Kid Bits - Kindergarten Starts Soon

School starts in a month and Kindergarten will be a new world. Get ready by reading about it. Try Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson; and the bilingual Spanish-English version in the Foreign Language Collection Prepárate, kindergarten! Allá voy!. Try 10 Days To Kindergarten by Alison McGhee; Mrs. Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten by Joseph Slate; My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells; The Peanut-Free Cafe by Gloria Koster; or The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing.

Kid Bits - Babies

Is there a new big brother or sister in your home because a new baby arrived? These are stories especially for the bigger sibling. Dear Baby by Sarah Sullivan; Best Kind Of Baby by Kate Laing; Julius, The Baby Of The World by Kevin Henkes; Just Add One Chinese Sister by Patricia McMahon; and Walk On: A Guide For Babies Of All Ages by Marla Frazee.

Baby Bits - Farm Animals and You

If you like the song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm", you will probably enjoy these books too. Look for Can You Moo? by David Wojtowycz; What The Baby Hears by Laura Goodwin; Have You Seen My Duckling by Nancy Tafuri; and the classic Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins. You can play "find the animal" and "who makes this sound?"

Celebrating American Women

Friday, July 21 is the 27th anniversary of the the founding of The National Women's Hall of Fame. The hall was founded to honor women who have been the most influential in the development of the United States. Located in Seneca Falls, N.Y., "the birthplace of women's rights," the Hall of Fame stands where the first Women's Suffrage Movement Convention was held in 1848.

Some recently acquired biographies of American women are:

Mary Evans Walker:Above and Beyond by Dale L. Walker. Walker was a physician during the Civil War.

Mistress Bradstreet:The Untold Life of America's First Poet by Charlotte Gordon.

Beach Reads 2006 (#4, mostly Fabulous Fiction Firsts)

beachread5

Blow the House Down by Robert Baer. Riveting and complex debut spy thriller by an ex-CIA operative whose memoir inspired the film Syriana.

A Field of Darkness* by Cornelia Read. A tough-talking, shotgun-toting, ex-debutante being drawn into a cold case involving a double homicide. (A noteworthy FFF - primed as a mystery series opener).

The Futurist* by James P. Othmer. Wildly entertaining and deadly serious satire on global politics and personal integrity. (A FFF)

The Girls* by Lori Lansens. The lives, loves and dreams of a set of conjoined twins. Unforgettable, from a noted Canadian author.

Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn* by Sarah Miller. A wild ride inside the head of a sensitive, funny, and a bit lusty 15 year-old prep school hunk. (Another FFF!)

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs. Entertaining nonfiction account of one man's attempt to read the whole Encyclopedia Britannica. (Recommended by Sancho Panza).

Little Beauties by Kim Addonizio. FFF from a noted poet, about a has-been junior beauty queen, a pregnant teenager and a baby girl determined to carve out her own future. Moving and engaging. Reminds me of Billie Lett's debut novel Where the Heart is.

Owl Island by Randy Sue Coburn. A romantic and wise look at first loves, set in the Pacific Northwest. You will be hard pressed to find a better beach read.

* = Starred reviews

Sofie and the City by Karima Grant

Sofie does not like her new home in the city. The city is crowded and the people are not friendly. Sofie finds that friendship can make a new place seem like home. Karima Grant tells a story a child just learning english and who misses home can relate to.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (7/23/06)

It's hard to believe that it has been almost 20 years since the publication of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe in 1987. Fannie Flagg returns again to the List with a new book set in another small American town.

At #3 is Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg: we're back in Elmwood Springs, MO enjoying Flagg's funny, light-hearted exploration of mortality and her celebration of the joys of simplicity.

At #14 is Proof Postive by Phillip Margolin: this third Jaffe legal thriller looks at how forensic evidence can be manipulated to influence trials.

Grenville wins 2006 Commonwealth Prize

Kate Grenville has won the overall best book Commonwealth Prize for 2006 for The Secret River. Grenville's latest is gripping, revealing story of the struggle of exiled British criminals in New South Wales, specifically Will Thornhill. Will grew up in the slums of London and is caught stealing lumber, his life saved but doomed to exile. Once free, Will, his wife Sarah and their growing brood find land outside Sydney where Will dreams of prosperity as a trader.

Animanga This Fall

Anime Full Metal Alchemist Ed

Planning Animanga Club for this fall is underway. I know everyone said they liked meeting on the Weekends but there are many football Saturdays to compete with in the fall. What about meeting Friday nights? Also, what do you think about doing Full Metal Alchemist in the fall? I also have a call for a Vintage Night.

Mickey Spillane, pulp crime fiction giant, is dead

Mickey Spillane, pulp crime fiction giant, is dead

Mickey Spillane, creator of the Mike Hammer private eye novels, has died.

Mike Hammer, crime fiction’s politically correct nightmare, captured the attention of Spillane fans for decades. Brutal, violent, murderous toward women, and shaky on the subtle nuances of the law, Hammer kept readers demanding more for decades.

Spillane, a former Jehovah’s Witness, laughed at the scorn critics heaped upon his novels, such as Murder Is My Business, The Snake and Kiss Me, Deadly, one of several Spillane titles turned into a movie. He referred to his books as “the chewing gum of American literaure” and precious few reviewers disagreed.

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