Fore!!!

Shepard (a14)Shepard (a14)

In 1971, Apollo 14 Commander, Alan Shepard fitted a makeshift eight iron head to the handle of a lunar sample collection device and became the first golfer on the moon. On Wednesday, November 22, 2006, Russian flight engineer, Mikhail Tyurin, will once again bring the sport to space. A Canadian golf club maker, E21, is paying the Russian Federal Space Agency an undisclosed sum for Tyurin’s time. He will be hitting a golf ball from a spring-mounted tee on the ladder next to the hatch of the Russian docking compartment of the International Space Station. The ball will be hit over the back of the station to ensure that it does not damage it.

For live coverage of the ISS Expedition 14 spacewalk visit NASA’s website. The broadcast begins at 5 pm with the spacewalk scheduled for 6 pm. You can also find more information (and the promise of a video clip) at E21’s website.

In preparation for your next trip into space, check out the library’s collection of golf books and DVDs to improve your swing.

Here's one for the birds

Pigeons by Andrew Blechman was discussed on the Diane Rehm show Thursday 11-9-2006. According to the shows web site "Some see them as majestic birds capable of flights of fancy ranging from high-speed races to long-distance message delivery. Others see the rock dove as nothing more than a rat with wings. A look at the often reviled, often revered pigeon."

I'm interested in reading this book to learn how pigeons have been revered. My experience places them closer to the rats with wings. However I do remember being impressed by a cousin who raised pigeons and who learned a lot from that experience. It was impressive his accomplishment and the pigeons.

Don't forget the Library has an excellent collection of books on birds.

Grandmama's Pride by Becky Birtha

Sarah Marie, her mother and sister, are headed down south to visit Grandmama. Mama tells them that they can have the back seat of the bus all to themselves. When the bus pulls into a rest stop, Mama tells them they brought their lunches. When they arrive at Grandmama’s stop, Grandmama is waiting for them in the stand-up waiting room. When Sarah Marie learns to read during her visit, she reads the signs over the water fountain, lunch counter and bathroom and learns why “Grandmama’s pride was too tall to fit in the back of the bus.” Becky Birtha illustrates the determination and pride of those who fought for civil rights in this clearly written children’s book.

Remember THE SHEIK?

Many of you are too young to remember him, but for young women in the 1920's, Rudolph Valentino was the first major movie sex symbol. On November 20, 1921, one of his most famous films, The Sheik was released. Valentino's steamy, melodramatic portrayal of a desert prince hopelessly in love with an Englishwoman left women fainting in the aisles. A sequel, The Son of the Shiek, was released in 1926, a few weeks after Valentino's tragic death.

The Library has an extensive collection of silent films featuring such greats as Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and the "It Girl, Clara Bow. Check them out!

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (11/19/06)

There's a lot of romance, sweetness and light on the List this week. Is it the time of year? The big book news this week was the announcement of the National Book Award winner. Richard Powers took home the big prize for Echo Maker.

At #1 is Dear John by Nicholas Sparks: "An unlikely romance between a soldier and an idealistic young woman is tested in the aftermath of 9/11."

At #4 is H.R.H by Danielle Steel: "An American-educated European princess faces unexpected challenges when she works at an African Red Cross camp."

At #12 is Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani: "Complications with family, friends and politics in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains."

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #42

Michael Gregorio's fiction debut Critique of Criminal Reason is a compelling, highbrow historical whodunit set in 1804. Hanno Stiffeniis, a rural magistrate, was summoned by the Prussian king to Konigsberg, to aid his mentor and the great thinker Immanuel Kant in a serial murder investigation. Fear gripped the city, and added to the tension was the threat of invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte and a dark secret in Stiffeniis’ past.

With a twisty, fast-moving plot, pitch-perfect period detail and a psychologically complex protagonist, readers "can expect stunning and thought-provoking reversals before the last clue is deciphered". I will be anxiously waiting for the sequel.

Starred reviews in Publishers’ Weekly and Booklist.

Modern Fairy Bits

If you are a kid that loves fairies, and you like to listen to a good story, or read your own, try The Woman Who Flummoxed The Fairies, The Airy Fairy series like The Magic Mix-Up by Margaret Ryan. Until you have read Clemency Pogue by J.T. Petty, be careful whether you believe in fairies, or not!

Catch Up On Classic Fairies

Now that Fairies moved into the Library ... why not catch up on Fairy Lore. Michael Hague's illustrations accompany classic fairy tales in the collective The Book Of Fairies. You can try Bruce Coville's retold version for children of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with pictures by Dennis Nolan. And Don't miss Cicely Mary Barker's books on Flower Fairies such as The Complete Book Of The Flower Fairies. Each is a visual treasure to read.

Picking the 2007 Newbery Winner

The winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal will be announced in January. It's always fun to run your own competition and see if you can spot the winner and honor titles.
Some bookstores and libraries run Mock Newbery contests. These provide good reading lists that can start you on your way. Here are three good lists from three different Mock Newberys. Happy reading!!

http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/children/newbery_current.html
http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/reading_lists/mock_newbery.php
http://www.lori.ri.gov/youthserv/newbery.php

Wise Women and the Great Lakes

Some of my favorite pieces in Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes edited by Alison Swan, take place along Lake Michigan in the Chicago area. In particular, “Hunting the Moon,” by Gail Louise Siegel, includes this wonderful description: “At the lake I hit pay dirt. Turning off Sheridan Road, I see her, rising slowly out of the black water like a holy melon – the full moon. And I’m not the only one who’s come to look; cars line the street. I poke along for a parking spot.” Swan visited Crazy Wisdom in Ann Arbor this week, and now must be headed for Chicago, where she is scheduled to appear at Women & Children First on Clark Street at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, along with Chicago area contributors to the book (Donna Seaman, who wrote “Reflections from a Concrete Shore,” and Judith Strasser (“In the Apostle Islands.”) This book offers a wealth of good to great writing about the Great Lakes and will appeal to anyone with a feminine sensibility, a love of the lakes, or just an appreciation of strong storytelling. The Michigan pieces are varied and splendid, especially “Dunetop Dying,” by Gayle Boss, and “The Gray Lady of Lake Huron,” by Laura Kasischke.

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