Archive for July 28, 2011

Gold, Guns and Damsels

Three new books dealing with the history of the American West–always a subject of fascination– worth checking out:

The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the American West and the Yukon Gold Rush

The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral and How It Changed America

Nothing Daunted:  The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West


Walter Newberry

Walter Newberry was born in East Windsor, Connecticut in 1804. He went into the shipping business and was very successful. He branched out into banking and real estate. He became enormously wealthy and a philanthropist. He died aboard a ship in 1868 and was placed in a barrel of rum. The body was shipped back to Chicago and rolled to the cemetery and buried! One of his bequests was the Newberry Library in Chicago which is a two million volume research library in the humanities.

Danbury Civil War Hero

Nathan Hickock of Danbury was one of 1522 Civil War Medal of Honor winners. Hickock’s valor included capturing a Confederate flag. In 2004 the City of Danbury recognized this veteran with a ceremony and dedication of a plaque at the War Memorial. Read more about Hickock in  the News Times article.

The 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War is being recognized at the library with One Book One Lake events including movies: Gettysburg on 7/11 and Glory on 7/18 and Civil War author Jeff Shaara’s appearance at the Ives Concert Hall on July 25th.

Samuel Griswold Taylor

Samuel Griswold Taylor (1793-1860) was an American author who wrote under the pseudonym “Peter Parley.” He was born in Ridgefield and was largely self-educated. He came to Danbury in 1808 to work in the country store of Amos Cooke who was his father-in-law. He subsequently went to Hartford and became a bookseller and publisher. He also became the editor of the magazine The Token in Boston. He was responsile for the initial appearance in print of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadswoth Longfellow. He enjoyed a hugely successful career as a children’s author. One of his titles Peter Parley’s Geography for Children is estimated to have sold 2,000,000 copies!

Stephanie Plum is Back

Summer kicks off once again with a new one in Janet Evanovich’s numbered series–Smokin’ Seventeen featuring Stephanie Plum and the gang. We find bounty hunter Stephanie still torn between the two men in her life when a third appears on the scene. Add to that an elderly vampire, the usual fires and hijinks. Evanovich has another winner on her hands–218,000 copies were sold the first day according to PW.

The movie version of the first in this series, One for the Money had a June release date which has been rescheduled until Januarey. News reports indicate Katherine Heigl’s performance as Stephanie is less than spectacular. Even if the movie had rave reviews I wouldn’t go see it. I prefer my own image of the gang–no mere mortal could come close to my version of Ranger.