Journalist, Novelist, Screenwriter, and Movie Director: Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron, 1941-2012
Nora Ephron, 1941-2012
photo credit: Tech Crunch

Nora Ephron, prolific American writer, director, and film maker, passed away on Tuesday after a battle with lukemia. Ephron was a pioneer of “new journalism” in the 1970s, writing bold essays about social issues of the day, as well as other writers’ views. She continued growing and developing as a writer and in the 1980’s expanded into screenwriting and production.

IMDB lists her film credits with 15 titles as writer, including such well-known titles as Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and most recently, Julie & Julia. She directed eight, produced 10, and  even took up with a bit of acting in Woody Allen’s films, Husbands and Wives and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The daughter of  Hollywood writers, she grew up writing, becoming known for,

“Viewing her life and the lives of others, particularly intimates, as material for her works, she is famous for her observations of other people’s lives, as well as for her own personal revelations.”

(Encyclopedia of World Biography)

If you’ve seen several of her films, don’t miss out on reading her novels, plays, and essays, too. We have several available here at Milne Library, and of course you can order still more through IDS. It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything by her, but she published a collection of essays in 201o titles, I Remember Nothing, and Other Reflections. It looks like I’ve got a new book to read so that I might appreciate this independent, bold, and funny woman.

Have you read anything by Nora Ephron? What is your favorite recommendation? Share in the comments!


Keep your vocabulary skills sharp

Worried about losing your edge while on Summer break? Whether you already have a great vocabulary or are looking to “beef it up”, is a great (free!) service to keep you on your toes!

To begin, simply go to and create an account by clicking on “sign in” and following the directions. You have the option to connect the service to your Facebook account, if you prefer.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll be presented with “The Challenge,” an interactive game in which the user is asked to define a series of words. There are three types of questions. Many of the questions are assessment questions to find out which words you are having trouble with. If you get any question wrong, you’ll see it again, as a review question. Then you’ll continue to get new progress questions on the word until you’ve mastered it. Sometimes you’ll get a sentence to give you context, sometimes you’ll be asked to choose the proper definition. They definitely mix it up to keep you engaged.

A Challenge question

It doesn’t take long for the service to challenge you right to the level you need to be challenged. I found that after two short visits, I was learning nearly all new words; neither too difficult nor easy.

Of course, the site functions as a dictionary so you can look up words that you need to know, too. There is an entire social side where you can hook up with friends and challenge one another. You can also create vocabulary lists of your own, including ones associated with specific documents such as the Declaration of Sentiments (Women’s Suffrage) or the Emancipation Proclaimation or The Magna Carta (I mean, who knows what “socage” is in these modern times, anyway?)

A weekly reminder email won’t go too long between visits, or turn off the emails and simply visit the site when you’re looking for a challenge. Give it a try and let us know in the comments what you think of it!

62% of Library Users Don’t Know About eBooks

In a recent survey by  Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project’s 62% of respondents said they didn’t know if their library offered e-book lending.  In fact, only 12% said they had every borrowed an ebook from the library.

Milne Library provides our users with over 36,000 ebooks.  Try searching our Find Milne’s eBooks on your latest research topic to see what’s in the collection!

Click on this image to search for ebooks at Milne

In addition to the ebooks purchased by Milne Library, you can access millions of ebooks on the web from sources like Google Books, Project Gutenberg, and HathiTrust.

Milne Closes early at 4pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012.

There will be a planned electrical shutdown today at 4 pm, which will last for approximately 5 hours. Affected buildings on campus include: Milne Library, ISC, Jones, Lauderdale, Newton, Brodie and Erwin.

Due to the power outage, Milne Library will close at 4 pm today. Our apologies for any inconvenience.