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Monday, June 10, 2019

Archaeological dig at Andalusia (home of author Flannery O’Connor) to identify location of ‘peafowl pens’

Press release received today:

Milledgeville, June 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An archaeological dig commences tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11, at Andalusia: Home of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College in Milledgeville. The excavation could pinpoint the exact location of pens where the famed author kept her flock of more than 40 peacocks.
Female members of that richly-colored pheasant species are referred to as “peafowl.” Historical photographs show peafowl were kept in original pens near O’Connor’s “nail house”—which served as the property’s garage and storage area.

The four-day dig will run through Friday but be in full swing Wednesday and Thursday, June 12-13, said Matthew Davis, director of historic museums.

“We hope to find items that can better illustrate the life of the O’Connor family on the farm,” Davis said. “Opportunities to learn about our past are always exciting, and I look forward to seeing the discoveries that we make and can share with the public, as a result of this work.”

In August 2017, Andalusia Foundation donated the landmark to Georgia College & State University Foundation. The farmhouse was the final home of O’Connor, who graduated in 1945 from the university, then known as Georgia State College for Women. She lived on the property from 1951 until she died of lupus in 1964. During those years—influenced by the farm’s setting—O’Connor wrote the bulk of her literary work.

Georgia College updated the property by stabilizing the old farmstead. Andalusia reopened to the public last summer. Among other improvements: Historic windows and building foundations were repaired, the gutter system restored and entire electrical system replaced. Interior walls were painted in original colors and historic flooring preserved. The first full inventory of antique collections was also completed.

Andalusia now serves as a public museum and learning site for Georgia College students. The university offers historical interpretations, exhibitions and public lectures there.

“As we work towards Andalusia’s restoration, it’s important to have a full understanding of the site’s history,” Davis said. “Finding the location of these historic resources will allow us to fully articulate Andalusia’s history during the time O’Conner’s family lived at the site.”

Southern Research, Historic Preservation Consultants, Inc. of Waverly Hall, Georgia, was chosen to conduct the excavation. Its team helped develop current guidelines for historic preservation on campuses in the University System of Georgia. Co-owner and principal investigator, Dean Wood, has more than 40 years of experience protecting timeworn properties throughout the Southeast. His company has done digs in Milledgeville at several locations, including Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion

The first stage of intensive survey includes excavation using small shovels. Two archaeologists will test areas to establish potential depths of historic deposits and features. Then, a metal detector survey will be conducted.

Using information from shovel tests and metal detecting, archaeologists will lay out and excavate at least two shallow ground units, where they believe cultural items are present.

Recovered artifacts will be cleaned, identified and stabilized by electrolysis at Southern Research’s labs. A final report of methods used and the significance of artifactual findings—plus, a prediction of the exact location of O’Connor’s peafowl pens—will be submitted to the University of Georgia Laboratory of Archaeology in Athens.

The dig is open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to come watch during Andalusia’s hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Tours of the farmhouse begin on the hour with the last at 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors and pre-booked groups; $2 for students; and free for children under 6.


Friday, April 19, 2019

College of DuPage Professor Explores Chicago Area History’s Influence on the Modernist Movement in New Book

Here's an interesting press release that I received this morning. It announces a new book that I'd love to read.

Glen Ellyn, April 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When it comes to Chicago’s rich 182-year history, the “second city” played a surprising role in the works of some of the most well-known American modernist authors. 

For College of DuPage English Professor Michelle Moore, exploring Chicago’s past and connecting it to her love of art and literature led to the interesting discoveries in “Chicago and the Making of American Modernism: Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald in Conflict” recently published by Bloomsbury Publishing plc. 

“I show how Ernest Hemingway's long forgotten Chicago friends and mentors are actually the most important in that they caused the development of his famous style. I reveal brand new sources for F. Scott Fitzgerald's ‘The Great Gatsby’ and long-forgotten sources for his memorable female characters, including Daisy,” she said. “Each chapter has new revelations about often read and well-known novels and writers. There's nothing obscure here; in fact, it’s quite the opposite.”   

Moore’s book offers new insights and revelations about Chicago area history and its influence on several famed writers on both a personal and professional level, including an exploration of Hemingway’s relationship to Oak Park and Frank Lloyd Wright. 

For Moore, the inspiration for the book is the culmination of her academic life to this point.
“I’ve been studying, teaching and writing about modernism and literature for years and have presented at conferences focused on several of the writers discussed in the book,” she said. “When I first moved to Chicago 15 years ago, I became fascinated with the city's rich history and how much of it is unknown and forgotten; even by Chicagoans. This book is the result of these interests coming together.” 

Drawn to an academic life focused on literature through a lifelong passion for reading, Moore earned a bachelor's degree at Dickinson College and both her master's and Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Before joining COD in 2002, she taught at SUNY at Binghamton and Broome Community College in New York. She was named Outstanding Overall Faculty Member at COD for the 2010-2011 academic year.  

Her work has been published in the “Faulkner Journal,”“Cather Studies” Issues 9 and 11and in “Film/Literature Quarterly,”as well as contributingchapters in “Rape in Art Cinema,” “Teaching Henry James and the Turn of the Screw” and forthcoming “Teaching Hemingway in the Digital Age,” Moore is currently coediting a book on the work of film director Paul Schrader with COD Associate Professor of English Brian Brems. 

Moore said that while writing “Chicago and the Making of American Modernism” provided great gratification in being able to tell the story of Chicago’s important role in the birth of Modernism in America, the process was not without its challenges. 

