Goddess Bits - NEW !

A lovely new book arrived at the Library full of "Goddess Stories from around the World". The Lady Of Ten Thousand Names brings 8 goddess myths with lovely illustrations, ... just the right length for grade school ages and older to enjoy.

Storytime Scoop

Hold onto your hats for windy, rainy stories to Wake Up Spring at the Downtown and Pittsfield preschool storytimes the week of April 16th.

Tales of Science Projects - 3rd-5th grade

Have Science Fair projects entered your life at school? These books are about scientific projects ... good and bad. 4th grade science wiz Phineas is assigned to work with the new boy in class in Phineas L. McGuire ERUPTS!. Jake Drake Know-It-All wants to win the Grand Prize in the 3rd grade. 10 yr old Jackson has more zucchini than he ever wants to see in Jackson Jones And Mission GreenTop. And in Gloria Rising, 4th grade Gloria meets a woman astronaut.

Two Nobel Prize Laureates born April 15

Today is the birthday of two Irish literary stars, poet Seamus Heany and playwright, novelist, Samuel Beckett. Heaney was born in 1939 in Mossbaum, Northern Ireland, the oldest of nine siblings. His poetry is infused with images from his rural background. His father was a cattle dealer and Heaney grew up in a three room thatched farmhouse. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. A poem in tribute to the hard working hands of his father and granfather, "Digging," contains the lines:

"The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them."

Sign-Up Now for the FINAL High School Book Discussion Group!

Register now and get 2 FREE books for the next book discussion group on Monday, May 7 from 6:30-8:00 PM @ the Downtown Library. We'll be reading and discussing two books by Ron Koertge - Stoner and Spaz and Margaux with an X. Then you will get to meet Ron, and have him sign your book during the Ann Arbor Book Festival on Saturday, May 19 from 12:30 to 1:30 in the Modern Languages Building on campus. Ron will be the featured speaker at our Short Story Writing Contest Award Ceremony. We will have pizza, drinks and snacks at the book discussion group too. Call or visit the Downtown Library Youth Department desk to register now - 327-8301.

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (4/8/07)

Tracy Chevalier has carved out a unique and narrow fictional genre for herself. She may never duplicate the enormous critical (and monetary) success of Girl with a Pearl Earring but she continues to write popular books about other artists. Her latest, Burning Bright, features William Blake, the English poet and visionary, famous for:

"Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"

Some readers may be disappointed, however, at the minor role he plays in the novel. For others the magic of eighteenth century London and the charming story about Blake's fictional neighbors has been enough to put it on the List at #12.

The only other entry is For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison. This fantasy novelist also writes in a specific sub-genre labeled "sexy supernaturalism".

African Lit 101

Interested in African literature (that is, novels by people from Africa about people in Africa)? The following should get you started:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
Xala by Ousmane Sembène (Senegal)
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya)
The House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera (Zimbabwe/Rhodesia)
Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera (Zimbabwe)
A Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto (Mozambique)
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah (Ghana)
The Famished Road by Ben Okri (Nigeria)

Elizabeth Jolley, champion of oddball characters, has died

Elizabeth Jolley, champion of oddball characters, has diedElizabeth Jolley, champion of oddball characters, has died

Novelist Elizabeth Jolley, born in England in 1923 and a resident of Australia since 1959, died February 13, 2007.

Ms. Jolley was first published late in life, when she was in her 1950s. Her dark novels, often described as Australian gothic, showcased society’s marginal characters. Loners, quiet murderers, and eccentric senior citizens were found within her pages. Her body of work included:

Miss Peabody’s Inheritance (1984)
Mr. Scobie’s Riddle (1987)
Milk and Honey (1984)

Ms. Jolley was 83.

Geisha

Do Geisha fascinate you? Did you read and enjoy Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden? You may also enjoy Geisha by Liza Dalby, an American who had the unique experience of living and training with Japanese Geisha and wrote this book; or Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda. Then check out Secret Life Of Geisha, a documentary DVD on geisha that includes interviews with Golden and Dalby.

What would we do without them?

Did you know that on April 10, 1849, Walter Hunt, also the inventor of the sewing machine, patented the safety pin? Thinking it wasn't worth much, he sold the patent for $400. What would we do about torn hems and missing buttons without them?

For some interesting reading on objects we take for granted, information on patents and some wacky inventions, try these titles from our collection:

The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski
Inventor's Guide to Trademarks and Patents by Craig Fellenstein and
Big Bento Book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami.

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