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May 22 Writer Birthdays

May 22 Writer Birthdays


  • 1808 - Gérard de Nerval, pen name of French writer, translator, essayist, and Romantic poet Gérard Labrunie.

  • 1859 -Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish physician and writer, best known for his Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

  • 1907 - Hergé, Pen name of Belgian comic-book artist Georges Prosper Remi, creator of The Adventures of Tintin.

  • 1914 - Vance Packard, American journalist, editor, and author who wrote a popular series on sociology.

  • 1927 - Peter Matthiessen, National Book Award-winning American novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer, and CIA agent; co-founded The Paris Review, which he started as a cover for his CIA activities.

  • 1933 - Arnold Lobel, Caldecott Medal-winning American children's author and illustrator, known for the "Frog and Toad" picture books.

  • 1934 - Gary Wills, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist, and historian, specializing in US history, politics, and religion, especially the history of the Roman Catholic Church; best known for his book, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America.

  • 1944 - Lynn Barber, British journalist, magazine writer and editor, and memoirist.

  • 1944 - John Flanagan, Australian fantasy writer.

  • 1947 - Anthony Holden, British author, literary critic, translator, biographer, broadcaster, and poker player; 1st president of the International Federation of Poker.

  • 1959 - Andy Andrews, American novelist, self-help author, and motivational speaker.

  • 1972 - Max Brooks, horror author and screenwriter; son of comedy filmmaker Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft.

  • 1976 - Shane Koyczan, Canadian poet and "talk rock" artist.


Lobel - Frog & Toad Are FriendsDoyle - The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesWills - Lincoln at Gettysburg


P.S.: It's also the birthday of American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt (1844-1926).

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May 20 Writer Birthdays

May 20 Writer Birthdays


  • 1799 - Honore de Balzac, French novelist and playwright who is considered one of the founders of European realism.

  • 1830 - Hector Malot, French novelist, memoirist, literary critic, and theatre critic.

  • 1882 - Sigrid Undset, Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian novelist, known for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages.

  • 1890 - Allan Nevins, American historian and biographer, winner of the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Grover Cleveland.

  • 1904 - Margery Louise Allingham, English writer of detective fiction, best remembered for her "golden age" stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion.

  • 1919 - Berry Morgan (born Betty Berry Taylor Brumfield), Mississippi-born novelist, short-story writer, professor, and civil-rights activist.

  • 1936 - Glenn R. Swetman, American poet, professor, short-story writer, and playwright.

  • 1944 - Clyde Edgerton, North-Carolina-born American author and professor whose books are known for endearing characters, small-town Southern dialogue, and realistic fire-and-brimstone religious sermons.

  • 1949 - Mary Pope Osborne, American children's book author best known for her popular "Magic Tree House" series.

  • 1949 - David William Thomas, Canadian actor, screenwriter, comedian, and director.

  • 1951 - Stanley Bing (pen name for Gil Schwartz), business humorist, novelist, and columnist.

  • 1952 - Walter Isaacson, American writer and journalist.

  • 1955 - Sirivennela (Chembolu SeethaRama Sastry) – Indian poet and film lyricist who writes in the Telugu language; his work shows great versatility, but is best known for its optimism and humor.

  • 1956 - Douglas Jerome Preston, American author of thriller novels, often with collaborator Lincoln Child.

  • 1963 - Christopher Sorrentino, American novelist of Puerto Rican descent.

  • 1966 - Dan Abrams, journalist, author, television host, legal commentator, former anchor of "Nightline," and Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News.

  • 1969 - Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, editor, and biographer,

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Teaser Tuesdays: The Soul of an Octopus


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• On your blog or other social media, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday. Post a link at www.ThePurpleBooker.com/ as a response to the week's Teaser Tuesday.


My teaser this week is from a fascinating book, The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery.

"Before our eyes, Keely's octopus becomes a silken scarf, a beating heart, a gliding snail, a rock covered with algae. And then it pours itself into a hole, like water down a drain, and disappears entirely."

The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery

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May 15 Writer Birthdays



May 15 Writer Birthdays


  • 1856 - L. Frank Baum, American author who created the classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  • 1890 - Katherine Ann Porter, American novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and political activist who won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

  • 1891 - Mikhail Bulgakov, Ukrainian-born Russian writer and playwright, best known for his novel The Master & Margarita.

  • 1904 - Clifton "Kip" Fadiman, American intellectual, author, editor, and broadcaster.

  • 1911 - Max Frisch, Swiss playwright, and novelist known for his ironic works.

