William Styron, Pultizer Prize author, has died

William Styron, Pultizer Prize author, has diedWilliam Styron, Pultizer Prize author, has died

A powerful voice of American letters has been silenced.

William Styron, author of The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice, two important novels that changed the national discussion about slavery and the Holocaust respectively, died November 1, 2006 in Martha’s Vineyard of pneumonia.

Often labeled the ‘new William Faulkner’, a comparison he strongly protested, he published Lie Down in Darkness, his first novel. in 1951. In 1968 he was awarded the Pulitzer for The Confessions of Nat Turner, based on an actual uprising by slaves in 1831. Nat Turner originally was highly praised and then later renounced as a misrepresentation of that chapter in African American history.

Sophie’s Choice, the wrenching story of a Holocaust survivor driven to despair from the impossibly horrific choice she was forced to make at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, won the American Book Award for Fiction in 1980 and was made into a powerful movie starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline.

Mr. Styron was 81.

November is National Adoption Month

If you're an adoptive parent, birth parent, thinking about adoption, an adopted child or someone interested in learning more about adoption, here are some new titles that may be of interest:

For teens and adults:
A Brief Chapter of My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt
Simone, 16, has always known she was adopted but now, with the encouragement of her parents, has a chance to meet her birthmother, Rivka who helps her through a tough period of her life.
Store-Bought Baby by Sandra Belton
Leah mourns the death of her beloved older adopted brother Luce in a car accident. An unusual take, this is an adoption story from the biological child's point of view.
Peck on the Cheek, a film by Mani Ratnam tells the story of Amedha, of Sri Lankan and Tamil parentage, who is told of her adoption on her ninth birthday and goes with her family to war torn Sri Lanka in search of her birthparents.
Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child by Dawn Davenport. This up to date book covers everything you need to know about the adoption process, practical, legal and emotional aspects as well as poignant accounts of adoptive parents. A comprehensive resource guide is included. (On order).

For children:
Megan's Birthday Tree: A true Story About Open Adoption by Laurie Lears Kendra, Megan's birth mother sends Megan photos every year of the tree she has planted when Megan was born. Now that Kendra's moving, Megan worries if she will forget her without the tree as a reminder.
Just Add One Chinese Sister by Patricia McMahon. The story of an American family's adoption of a Chinese toddler is told in scrap book fashion. Imaginative and playful illustrations make this a great book to share with all members of an
adoptive family.

For a deliciously scary time....

Vincent PriceVincent Price

In honor of Halloween, why not check out a Vincent Price movie from our collection? The Fly is always a good choice.
There is also the Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection narrated by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone.
If you’re not in the mood for a good scare, why not try a gourmet cookbook?
Many people equate Vincent Price with camp horror classics, but few know that he was also a gourmet. In 1965, he and his wife published "A Treasury of Great Recipes". This book contains 456 pages of wonderfully delicious recipes, most containing at least 1 stick of butter. Unfortunately, this great book is out of print, but available used through amazon.

NPR Pick for the Weekend of October 28th, 2006

Does Halloween make you feel like a bit of a kid again? Join Bill Bryson as he takes you on a tour of his children in 1950s Des Moines, Iowa in his latest book, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Bryson will take you on a tour of the local establishments that he remembers fondly, from the local supermarket with its comic books to the department store with a tea room fit for a queen. Listen to an interview with NPR’s Weekend Edition, see pictures of a young Bill Bryson, and read an excerpt of the book here.

Bryson is also the author of several other popular books, including A Walk in the Woods, A Short History of Nearly Everything, and Notes from a Small Island.

Tom Brady Book Due Out Today

Tom BradyTom Brady

Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything by Charles P. Pierce is scheduled to be released today at bookstores. Why Halloween?

Last night on Monday Night Football Tom Brady picked apart what was thought to be a very good Minnesota defense, throwing four touchdown passes among his 29 completions in 43 attempts for 372 yards. He has three Super Bowl rings and has twice been the Super Bowl MVP.

Brady started every game for the Wolverines in 1998 and 1999. The Wolverines were 20-5 in games that Brady started, with a Big Ten co-championship and an Orange Bowl victory.

From the Publishers Weekly review: “Pierce offers a genial look at the unlikely rise of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from embattled Michigan player through draft afterthought to multiple Super Bowl MVP. But while the book might seem late considering the Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years in 2004, it actually benefits from Pierce using the team's trying 2005 season as a backdrop against which to highlight his main argument: that Brady's intangible abilities as a leader under any circumstances are worth far more than what can be measured with a stopwatch. In addition to stories from Brady's coaches and teammates that bear out this assessment, journalist Pierce serves up some entertaining prose.”

Theodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has died

Theodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has diedTheodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has died

Theodore Taylor, author of the enduring 1969 classic The Cay, about a racist white boy marooned on an island in World War II with a wise black man, died Thursday, October 26, 2006, in California.

Taylor, a high school dropout who joined the merchant marines during World War II, earned a commission in the Navy, and then was called back to service during the Korean War. He used his wartime experiences and observations to write The Cay, which resonated so strongly across this country that 38 states put it on their required or recommended lists. It received a dozen literary awards and was made into a TV movie starring James Earl Jones.

Taylor, a prolific writer who penned fiction and non-fiction books for teens and adults, was 85 when he died.

All About Barack Obama...

Barack Obama is...the hottest name in politics these days! You've probably heard that Senator Obama may run for President in '08 (if Oprah has her way!) A lot is being written about Obama...and by Obama! Take a look at Harper's Magazine, November 2006 or Time Magazine, October 23, 2006, both available in the Library's Periodical Room. Or check out Obama's own writing in his autobiographical Dreams from My Father, and more recently in his new book calling for a 'new brand of politics'. All fascinating reads!

"Give me your tired..."

On October 28, 1886, the The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. Originally conceived by the French sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi who titled it "Liberty Enlightening the World," the statue symbolized immigrants' dreams of freedom and prosperity. Emma Lazarus' poem, "Collossus" contains the famous words inscribed inside the pedestal of the statue.

Fabulous Fiction First #39

When a young girl is murdered and mutilated and another disappears in Wind Gap, Mo., Chicago Daily Post reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the story. She is less than surprised with the cold reception after her long absence, especially at her mother's house.

Fans of Shirley Jackson and Minette Walters will welcome this debut psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. In Sharp Objects, she writes "fluidly about small-town America", but what distinguishes this gruesome tale is the skills with which she misdirects the reader, allowing secrets to unfold only towards the shocking ending.

Flynn (Author interview) is the lead television critic for Entertainment Weekly, and Sharp has been endorsed by both Stephen King and Harlan Coben. Starred review in Library Journal. Can the film rights be far behind? Stay tuned.

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (10/29/06)

Michael Connelly is my favorite American mystery writer. With his Hieronymous (Harry) Bosch series he has become the heir apparent to Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald. In these novels, Connelly explores the same strange and surreal southern California landscape. Harry may be just as ironic and world weary but he does not don the same famous blue raincoat as Philip Marlowe and Lew Archer. He is passionate in his fight for the lost innocents of his world. With splendid writing that evokes an aching nostalgia for a better world, Connelly creates his own films noir.

At #2 is Echo Park by Michael Connelly: Harry returns to solve a cold case.

At #3 is Act of Treason by Vince Flynn: A CIA agent investigates an attack on a presidential candidate. Is Flynn the heir to Tom Clancy?

At #6 is Short Straw by Stuart Woods: A Santa Fe lawyer wakes up to find his wife gone and his world turned inside out and upside down. Ed Eagle fights for his life and his good name.

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