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Beyond the Book: An Exhibition of the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection

Booknotes Section I

Below are quotes from original Booknotes program interviews and digital representations of elements of books that are part of the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection and featured in the University Libraries' Booknotes exhibit. To view an item in detail please click on the thumbnail representation to the right and then click its image in the item record.

Why Read? Mark Edmundson

[Excerpt from the December 4, 2004
Booknotes interview with Mark Edmundson, faculty member, English Department at the University of Virgnia. This interview dealt with with Edmundson's book, Why Read?]

LAMB: How does reading change your life?

Mr. EDMUNDSON: Well, the way I like to put it is this, that we all get socialized one time around by parents and teachers and schools and priests and ministers, and what have you. And for a lot of people, those values will do just fine. They`re community values. They`re long tested and long tried, and there`s something eminently respectable about them. But there are other people who, for whatever reason, just don`t fit right into the established values. They find themselves disgruntled, dissatisfied by even with the best-meaning teachers and parents said. Those people go a lot of directions, but one of the best directions they can go is to become obsessed readers. They read and read and read until they start to find people who see the world in a way that`s akin to theirs. And then they feel that they`re home. They`ve got a second set of parents and a second set of teachers, and they can start seeing the world for themselves, a little bit different from the way the community sees it, often.

<em>Why read?</em>

Why Read? Mark Edmundson, New York : Bloomsbury, 2004.

Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain, Michael Paterniti

[Excerpt from the September 24, 2000 Booknotes interview with freelance writer, Michael Paterniti. This interview dealt with with Paterniti's book, Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain]

LAMB: Where did you get the idea for the article [from which the book came]?

Mr. PATERNITI: I'd heard the urban myth, you know, maybe 10 years ago now, during the Gulf War. A friend mentioned thatEinstein's brain had been stolen from his head during the autopsy. It'd been sliced up into about 240, 50 pieces and disseminated around the world, but the mother lode of Einstein's brain was in a garage in Saskatchewan. And I just couldn't believe it. I thought it sounded completely insane. But I kept telling the story over and over to people that I knew. I just kept passing the myth on and adding on to it. And some years later, I was living in New Mexico and I mentioned it to my landlord at the time and he said, `Yeah. The guy with Einstein's brain lives next to William in Lawrence, Kansas.' And `William' turned out to be William Burroughs, the Beat writer, and his neighbor turned out to be Dr. Thomas Harvey, the man with Einstein's brain...

Mr. PATERNITI: He said, `Hello.' And I said, `Hello. Is this Dr. Thomas Harvey?' He said, `Yeah.' And I said, `Is this Dr. Thomas Harvey who has Einstein's brain?' And he said, `Yes, it is.' And I was flabbergasted, really...

I was interested in him. I was interested in this man who, for over four decades, had kept Einstein's brain and had virtually disappeared with it. He was fired or left his job depending on who's story you believe in 1960 from the Princeton Medical Center. And in the intervening years, he took different jobs. He kept moving until he ended up in Lawrence. And I just had these huge questions about this man and his booty, his relic, his raison d'etre. You know, it was the organizing principle of his life. It was the thing he most believed in.

<em>Driving Mr. Albert</em> : a trip across America with Einstein&rsquo;s brain

Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain, Michael Paterniti, New York : Dial Press, 2000.

[Manuscript Annotations found in Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Acrpss the Country with Einstein's Brain.]

Seen here are manuscript annotations found in Lamb's copy of
Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Acrpss the Country with Einstein's Brain.
They appear to be potential questions (i.e.: What Route[?], Kind of Car[?],
and Why Tupperware[?]) that Lamb might have been planning to ask
Paterniti during the interview.

Driving Mr. Albert : a trip across America with Einstein&rsquo;s brain [Brian Lamb&#039;s annotations]

Annotations of Brian Lamb found in Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain

Boundaries, Maya Lin

[Excerpt from the November 19, 2000 Booknotes interview with artist, Maya Lin. This interview dealt with with Ms. Lin's book, Boundaries]

BRIAN LAMB: Maya Lin, what is "Boundaries" about?

Ms. MAYA LIN: "Boundaries" is... I call it a visual-verbal sketchbook in that it's half written, half images. It's images of all my work, from the first memorial and then basically from '89 to '99. It spans 10 years of work: art, architecture, the monuments. And it's about the in-between areas. I sort of see the memorials as being hybrid, somewhere between art and architecture. But it's as much about, you know, my East-West back-heritage, art and architecture, the fact that I use science a lot in my work. It's between science and art.

It's not in terms of when I taught--when I thought of the word--title "Boundaries," I'm not thinking just of the space on either side, but the actual line that divides, and thinking of that line as being a place that takes on dimensionality, it takes on a sense of shape.

<em>Boundaries </em><br />

Boundaries, Maya Lin, New York : Simon & Schuster, 2000.

[Manuscript annotations on yellow pad and on the envelope from a telephone bill found with the book, Boundaries by Maya Lin. Lamb most likley took notes on these so as not to harm the actual book]

<em>Boundaries </em>[Brian Lamb's annotations]<em><br /></em>

Annotations on yellow paper and envelope from telephone phone bill found inside Boundaries

Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life, Fran Grace

[Excerpt from the Octoer 14, 2001 Booknotes interview with author, Fran Grace. This interview dealt with with Ms. Grace's book, Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life]

LAMB: Fran Grace, who was Carry Nation?

Ms. FRAN GRACE: She was a very religious woman, which is something that I want to emphasize in the biography, because it was her religious vision. That's the reason we know about her, because she felt she was called by God to go into saloons and address a concern that she had a lot of passion for but no avenue to express it. As a woman, she couldn't vote. She tried every other avenue to try to address the issue of prohibition, but they all closed down. And finally, who else to turn to but God? And God directed her toward her smashing method, a method that she said had been used in the temple by Jesus, smashing the exchangers--the money exchangers in the holy places of God, a smashing method that had been used by Moses, she said, at Mt. Sinai. So she was just carrying on a tradition that
was well-established.

<em>Carry A. Nation</em> : retelling the life

Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life, Fran Grace, Bloomington : Indiana University Press 2001.

[Illustration from Carry A Nation: Retelling the Life. This is a poster advertising an appearance by Carry Nation in Scotland.]

For women only...

Illustration advertising a personal appearance by Carry A. Nation

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town, Paul Theroux

[Excerpt from the May 18, 2003
Booknotes interview with travel writer, Paul Theroux. This interview dealt with with Mr. Theroux's book, Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown]

LAMB: How long were you in Africa for this trip?

Mr. THEROUX: This trip took about five-and-a-half months. And I set off from Cairo in January, came back in late May of 2001, and then later went back -- after 9/11, I wanted to see various places and see what had changed, see the attitudes of people. I was in a lot of Muslim parts of Africa, and I wanted to see how energized, how politicized, how angry they were, and how would respond to me.

LAMB: What did you find?

Mr. THEROUX: I found that they responded to me as a person, not as an emissary of a foreign enemy hostile government. But they`re still angry about -- I mean, people in the Sudan and Egypt tend to say, don`t forget, Palestinians, Arabs generally, who`ve been persecuted have children and grandchildren, and they`ll hate -- they`ll hate your government -- didn`t say hate me, but they will hate America, is what they said. So they think Americans tend to underestimate how strongly weak people, oppressed people identify with the Palestinians. The Palestinians are the martyrs for the cause and have been very badly treated. We can see that, you know, all the time. And I think we underestimate how they`re the symbolic value of Palestine.

<em>Dark star safari</em> : overland from Cairo to Cape Town

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town, Paul Theroux, Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2003.