In Memoriam

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2015

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In Memoriam

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des. 26, 2014, 7:32pm

Our space for remembering those whose lives have touched us, especially those whose writing has impacted us.

des. 28, 2014, 12:07pm


gen. 1, 2015, 9:52am

Edward Herrmann passed away from brain cancer. I absolutely loved him on Gilmore Girls and he narrated a lot of audio books. :(

gen. 1, 2015, 11:47am

>3 rosylibrarian: I was so sad to red about Hermann. Loved him on GG.

gen. 1, 2015, 12:14pm

I came late to Gilmore Girls (only watched the whole series in the last few years), and prior to that I had always associated Edward Hermann with playing Franklin Roosevelt. He was a treasure...I'll miss him.

gen. 1, 2015, 6:58pm

The first audiobook I ever read was Atlas Shrugged, read by Edward Hermann. Turned me on to audiobooks for life.

Sad face.

gen. 1, 2015, 8:48pm

Mario Cuomo died today. New York Times obituary here.

gen. 2, 2015, 8:01am

I remember liking him very much back in the day. He was a great counterpoint to the prevailing political atmosphere. I think he had a life well lived.

gen. 2, 2015, 8:19am

>7 qebo: I saw a news alert on Facebook about Mario Cuomo's death last night. For those of you who aren't familiar with him, he was the governor of New York in the 1980s and 1990s, and he was very effective, and very popular within and outside of the state. He was governor when I lived and worked in NYC, and I and many others held him in great respect. His son, Andrew, is the current governor of New York.

>8 maggie1944: I agree 100%, Karen.

gen. 8, 2015, 3:55pm

Michele Serros died much much too soon, on January 4th, at the age of 48.

gen. 9, 2015, 1:48am

Remembering those who died in France at Charlie Hebdo.

gen. 9, 2015, 2:52pm

Our hearts break for those innocents who were murdered, and their family, friends and the entire French nation.

gen. 9, 2015, 8:08pm

Yep. Well said.

gen. 13, 2015, 12:04pm

Just learned on Facebook - he was a friend of many of my friends, a political activist and a journalist and writer in a number of genres:

Mike Marqusee died today aged 61, more than 7 years after his diagnosis with multiple myeloma. He wrote books on subjects including cricket, Muhammad Ali: Redemption Song; Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties, a memoir, If I Am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, and living with cancer, as well as a mystery novel set in the world of cricket, Slow Turn.

Some of his articles

gen. 23, 2015, 11:13am

John Bayley, Iris Murdoch's husband and memoirist, died on January 12th.

gen. 23, 2015, 1:22pm

Marcus Borg theologian and author died on January 21.

Editat: gen. 29, 2015, 7:48am

I just saw that Colleen McCullough has died on Norfolk Island.

gen. 29, 2015, 8:14am

>17 alcottacre: I just came here to see if it had been posted. She was responsible for many hours of wonderful reading in my life.

Editat: gen. 29, 2015, 11:09am

>17 alcottacre: I enjoyed her First Man in Rome books, but I have never really gotten past her comments that it was somehow OK for the men on Pitcairn Island to "break in" the young girls (violently, sometimes) sexually, because it was part of "tradition" in the South Pacific. Gah. And she essentially plagiarized The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery in The Ladies of Missalonghi -- it's pretty blatant. I also had a bit of a love/hate relationship with her books. But I did really like that long ancient Rome series, and of course The Thornbirds.

gen. 29, 2015, 10:12pm

Rod McKuen died today. It's turning out to be a bad month.

gen. 30, 2015, 9:01am

Both of these folks were a big part of my life years ago. We all loved reading The Thornbirds and then a TV show, too! Wonderful success. Rod McKuen was a great popular poet. I appreciate a poet who can appeal to lots of people as poetry is so famous for being inaccessible.

Editat: feb. 4, 2015, 1:44pm

I was told that Harry W. Pfanz, historian and author of Gettysburg: The First Day, Gettysburg: The Second Day, and Gettysburg: Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill, has died but thus far I have been unable to find official confirmation.

