50 YEARS AGO
Long before Harry Potter or the Baudelaires and their Series of Unfortunate Events, Roald Dahl wrote James and the Giant Peach, the story of a small boy who is orphaned when his parents are eaten by a rampaging rhinoceros. He is then sent to live with his two horrible aunts and finally escapes by entering a giant peach and having surreal adventures with its insect inhabitants. Available as a book, animated film, French and Spanish language, and audio eBook.
If you never found the time to read Romeo and Juliet, you can just watch West Side Story, the beloved movie musical and winner of 10 Academy Awards (out of 11 nominations), including best picture. The soundtrack spent 54 weeks at #1 on Billboard's album charts, making it the longest run at #1 of any album in history.
Based on Truman Capote's 1958 novella, the film Breakfast at Tiffany's features Audrey Hepburn as American iconic character Holly Golightly. A country girl turned quirky socialite, Holly goes to New York to bag a rich husband and yearns for simplicity in spite of her sophistication. The Grammy and Academy Award winning song "Moon River" (written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini) was all in one octave because Hepburn was not a trained singer.
Adapted from the 1961 Tennessee Williams play, Night of the Iguana stars Richard Burton as disgraced clergyman Reverend Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon. He ends up leading a low-budget bus tour of Baptist school teachers to a resort in Puerto Vallarta where things get complicated when three women, including luscious Ava Gardner (bored with her maraca-shaking cabana boys) vie for his affection:
For author biographies and literary criticism, try the Literature Resource Center. Great for students and book clubs. (DPL card required)