Editor's note: We've invited the Los Altos Library and its associates to contribute recommendations for books and more to our occasional series, "Lately I've been Reading..." Bob Simon of the Los Altos Library Endowment contributed both a recommendation for a talk Wednesday evening and a great book
By Bob Simon
"Speaking Volumes," the speaker series of the Los Altos Library Endowment, will present yet another exceptional speaker, David "Pablo" Cohn.
Dr. Cohn is a Senior Research Scientist at Google.org, and is billed as Google's (Secret) Mad Scientist.
He will speak on, "One Very L-o-o-o-ng Day - A Summer Working at the South Pole." With a well-deserved reputation as an adventurer, he is also an aviator and musician.
His slide-supported talk, free and open to the public, will take place in the Program Room of the Los Altos Library at 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, April 24.
His humor and his insights into the very human aspects of antarctic existence (once you're there, you're there for the duration of your tour—no weekends off for R&R) will be appreciated by one and all.
The Endowment has an enviable history of introducing our community to a host of outstanding writers over the years. In 2010, "Speaking Volumes" featured T.J. Stiles, whose The First Tycoon (about Cornelius Vanderbilt) had won both the Pulitzer and the Nation Book Award. An early speaker in the series, Tobias Wolff (This Boy's Life, made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio), has won numerous awards. When Ron Hansen spoke under Endowment auspices, his The Shooting of Jesse James was the inspiration behind a soon-to-be-released film of the same name starring Brad Pitt.
The Orphan Master's Son has just won the Pulitzer Prize for author Adam Johnson, a creative writing professor at Stanford.
With all the current world-wide interest, concerns, and news about North Korea (where Johnson's novel is set) this book and author should not be missed. The New York Times Sunday Book Review says, "…an exceedingly readable book…"
In the Spring of 2012, the Los Altos Library Endowment presented Adam Johnson in its annual "Speaking Volumes" series, and patrons who heard him were delighted.