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Rest in Peace

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It’s that time of year again when we reflect on the year nearly complete, analyze, summarize, recall those who have passed from our lives, and consider what they have meant to us along the way.

In the reading world, we remember writers who have touched us in one way or another, with delight, wonder, amusement, admiration, joy, sadness and sorrow.

In 2010, the world lost perhaps the last living connection to Anne Frank with the death of Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who sheltered the Franks from the Nazis and who gave Anne precious time to write her remarkable diary.  She recalls the experience in Anne Frank Remembered.

Erich Segal, a professor of classics at Yale, was more popularly known as the author of Love Story, which was made into a still more famous movie starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal.

Robert B. Parker was the prolific writer of the Spenser and other mysteries.

Historian Howard Zinn wrote A People’s History of the United States to correct what he considered to be the skewed point of view of much of history as taught in traditional textbooks.

J. D. Salinger was the author of the classic Catcher in the Rye.

Ralph McInerny wrote the Father Dowling mysteries.

Dick Francis, another mystery writer, was a jockey and set many of his novels in the horse racing world.  His son is continuing the writing tradition.

Lucille Clifton, poet and children’s author, wrote Everett Anderson’s Goodbye.

Winston Spencer Churchill, grandson of the prime minister, was a journalist, later member of Parliament, and author of several books including His Father’s Son, about Randolph Churchill.

Sid Fleischman, author of many books for children, wrote The Whipping Boy, winner of the Newbery Medal.

Stewart Udall, former Secretary of the Interior under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, was responsible for preserving and protecting land ushered into the National Park system.  Interviewed for Rick Burns’ recent documentary on the National Parks, he made a striking impression as he shared articulate reminiscences wearing his white hair pulled back in a ponytail.  He wrote The National Parks of America.

Peter O’Donnell, under the pseudonym Madeleine Brent, wrote historical romances.

Art Linkletter, host of numerous television specials, wrote Kids Say the Darndest Things.

Edwin Newman was the dignified, witty television newsman who gave us Strictly Speaking: will America be the death of English? and A Civil Tongue.

Judith Merkle Riley wrote historical fiction, including A Vision of Light and In Pursuit of the Green Lion.

Tony Curtis, movie star legend, wrote American Prince: a memoir.

Belva Plain was the author of many popular novels, including Evergreen and Crescent City.

Eva Ibbotson, British author of children’s fantasies, no doubt gave J. K. Rowling an idea or two with her book, The Secret of Platform 13.

Elizabeth Edwards, whose death from cancer at the age of 61 was made all the more poignant because of the sadness of her personal life, left a legacy of encouragement and hope for others in her books, Saving Graces: finding solace and strength from friends and strangers and Resilience: reflections on the burdens and gifts of facing life’s adversities.

These are but a few of the celebrities who passed on this year.  Celebrate their lives by reading or re-reading their books.  For these and more, visit us at or call 988-2541.

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