Richard Llewellyn (1906-1983) was born in Wales on December 8, 1906. Read Orrin's review of How Green Was My Valley (1939)(Grade: A+)
Mary Gordon (1949-) was born on Long Island, NY on December 8, 1949.
Elsie Crisler Segar (1894-?), the creator of "Popeye," was born in Chester, IL on December 8, 1894.
James Thurber (1894-1961) was born in Columbus, OH on December 8, 1894. Brothers Judd recommends the Library of America collection: James Thurber: Writings and Drawings and Thurber on Crime (James Thurber 1894-1961)(edited by Robert Lopresti) (Read Orrin's review.)
Ron Hansen was born December 8, 1947. He was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Read Orrin's review of Mariette in Ecstasy (1991) (Ron Hansen 1947-).
Hervey Allen (1889-1949), author of the epic historical novel Anthony Adverse (1933), was born in Pittsburgh, PA on December 8, 1889.
Willa Cather (1873-1947) was born near Winchester, VA on December 7, 1873. Read Orrin's review of Death Comes to the Archbishop (1927)(Grade: C)
Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) was born in Gustafs, Sweden on December 6, 1898.
Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) was born in New Brunswick, NJ on December 6, 1886. Best remembered for his poem Trees, it seems likely that he is the only poet memorialized by having a Turnpike Rest Area named in his honor.
Walt Disney (1901-66) was born in Chicago, IL on December 5, 1901. Griffin Judd particularly recommends Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
Calvin Trillin (1935-) was born in Kansas City, MO on December 5, 1935. Brothers Judd recommends his very funny Tummy Trilogy.
Martin Van Buren (1782?1862) was born in Kinderhook, NY on December 5, 1782. He was the first non-Adams not to be reelected President.
George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) was born in New Rumley, OH on December 5, 1839. Read Orrin's review of The Fatal Environment : The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800-1890 (1985)(Richard Slotkin) (Grade: B-)
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was born in Nottinghamshire, ENG on December 4, 1835. Read Orrin's review of The Way of All Flesh (1903)
Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague on December 4, 1875. The Brothers Judd recommend Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910) (Rainer Maria Rilke 1875-1926)(translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Joseph (Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) Conrad (1857-1924) was born in Berdichev, Poland (now Ukraine) on December 3, 1857. Read Orrin's reviews of Lord Jim (1900)(Grade: B), Heart of Darkness (1902)(Grade: A), & The Secret Agent (1920)(Grade: B)
Nikos Kazantzakis (1885-1957) was born in Iraklion, Crete on December 2, 1885. Read Orrin's review of The Last Temptation of Christ (1960)(Grade: C+)
Rex Stout (1896-1975) was born in Noblesville, IN on December 1, 1896 Read Orrin's review of Fer-de-Lance: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (1934)(Grade: A)
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) was born in Florida, MO on November 30, 1835. Read Orrin's review of The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) (Grade: A-)
Jacques Barzun (1907-) was born on November 30, 1907. Read Orrin's review of The Culture We Deserve (1989)(Grade : A)
Michael Beschloss (1955-) was born in Chicago, IL on November 30, 1955. Read Orrin's review of Mayday:
Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (1986)(Grade: A)
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was born in Belfast, Ireland on November 29, 1898. Read Orrin's review of The Screwtape Letters (1943) (Grade: A+)
Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time (1962) and Two-Part Invention : The Story of a Marriage (1988), was born November 29, 1918 in New York, N.Y.
William Blake, born in London (1757)
James Agee (1909-55) was born in Knoxville, TN on November 27, 1909. Read Orrin's review of A Death in the Family (1957)(Grade: C)
Bruce Lee (Lee Yuen Kam)(1940-73) was born in San Francisco, CA on November 27, 1940. Brothers Judd recommends the excellent biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)
Gerald Seymour (1941-) was born on November 25, 1941. Read Orrin's review ofArchangel (1982) (Grade: A+)
Harry Stein (1948-) was born in New York, NY on November 25, 1948. Read Orrin's reviews of How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace) (2000)(Grade: A-) and Hoopla (1983)(Grade: B+)
Carlo Collodi (1826-90) was born in Florence, Italy on November 24, 1826. Read
Orrin's review of Pinocchio (1940)
William F. Buckley (1925-) was born in New York, NY on November 24, 1925. Read Orrin's review of The Unmaking of a Mayor (1966)(Grade: A+)
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was born in Manchester, ENG on November 24, 1849. Read Orrin's review of her classic, The Secret Garden (1911)
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) was born in Hillsborough (now Hillsboro), NH on November 23, 1804. Despite being a favorite son, even Granite Staters acknowledge that he was one of our worst presidents.
George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans](1819-1880) was born in Warwickshire, ENG on November 22, 1819. Read Orrin's review of Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (1861) (Grade: A)
Coleman Hawkins (1904-69) was born in St. Joseph, MO on November 21, 1904. Glenn Dryfoos (Brothers
Judd's Jazz Expert) writes : Coleman
Hawkins was the first, and perhaps greatest, tenor saxophonist. World famous by the early 30's, his 1939 recording of "Body and Soul" is universally considered to be one of the finest examples of musical improvisation ever recorded. Check out this recording on the Victor Jazz label.
On November 21, 1620, the Pilgrims aboard Mayflower
landed at modern day Provincetown. The ship carried 102 passengers and had been at sea for 65 days. During their passage they crafted one of the seminal political documents in human history,
The Mayflower Compact.
Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778) was born in Paris, FR on November 21, 1694. Brothers Judd recommends his great philosophical satire
James A. Garfield (1831-81) was born in Orange, OH on November 19, 1831.
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (1926- ) was born in Duncan, OK on November 19, 1926. Read Orrin's review of the
once again timely Dictatorships and Double Standards : Rationalism and Reason in Politics (1982)
President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg
Address on November 19, 1863 at the dedication ceremony for the national cemetery that had been built to hold some of the 45,000 casualties from that battle. Read about the battle in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Killer Angels (1974)(Michael Shaara) (Grade: A+) or about the address in the Pulitzer Prize winner Lincoln at Gettysburg : The Words That Remade America (1992)(Garry Wills)
Margaret Atwood (1939-) was born in Ottawa, Canada on November 18, 1939. Read Orrin's review of The Handmaid's Tale (1986)(Grade: C+)
W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) was born in London, ENG on November 18, 1836.
Brothers Judd recommends the recent biopic Topsy