Derived from politics and advertising, slogans and catchphrases permeate American culture. On January 7, 2009, at the Central Library, Jan Van Meter will discuss his new book Tippecanoe and Tyler Too: Famous Slogans and Catchphrases in American History. Explore this book and others that tell the stories behind the expressions we hear and say.
Tippecanoe and Tyler Too: Famous Slogans and Catchphrases in American History
By Jan R. Van Meter
In individual entries on slogans and catchphrases from the early seventeenth to the late twentieth century, Jan Van Meter reveals that each one is a living, malleable entity that has profoundly shaped and continues to influence our public culture.
Observed since 1963, Wright Brothers Day on December 17 marks the anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first manned flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. What better way to appreciate the remarkable invention of the airplane than with a good book? Check out one of these biographies, histories, or memoir.
The Wright brothers
Award-winning biographer James Tobin takes on the story of the Wright brothers in To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight. This narrative biography details their invention, personal relationships, and competitors.
The Wright Brothers Legacy: Orville and Wilbur Wright and Their Aeroplanes, by Walt Burton and Owen Findsen, presents the subject through photographs. Over 250 are included in this book that show the brothers’ experiments, flights, and air shows, as well as memorabilia and souvenirs.
On December 28, 2008, at the Plaza Branch, Philip Miller will launch his sixth book of poetry, The Casablanca Fan. Called the “Godfather” of the Kansas City poetry scene, Miller was founder of The Riverfront Reading Series and a founding board member of The Writers Place. Check out Miller’s previous books or other books by local poets.
Miller is the author of five previous collections of poetry including Cats in the House, Hard Freeze, From the Temperate Zone, and Branches Snapping, and Why We Love Our Cats & Dogs. He also co-edited the anthology Chance of a Ghost.
By Philip Miller
By Philip Miller
On December 10, 2008 at the Central Library, author Keith Gandal discussed his new book The Gun and the Pen: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and the Fiction of Mobilization. Check out Gandal’s work, other literary criticism, or some postwar World War I novels by American writers.
December 9, 2008 is the 400th anniversary of English poet John Milton’s birthday. Born in 1608, Milton wrote the epic poem Paradise Lost and had an enormous impact on English literature. Explore some of Milton’s work firsthand, read a biography of this influential man, or check out some fiction inspired by him.
By John Milton
John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, is considered by many to be the greatest in the English language. Originally published in 1667, this poem depicts the biblical story of the war between God and Satan and the fall of Adam and Eve.
Part of the Everyman Library Pocket Poets series, Milton: Poems contains a concise selection of his work, including sonnets and parts of Comus and Samson Agonistes.
Who says boys don't like to read? These books, filled with adventures, kid-heroes, and spooky goings-on, will thrill even the most reluctant reader.
Author Willa Cather, born on Dec 7, 1873, is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest writers. Explore some of her novels, read more about this influential author, or check out some “read-alike” books if you enjoy her writing.
O Pioneers!, Willa Cather’s second novel, depicts the life of Alexandra Bergson, the daughter of Swedish immigrant farmers. A strong woman, she struggles to save her farm in Nebraska in this realistic portrayal of prairie life at the turn of the 20th century.
Another classic, My Ántonia tells the story of Ántonia’s life on the Nebraska prairie as told by her childhood friend, Jim. An immigrant, Antonia matures into a strong and courageous woman with the pioneer spirit, surviving hardship and betrayal.
When It’s a Wonderful Life just doesn’t do it for you anymore, try one of these:
Bad Santa (2003)
Billy Bob Thornton is one of the bad Santas you just know have to be out there.
This is being screened in the Central Library’s Durwood Film Vault at 1:30 pm on Saturday, December 6, 2008.
The Ice Harvest (2005)
There must be something worse than Wichita during an icy Christmas, but after seeing this one, you won’t be able to think of it.
This is being screened in the Central Library’s Durwood Film Vault at 1:30 pm on Saturday, December 13, 2008.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
We’ve all had family get-togethers like this, only here you have the option of shutting it off.
We’ve all used this phrase, but do you know why it’s significant?
The Spanish Ministry of Culture is making certain readers the world over don’t ever forget. The most recent Cervantes prize was awarded to Spanish novelist Juan Marse for his body of work.
Marse has focused many of his books on the rifts in Spanish society under the rule of Franco.
On December 9, 2008 at the Central Library, editorial cartoonist Lee Judge reflected on his 27 years at The Kansas City Star and shared some of his favorite unpublished cartoons in his presentation, Cartoons We’re a Little Afraid to Show You. These books explore the history of political cartoons in America, reveal cartoons that were never printed, and take a look at specific editorial cartoonists’ work.
The Art of Ill Will: The Story of American Political Cartoons
By Donald Dewey
The Art of Ill Will is a comprehensive history of American political cartooning, featuring more than 200 illustrations from the colonial period to contemporary cartoonists like Pat Oliphant and Jimmy Margulies. These artists had an uncanny ability to encapsulate the essence of a situation and steer the public mood with a single drawing and caption.