What’s it take to write first major biography of comedy icon Bill Cosby? Years of persistence. Mark Whitaker discussed his path to writing “Cosby: His Life and Times” at Library HQ last night. After repeatedly being turned down for interview requests, Whitaker kept in touch with Mr. Cosby’s publicist, who after a while, started to send him links to articles with the note, “Mr. C. wants you to see this.” After a few months, Whitaker got a call from Cosby’s lawyers, saying that Cosby was going to call him.
While having access to Cosby was good, it wasn’t always predictable–Cosby would call unexpectedly, and Whitaker found that once he was on the phone, it was never going to be a short conversation, as Cosby would love to tell stories.
October is jam-packed with author events at SLCL. Get the full schedule here.
More than 100 super fans of author Nancy Horan came to Library Headquarters to meet the author and hear her talk about her newest historical novel, “Under the Wide and Starry Sky.” They were worthy of being called super fans because when the author asked how many had read her previous bestseller, “Loving Frank,” nearly everyone raised a hand. Ms. Horan talked about both books and how she finds inspiration for her work before signing copies. More photos here.
Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser discussed his new book, “Command and Control” at Library HQ last night. The book focuses on the U.S. government’s efforts to control its nuclear arsenal (“the most dangerous machines ever built”) during the Cold War. During his six years of research, it became pretty clear that humans are “better at creating machines than managing them.” There were numerous examples where weapons were close to slipping out of our control, not because of sabotage or malicious intent, but because of simple little things that could, unintentionally, have risked the lives of thousands, if not millions of lives.
Don’t miss another exciting author event at SLCL. Get the full schedule here.
Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley discussed her book “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way” at Library HQ last night. The event was the final Read St. Louis program for the year.
Ms. Ripley interviewed exchange students from countries who consistently test well–Poland, South Korea and Finland–for “a chance to see what’s possible.” Rather than saying the US is getting dumber, Ms. Ripley noted that some countries are getting smarter, faster. You’ll have to read the book to find out what she discovered!
Don’t miss another exciting author event at SLCL. Get the full fall author schedule here.
Mystery writer Reed Farrel Coleman stopped by Library HQ last night to discuss his latest book in the Robert B. Parker series, “Blind Spot.” You can see more photos from the event here. Be sure and check out the fall author line-up over here.
Who doesn’t love a kazoo? Kids had a blast learning to play this hilarious instrument at the Can You Kazoo program at Library HQ last week. The event was part of the Art @ Your Library series, which is all about music this month. Get the full Art @ Your Library schedule here.
Curtis Sittenfeld gave her first book talk at SLCL last night, but it wasn’t her first time at an author event. Ms. Sittenfeld remembered coming to see Jonathan Franzen, another St. Louis author, speak at the library after first moving to the city. She said seeing the room all a buzz for a local writer helped her more connected to St. Louis.
Sittenfeld’s latest book, “Sisterland,” takes place in St. Louis, so she went about making sure all the details were right. She thought she might have got TOO caught up in the details when she found herself studying bus schedules to see if a character would walk or ride the bus home.
September is a busy month for author events at SLCL! Get the full schedule here.
St. Louis historian Elizabeth Terry discussed her book about the legendary Faust family last night at Library HQ. Three generations of Fausts made St. Louis home after patriarch Tony Faust immigrated from Germany in the 1800s. He opened a restaurant known for oysters, and his grandson, Leicester, built a farm known for its Angus cattle (hence the title of the book, “Oysters to Angus.”) As St. Louis expanded, Leicester wanted to preserve the farm, and began talking with the county to transition the land into a park, the tale of which is told in the book. Today Faust park stands as one of St. Louis County’s most unique public parks.
Author Vanessa Davis Griggs led a group of 25 people in a lively discussion of her books at the Natural Bridge Branch on Saturday. Ms. Griggs, of Birmingham, AL, writes inspirational fiction. Her newest book, “Ray of Hope,” contains a character that brought several people to the program just to ask whether she is a real person.
Ms. Griggs is a firm believer in public libraries, and so are her fans.
”I have a card that’s better than American Express, MasterCard and Discover put together. I have a library card,” she said to applause and words of support from the audience.
Is your favorite author visiting the library? Find out here.
Students waiting for classes to start in the Ferguson-Florissant School District found plenty to keep them busy at the Florissant Valley Branch today. The branch is providing art supplies, board games, LEGOs and other fun activities for the remainder of the week (August 20-22) from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The Magic House will be there with make and take projects, and a free lunch will be offered at 12:00 p.m. courtesy of Operation Food Search. There is not cost to attend, students are welcome to drop by at any time. Call 314-994-3300 for more information.
More photos from today can be seen here.