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Posted on Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 8:31 a.m.

What do Charles Dickens and Robert Browning have in common?

By Leslee Niethammer

Librarians have a great love for celebrating anniversaries and 2012 is chock full of literary and historical milestones to honor. This year marks the bicentenary birthdays of authors Charles Dickens and Robert Browning. Both men were prolific authors who became literary giants. If you are looking for a challenge, read a Dickens a month (check the internet for online book clubs who are doing the same) or read one of his novels serially, the way many of them were originally published.

One hundred years ago saw the births of Woody Guthrie and Studs Terkel. Woody Guthrie is best known for his classic anthem “This Land is Your Land”, but he also left a huge musical legacy. Check out the DVD “Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home” for a glimpse at his fascinating life, or read his autobiography “Pastures of Plenty: a self portrait”. Studs Terkel is remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, his documentation of the struggles of the working class, and his passion for baseball. He is featured in the Ken Burns documentary talking about his beloved Chicago White Sox. Terkel most probably visited Navin Field, later renamed Tiger Stadium, and Fenway Park in Boston, both of which opened in 1912. Fifty years ago two beloved literary classics were first published: Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (later adapted as film which won all five of the top Academy Awards: Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay) and Madeleine L'Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time”, which won the Newbery Medal. Come check out these great works and tell us what your favorite literary anniversary is.

Katie Mitchell, Reference Librarian Saline District Library