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.

Fresh Air Picks from the Week of July 10th, 2006

Publishers Weekly calls Edmund White "a prolific essayist, novelist, biographer (of Proust and Genet), travel writer, critic and all-around man of letters." On Tuesday, White discussed his new autobiography My Lives, described by PW as a collection of "…gracefully written pieces...[that] engage the intellect, the emotions and even that part of us that responds to name-dropping." Click here to listen to the piece.

Maureen Corrigan, an author on the subject of books and reading, reviewed Elisabeth Hyde’s new title The Abortionist’s Daughter on Wednesday’s show. Anita Shreve, reviewing this title for Publishers Weekly, wrote "Were it not for its fully realized characters and crisp prose, one might be tempted to see The Abortionist's Daughter as just another legal thriller for the beach. The elements are all there…[y]et it is precisely Elisabeth Hyde's arresting prose and astute observations about family life that elevate her fourth novel to domestic tragedy." Listen to Corrigan's review on Fresh Air here.

On Thursday, philanthropist and investor George Soros discussed his new book, The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of The War on Terror. Fresh Air describes Soros this way: “Soros, whose worth has been estimated at over $7 billion, has directed his philanthropic efforts toward defeating George W. Bush in 2004, overthrowing communism in Eastern Europe, helping black students attend university in apartheid South Africa and repealing drug prohibition laws internationally.” In his new book, Soros - “legendary financier-and founder of the Open Society Institute - offers crucial insight into the real meaning of freedom, and how societies can best promote it” (publisher comments). Click here to hear the piece on Fresh Air.

Go Berserk!

We want you and your children to "Go Berserk!" over the Sandra Boynton books we have at our libraries. Sandra Boynton writes and illustrates hilarious children's books that are enjoyed by all ages. Check out some of the great titles we have, such as ...
Hippos Go Berserk!
Moo, baa, la la la!
Opposites
Barnyard dance!
...just to name a few!

Eat Your Peas

Eat Your Peas by Kes Gray
It starts off pretty normal. You don't have to go to bed early. You don't have to take a bath. There is a point midway through this book however where the mother offers her daughter 100 desserts, 10 new bikes, 2 elephants, 3 zebras, a penguin and a chocolate factory if she will only please eat her peas. You know it is only going to get more ridiculous from there. That's the point I realized I really liked this picture book.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #28

It sneaked in under the media radar…

Before Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange, there was Sleep, Pale Sister.

It was Joanne Harris’ debut novel, originally published in 1993 in England but never before available in the U.S.

This haunting gothic romance is set in 19th century London. Middle-aged Henry Chester, an artist of independent means has an unhealthy interest in virginal young girls. Beautiful, fatherless Effie - his model/wife is kept drugged with laudanum so as to remain his vision of feminine perfection — passive, docile, innocent, unsullied. That is, until a roguish fellow artist awakes her passion.

Multiple plot twists complete with ghosts, illicit sex and murder make for a page-turner. Harris' sensual, elegant style and atmospheric prose admired in her subsequent works, is very much evident here. You will love this one.

The Play Ground

Forecast for 6am on Saturday, July 15: 68°F
So, how about a "Sunrise Saturday Ride" with the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society. Every Saturday they take a very slow-paced 22-mile ride to Dexter for breakfast. Begins at sunrise which on July 15 is 6:17 a.m. Meet at Wheeler Park, N. Fourth Ave. at Depot St. Free. 665-6327, 913-9851.

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