Moomin!

Join Moomin, the beautiful Snorkmaiden, and their friends as they send bad language (with legs) to Aunt Jane, encounter exploding pancakes, and introduce pirates to gardening. Tove Jansson has created a rare treasure that speaks to all generations and all ages. Moomin sums up Jansson's philosophy best when he tells his friend Sniff:

"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes, and dream!"

Jansson first introduced the Moomins (Scandinavian troll-creatures that resemble white hippopotami) in books that she wrote and illustrated, beginning in 1945 with the book The Moomins and the Great Flood. More Moomintroll books followed, including Comet in Moominland, Finn Family Moomintroll, and Moominpappa's memoirs. These were so popular that she was approached by the London Evening News to do a daily comic strip featuring the Moomin characters. Drawn and Quarterly has released (for the first time in North America) a collection of these strips. This first volume includes four adventures: Brigands, Family Life, Moomin on the Riviera and Moomin's Desert Island.

Kid Bits - Time Warp Trio

John Scieszka writes one more book for the Time Warp Trio series. Like to travel? Like Time Warps? Read Marco? Polo! and land in 13th century China. Kublai Khan! Xanadu! Marco Polo! Whooa!!

Favorite Picks for Black History Month by Tahira

In honor of Black History Month here is a list of my favorite books with African American main characters:

Picture Books
Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
Jamaica’s Find by Jaunita Havill
Sweet Music in Harlem by Debbie Taylor

Fiction
Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Watson’s Go to Burmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
Starring Grace by Mary Hoffman

Molly Ivins has died

Molly Ivins has diedMolly Ivins has died

Molly Ivins, author (Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? and Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known) and syndicated columnist for 350 newspapers, including the New York Times, succumbed to breast cancer yesterday.

Known for her acid tongue and laser-precise skewering of politicians and government, Ms. Ivins’ devoted readership craved her ‘raise more hell’ observations. Her lacerating wit, which could be devastating, was her calling card: “If his I.Q. slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day.”

Memorial tributes to Ms. Ivins, who was 62 when she died, can be found at The Texas Observer, where she served as co-editor from 1970-76.

2007 Edgar nominees have been announced

2006 Edgar nominees2006 Edgar nominees

The Mystery Writers of America oganization has announced the nominees for the 198th Edgars. The nominees for the top three categories are:

Best Novel nominees

The Pale Blue Eye, by Louis Bayard; The Janissary Tree, by Jason Goodwin; Gentlemen and Players, by Joanne Harris; The Dead Hour, by Denise Mina; The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard; and The Liberation Movements, by Olen Steinhauer

Best First Novel by an American Author nominees

The Faithful Spy, by Alex Berenson; Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn; King of Lies, by John Hart; Holmes on the Range, by Steve Hockensmith; and A Field of Darkness, by Cornelia Read

Best Paperback Original nominees

The Goodbye Kiss, by Massimo Carlotto; The Open Curtain, by Brian Evenson; Snakeskin Shamisen, by Naomi Hirahara; The Deep Blue Alibi, by Paul Levine, and City of Tiny Lights, by Patrick Neate

Winners will be announced April 26, 2007.

Happiness In! Demon Out!

We will be tossing beans to keep those demons away and celebrate Setsubun, at our Japanese Family Cultural Celebration this Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library. We will begin the festivities with a story and a demon mask craft upstairs, then parade downstairs for music with Miyabi and pocky treats. Families with children of all ages are invited to attend and while you are here, check out Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories and other folktale collections.

A Divided Life

In Secondhand World,the first novel by Katherine Min, first person narrator, Isa Myung Hee looks back at her life as a Korean-American teenager while recovering from burns in a tragic fire that killed her parents. Isa, daughter of successful but aloof first generation Koreans, alienated from her parents and the target of racial prejudice at school, is drawn to an albino outsider named "Hero." It is only when she discovers her mother's affair that she questions her rejection of her heritage.

Publisher's Weekly calls the story "a swirling, textured and beautifully detailed web of perception..."

For teen novels that explore similar themes, try the novels of Marie Lee, and the books, American Eyes, stories edited by Lori Carlson and Girls for Breakfast by David Yoo.

Sidney Sheldon, beloved American storyteller, has died

Sidney Sheldon, beloved American storyteller, has diedSidney Sheldon, beloved American storyteller, has died

Sidney Sheldon, a one-man, award-winning writing machine who had enormous success penning commercially successful novels, died January 30 in California.

In addition to his career as a novelist, Sheldon, an Army Corps pilot during World War II, also wrote for the theater, the movies, and television. He won a Tony for Redhead an Oscar for The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer, 1947, and an Emmy for I Dream of Jeannie.

But it was his string of blockbuster bestsellers featuring strong successful women (Tell Me Your Dreams, 1995, The Stars Shine Down,1992, and Nothing Lasts Forever, 1994), that cemented his place in the hearts of fiction-loving readers.

Sheldon died just short of his 90th birthday (February 17, 2007).

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #49

AT LONG LAST!!! The much anticipated first novel from Peter Ho Davies, named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 2003 for his two award winning short-story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love, is finally here.

The Welsh Girl* is an ambitious and moving wartime romance. The story opens with the building of a POW camp for German prisoners in the remote Welsh countryside in 1944. 17 year-old Esther, pregnant after being rape by an English soldier, and Karsten, a German POW haunted by the loss of honor, are thrown together during his escape.

Adding texture and contrast to Esther and Karsten’s story is British army officer Rotheram’s difficult assignment to interrogate captured nazi officer Rudolf Hess, both of them haboring secrets and struggling with matters of honesty and honor.

“What makes this first novel …an intriguing read isn't the plot, …but the beautifully realized characters, who learn that life is a jumble of difficult compromises best confronted with eyes wide open.” (Publishers’s Weekly)

Read an interview with P.H.D. and an interesting piece in Michigan Today by Leslie Stainton.

* = Starred Reviews

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