Friday, December 30, 2016

Dark and Sweet books

Arthur Houghton III, who wrote the novel Dark Athena recently spoke at a meeting of library supporters, about writing, culture and the art world. Although the book is fiction, it was based on factual information and made more interesting by his questions of “what if?”

“The investigation of a statue’s provenance by museum director, Jason Connor takes him into the darkest corners of the art world to unravel a dangerous conspiracy involving stolen art, fakery and the tradecraft of intelligence , and raises profound questions about who should own mankind’s cultural heritage.” (from information provided at the event)

Supposedly, Alfred Hitchcock said, “a good story is just life with the dull parts taken out.” Dark Athena sounds like a good story. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but have added it to my “To Read List” and am looking forward to entering (temporarily) the darker side of the art world.

Houghton has published four books and more than 60 articles about art, ancient history and economics. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine art from Harvard University, and a master’s in Near Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut.

He served in the US Foreign Service station in the Middle East from 1966 to 1979, was acting curator of antiquities at the J Paul Getty Museum from 1982 to 1986, and the foreign policy coordinator for the White House Office on National Drug Policy from 1988 to 1996.

Also, Marcia Leiter of New Windsor, MD, the author and illustrator of the Sweet Pea series of books for children, talked briefly about her books with a focus on gardening.
The first book by the artist, gardener, writer was Sweet Pea’s Tale of Too Many Tomatoes. Her second book Sweet Pea’s Christmas was published recently by Birdberry Press. She mentioned that she had other books written and being prepared for publication.

I always enjoy being with others interested in reading and recommend supporting your local library, whether through volunteering, donating or using its resources . You can find out more at

As 2016 draws to a close, I wish a Happy New Year to everyone.  Read more, write more and enjoy life.

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