Edited to confirm:

feb. 5, 2015, 4:30pm

Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill passed away on Tuesday, he was 78. In addition to his Churchill work and was also the author of The First World War: A Complete History and The Second World War: A Complete History. Washington Post obit.

feb. 6, 2015, 1:06pm

I was also a fan of McCullogh's The Thorn birds and her Men in Rome series. Apparently the obiturary in The Australian newspaper was a twitter sensation for a couple of days due to its insensitive sexist opening sentence -

feb. 6, 2015, 8:54pm

>24 avatiakh: classy...not.

feb. 7, 2015, 12:15pm

Andre Brink has died at 79, on the plane home from receiving an honorary doctorate in Belgium to South Africa.

His novel Philida was on the Booker longlist in 2012.

feb. 7, 2015, 1:48pm

>26 elkiedee: That is very sad news. I enjoyed Philida, along with his collection of short stories Other Lives. I own A Dry White Season, but I haven't read it yet.

feb. 7, 2015, 2:28pm

I still have to read Philida - I believe I read some of his other books quite a long time ago, and I think I have a couple of others, not necessarily the ones I read.

feb. 7, 2015, 4:48pm

More sad news: the Algerian author and women's rights activist Assia Djebar died yesterday, at the age of 78. She won the 1996 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and was nominated as a finalist for the Nobel Prize in Literature on at least one occasion. Although I haven't read anything by her yet I own three of her books, namely Children of the New World, The Tongue's Blood Does Not Run Dry, and Algerian White, at least one of which I will read for the fourth quarter Reading Globally challenge.

Yahoo News: Algerian novelist Assia Djebar dead at 78

feb. 7, 2015, 8:59pm

>29 kidzdoc: This is sad news. I've only read Children of the New World but it was really great and I've always meant to read more by her.

feb. 13, 2015, 6:01pm

Awww phooey, pioneering baseball reporter and author, Alison Gordon, has passed away. She also wrote 5 baseball mysteries featuring Kate Henry, the first of which is The Dead Pull Hitter.

feb. 22, 2015, 1:13pm

The author and civil rights activist Anne Moody died on February 5th at the age of 74, which was reported in today's edition of The New York Times. She was born in poverty in rural Mississippi in 1940, and cleaned the houses of white families in order to support her family. She attended Tougaloo College, a history black college just outside of Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, and while there she became active in the civil rights movement, which included the famous attempt to desegregate a Woolworth's department store alongside John Salter, a Tougaloo College professor, and Joan Trumpauer, one of the first white students to attend Tougaloo. All three can be seen in the photo below:

Moody was best known for her 1968 memoir Coming of Age in Mississippi, which described her early years growing up in the Jim Crow Deep South and her involvement in the civil rights movement.

Editat: feb. 27, 2015, 12:58pm

Sad news: Mr. Spock has left us. May he live long and prosper in the Great Beyond.

NYT: Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

feb. 27, 2015, 1:13pm

Oh, my, there will be many sad faces today. He is an icon of my life. Expressing the eternal debate between rational thought and powerful emotions.

My condolences to his family, friends, and fans. A moment to stop and think.

feb. 27, 2015, 6:32pm

So sorry to hear of Nimoy's passing. :(

març 2, 2015, 9:39am

>33 kidzdoc: Nimoy was a Boston native, of the now defunct West End. There are several (I think - at least one) good interviews of him talking about growing up in a Jewish neighborhood in the city in the 40s. Probably on the WBUR web site somewhere. If I can remember to dig them up I'll post links.

Editat: març 3, 2015, 3:36pm

British YA writer Mal Peet has died aged 67 from cancer.

Peet, winner of the Carnegie medal and the Guardian children’s fiction prize, discovered he was terminally ill at Christmas.
His agent Peter Cox described him as “a writer’s writer”. He said: “Mal was universally adored and admired by other writers. His talent was as prodigious as his warm, wide-open heart. I have lost a dear friend, and we have all lost an author of exceptional genius. His best and most exciting years were still ahead: his premature death is utterly tragic.”

I've loved all his books and have his last novel, an adult one, at home from the library at present.

