When Madeline Was Young

A priests' book group is reading Jane Hamilton's favorably reviewed new book, When Madeline Was Young because it casts a particularly kind eye on human nature. The novel weaves the tale of Madeline Maciver, a beautiful young wife who suffers brain damage in a bike accident early in her marriage to Aaron Maciver. Aaron and his second wife, Julia, care for Madeline, while also raising two children of their own. The book, narrated by their son, Mac, also highlights family rivalries, sibling relationships, and contemporary American history.

Here comes Harry (Hieronymous) Bosch again

I can't wait to read Echo Park the 12th installment begun in 1992 of the Harry Bosch series. Connelly really does a good job developing his characters even the background ones.
Connellys fictional detective Harry Bosch has become so real he's got his own Wiki page and can be found on the web.

Harry Bosch has shown up in cameo roles in books by other authors, including Robert Crais's The Last Detective and in Strange Bedfellows by Paula L. Woods's and in Cons, Scams, and Grifts by Joe Gores

Help Youngsters Talk About Books

If you're thinking of launching a book club for kids, take some tips from an Ann Arbor parent who has been there: "It started out being almost 100% parent-driven, but now that the girls are older, they run it a little more. They vote on the books and select something from everyone. It works well because they all have very different tastes. Sometimes the parents select a book, but only if we are not organized enough to have the kids' choices lined up! We are trying to have the kids lead the discussions more, but I'm sure that will be a longer process . . . " For more ideas on book groups for children, check out Reading Raps: A Book Club Guide for Librarians, Kids, and Families by Rita Soltan.

A Timeless Tale

Don't ask why. Serendipity.
The stories are timeless; the issues perennial; simple parables, and I share them here. A book, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, was written in 1959. It resonates as if written today. A movie, Black and White in Color, was produced in 1976. This story happens, wherever people and power exist.

Americans in Paris

After a very successful run at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the blockbuster exhibition Americans in Paris, 1860-1900 will open tomorrow (Oct. 24th) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City.

You will most likely recognize the works of many of the 37 artists represented but I can guarantee that the crowd will huddle around Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) - the highly controversial painting, and not just within the high society in which the artist John Singer Sargent traveled.

I am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto is a fictional biography of Virginie Avegno Gautreau, the exquisite beauty with the waxy white skin, so splendidly depicted, in a rather suggestive black gown.

To get behind the scandal (Strap? No strap?) fueled by this highly problematic but much sought-after commission, check out Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis.

And thanks to the generous gift of the Ladies Library Association, the catalog of the Exhibition, by Kathleen Adler will soon be available.

New York Times Bestseller: Elizabeth Edwards

Coming in at #7 this week on the New York Times hardcover bestsellers list is Elizabeth Edwards' memoir, Saving Graces. Edwards, the wife of former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, has written a fascinating account of her life in law and politics, and an uplifting account of how she has survived both the tragic loss of her son Wade and her recent fight against breast cancer. You might also want to check out John Edwards' account of his legal career and family life in Four Trials, or take a look on-line at the Wade Edwards Foundation, which provides computer labs and other learning resources for schoolchildren.

2006 Quill Book Awards - Children's Categories

The second annual Quill Book Awards were announced on October 10 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The awards ceremony will be aired on NBC on October 28.
The winners in the three youth categories are all sequels.
In the category of Children's Illustrated Books the winner is Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Pig a Party. It is illustrated by Felicia Bond. It is the fifth in her series of circular cause-and-effect stories.
Lemony Snicket's The Penultimate Peril won The Quill in the category of Children's Chapter Books/Middle Grades. This is #12 in the author's Series of Unfortunate Events that just came to an end with the October 13th release of #13 The End.
The Young Adult/Teen award went to Christopher Paolini's The Eldest, the sequel to 2003's Eragon.

Fans of Mercury, mark your calendars!!!

Mercury TransitMercury Transit

On Wednesday, November 8, the planet Mercury will pass directly in front of the Sun. This event is known as the Transit of Mercury and occurs 13 to 14 times per century. Mercury will appear as a very tiny black dot as it makes its way across the Sun’s face. Since only a tiny spot will be covered, it is still dangerous to look directly at the Sun. Some ways to safely view solar events are through eclipse glasses or by means of a pinhole projector. The best way to see the movement of Mercury would be through a telescope equipped with a sun-safe H-alpha filter. If this isn’t possible, don’t fret. You can visit the SOHO website to watch it from the comfort of your nearest computer.

The University of Michigan Angell Hall Observatory, complete with a 0.4-m (16-inch) diameter reflecting telescope equipped with a CCD camera, will be hosting an open house for the event. Click here for information.

If you miss it this time you will have to wait 10 years for another opportunity. The next Transit of Mercury is expected to occur May 9, 2016.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #38

Edward Glyver - booklover, scholar, and murderer is the narrator in this exemplary blend of intrigue, history and romance, marking a standout literary debut with The Meaning of Night: A confession by Michael Cox. It took the author 30 years to complete, and snagged him the highest advance in publication history. Read more.

Glyver always believes he is destined for greatness, but standing between him and his rightful inheritance is his archnemesis, the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt. Resourceful Eddy will stop at nothing to claim what is his.

Fans of Wilkie Collins, Iain Pears, and David Liss would appreciate the expectedly wicked twists, and the well drawn cast of characters. Anyone interested in scrupulously researched background and details of everyday Victorian life, as in Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White and Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith would find an enthralling and suspenseful read here.

All-starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Highly recommended.

Libros para celebrar el Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos (meaning "Day of the Dead") celebrations run from October 31 through November 2. Teach your child about this ancient Aztec holiday and celebrate the memory of your loved ones with these books from our youth collection:

Felipa and the Day of the Dead by Birte Müller
Beto and the Bone Dance by Gina Freschet
Clatter Bash!:a Day of the Dead Celebration by Richard Keep.
Calavera Abecedario : a Day of the Dead Alphabet Book by Jeanette Winter
Day of the Dead by Linda Lowery
The Skeleton at the Feast : the Day of the Dead in Mexico by Elizabeth Carmichael and Chloë Sayer.

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