Shirley Jackson (1919-65) was born in San Francisco, CA on December 14, 1919. Read Orrin & Guest reviews of The Lottery (1948)(Grade: A) & Orrin's reviews of The Sundial (1958) (Grade: B-) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962)(Grade: A+)
Gustave Flaubert (1821-80) was born in Rouen, France on December 12, 1821. Read Orrin's review of Madame Bovary (1857)(translated by Lowell Bair) (Grade: B+)
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey on December 12, 1915.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-) in Kislovodsk, Russia on December 11, 1918. Read Orrin's review of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1963)(Grade: A+)
Thomas McGuane (1939-) was born in Wyandotte, MI on December 11, 1939. Brothers Judd recommends his collection of hunting and fishing stories
An Outside Chance
Jim Harrison (1937-) was born in Grayling, MI on December 11, 1937. Brothers Judd recommends his novel The Legends of the Fall
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (1926-84) was born in Montgomery, AL
on December 11, 1926. Brothers Judd recommends the album Ball N Chain
Naguib Mahfouz (1911-) was born in Cairo, Egypt on December 11, 1911. Read Orrin's review of Palace of Desire: Book II of the Cairo Trilogy (1957) (Grade: C+)
Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947) was born in New York, NY on December 11, 1882.
Rumer Godden (1907-98) was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, ENG on December 10, 1907. Read Orrin's review of Black Narcissus (1939)(Grade: B)
Mary Norton (1903-93) was born in London, ENG on December 10, 1903. She wrote the great childrens book The Borrowers (1953)
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was born in Amherst, MA on December 10, 1830. Brothers Judd recommends The Collected Poems
Breaker Morant, also known as Harry Harbord Morant was born in Bridgwater, England on December 9, 1864. Read Orrin's review of Breaker Morant (1979) (directed by Bruce Beresford 1940-).
John Milton (1608-) was born in Cheapside, London on December 9, 1608. His masterpiece Paradise Lost (1667) was written after he went blind and took five years to complete.
Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908) was born near Eatonton, GA on December 9, 1848. He wrote the terrific series of Uncle Remus stories.
Dalton Trumbo (1905-76), an unrepentant Communist justifiably blacklisted as part of the Hollywood Ten, was born in Montrose, CO on December 9, 1905. Read Orrin's review of his National Book Award winning Johnny Got His Gun (1939)(Grade: F)
Richard Llewellyn (1906-1983) was born in Wales on December 8, 1906. Read Orrin's review of How Green Was My Valley (1939)(Grade: A+)
Mary Gordon (1949-) was born on Long Island, NY on December 8, 1949.
Elsie Crisler Segar (1894-?), the creator of "Popeye," was born in Chester, IL on December 8, 1894.
James Thurber (1894-1961) was born in Columbus, OH on December 8, 1894. Brothers Judd recommends the Library of America collection: James Thurber: Writings and Drawings and Thurber on Crime (James Thurber 1894-1961)(edited by Robert Lopresti) (Read Orrin's review.)
Ron Hansen was born December 8, 1947. He was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Read Orrin's review of Mariette in Ecstasy (1991) (Ron Hansen 1947-).
Hervey Allen (1889-1949), author of the epic historical novel Anthony Adverse (1933), was born in Pittsburgh, PA on December 8, 1889.
Willa Cather (1873-1947) was born near Winchester, VA on December 7, 1873. Read Orrin's review of Death Comes to the Archbishop (1927)(Grade: C)
Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) was born in Gustafs, Sweden on December 6, 1898.
Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) was born in New Brunswick, NJ on December 6, 1886. Best remembered for his poem Trees, it seems likely that he is the only poet memorialized by having a Turnpike Rest Area named in his honor.
Walt Disney (1901-66) was born in Chicago, IL on December 5, 1901. Griffin Judd particularly recommends Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
Calvin Trillin (1935-) was born in Kansas City, MO on December 5, 1935. Brothers Judd recommends his very funny Tummy Trilogy.
Martin Van Buren (1782?1862) was born in Kinderhook, NY on December 5, 1782. He was the first non-Adams not to be reelected President.
George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) was born in New Rumley, OH on December 5, 1839. Read Orrin's review of The Fatal Environment : The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800-1890 (1985)(Richard Slotkin) (Grade: B-)
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was born in Nottinghamshire, ENG on December 4, 1835. Read Orrin's review of The Way of All Flesh (1903)
Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague on December 4, 1875. The Brothers Judd recommend Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910) (Rainer Maria Rilke 1875-1926)(translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Joseph (Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) Conrad (1857-1924) was born in Berdichev, Poland (now Ukraine) on December 3, 1857. Read Orrin's reviews of Lord Jim (1900)(Grade: B), Heart of Darkness (1902)(Grade: A), & The Secret Agent (1920)(Grade: B)
Nikos Kazantzakis (1885-1957) was born in Iraklion, Crete on December 2, 1885. Read Orrin's review of The Last Temptation of Christ (1960)(Grade: C+)
Rex Stout (1896-1975) was born in Noblesville, IN on December 1, 1896 Read Orrin's review of Fer-de-Lance: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (1934)(Grade: A)
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) was born in Florida, MO on November 30, 1835. Read Orrin's review of The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) (Grade: A-)
Jacques Barzun (1907-) was born on November 30, 1907. Read Orrin's review of The Culture We Deserve (1989)(Grade : A)
Michael Beschloss (1955-) was born in Chicago, IL on November 30, 1955. Read Orrin's review of Mayday:
Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (1986)(Grade: A)
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was born in Belfast, Ireland on November 29, 1898. Read Orrin's review of The Screwtape Letters (1943) (Grade: A+)
Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time (1962) and Two-Part Invention : The Story of a Marriage (1988), was born November 29, 1918 in New York, N.Y.
William Blake, born in London (1757)
James Agee (1909-55) was born in Knoxville, TN on November 27, 1909. Read Orrin's review of A Death in the Family (1957)(Grade: C)
Bruce Lee (Lee Yuen Kam)(1940-73) was born in San Francisco, CA on November 27, 1940. Brothers Judd recommends the excellent biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)
Gerald Seymour (1941-) was born on November 25, 1941. Read Orrin's review ofArchangel (1982) (Grade: A+)
Harry Stein (1948-) was born in New York, NY on November 25, 1948. Read Orrin's reviews of How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace) (2000)(Grade: A-) and Hoopla (1983)(Grade: B+)
Carlo Collodi (1826-90) was born in Florence, Italy on November 24, 1826. Read
Orrin's review of Pinocchio (1940)
William F. Buckley (1925-) was born in New York, NY on November 24, 1925. Read Orrin's review of The Unmaking of a Mayor (1966)(Grade: A+)
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was born in Manchester, ENG on November 24, 1849. Read Orrin's review of her classic, The Secret Garden (1911)
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) was born in Hillsborough (now Hillsboro), NH on November 23, 1804. Despite being a favorite son, even Granite Staters acknowledge that he was one of our worst presidents.