Tag Archives: John Steinbeck

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to social novelist, poet, and artist Victor Hugo, born February 26, 1802 in Besancon, France. Thanks to Les Mis, his work still is enjoyed all over the world, and, perhaps, has inspired a few to read him. Could be worse.

Happy 86th birthday to Johnny Cash, born into a farming family in Kingsland, Arkansas, February 26, 1932.

Birthday greetings to John Steinbeck, born February 27, 1902 in Salinas, CA.

Maybe the great American novelist.

Happy birthday to the versatile Robert Lowell, born March 1, 1917 in Boston. His schoolboy friends gave him the nickname Cal for Caligula. Must have been an unusual kid.

March 2, 1933: As the Great Depression drags on, 50,000 New Yorkers crowd Radio City and the neighboring Roxy theater on 49th St. from morning til night to be the first crop to see King Kong before it opened nationwide April 7.

At Radio City the film is accompanied by a stage show called the Jungle Review. Tickets cost 35 cents for a morning show and 50 cents for a matinee, while the price jumped to 75 cents for an evening performance.

Happy 85th anniversary, big guy! You’re beautiful and still “the thrill of a lifetime.”

Not coincidentally, March 2 also is the birthday of Willis O’Brien, the stop-motion animation pioneer who brought Kong to life. Obie was born in Oakland, CA in 1886 (That’s him below on the left talking to producer Merian C. Cooper with the full-size Kong head).

Michael Rogers (mermsr@optimum.net) is a Jesse H. Neal Gold Award-winning freelance writer, editor, reviewer, and photographer. He is also former Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal.

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 85th birthday to Johnny Cash, born into a farming family in Kingsland, Arkansas, February 26, 1932.

Before finding success, Cash held a variety of mundane jobs including a stint as an appliance salesman. A few years later you can picture some guy sitting in his living room with his wife’s meatloaf and mashed sitting in his stomach like an anchor watching Cash on the TV, scratching his head thinking, “Didn’t we buy the washing machine from that guy?”

Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Audiobook Highlight: The Short Reign of Pippin IV by John Steinbeck

Audiobooks are ebooks. Listening is learning. In an effort to raise awareness among readers and all who work with books about the versatility of digital literacy, NSR occasionally publishes audiobook reviews of titles of exceptional quality to draw attention to the subtle (but consistent) ways in which formats are blurring in digital environments.
This week’s pick is John Steinbeck’s The Short Reign of Pippin IV. In the words of NSR reviewer, “with current headlines, this political screwball comedy will be much appreciated.”

Z04217_image_148x230[1]Title: The Short Reign of Pippin IV
Author: John Steinbeck
Narrator: Jefferson Mays
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: 2016

Duration: 4 hours

Reviewed for NSR by Michael Rogers (Babylon, New York)


John Steinbeck often tackles the affairs of the common man and the political climate that impacts him, but usually in a serious tone (The Grapes of Wrath isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs). This 1957 novel also incorporates those themes, but Steinbeck shows a different side of himself by presenting them in a wicked satire so biting that Jonathan Swift would be envious. Continue reading Audiobook Highlight: The Short Reign of Pippin IV by John Steinbeck