An NU Alumni Sampler

NU alum Charlton Heston

All dressed up in its purple best, Northwestern University celebrated last week as it sent a new graduating class out into the world, and odds are good this won’t be the last you hear of them.  Over the years, you see, NU has become a veritable assembly line of notable alums – a fact comedian Stephen Colbert duly noted during his much-anticipated commencement address. “Northwestern’s alumni list is truly impressive,” said the 1987 NU grad.  “This university has graduated bestselling authors, Olympians, presidential candidates, Grammy winners, Peabody winners, Emmy winners – and that’s just me.”  All kidding aside, though, he’s right.  From Saul Bellow and Cloris Leachman to Steve Albini and Dan Chaon, Wildcat grads are clearly an accomplished bunch.  So to honor their achievements both past and future, we present the following eclectic list of books, movies, and music from some of Northwestern’s talented very own.  Enjoy, and stay tuned.  The list is growing.

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It All Ends 7.15

Or so says the Warner Brothers poster for the July 15th release of the final film in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2.

But for diehard HP fans (and yours truly here may be among the oldest), it will never end. The multitude of excellent websites available to fans of J. K. Rowling’s addictive books are as active as ever with essays, discussions, debates, side stories, fan fiction offerings, trivia quizzes, and more. My personal favorite is the HP Lexicon, which offers extensive resources for reviewing plot, characters, time lines, essays, magical terminology, and much more. It’s my “go to” site for any question involving HP that I don’t know the answer to outright.  Rowling herself has hosted a wonderfully fun and challenging interactive site, and has just announced the creation of a new site:  pottermore.com. These articles from USA Today and the The Telegraph report what’s known so far about the new site. Rowling will make an official announcement about this new Potter project on Thursday, July 23.  Alas, to those fans who hope the new site might mean an eighth Harry Potter book is in the works, Rowling still holds that she had always planned Harry Potter as a 7-book story and that’s what it will stay.

For those just discovering Harry Potter and for those revisiting all things Potter-related, find books, movies, and more at the Evanston Public Library catalog.

Barbara L.

A Bookmobile of the Future

Today while reading a blog put out by my new favorite magazine Mental Floss, we subscribe to it here at EPL if you would like to take a look, I learned about a book tank created by Argentinean artist, Raul Lemesoff , that he calls a “weapon of mass instruction.” Raul travels around the cities of Argentina and remote areas of the country, where books are not as readily available, giving out free books in a Ford Falcon once owned by the Argentinean armed forces but now covered by over 900 hardcover books. Raul says that his project is “a contribution to peace through literature,” and aims to “bring literature where it cannot be found.” Peace through literature, pretty cool Raul.

Rika G.

Writer Patrick Leigh Fermor Dead at 96

The great writer/traveler and WW II hero Patrick Leigh Fermor died on June 10 in England. Fermor’s best known books,  A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, recounted his travels by foot from England to the Balkans just before World War II. During World War II, he and a friend hatched a plot to kidnap a German commander on Crete, a feat that was made into the movie Ill Met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde. For more on Fermor, see The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian  newspapers.

Mary B., Reader’s Services

An Interview with Carolyn Armenta Davis

An international lecturer, historian, and writer, Carolyn Armenta Davis brings her illustrated presentation The Art of Architecture: 21st Century African/Black Diaspora to EPL’s 1st Floor Community Room tomorrow at 4 p.m.  Updating her landmark exhibition project Design Diaspora: Black Architects and International Architecture 1970-1990, the Art of Architecture showcases the work of over 20 Black architects from the US, Europe, and Africa while exploring the different cultural, economic, political, and sustainability issues that impact their architecture.  In anticipation of her visit, we recently spoke with Ms. Davis via email about her interest in Black architecture, her future projects, and how you can learn more about African, Afro-European, and African-American architects and their work. Continue reading

Bond With Your Kids, Better Their Lives Through Reading

A recent study is out examining the direct relationship between the literacy of young children and their future behavior and success. The authors at Purdue University stress the benefits of adults reading to young children between the ages of 3 to 5. As a parent, I’ve seen the positive impact in so many ways on my children, and it’s been an additional joy to see how they have embraced reading. Critical thinking, powers of observation, social cues, and a sense of humor are all nurtured by the process of being read to, not to mention the building of closer relationships.

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