"Terrorist"

On June 5th, 2006 on the Diane Rehm show John Updike the award winning & highly popular author was interviewed about his new book (his 22nd novel) Terrorist with a 150,000-copy announced first printing. The book plucks its subject from the daily headlines as it explores the psychology behind young recruits to terrorism. Why do seemingly rational individuals commit destructive acts of terror? What can happen when diparate cultures co-exist?

Lambda Literary Award Winners

The 18th Annual Lambda Literary Award winners were announced today. Celebrate LGBT literature (or literature that happens to be LGBT) and be the first to get one of these titles - as I write, many of our copies are still on the shelves! Categories and titles for which AADL has holdings are:

Anthology Freedom in This Village: 25 Years of Black, Gay Men's Writing ed. E. Lynn Harris
Belles Lettres The Tricky Part by Martin Moran
Biography February House by Sherill Tippins
Gay Men's Debut Fiction You Are Not the One by Vestal McIntyre
Gay Men's Poetry Crush by Richard Siken
Humor Don't Get too Comfortable by David Rakoff
Lesbian Fiction Wild Dogs by Helen Humphreys
Lesbian Mystery Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar de Alba
Lesbian Poetry Directed by Desire: Collected Poems by June Jordan
Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Daughters of an Emerald Dusk by Katherine V. Forrest

Fresh Air Picks from the week of May 29th, 2006

Joseph R. Gannascoli, known until recently as mob captain Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos, has tried his hand at writing. Check out his new crime novel, A Meal to Die For, about a mobster and gourmet chef who has to prepare a feast for a boss who is about to be sent to jail. While you're at it, check out the first five seasons of The Sopranos on DVD: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Listen to Gannascoli talk about his new book on Fresh Air here.

Jamaican singer Desmond Dekker died last week at the age of 64. Check out The Best of Desmond Dekker, or hear his 1969 hit "Israelites" on one of several compilations: Rhythm and Blues Beat (Volume 2, 1964-1969), Caribbean Playground, and The Best of and the Rest of: Greatest Original Reggae Hits. Rock historian Ed Ward remembers Dekker on Fresh Air - listen here.

David Douglas Duncan is best known for his war photography, but he was also a frequent photographer of Picasso. Check out Viva Picasso or Duncan's photographic autobiography Photo Nomad, which includes seven decades of photos. Hear an interview with Duncan from July 2, 1990 here.

Good ending v Bad ending

Should "Caution: Bad Ending Ahead" warning labels come on books like content warnings come on CD's? Should we be warned ahead of time that a book is going to leave us hanging off the cliff, and sometimes falling into the never ending pit, of literary "Nowhereland"?
After reading The Alchemist's Daughter by Katharine McMahon, I am thinking maybe a cautionary warning label would be a welcomed disclaimer.
For the record, I am no literary wimp, and have been known to accept and eventually even embrace the "surprise" ending, the "untidy" ending, or the "out of character" ending.

James Shapiro's book on Shakespeare wins the Samuel Johnson Prize

James Shapiro, a Professor of English at Columbia University, was named the winner yesterday of the 2005 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction. His acclaimed book, A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, studies the pivotal year in Shakespeare's life when he was 35 and not only wrote As You Like It and Henry V, but also finished the first draft of Hamlet.

Shapiro, who also wrote Shakespeare and the Jews in 1996, was awarded the $55,000 purse in this most prestigious UK nonfiction prize.

Good News

It's nice to hear something positive in the news. Nearly four months after refusing potentially life-extending treatment for his failing kidneys, Art Buchwald is alive against all expectations.

On the Diane Rehm show June 8, 2006 Diane visited with Mr Buchwald at the hospice where he’s been staying before he leaves to write a book on Martha’s Vineyard this summer.

Art Buchwald, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist has been ranked among America's finest humor writers for decades. The library has a number of his works available including his latest Beating around the Bush

How It All Started

On June 14, 1951, Univac 1 was unveiled in Philadelphia. Designed for the Bureau of the Census, this was the first commercial electronic computer although it had been preceded by ENIAC, both systems developed by John Mauchy and others at the University of Pennsylvania. Massive in size and short on memory compared to our gigabyte world, UNIVAC, as it was soon called, represented a tidal shift in technology whose repercussions have affected every aspect of life as we know it.

Two current and entertaining books on the history of computers are What the Dormouse Said-:How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff and Electronic Brains: Stories from the Dawn of the Computer Age by Mike Hally.

Colm Toibin wins the 2006 International Impac Dublin Literary Award

Colm Toibin

Colm Toibin, Irish author extraordinaire, won the world's largest literary purse yesterday for his novel, The Master, which came close to winning the 2004 Man Booker Prize.

Toibin, 51, the first Irish author to win The International Impac Dublin Literary Award, is in great company. Previous winners are Edward P. Jones (2005), Tahar Ben Jelloun (2004), Orhan Pamuk (2003), and Michel Houellebecq (2002).

The IIDLA, worth 100,000 Euros ($125,767), receives nominations from 180 libraries from 43 countries.

UM's Donald Hall is named Poet Laureate

Donald Hall

Donald Hall, former professor of English at The University of Michigan from 1957-1975, will become the nation's 14th poet laureate.

James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, will bestow the appointment on Prof. Hall, who succeeds Ted Kooser.

Hall, 77, as well known for his clean spare poetry and prose as for his passionate outspoken defense of government arts grants, now lives in New Hampshire.

Are you ready for some football?

We're not talking pigskin folks. That's right, the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany is well underway. Not quite sure about the rules of the game? Ever wonder why soccer is such a popular sport around the world? Maybe these titles can offer insight:
The Simplest Game: The Intelligent Fan's Guide to the World of Soccer
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Soccer
The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer
Soccer Fundamentals

If you'd rather get in the spirit of the game and find out about last year's world champions, check out this biography of Brazilian soccer by Geoffrey Douglas, The Game of Their Lives.

So, who are you rooting for?

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