Editat: març 12, 2015, 11:20am

Sir Terry Pratchett has died today at age 66, after an 8-year battle with Alzheimer's.

març 12, 2015, 11:44am

>38 norabelle414: :,( I was wondering how long he'd make it, and he managed to live longer than I had expected. But a horrible loss to the world, and the world of literature in particular.

març 12, 2015, 12:12pm

>38 norabelle414: and >39 PawsforThought:

We knew it was coming, but I still feel immensely sad. Dinner tonight will be from Nanny Ogg's cookbook.

març 12, 2015, 12:34pm

This is sad; although, I imagine this is an end to some terrible suffering experienced by him, and by those close to him.

març 12, 2015, 2:34pm

>40 Dilara86: That's a lovely way to give tribute!

març 12, 2015, 4:41pm

>38 norabelle414: Sad news :-(

març 13, 2015, 12:40am

A sad day that Terry Pratchett passes from our presence Loved his books, we will be a little less without his genius around

març 26, 2015, 12:39pm

Ellen Conford, author of over 40 children's and YA books, died on 20 March, her 73rd birthday. I really enjoyed Felicia the Critic as a kid and hope to reread it soon. She was also active in an online group of avid crime fiction readers, rec.arts.mystery (RAM).

març 27, 2015, 12:15pm

Martyn Goff has died at 91. Apparently he wrote 9 novels, but is best known as administrator for the Booker Prize for 34 years, from 1973 to 2007.

This is quite an entertaining obituary, as it details some of the controversies that took place over the Booker Prize.

març 27, 2015, 12:39pm

Sad news: the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, the winner of the 1990 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature, died yesterday at the age of 83 after being ill for many years after he was disabled by a stroke in 1990. He was best known for his evocative, atmospheric and accessible short poems about nature and everyday life. I own two of his books, The Sorrow Gondola (which I read and enjoyed) and The Half-Finished HeavenL The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer.

Apparently this news has just been released, so there aren't many reports about his death yet.

març 27, 2015, 4:06pm

I know this does not necessarily have any connection to reality: But his face is one I would liked to have known, he looks lively and kind.

març 27, 2015, 4:07pm

I also pause for a moment to feel the sorrow, and carry some of the grief, for the friends and family of all those killed in the Germanwings airplane crash. So sad for everyone.

març 28, 2015, 4:59am

>48 maggie1944: From what I've read by people who met/knew him, he was. And he was very fond of playing the piano (while he still could).

abr. 12, 2015, 12:19am

abr. 12, 2015, 11:09am

Sheila Kitzinger, author of lots of books on pregnancy, childbirth and baby care, has died aged 86, after a short illness:

abr. 12, 2015, 11:35am

>51 RBeffa: Oh, nuts.

abr. 13, 2015, 7:24am

Günter Grass, the winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature and author of the classic 1959 novel The Tin Drum, died today at the age of 87.

Günter Grass, Nobel-winning German novelist, dies aged 87

Editat: abr. 17, 2015, 8:51pm

I forgot to mention that the Uruguayan journalist and author Eduardo Galeano died on Monday at the age of 74. He is best known for his book Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America), a powerful account of five centuries of explotation and political dominance of the region by Europe and the United States, and his trilogy Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire), which describes the ruthless colonial rule of Latin America. Galeano's name became familiar to many Americans after former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave a copy of Open Veins of Latin America to President Barack Obama at the Summit of Americas conference in 2009.

I own three books by Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America, Voices of Time: A Life in Stories, and Genesis: Memory of Fire, Volume 1, but I haven't read any of them yet.

The Guardian: Eduardo Galeano, leading voice of Latin American left, dies aged 74

abr. 26, 2015, 8:05am

A moment to think of the people of Nepal coping with this terrible, destructive, earthquake and its aftershocks. Also, condolences to the friends and families of those climbers and their support teams on Mt. Everest.

Editat: maig 2, 2015, 11:52am

>57 elkiedee: Awww...and she was still writing, wasn't she? I think there are a couple new titles in the pipeline.

maig 2, 2015, 12:34pm

I'm not sure she'd written since January, when she had a serious stroke. I think I wondered about whether she would die a few months ago. She wrote quite a lot of books and I have several I've never read. I like her Barbara Vine and her non-Wexford books better, though of the Wexford series I hated Road Rage and liked Simisola.

maig 2, 2015, 2:53pm

Ahh...I'd missed hearing she had suffered a stroke. There was a book just published last October...maybe that was her last completed effort.

maig 15, 2015, 7:16am

Blues giant B.B. king is gone. Does anyone know a good biography of him?

maig 15, 2015, 7:19am

>61 tymfos: The obituary in The New York Times quoted from his autobiography, Blues All Around Me. I haven't read it, though.

maig 15, 2015, 8:23am

I am so sad to hear of his passing. Condolences to his family, friends, and all his fans all over this world.

maig 15, 2015, 11:20pm

>32 kidzdoc: Thanks for this Darryl. I will find the book and read it. Such courage, such determination that so many took during the civil rights movement. I wonder if I would have had 1/2 the courage they did. CNN did an excellent show on the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday". President Obama spoke, and I have to say while I am not a great fan of his, I was most impressed with his speech.

maig 16, 2015, 9:59am

How did those 50 years go by so fast? Word to the young: enjoy every day, as best as you can!

maig 24, 2015, 11:20am

That is sad news. I bought A Beautiful Mind last year, but I haven't read it yet.

