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.

Feeling Crafty?

CraftzineCraftzine

This Fall, the makers of Make magazine released a new creation, Craft magazine. If you are a current crafter or aspiring to become one, take a look at their wonderful website. It contains a blog where crafters post photos of their creations and often instructions for you to make them too.

Want even more information on crafting? The library has hundreds of instructional craft books for you to check out.

Not a do-it-yourselfer? Don’t fret; you can jump on the craft bandwagon by supporting local artists at the upcoming Winter Shadow Art Fair in Ypsilanti. This two day event runs Friday, December 1 (8pm to midnight) and Saturday, December 2 (11am to 8pm) at the Corner Brewery. Visit the website for more information.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Although America Recycles Day was November 15, it's never too late to start being more environmentally aware. Check out all the services of Recycle Ann Arbor. You'll be amazed by opportunities both to recycle and to grab some great finds, especially at the Re-Use Station.

The Library has a wealth of information on recycling and environmental issues. A new dvd series produced by PBS titled Design e2: The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious looks at inspiring examples of environmental projects throughout the country including Mayor Richard Daley's green initiatives for the city of Chicago. Other programs examine a proposed greywater recycling system in Bejing that would be the largest in the world and how Boston's Big Dig project has provided opportunities for using its scrap for innovative house design.

Ready Made: How to Make (Almost) Everything: A Do-It Yourself Primer by Shoshana Berger is a playful look at how we can transform discarded materials into such creations as chopstick clocks and cd racks made from Fed Ex boxes.

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Thanksgiving and the Turkey

Two recent books at the library:

The Turkey: an American Story by Andrew F. Smith

A Great & Godly Adventure: the Pilgrims & the Myth of the First Thanksgiving, a “fastidiously researched” history (things were pretty stark rather than idyllic) by Godfrey Hodgson

One week before Thanksgiving 60 of the 168 titles the library owns about Thanksgiving are still available. Of the thirteen titles on cooking Thanksgiving dinner nine are available. It would appear that most people have their holiday menu well planned.

Since 2003 the public has been able to help name the two turkeys pardoned by the President (about 50 million turkeys are consumed each Thanksgiving).

From among the five choices in previous years the winners were:

2003: Stars and Stripes
2004: Biscuits and Gravy
2005: Marshmallow and Yam

You have until next Wednesday to help select this year’s choice from among:

Ben and Franklin
Plymouth and Rock
Washington and Lincoln
Corn and Copia
Flyer and Fryer

The turkeys to be pardoned are presented to the President by the National Turkey Federation. The President also receives two dressed turkeys from the NTF (the dressed turkeys are not named).

The pardoned turkeys get to live out their remaining lives at the Kidwell Farm in Frying Pan Park (Herndon, VA). Do not make a trip if you hope to see the Clinton, George HW Bush, or Reagan presidential pardonees. The turkeys seldom live to see their successors arrive (according to the National Geographic: “With the enormous weight these birds carry, they usually die before the arrival of the next Thanksgiving. Farmer Todd Brown buries the turkeys on the 98-acre property”).

The U. S. Census Bureau has compiled statistics about our Thanksgiving dinners.

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