Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blueberry Girl

I was admiring the photo sent from the proud Nana of Alaina Grace Clapp (Griff's sister is now Nana to a beautiful baby girl -- congratulations to Natalie and Andrew, the proud parents and Dillon the big brother) and thinking about the years of fun I was going to have in picking out books for little girls -- this is the first baby since I have become a bookseller -- and I remembered "Blueberry Girl" which was published in March of this year.

This is a prayer for a blueberry girl . . .

A much-loved baby grows into a young woman: brave, adventurous, and lucky. Exploring, traveling, bathed in sunshine, surrounded by the wonders of the world. What every new parent or parent-to-be dreams of for her child, what every girl dreams of for herself.

Let me go places that we've never been, trust and delight in her youth.

Nationally bestselling author Neil Gaiman wrote "Blueberry Girl" for a friend who was about to become the mother of a little girl. Here, he and beloved illustrator Charles Vess turn this deeply personal wish for a new daughter into a book that celebrates the glory of growing up

Give her all these and a little bit more, gifts for a blueberry girl.

Listen as Neil Gaiman reads "Blueberry Girl"

So when you are looking for something special next month, don't forget this wonderful new picture book. "Blueberry Girl" would make a perfect gift for the girl embarking on any of the journeys of her life, for her parents, and for anyone who loves her.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Frank Yturria Booksigning at Paragraphs

Frank Yturria will discuss and sign “The Patriarch” on Friday November 6, 2009 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The book “The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Extraordinary Times of Francisco Yturria" tells the story of Francisco “Don Pancho" Yturria, an authentic Texas giant and business baron who shaped South Texas.

Penned by his great grandson, Frank Yturria, and published by UTB/TSC, this book is based on never-before published family documents and stories and provides a fascinating and intimate look at one of South Texas founding fathers.

Pancho Yturria’s legacy includes a vast archive of business and personal papers that his great-grandson, Frank Yturria, has mined – along with family sources – to produce The Patriarch, a richly – detailed and often heart – stopping portrait of this singular figure in Texas history. Not only does Frank trace the birth and progress of his great grandfather’s career in commerce, he also serves up a rare, first – person witness to the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s bare – knuckle political history, its many bloody conflicts, as well as the internal narrative of the Yturria family itself, a bittersweet saga of high drama, humor, adventure and, on occasion, utter heartbreak.

"The Patriarch" is both a gripping epic and a unique look at an exceptionable man and his extraordinary times.

Book sale profits benefit the Arnulfo. L. Oliveira Literary Society and support the development of UTB/TSC’s John H. Hunter Archives and Special Collections Room. “I want to support the Hunter Room because that’s where all the history of the area is collected, Frank Yturria stated. Yturria further elaborated that “Brownsville has been declared the most historical city in Texas, next to San Antonio, yet we have people living in Brownsville who don’t know much at all about our rich heritage."
Anyone interested in the history of South Texas or the Rio Grande Valley should try to make this event. I am looking forward to it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Distinguished Lecture Series Hosts George Friedman

Conventional analysis suffers from a profound failure of imagination. It imagines passing clouds to be permanent and is blind to powerful, long-term shifts taking place in full view of the world.
--George Friedman

George Friedman looks to the future in his provocative new book, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century and offers a preview of what we can expect to happen around the world based on an exploration of history and geo-political patterns dating back hundreds of years. He shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, at the dawn of a new era and shatters some of the out-dated assumptions which still linger from our past.

According to Friedman, in the century ahead, there will be wars fought from space, between nations that are friendly with each other today. Populations will decline and industrialized nations will compete for immigrant labor. Poland, Turkey, Mexico and Japan will emerge as great powers.

Dr. George Friedman, the founder and chief executive officer of STRATFOR, a global intelligence company based in Austin, TX, will be the featured speaker at the UTB/TSC 2009 Distinguished Lecture Series. He will speak at 7 p.m.,Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Science, Engineering and Technology Building Lecture Hall.

Advanced ticket purchases are recommended for the evening lecture as there is limited seating.

General admission tickets are $150 per person and include admission to the post-lecture reception in the courtyard of the Science, Engineering and Technology Building.

Individual sponsor tickets are $250 and include admission to the pre-lecture reception in the third floor conference room of SETB, the post-lecture reception, and preferred seating.

Books will be available for purchase at the evening lecture.

The Distinguished Lecture Series supports the President’s Circle and provides support for student and faculty trips, research and projects for which state funds are not available.

In conjunction with the fundraising event, Freidman will speak to high school and college students in a separate lecture. The winners of the Distinguished Lecture Series essay contest will be announced at the student lecture on Tuesday, Oct.13 at 10 a.m. in the Jacob Brown Auditorium.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call the UTB/TSC Office of Development at (956) 882-4332

And, if you can't make the lecture but are interested in the book, we have it on hand at Paragraphs.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder...

Every once in a while I read something that I just need to share.

The Diary of Anne Frank has been produced on Broadway several times beginning on this day in 1955. While always a hit the reviews have been mixed. The 1997 New York production, which had a script reworked by Wendy Kesselman, met with harsh criticism from Cynthia Ozick and Vincent Canby as described in Today in Literature:
Ozick says of the 1997 production:
the Diary had been "bowdlerized, distorted, transmuted, traduced, reduced; it has been infantilized, Americanized, homogenized, sentimentalized; falsified, kitschified, and, in fact, blatantly and arrogantly denied."
Canby complains in a similar vein when he describes the "earnestly artificial" Anne as "having been directed to behave in a fashion that might have embarrassed even Sandra Dee's Gidget."
But the part of the story I wanted to share was the incident which Canby relates in the same review:
Anne and Margot Frank in 1933

This production will be of interest mainly to those who have never before encountered "The Diary," like the woman in her 20s who sat in front of me the night I saw the play. As her escort was whispering in her ear just before the performance began, she suddenly drew back and stared at him in surprise. "You mean," she said, "she dies at the end?"
Sometimes I wonder...

For more about Anne Frank visit the Anne Frank Museum website.