  • 1926 - Peter Shaffer and Anthony Joshua Shaffer, identical-twin English playwrights.

  • 1931 - Norma Fox Mazer, American author and teacher who won a Newbery Honor and was nominated for the National Book Award.

  • 1934 - John Keegan, British military historian and writer.

  • 1951 - David Almond, British author of children's and young-adult novels.

  • 1956 - Daniel Patrick Pugh, sportswriter and broadcaster.

  • 1957 - Meg Gardiner, UK-based American crime writer.

  • 1962 - Julie Otsuka, Japanese-American author known for her historical fiction; winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and finalist for the National Book Award.

  • 1967 - Laura Hillenbrand, bestselling American author of nonfiction books & magazine articles, best known for her book Seabiscuit, about the racehorse that became an unlikely champion.

  • 1969 - Lauren Myracle, American author of young-adult fiction.


Bulgakov - Baum - Mazer














Hillenbrand - Myracle - Porter


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petrini1 [userpic]

May 8 Writer Birthdays

Wheatley - Poems on Various SubjectsMay 8 Writer Birthdays


  • 1753 - Phyllis Wheatley, the first African-American woman to be published, she wrote poetry while a slave, with her owners' encouragement; George Washington was a fan of her work.

  • 1858 - J. Meade Falkner, English novelist, poet, and arms manufacturer executive.

  • 1915 - Milton Meltzer, American author and historian, known for children's nonfiction books.

  • 1920 - Sloan Wilson, American magazine writer and author, best known for his classic novel, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

  • 1922 - Mary Q. Steele, Newbery Honor-winning American author and naturalist.

  • 1930 - Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet of the Beat Generation.

  • 1937 - Thomas Pynchon, National Book Award-winning American author known for writing dense, complex novels, and for protecting his privacy.

  • 1940 - Peter Benchley, American author, editor, and screenwriter best known for his novel Jaws.

  • 1943 - Pat Barker, English author of historical fiction.

  • 1952 - Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize-winning and Oscar-nominated American playwright and screenwriter; her works often deal with Southern women.

  • 1958 - Roddy Doyle, Irish novelist, playwright, and screenwriter; most of his work is set in working-class Dublin.

  • 1963 - Robin Jarvis, British author of young-adult and children's dark fantasy & supernatural thrillers.

  • 1970 - Naomi Klein, Canadian activist and nonfiction author known for criticisms of corporate globalization.


Pynchon - Crying of Lot 49Benchley - JawsDoyle - The CommitmentsJarvis - Whitby Child

petrini1 [userpic]

May 7 Writer Birthdays

Rosen - We&apos;re Going on a Bear HuntMay 7 Writer Birthdays


  • 1711 - David Hume, Scottish historian, economist, and essayist; a key figure in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment

  • 1754 - Joseph Joubert, French moralist and essayist, unpublished until after his death.

  • 1812 - Robert Browning, English poet and playwright, married to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

  • 1861 - Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali author; first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

  • 1867 - Władysław Reymont, Nobel Prize-winning Polish epic novelist.

  • 1892 - Archibald MacLeish, American poet and Librarian of Congress; winner of three Pulitzer Prizes.

  • 1927 - Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, German-born British/American novelist and screenwriter.

  • 1931 - Gene Wolfe, American science fiction and fantasy writer.

  • 1932 - Nonny Hogrogrian, Armenian-American children's author, two-time Caldecott Medal winner.

  • 1939 - Volker Braun, German poet and playwright.

  • 1939 - William Dempsey Valgardson, Canadian poet, novelist, and short story writer.

  • 1940 - Angela Carter, English novelist.

  • 1943 - Peter Carey, Australian novelist; two-time Booker Prize winner.

  • 1946 - Michael Rosen, prolific author of children's books and poems; Children's Poet Laureate of Britain; columnist and TV presenter.

  • 1950 - Tim Russert, American journalist, lawyer, broadcaster, and author.

  • 1964 - Elliot Perlman, Australian novelist and short story writer.


Carter - The Magic Toy ShopBrowning - Robert Brownings PoetryWolfe - Shadow of the TorturerRussert - Big Russ & Me

Incidentally, today is also the birthday of not one but two important composers, Russian master Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840) and German composer and pianist Johannes Brahms (1833). The two first met in 1888, and were surprised to find that they actually liked each other, since they already knew that they hated each other's music.

petrini1 [userpic]

May 6 Writer Birthdays

May 6 Writer Birthdays


  • 1856 - Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and the founding father of psychoanalysis.