Editat: maig 24, 2015, 10:12pm

Sad news. His is a fascinating story.

maig 26, 2015, 1:50pm

Tanith Lee died on Sunday.

maig 26, 2015, 11:45pm

Here's a good article about Tanith Lee and her contribution to fantasy and horror.

juny 9, 2015, 11:33am

RIP Vincent Bugliosi, the author and former Los Angeles prosecutor who was best known for his book Helter Skelter, a nonfiction work about Charles Manson and his followers and several murders they committed, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people in her home in 1969.

Vincent Bugliosi, Manson Prosecutor And 'Helter Skelter' Author, Dies

juny 11, 2015, 6:53pm

Actor Christopher Lee has died. His autobiography Lord of Misrule seems to be well rated.

juny 12, 2015, 12:53am

Jazz great Ornette Coleman has died at age 85.

A quick search of LT shows several biographies have been written about him.

juny 12, 2015, 10:28am

German science fiction author and editor Wolfgang Jeschke died Wednesday at age 79.

Jeschke won the Kurd-Laßwitz Prize, Germany's version of the Hugo, 11 times in 4 categories. Four of those wins were for Best Novel, most recently just last year for Dschiheads. Jeschke spent most of his career as an editor at Heyne, which he and Herbert W. Franke built into one of the largest European publishers of science fiction.

juny 12, 2015, 12:01pm

Ron Moody, everyone's favorite Fagin died on June 11

juny 15, 2015, 8:56pm

Elizabeth Elliot has passed away. She was a prolific writer, but was probably best known for Through Gates of Splendor, about her husband's brief time ministering in Ecuador. She was 90.

juny 23, 2015, 3:49pm

James Salter, who probably deserved way more readers than he had during his lifetime, has passed away.

Editat: jul. 13, 2015, 6:32pm

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

jul. 13, 2015, 10:43pm

Barbara Park, author of ‘Junie B. Jones’ children’s stories, dies at 66
The writer, whose stories about a smart-mouthed girl sold more than 55 million copies in North America, died fighting ovarian cancer.

jul. 15, 2015, 10:03am

I'm sure there are some Nick Cave fans in the terribly sad to learn that his son has died in a fall.

jul. 15, 2015, 11:25am

>80 ronincats: I think she actually died back in late 2013.

jul. 15, 2015, 7:55pm

>82 lindapanzo: yes she did. I saw an article and when I looked it was from 2013. It seems like it is going around facebook again.

jul. 21, 2015, 8:59pm

The NYT announced a few minutes ago that E.L. Doctorow died earlier today.

E.L. Doctorow, Author of Historical Fiction, Dies at 84

jul. 21, 2015, 9:29pm

>84 kidzdoc: Noooo....

jul. 22, 2015, 3:36am

Oh, no, How sad!

This is turning into the year of great losses.

ag. 4, 2015, 8:50pm

Patricia Leitch has died. She wrote a number of books about girls and their horses, aka "pony books".

Here's a review of her books:

Obit is here:

ag. 16, 2015, 1:37pm

RIP, Julian Bond (1940-2015), the legendary civil rights activist, pioneering politician, columnist, author and public intellectual, who died yesterday at the age of 75. Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and moved to the Philadelphia area in 1945 when his father was chosen as the first black president of Lincoln University. He was educated at the prestigious George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania (which is roughly five miles from my parents' house), and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta in the early 1960s. He left the school to participate in the Civil Rights Movement, and later returned to earn his bachelor's degree in 1971. He was among the first group of African Americans elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965 after the passage of the Civil Rights Act that year, but his predominantly white colleagues voted to deny him the right to his seat, due to his opposition to the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court voted 9-0 to order the House to permit him to take his seat, and he served there for four terms from 1967 to 1975, followed by six terms in the Georgia Senate from 1975-1987. He lost a bitter battle to current US Congressman John Lewis (my congressman) for Georgia's Fifth Congressional District in 1988, which ended his political career. During the late 1980s and early 1990s he taught at several major universities, including American, Drexel, Harvard and Virginia, and he later served as president of the N.A.A.C.P. and the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with its current president Morris Dees. He also wrote several books, served as a newspaper and magazine columnist, and appeared on a number of public and commercial television broadcasts. He remained an active public figure and a leading black intellectual until his death, and his quiet, calm but passionate voice and opinions will be sadly missed.

