Archive for August, 2009

Become a Human Being… Read Penrod

At vere loqui, Martin Cothran has taken a very interesting spin on what makes great children’s books and why. His thesis is that good books help kids socialize themselves without having to learn everything through firsthand experience (and mistakes!). Of Penrod he says, “Penrod is a boy who is having trouble figuring out the rules of the adult world, and the adults are having trouble figuring out why Penrod can’t figure them out.” So typical.

Indiana Library Talks Tark

This Thursday, August 13, from noon to 1:00, the Bristol-Washington Township Public Library Book Club will be discussing the works of Booth Tarkington. Here are the details from the library’s calendar: “Read a book by an Indiana author, Booth Tarkington. Join us as we share our impression, and opinions. For more information, call the library, 848-7458. Contact: Daryl or Treva.”

Free Tarkington Audio Books

According the website, “LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.” So far, four complete Booth Tarkington titles are available. I can’t vouch for the quality of any of these recordings, but the site sounds like a cool idea!

Beasley To Be Staged As Musical

Three years ago, I wrote my own stage adaptation of Beasley’s Christmas Party, also including elements of Tarkington’s Ramsay Milholland. Last year, the off-Broadway Keen Company staged their own dramatic adaptation. Now it’s a musical! Those who have ears, take note. Clearly there’s something to this story, which Mark Twain even noted when the story was originally released.

Wanna Buy Into Tarkington?

4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home. Beautiful open floor plan. Kitchen with maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, sandstone tile backsplash and huge island. Hardwood floors. Large family room fireplace and wall of windows. 1st-floor den with French doors. Master suite with tray ceiling and Grecian bath. Finished basement. 3-car garage. Got $400k or so to drop?

Ambersons a Last-Minute Pick?

At Collecting Children’s Books, Peter D. Sieruta has delivered a very extensive and interesting commentary on the dilemma of awards in an essay title “A Year Without a Newbery?” The issue is whether the significance of awards gets watered down in years when the talent pool is very shallow. He opens the essay by talking about Pulitzer, Tarkington, and The Magnificent Ambersons.