  • 1868 - Gaston Leroux, French journalist and author of detective fiction, best known for the novel The Phantom of the Opera.

  • 1902 - Harry Lewis Golden, Jewish American journalist and author who wrote satirically on race relations.

  • 1904 - Harry Martinson, Swedish sailor, author, and poet; Nobel Prize winner.

  • 1910 - Leo Lionni, Dutch author and illustrator of children's books who was also an economist, graphic designer, and architectural writer.

  • 1914 - Randall Jarrell, 1956-58 U.S. Poet Laureate.

  • 1915 - Theodore H. White, Pulitzer Prize-winning American political journalist, best known for his series of books, "The Making of the President."

  • 1915 - Orson Welles, American screenwriter, actor, and director, remembered especially for the groundbreaking film Citizen Kane and his 1938 radio broadcast of the H.G. Wells book War of the Worlds, which caused widespread panic when listeners who tuned in late mistook it for a news broadcast about a real Martian invasion.

  • 1935 - Ted Lewin, Caldecott Honor-winning American children's book author and illustrator.

  • 1942 - Vladimiro Ariel Dorfman, Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, and human-rights activist.

  • 1950 - Jeffrey Deaver, bestselling American mystery and crime-novel writer.

  • 1956 - Sujata Bhatt, Indian-American poet and translator.

  • 1963 - Allie Larkin, screenwriter and bestselling novelist.


Martinson - AniaraLewin - StableDeaver - The Bone Collector

petrini1 [userpic]

Group Mailart Project

This year I took part once again in LetterMo, also known as The Month of Letters. For the month of February, the goal was to send out at least one piece of mail per day (on days with postal service) and to answer every letter or card received. The LetterMo site has forums on which letter writers can ask questions, hold discussions, and meet up online with like-minded people around the world. On one of those forums, a group of us decided to send around an envelope that we would all take turns decorating. Mailart is an artistic movement focused on sending small-scale artwork through the postal service, often in the form of decorated envelopes.

Ria began the mailart piece by partially decorating an envelope and filling it with instructions and address labels. The idea was that it would circle around to a group of us, and each person would add some art, using any media we wanted. Ria chose to draw some excellent seahorses on the front of the envelope. Here is what it looked like (minus addresses, which I have blanked out) when I received it:


I was late getting to this, and in the end, we went way past February but decided to keep it up anyway. I loved Ria's color scheme and the underwater motif, so I continued with it in my own decorations, in colored pencil and black marker, and even had a fish-related stamp to add. Here is what the envelope looked like when I sent it on to the next person on the list, Sarah:



I haven't seen what Sarah might have done with it, and I'm not sure if we're stopping at the original three of us who had signed up, or if we've added anyone since the project began. If others find the front of the envelope too full, they can draw on the back. Covering up the already-canceled postage stamps (especially the non-theme-related canteloupe stamp) and making use of that space is allowed, too.

I love where this is going, and I can't wait to see the finished product!

petrini1 [userpic]

May 3 Writer Birthdays

May 3 Writer Birthdays


  • 1469 - Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian, politician, philosopher, and writer who is widely considered the founder of modern political science and is best known for his handbook for unscrupulous politicians, The Prince.

  • 1843 - Edward Dowden, Irish critic and poet.

  • 1849 - Jacob Riis, Danish-born "muck-raking" journalist, photographer, and social reformer who shocked his readers by shining a spotlight on the squalid living conditions in New York City tenements.

  • 1853 - Edgar Watson Howe, American novelist who was also a newspaper and magazine editor.

  • 1859 - Andy Adams, American author of western fiction about cowboys.

  • 1896 - Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith, English children's novelist and playwright, known best for the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

  • 1907 - Harvey Earl Wilson, American journalist, gossip columnist, and author,

  • 1912 - May Sarton, pen name of Belgian-born Eleanore Marie Sarton, an American poet, novelist, and memoirist.

  • 1917 - Betty Comden, American screenwriter, songwriter, playwright, lyricist, and memoirist who began writing musicals with her working partner Adolph Green because they couldn't find work as actors; their work includes some of the most celebrated musicals in history, such as Singing in the Rain, Peter Pan, Auntie Mame, and On the Town.

  • 1924 - Yehuda Amichai, German-born Israeli poet who is considered by many to be Israel's greatest modern poet

  • 1947 - Mavis Jukes, Newbery Medal-winning American author of children's fiction and nonfiction books who often writes on health-related issues.

  • 1948 - Leslie Marmon Silko, Native American (U.S.) novelist, poet, and essayist.

