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E-readers and color

A pilots’ organization I belong to has made the decision for me. I was leaning toward joining the revolution, toward buying an e-reader. And Barnes & Noble’s Nook was it . . . just the basic model. It’s an e-reader and no more. Just puts black type up on its screen. But I’ll tell you, [...]

Playing with history

Scriptwriter David Seidler and director Tom Hooper wanted their movie, “The King’s Speech”, to be as historically accurate as possible. Yet they took liberties that have driven some critics nuts. First, they tightened the chronology of the events of the film, so that they appeared to take place over just a few years. It makes [...]

The director adds a line

It’s a truism that the movies are a director’s medium. And it holds true in “The King’s Speech,” one of the films causing a lot of Oscar talk this year. One of the film’s most memorable lines comes not the lives of the principal characters, England’s King George the Sixth and his speech therapist, Lionel [...]

The director

David Seidler’s script for the stage play, “The King’s Speech,” got a reading for potential backers in London in 2008. In the audience was an Australian, Meredith Hooper. She’d never attended a reading before, but she was so entranced with the story that she called her son, film and television director Tom Hooper, and said, [...]

The scriptwriter

David Seidler is the man who came up with the idea for a movie about a king who stammered – George the Sixth of England. Seidler was well aware of the king and his problems. And George the Sixth also was something of an inspiration for him. Crank back to the early years of World [...]

The King’s Speech

What was the last movie you saw in a theater where, at the end, everyone applauded? Send me a note. For me, I don’t think there ever was one . . . until Saturday when Marge and I and friends went to the multiplex to see “The King’s Speech.” No car chases in this one. [...]

Back to the world’s largest library

Yes, the Library of Congress. Here you will find the first document that mentions “America,” a map printed in 1507. Here, too, are the maps drawn by a young George Washington and a number he drew in his middle and later years. It was while I lived and worked in West Virginia that I learned [...]

Books for kids in crisis

Nothing must be scarier for a child than seeing his or her mom being arrested by the police. And what do you do when you’re the cop? Some have found the answer in teddy bears. They keep a couple plush bears in the trunks of their squads and give a bear to the weeping child. [...]

Cat stories

All right, here’s an idea free to anyone out there who writes children’s books . . . or wants to write a children’s book. Jim and Nancy Schoonover and their son Scott maintain a deer farm on the edge of our town. The farm is kind of an oversized petting zoo. One of their residents [...]

Free books

It started with one table and a bag of books in a corner of our church’s fellowship hall. No, actually it started with an idea. You see, January and February are slow times up here in the north country. We’ve got lots of snow on the ground and no big holidays to distract us from [...]