ag. 16, 2015, 3:38pm

>88 kidzdoc: So sad, but he led a great life.

ag. 17, 2015, 12:03pm

His leadership, and steady hand on early Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, lead me to spend hours supporting SNCC from the far flung campus of the University of Washington. We educated our college student colleagues and raised money to support the Freedom Summer. It was an amazing experience and led to my life long fascination with politics and the ongoing fight against institutional racism in the USA.

I am very sad to see him leave the earth as we knew him. And I send heartfelt condolences to his family, his friends, and colleagues, and the the entire Nation which is poorer for the loss of his voice.

ag. 30, 2015, 6:37am

ag. 30, 2015, 9:02am

>91 kidzdoc: :-(

Oliver Sacks on writing: .

set. 21, 2015, 4:50am

Jackie Collins has died. Not claiming any great literary merit for her but I did enjoy her books from the age of 12 or 13, and then during university holidays as a bit of a break from required reading!

set. 21, 2015, 6:53pm

>93 elkiedee: not every writer has to have great literary abilities, they only need to touch the hearts of the readers. And it appears that Jackie Collins did that, for you. :)

set. 23, 2015, 8:20am

And Yogi Berra has died. How could we not celebrate the literary wisdom of the man who said

"I never said some of the things I said"

"It ain't over 'til it's over"

"It's deja vu all over again"

"When you come to a fork in the road ... take it"

"I usually take a two hour nap from one to four"

"Never answer an anonymous letter"

"I want to thank you for making this day necessary"

"We made too many wrong mistakes"

"You can observe a lot by watching"

"The future ain't what it used to be"

"It gets late early out here"

"If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be"

"If the people don't want to come out to the ballpark, nobody's going to stop them"

"Pair up in threes"

set. 23, 2015, 12:39pm

I also heard on the radio this morning that when his wife asked him, "Where would you like to be buried", he responded with "I don't know. Surprise me!"

set. 23, 2015, 3:14pm

I should have posted this earlier, but Michael McCourt, a San Francisco icon with the gift of gab, and brother of Frank and Malachy passed away on Sept 5th.

oct. 5, 2015, 7:08am

Irish playwright Brian Friel died the other day aged 86

Henning Mankell has died of cancer aged 67.

oct. 8, 2015, 2:46pm

Chef Paul Prudhomme has died in New Orleans. He was 75.

Editat: oct. 24, 2015, 7:57pm

Diana Pullein Thompson has died.
Diana Pullein-Thompson, who has died at the age of 90, was the last survivor of three sisters whose name has become forever associated with children’s pony books. ...

More here:

des. 17, 2015, 4:31pm

Peter Dickinson, writer of children's fantasy and crime fiction for adults, died yesterday on his 88th birthday. Sad. I loved his Changes trilogy starting with The Weathermonger.

Editat: des. 17, 2015, 6:39pm

>101 elkiedee: I have always loved his books as well, especially that trilogy. And much sympathy for his wife, Robin McKinley.

des. 17, 2015, 10:29pm

>101 elkiedee: Oh, bad news. I loved Peter Dickinson's mysteries. I had no idea that he was married to Robin McKinley. Thanks for the info, Luci and Roni.

des. 18, 2015, 4:25am

Just heard about Peter Dickinson via a FB post from one of my goddaughters, who is his granddaughter. It's some time since I've seen him now but (having become friends with his son) I was so excited to get to meet an author whom I'd loved in my childhood. As well as The Weathermonger I particularly loved The Blue Hawk and The Dancing Bear. He was an author whose imagination ranged wide and who makes you think. He raised a lovely, interesting creative family too!

des. 21, 2015, 4:11pm

>101 elkiedee: I was also saddened by the news about Peter Dickinson. Haven't read many of his books since childhood but he's an author I've been meaning to read more of for a while now. I read The Blue Hawk a few years ago and loved it.