My Father's Shop by Satomi Ichikawa

Mustafa's father sells carpets in Morocco. He tells his son that he must learn different languages in order to be successful in their trade. Mustafa becomes bored and races through the village wearing a damaged carpet his father gave him. He is soon followed by a rooster and meets tourists who teach him how to speak as the roosters do in their country. His father is pleased that his son has learned to speak different languages. My Father's Shop is a fun romp through a Moroccan village.

Just in time for summer

It was 31 years ago on June 20, 1975, that the movie Jaws was released. With its tagline, "Don't go into the water," Steven Spielberg's thrilling and terrifying movie put fear into the hearts of swimmers for years to come. The movie, based on the book by Peter Benchley, used great special effects to show attacks by a great white shark on beach goers in New England. It won three Oscars and was a huge success at the box office.

To allay (or increase) your fears about these beasts, learn more about sharks in the recently published Sharks of the World by Leonard Compagno, which one reviewer on Amazon excitedly describes as "...the DEFINITIVE and COMPLETELY...EXHAUSTIVE shark guide."

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (6/18/06)

You're in for thrills and chills and things that go bump in the night this week. Check out these 8 new titles on the List. And if you loved Casablanca and have not yet discovered Alan Furst, don't wait for his latest, rush to the shelves for any of his novels. They are wonderful!

At #1 is The Husband by Dean Koontz: a man races against the clock to save his kidnapped wife.

At #4 is The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: in the last volume in the Pendergast trilogy (Brimstone and Dance of Death), two brothers face off against each other in a battle of good and evil.

At #5 is The Cold Moon by Jeffery Deaver: a forensic detective hunts for a serial killer, the self-styled Watchmaker.

At #7 is Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon: along with the rain, there are vampires on the loose in Seattle; the latest in the Dark-Hunter series.

At #8 is Killer Dreams by Iris Johansen: a research scientist suspects a drug company is using her discovery to create zombies.

At #10 is Betrayal by Aaron Allston: in the latest Star Wars novel, the Skywalker and Solo clans find themselves on opposite sides in a galactic war.

At #14 is Telegraph Days by Larry McMurtry: a lighthearted romp in the Old West, featuring a strong-willed heroine.

At #15 is The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst: Italian refugees plot against Mussolini in wartime Paris.

Beach Reads 2006 (#2)

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School’s out. Grab these and head out for some fun and a little sun. Remember to sign up for the Summer Reading program.

The Attack by Yasmina Khadra. A Tel Aviv surgeon’s life is turned upside down by his link to a suicide bomber. Intense and timely.

Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern. Autistic Adam is the only witness and the prime suspect in another child’s murder. A gripping literary thriller.

The Mangler of Malibu Canyon by Jennifer Colt. Second crime-solving romp by the sleuthing McAfee twins on their pink Harley – this time involving a headless corpse in Aunt Reba’s Malibu digs. Wildly entertaining.

The Piano Man by Marcia Preston. A grieving mother tries to save the talented musician who received her son's transplanted heart. Compelling and graceful.

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher. Modern crime fantasy series set in Chicago where wizards battle black magic to protect the mortal population. A TV pilot is expected to air this summer.

Restoring Grace by Katie Fforde. A sparkling, breezy read about an old crumbling mansion, three women in need of a home, and finding much more in the end. (Her previous titles are just as delightful).

Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes by Cathy Holton. Three Georgian beauties exact revenge from straying spouses with aplomb and style. The Ya Ya Sisterhood meets the First Wives Club!

Slipstream by Leslie Larson, Drama, romance, and misfortune entangle the desperate souls working at LAX. Rich and seriously frightening.

Hounds of the Morrigan

You want so much celtic mythology that it will seep out your pores? You want drippingly lush language? You want quests steeped in magic so strange and beautifully mad that it could only be Irish folktale? You want cackling witches that ride motorcycles and can scare a shark by showing their true faces? You want unfortunate frogs given guard post duty? Mazes made from fingerprints? Talking earwigs that think they are Napoleon?

Of course you do. Read The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea.
This book has been out for a while, but I just had to mention it as it is one of my favorites, and I was reminded of it again recently...A good read for the summer for teens or adults.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts # 26

As a rule I don’t get particularly excited over debut novels by Hollywood insiders. However, the cover blurb intrigued me. Literacy and Longing in L.A. is about a book junkie.

When other thirty-something L.A. socialites with failed marriages and time on their hands shop, yoga and lunch, (Eu)Dora book binges, albeit in style - with $50 bubble baths, Coltrane, a steady supply of red wine and a doorman who shops and delivers.

Despite being a bit of a literary snob, Dora is sexy, smart, and likable, with a healthy dose of insecurity and a strong sense of family. She is open (to historical romance and the hunky clerk in a bookstore) and generous (I will let you find out).

The Chick Lit. ending won’t surprise you. Not brain surgery for sure, but what a fun read! And keep your eyes out for the very funny book quotes.

"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.

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