’s masterpiece, which still sells tens of thousands of copies each year and is taught more than any other American classic, is often discussed either as a carefree adventure story for children or a serious novel about race relations, yet Levy argues convincingly it is neither.

    Tim Federle was a dancer on Broadway until a few years ago. Now he’s an author who has has - so far - released 4 books. (His fifth - a picture book, is due out later this year.) Two of his books, Better Nate Than Ever! and Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, are about Nate Foster - a small-town boy with big Broadway dreams. The books are aimed at middle school theater-geeks trying to find their footing. Better Nate Than Ever! was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Publishers' Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Slate Favorite Book of the Year.

  Federle's other two books are Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist. The former containing instruction for boozy-bevs with names like Love in the Time of Kahlúa, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita, and Vermouth the Bell Tolls; and the latter sharing shaker-ready recipes for Old MacDonald Had a Flask, Baa, Baa, Black Russian, Jack and Coke (and Jill).

On Thursday, February 5th, the Campaign for the New Hudson Area Library will be hosting Federle at Café Le Perche in Hudson, NY from 6 – 8pm. The restaurant will offer a selection of Federle’s drink recipes for sale to guests and The Spotty Dog Books and Ale, will be selling Federle’s books. 

    When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned over 100 million books and caused fearful citizens to hide or destroy many more. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In 1943, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks, for troops to carry in their pockets and their rucksacks, in every theater of war.

Molly Guptill Manning joins us to talk about her book, When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II.

  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we check in with MASS Humanities and learn about “Literature, Medicine and the Experience of War” - a six-month, scholar-led, humanities reading and discussion program for health professionals and staff in medical facilities administered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and/or veterans and military service organizations.

Allan Amato/Coilhouse

  Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are a fascinating, artistic, and talented couple who - lucky for us - live part-time in our region.

Amanda Palmer's new book The Art of Asking, is part manifesto, part revelation and a little bit "how-to" guide. Gaiman's most recent release is his adaption of Hansel and Gretel. They join us to discuss asking and audiobooks.

  If you are a lover of Jane Austen, close your eyes and imagine being brought to the towns, gardens, estates, and other sites from her iconic novels.

Saratoga Arts and a company called Edventures will be offering such an opportunity through a Jane Austen Tour that departs for England on April 25 and returns May 4, 2015.

The trip will be led by Dr. David Shapard, a Jane Austen scholar. David is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice as well as annotated versions of Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. He joins us along with Mary Huber, President of Edventures.

  

  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. In her new book, So We Read On, Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan offers a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great – and utterly unusual.

  Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. It is also the choice for Poughkeepsie’s Big Read.

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