On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther set off the Protestant Reformation when he posted his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace.
Katherine Womeldorf Paterson (1932-) was born in Qing Jiang, Jiangsu, China on October 31, 1932. Read
Orrin's review of Bridge to Terabithia (1977)
Don Winslow (1953-) was born in New York, NY on October 31, 1953. Read Orrin's review of A Cool Breeze on the Underground (1991)
John Adams (1735-1826) was born in Braintree, MA on October 30, 1735. In one of life's more delightful ironies, he and his friend and rival Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4th, 1826, the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration which they cowrote.
Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972) was born in Hailey, ID on October 30, 1885.
Henry Green (Henry Vincent Yorke)(1905-73) was born in Tewkesbury, England on October 29, 1905. Read Orrin's review of Loving (1945)
James Boswell (1740-95) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 29, 1740. His Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) essentially created the modern biography.
Evelyn Waugh (1903-66) was born on in London, England on October 28, 1903. Read Orrin's reviews of A Handful of Dust (1934)(Grade: B) Scoop (1937)(Grade: B+), Brideshead Revisited (1945)(Grade: C) and The Loved One (1948) (Grade: A)
Dylan Thomas (1914-53) was born in Swansea, Wales on October 27, 1914. He is best remembered for his poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night and A Child's Christmas in Wales (1955) (Grade: A)
Sylvia Plath (1932-63) was born in Boston, MA on October 27, 1932. Brothers Judd recommends her book The Bell Jar (1963), bad reviews for which were supposedly the proximate cause of her decision to kill herself.
Francis Fukuyama (1952-) was born in Chicago, IL on October 27, 1952. Read Orrin's review ofThe End of History and the Last Man (1992) (Grade: A+)
Pat Conroy, born in Atlanta on October 26, 1945
Beryl Markham (1902-1986) was born in Melton Mowbray, England on October 26, 1902. Read Orrin's review of her extraordinary memoirWest With the Night (1941) (Grade: A+)
Anne Tyler (1941-) was born in Minneapolis on October 25, 1941. Read Orrin's review of Breathing
Lessons (1988)(Grade: C)
Al Jolson (Asa Yoelson)(1888-1950) was born in Russia on October 23, 1888. Brothers Judd recommends the movie The Jolson Story (1946) and the album On Broadway
Doris Lessing (1919-) was born in Iran on October 22, 1919. Read Orrin's
review of The Golden Notebook (1962)(Grade: F).
Benjamin Netanyahu (1949 - ). Born in Tel Aviv on October 21, 1949. Read Orrin's review of Fighting Terrorism : How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists.
Ursula K. LeGuin (1929-) was born in Berkeley, CA on October 21, 1929. Read Orrin's review of The Lathe of Heaven (1971)(Grade: A)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was born in Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, England on October 21, 1722. Check out an online version of his Lyrical Ballads (1798)
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917-93) was born in Cheraw, S.C. on October 21, 1917. Glenn Dryfoos recommends Sonny Side Up (great bop, featuring the 2 tenor titans, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt); Things
to Come (showing off Dizzy's great Big Band); Jazz at Massey Hall (with Charlie Parker, Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Bud Powell...the greatest collection of bebop talent ever on one stage)
Robert Pinsky (1940-) was born in Long Branch, NJ on October 20, 1940. As Poet Laureate, he has worked on the Favorite Poem Project, visit the site and add yours. Read Orrin's review of his translation ofThe Inferno (1314)(translation 1994)(Dante Alighieri 1265-1321) (translated by Robert Pinsky 1940-) (Grade: A+)
Daniel Nathan (1905-?) was born in Brooklyn, NY on October 20, 1905. Together with his cousin, Manford Lepofsky, he wrote the Ellery Queen mystery series. Read Orrin's review of There
Was an Old Woman (1943)(Grade: B)
David John Moore Cornwell Born in Poole, Dorset, October 19, 1931. Read Orrin's review of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963)(John LeCarré [David Cornwell] 1931-)
Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) was born in Flushing, NY on October 19, 1895. Read Orrin's review of The City in History (1961)(#76 on the Modern Library Top 100 Nonfiction Books of the 20th Century)
H.L. Davis, born in Yoncalla, Oregon, October 18, 1896. Davis worked as a cowboy, typesetter, and surveyor before his poems started getting published. H.L. Mencken was one of his early fans and encouraged him to try his hand at fiction. Davis went to Mexico in the early '30s and wrote his novel Honey in the Horn there, which won the 1936 Pulitzer Prize.
Wynton Marsalis (1961-) was born in New Orleans, LA on October 18, 1961.
Nathanael West (1902-40) was born in New York, NY on October 17, 1902. Read Orrin's reviews of The Day of the Locust (1939)(Grade: C-)(#73 on the Modern Library Top 100) & Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)(Grade: B)
Jean Arthur (Gladys Georgianna Greene), was born in Plattsburg, New York on October 17, 1900
Arthur Miller (1915-) was born in New York, NY on October 17, 1915. Read Orrin's review of Death of a Salesman (1949)
October 16 is the anniversary of JOHN BROWN's 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, where he and 22 men seized the Wagner House Hotel, the federal arsenal, the town firehouse, and about 30 citizens. Brown was 60 years old and a white man; his aim: to free the slaves and create an independent Negro republic. The whole thing was a disaster. Two days later a squad of Marines under Robert E. Lee battered down the firehouse door and captured Brown and his men, six of whom, including Brown, were hanged a few weeks later.
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-) was born in Iona Station, Ontario on October 15, 1908. Read Orrin's review of The Affluent Society (1958)
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was born in Prussia on October 15, 1844. Read Orrin's review of The Birth of Tragedy (1872)(Grade: C)
Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-) was born in Denison, TX on October 14, 1890. Read Orrin's review of Mayday:
Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (1986)(Michael R. Beschloss 1955-) (Grade: A)
E(dward) E(stlin) Cummings (1894-1962) was born in Cambridge, MA on October 14, 1894.
Chuck Yeager broke the Sound Barrier on October 14, 1947, flying 670 miles per hour in a Bell X-1 rocket plane. Read Orrin's review of The Right Stuff (1979)(Tom Wolfe 1931-) (Grade: A+)
Albert Jay Nock (1872-1945) was born in Scranton, PA on October 13, 1870. Read Orrin's review of Memoirs of a Superfluous Man (1943) (Grade : A+)
The blessed Margaret Thatcher (1925-) was born in Grantham, ENG on October 13, 1925. Read Orrin's review of Thatcher For Beginners (1997)(Peter Pugh and Carl Flint)
Conrad Richter (1890-1968) was born in Pine Grove, PA on October 13, 1890. Read Orrin's review of The
Light in the Forest (1953)(Grade: C)
Virgil (70 B.C.?-19 B.C.) was born in Mantua, in Cisalpine Gaul on October 13, 70 BC. Read Orrin's review of The Aeneid (19 B.C.)(Grade: A)
Elmore Leonard (1925-) was born in New Orleans, LA on October 11, 1925. Read Orrin's review of Swag (1976)(Grade: A)