“Archival work takes a great deal of time, patience, and thought. It's like putting together a giant puzzle; you have to first find the puzzle pieces,” she said.
She said that she’s already seen elements of the book work their way into the classroom.
“I’m able to share a deeper view of these writers and their connection to Chicago history and the modernist movement,” she said. “My students now are getting information in the classroom that has been buried in disparate archives for decades.” 


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in April

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Move Over Self-Help – Fiction Reigns in the ThriftBooks Most Popular Books by State List for 2018

From my email today:

Seattle, WA, Feb. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celebrating readers of all types, this week ThriftBooks announced the top-selling books by state for 2018. This is the third year the online used book retailer has released the results, which revealed a move from non-fiction with a slant toward self-help to fiction.
The data found only one state had the same top-selling book two years running. California was the closest with “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in 2016 and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” from the same franchise in 2017. Many states found an entirely new favorite for 2017.
ThriftBooks CEO Mike Ward said, “It was interesting to see reader choices changing by region. The West Coast is focused on self-improvement, with books from the “Seven Habits” franchise and author Malcolm Gladwell topping lists. This could be influenced by the tech and start-up cultures in those states. Whereas, the next generation of Harry Potter fans looks to be in the Northeast.”
  • All 50 states were included for 2018 seeing 20% more books shipped than in 2017.
  • Dystopian classics continued to be popular in 2018 with “Animal Farm” being the most popular book in Nevada, “1984” in Colorado, “Fahrenheit 451” in Massachusetts, and “Brave New World” in Wyoming.
  • The Book Thief was the top book in Utah two years in a row.
  • There was an increase in states where Alcoholics Anonymous was the top author. By book, “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” was the top in Delaware, “Alcoholics Anonymous” in Oregon. 
  • Books written by J.K. Rowling were the most popular books in 7 states,
  • The full list of top books by state can be found at https://www.thriftbooks.com/b/most-popular-books-by-state/

About ThriftBooks

Based in Seattle, WA, ThriftBooks is the largest online seller of used books in the world, having sold more than 100 million books since its inception. Founded in 2003 and backed by KCB Management, ThriftBooks operates 8 fulfillment centers in the US that purchase, grade, and distribute used and collectible books. ThriftBooks relies on proprietary software to identify and list books, as well as a sophisticated pricing model that dynamically prices books across a variety of online platforms, including ThriftBooks.com, Amazon, eBay, and others.
Nicole Cox
253.275.2241 ext. 7101

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Book news from Barnes and Noble

Barnes & Noble’s Most Anticipated Spring Books
Oprah Winfrey, David McCullough, and E.L. James Among Most Anticipated Authors Publishing This Spring
New York, NY – February 12, 2019 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. 

(NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller, today announced its Most Anticipated Books of the Spring for 2019 in Adult, Young Adult (YA), and Kids.

“This Spring will come with a great list of highly anticipated non-fiction, including new books from prize-winning historians David McCullough and Rick Atkinson, the latest from New York Times columnist David Brooks, and insightful personal growth books from Oprah Winfrey and the hit self-help blogger Mark Manson,” said Liz Harwell, Senior Director of Merchandising, Trade Books at Barnes & Noble. “In fiction, books readers are eagerly awaiting range from the latest novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, to page-turning thrillers from David Baldacci and Harlan Coben.”

See a select list of the Most Anticipated new titles below listed in order of publication date, and find the full list of the season’s most anticipated books at at BN.com

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in January!

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When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how:     
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019


DETROIT, MI, Jan. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Continuing its nearly two-decade tradition of bringing internationally-renowned authors and scholars to its campus, Marygrove College’s Institute for Detroit Studies (IDS) will welcome Herb Boyd at its 44th Defining Detroit event on February 11, 2019.

Boyd will present Leadership and Self-Determination in Early Twentieth-Century Black Detroit and sign copies of his latest book, Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Madame Cadillac Hall. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.
“We are pleased that Professor Boyd has accepted our invitation to speak at Marygrove,” says IDS co-founder Frank Rashid. “Black Detroit derives from decades of rich personal experience and thorough research into the lives of black Detroiters.”
Previous Defining Detroit speaker and Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Heather Ann Thompson observes that readers of Black Detroit “not only experience the very epicenter of this nation’s most important freedom struggles, but they come to know a city that has always, always, been anchored by a most powerful and determined black community.”
Herb Boyd is a journalist, activist, teacher, and author or editor of twenty-three books. His articles have been published in the Black ScholarFinal Call, the Amsterdam NewsCineasteDownbeat, the Network Journal, and the Daily Beast. A scholar for more than forty years, he teaches African American history and culture at the City College of New York in Harlem, where he lives.
Herb Boyd’s appearance kicks off the 2019 Defining Detroit series, which will also feature noted journalist and author Desiree Cooper on Wednesday, March 20th, on Marygrove’s campus. Ms. Cooper will read from her 2017 book Know The Mother and other works.  An exhibit of the works of Northwest Detroit artists is also planned for spring 2019.
Defining Detroit is a series of Detroit-focused lectures, readings, exhibits, and performances established in 2000 by the Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies. Previous guests include Melba Joyce Boyd, Kevin Boyle, Jim Daniels, Toi Derricotte, Angela D. Dillard, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lolita Hernandez, Lawrence Joseph, Philip Levine, Naomi Long Madgett, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas J. Sugrue, June Manning Thomas, and Heather Ann Thompson. A complete list is at:  https://www.marygrove.edu/detroit-studies.
Established in the city of Detroit in 1927, Marygrove College is an independent Catholic graduate college sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) and guided by the values of human dignity; community; social justice; ecological justice; excellence; innovation; and diversity. The campus is situated on 53 wooded acres at 8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221. Visit www.marygrove.edu.