Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is All Well?

The two sources I trust the most have finally weighed in on the Harry Potter phenomenon.

On the front page of the Book Review, The New York Time printed a review that revealed no major spoilers (although if you're not aware of the ending by now, it's time to sublet that granite subterranean flat you've been living in). Reviewer Christopher Hitchens takes a few high brow swipes at the series as a whole and the final volume in particular, but I expected nothing less.

The most anticipated analysis came from my Uncle Stevie over at the Bible of Popular Culture, commonly known as Entertainment Weekly. Stephen King has been the most loyal reader and defender of Harry Potter , J.K. Rowling and their combined exploits. He is also one of the most astute commentators on the state of today's popular culture.

I'm still mulling over Hitchens' piece and his perceptive parallels drawn between Orwell, Dickens, Kipling, Conan Doyle, and Rowling. Your thoughts?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Big Read @ Kansas City Public Library

Kansas City Public Library, Park University and Liberty Memorial will be celebrating Ernest Hemingway's classic novel, A Farewell to Arms during October and November.The Big Read aims to encourage Kansas Citians to read, enjoy, contemplate, and discuss Hemingway's landmark novel of love and war on the Italian Front during the First World War.

The program period coincides with the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Caporetto, a devastating Italian defeat that served as a climactic moment in A Farewell to Arms.

More than 500 free paperback copies of A Farewell to Arms will be distributed to interested participants. In addition, there will be special events, panel discussions, book groups and movie screenings revolving around Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, and Hemingway's influential ties to Kansas City. Register for an event, book group or free copy of the book here.

Contribute comments and insights at the Kansas City Public Library's The Big Read blog.