  • 1951 - Tatyana Nikitichna Tolstaya, Russian writer, TV host, publicist, novelist, and essayist who is the granddaughter of famous writer Leo Tolstoy.

  • 1959 - Ben Elton, English comedian, author, actor, director, screenwriter, and playwright, known for political satire; his work includes writing for television series such as Blackadder and a sequel to Phantom of the Opera.

  • 1965 - Ninotchka "Nina" García, Colombian fashion journalist, editor, and critic

  • 1972 - Reza Aslan, Iranian-born American author, commentator, and religious scholar.


petrini1 [userpic]

May 2 Writer Birthdays

Catherine the Great
May 2 Writer Birthdays


  • 1551 - William Camden, leading English historian.

  • 1729 - Catherine the Great (Yekaterina Alexeevna, born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg), Empress of Russia, presiding over Russia's Golden Age; also wrote memoirs, comedic plays, fiction and a book about pedagogy. (That's her, to the right.)

  • 1772 - Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (pseudonym Novalis) early German Romantic poet, author, and philosopher.

  • 1779 - John Galt, Scottish explorer and prolific novelist.

  • 1837 - Henry Martyn Robert, U.S. Army Brigadier General who authored Robert's Rules of Order, the widely used manual of parliamentary procedure that remains the most common parliamentary authority in the U.S. today.

  • 1859 - Jerome K. Jerome, English playwright, journalist, editor, andd author of humorous novels, best known for the travelogue Three Men in a Boat.

  • 1860 - Theodor Herzl, Austro-Hungarian Jewish playwright, journalist, and activist; the father of modern Zionism.

  • 1872 - Ichiyo Higuchi (Higuchi Natsu), Japanese novelist, poet, and diarist.

  • 1890 - Hedda Hopper, American actress, journalist, and iconic gossip columnist.

  • 1890 - E.E. Smith, American food engineer and early science fiction author; known as the father of space opera.

  • 1903 - Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician whose baby-care book was a huge bestseller for decades.

  • 1921 - Satyajit Ray, Indian film director, screenwriter, fiction writer, film critic, and calligrapher.

  • 1931 - Martha Grimes, American author of detective fiction.

  • 1936 - Kwon-taek Im (or Im Kwon Taek), Korean film director and screenwriter.

  • 1949 - Alan Titchmarsh, English broadcaster, gardening journalist, and novelist.


Jerome - Three Men in a BoatSpock - Baby & Child CareGrimes - The Way of All Fish

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Teaser Tuesday: Towers Falling, by Jewell Parker Rhodes


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• On your blog or other social media, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday. Post a link at www.ThePurpleBooker.com/ as a response to the week's Teaser Tuesday.


My teaser this week is from a wonderful new book for middle-grade (grades 4-6) readers, Towers Falling, which powerfully addresses two difficult topics: 9/11, and homelessness.

“The hardest word for me to say is please. Being poor, you've sometimes got to ask for stuff - food, toothpaste, even soap. I don't want to ask anybody for anything.” ― Towers Falling, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

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April 27 Writer Birthdays


April 27 Writer Birthdays


  • 1737 - Edward Gibbon, English historian and politician, known for his major work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

  • 1759 - Mary Wollstonecraft, British writer and woman's rights pioneer; mother of author Mary Shelley.

  • 1898 - Ludwig Bemelmans, Austria-Hungary born American writer, known for the Madeline children's books.

  • 1904 - Cecil Day-Lewis, Anglo-Irish poet (pen name Nicholas Blake) who was U.K. Poet Laureate; father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

  • 1913 - Irving Adler, American author of science books, primarily for children, some under the name Robert Irving.

  • 1920 - Edwin Morgan, Scottish Renaissance poet and translator.

  • 1927 - Coretta Scott King, author, activist, and civil rights leader; wife of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 1934 - Jean Valentine, National Book Award-winning poet and New York Poet Laureate.

  • 1937 - Adam Clymer, American journalist and political reporter.

  • 1942 - Ruth Glick, American author of cookbooks, romances, and YA novels, some under the pseudonym Rebecca York.

  • 1945 - August Wilson, American playwright who won 2 Pulitzer Prizes.

  • 1959 - Nicholas D. Kristof, American journalist, columnist, and author who won 2 Pulitzer Prizes.

  • 1963 - Russell T. Davies (real name Stephen Russell Davies), British screenwriter best known for his 2005 revival of Doctor Who.


    Wollstonecraft - A Vindication of the Rights of WomenWilson - The Piano LessonDavies - Doctor Who a Writers Tale

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