Cowboy Robots

Daisy KutterDaisy Kutter

Kazu Kibuishi (of Flight fame) released his debut graphic novel, Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, in 2005. It has been receiving praise ever since, including being selected by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults for 2006.
The story is simple. Daisy Kutter is a retired gunslinger who takes on one last job. The setting has an old west feel with robots. Kibuishi’s mastery of comics timing adds dimension to the story and characters. Hints of his influences, such as Hayao Miyazaki, can be seen in his work, but his loose and fluid style is unique.
Be on the lookout for Kibuishi’s lastest work, Amulet, due out in fall of 2007 from Scholastic’s Graphix imprint.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #37

Already a bestseller and a household name in European publishing, mystery readers in the US are just now discovering Fred Vargas.

Her (yes, no mistake here, her!) first title to be translated from the French, Have Mercy On Us All is an engaging police procedural with a strong tie to her interest in medieval history. Someone in modern day Paris is recreating the Black Plague epidemic and bodies are piling up.

Look for her new title in the same series Seeking Whom He May Devour : Chief Inspector Adamsberg investigates.

Interested in mysteries set abroad? Read Library Journal’s Mystery Goes Global.

Kid Bits - Reading Levels

The more you read, the better you learn ....
The Library places colored dots to identify the earliest reading levels of books. The Ann Arbor Public Schools use alphabet letters to identify the reading levels. On the school web site is an excellent document to help parents find books for children who are learning to read Reading Levels.

October New and Noteworthy

You don’t need me to harp on about the mega-bestsellers but I would like to bring you each month, some of the easy-to-miss new fiction titles. They might be mainstream or quirky; unusual and trend setting; from a newcomer worth watching or a little-known foreign powerhouse who nevertheless deserves a closer look. Some are personal favorites (you can probably tell) but many are exciting new finds.

One Good Turn* by Kate Atkinson.
The story continues from Case Histories. Crackling one-liners, spot-on set pieces and full-blooded cameos make for another absorbing character study.

Spring and Fall by Nicholas Delbanco.
Sweetly satisfying tale of college lovers reunite after 40 years.

The Uses of Enchantment* by Heidi Julavits
The mystery of what did happened to Mary Veal, a 16 year-old abducted from a New England prep-school. Enthralling, atmospheric tale of "sick twisted love".

American Cookery by Laura Kalpakian
A versatile writer serves up tradition and innovation in a saga based on the joy of cooking, complete with 27 recipes.

The Other Side of the Bridge* by Mary Lawson.
Follow up to her much acclaimed debut novel Crow Lake. Moral quandaries and human drama in the Canadian North.

Bliss by O.Z. Livaneli.
Gripping contemporary story of three travelers who change each other, by an eminent Turkish writer.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Much awaited sequel to her teen/vampire FFF Twilight* (See blog). Don’t miss this one!

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas.
“(F)ast-paced mix of popular culture, love, mystery, and irresistible philosophical adventure” by a genre-blending young British writer and the author of PopCo. Edgy and worth a try.

* = Starred review(s)

Surprise Visit @ Pittsfield Storytime

We have a SURPRISE visit @ Pittsfield Branch for Storytime TONIGHT !! Lisa and Tucker Johnson are the author and illustrator of the new children's book All Hallow's Eve. Come to the program, meet them, and hear them read their book ... 7-7:30 pm Thursday evening October 5th, 2006.

The Hard Way by Lee Child

Great page-turner! I've had a number of Library customers in recently looking for books by Lee Child. So I thought it was time to read one. Good decision. Hard Way is tenth in a series featuring ex MP Jack Reacher. Reacher is some sort of a mysterious, anti-hero, no attachments, and is seemingly invincible with a strong sense of right & wrong.
The story has lots of suspense and plenty of plot twists and surprises. I should have been able to guess the ending but I didn't. Lots of menace and thrills to the end,

If you liked Lee Childs you might also try Douglas J Preston.

Childs web site click here is full of information on all his books and detailed information on his character Jack Reacher. Just be careful and don't read any of the spoilers info until you've read the specific book.

Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly

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The Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly is available at all library locations. The latest issue is available for library use. Earlier issues circulate for two weeks.

Each issue has profiles of local businesses and businesspeople, articles on general business topics, on Michigan and U. S. laws and programs, plus pages of short briefs from local company press releases; columns by Mike Gould, “Small Business and the Internet”, and by John Agno, “Ask the ‘Coach’, answering business questions; a business events calendar; and other interesting columns, charts and statistics.

The September special issue is “dedicated to the University of Michigan and its huge economic impact on the local community.” There is a useful chart of 2006 U of M Major Development Projects with the estimated cost and completion date plus 2005-06 Completed Development Projects. The 2006 projects total 1.75 billion dollars. This issue has a useful directory of thirty-three sources for U-M Local Business Assistance. Each source has a brief description of the program, contact phone number, web site, and e-mail address.

Some interesting statistics from the August issue:

Ann Arbor “hotel occupancy rates averaged about 67 percent for 2005, up 4.5 percent from the previous year.”
“As of June 30, 2006, the total market vacancy rate, including office and flex space, was 13.2%…the highest total market vacancy rate since Swisher Commercial began its vacancy reports in 1994.” (Commercial Real Estate)
Tourism Statistics for Washtenaw County, 2004: $368 million in total visitor spending; 5700 jobs (direct economic impacts in tourism-related businesses).

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (10/8/06)

If you loved the movie Gladiator and the TV series Rome, you might also enjoy the ancient Roman novels by Robert Harris. His latest enters the List this week. And John le Carre returns with another great book set once again in the killing fields of Africa. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will also be pleased to learn that he has a new book to savor.

At #3 is The Mission Song by John le Carre: "An English translator, born in Congo, is sent by British intelligence to work for a corporate syndicate that wants to subvert Congolese elections."

At #7 is Imperium by Robert Harris: "A fictional life of Marcus Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator, as told by a household slave."

At #11 is The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith: "The third novel featuring the philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is a mystery about the meaning of happiness."

Fantasy Lite

For the beginning chapter book reader who longs to enter the world of enchantment, we have many series, both old and new, with fairies, princesses, dragons and more. You will find Airy Fairy, Princess School, Rainbow Magic, Lily Quench and Dragon Slayer’s Academy, under their series names in the youth fiction area. There are plenty more where these came from. Just imagine!

Celebrate the 49th Anniversary of Sputnik 1

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On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union surprised the rest of the world with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. This marked the beginning of the space race, when the US and USSR competed to be the first nation to get a human to the moon and return them safely to the earth. The space race led to countless technological advances, including the invention of microtechnology, which have been put to everyday use in the form of computers, cell phones, and memory foam mattresses.
Celebrate the 49th anniversary of this historic event by using your cell phone to order a pizza. After all, the technology that makes it possible exists because of Sputnik.
Also, visit the New York Times Historical Database (in the research section of our website) to read what our country thought of this event while it was taking place.

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