Fabulous Fiction Firsts #52

Did you see the review in the New York Times? Apparently many of you did, judging from the hold list. But if you did not, don’t let this one slip by.

Still Life with Husband by first-time novelist Lauren Fox.

It’s a familiar dilemma - Girl (Emily, 30, freelance writer, likes cake for breakfast) meets boy (Kevin, sweet, stable, with a passion for small appliances). Girl marries boy (and live in Milwaukee). Then girl meets dark, handsome and sexy stranger at Starbucks (Oops! 9 years too late). Girl gives in to the itch (rather too easily) and suffers the guilt.

Sure. It has been done before, a la Tom Perrotta in Little Children (2004) and Lolly Winston in Happiness Sold Separately (2006). Nevertheless, “In this generous, heartfelt, and often hilarious novel of marriage and friendship, Lauren Fox explores the baffling human heart and the dangers of getting what you wish for”. Worth a look.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts # 51

Fans of international spy thriller and historical mystery are no strangers to Boris Akunin’s popular Petrovich Fandorin series. Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog* is the first in a projected trilogy in which Akunin introduces to mystery lovers an even more memorable sleuth.

Set in 19th century, Sister Pelagia, a young nun in a remote Russian province is called on by her bishop to investigate the poisoning of a white bulldog whose noble mistress, Sister Pelgagia suspects, is to be the intended victim.
This highly unusual historical mystery is remarkable for its charm and its humorous narrative voice. Not to be missed!

From Hell with Hate

Have you ever wondered what the denzines of Hell have to say about us? Here's your chance to find out. The Screwtape Letters is a collection of letters between Screwtape, an Under Secretary in the Lowerarchy, and his subordinate 'nephew' Wormwood, a junior Tempter. In the letters, Screwtape gives Wormwood advice on how to tempte his patient away from his Christian beliefs and to turn him to the "Father below". Fortunately for us, the letters were intercepted and compiled by C. S. Lewis who published the original version in The Guardian and then in book form.

Writers Almanac with Garrison Keilor

Garrison KeillorGarrison Keillor

Subscribe to this if you like to read. I’ve subscribed for some time to this inspiring, informative , wonderful free daily web publication. I get a lot of great ideas to share with Library customers. Daily the Writer’s Almanac features Garrison Keillor recounting the highlights of this day in history and he reads a short poem or two. Garrison's writing is as compelling as his stage voicings.

Garrison Keillor has been the host and ace storyteller of the very popular Prairie Home Companion show.since 1969.
Click here to subscribe to Writers Almanac e-mail newsletter. It’s also available as a podcast, click here to subscribe to an audio version of about 5 minutes.

The Storytellers by Ted Lewin

Abdul and his grandfather walk down the streets of Morocco. They pass many street vendors. Happy that their work is not the work of wool dyers, or copper smiths they enter a large courtyard. Grandfather spreads out a carpet. The pigeon cage Abdul has been carrying is opened. The pigeon lights on Abdul’s head, then soars into the sky and returns with a story. Grandpa looks at the crowd of people who have gathered and begins, “This happened or maybe it did not. The time is long past, and most forgot.” Ted Lewin captures the magic of storytelling in this outstanding children’s book.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Groening!


Matt Groening, cartoonist and creator of The Simpsons, turns 53 today.

He began drawing and self-publishing the comic strip Life in Hell in 1977. This got the attention of Producer James L. Brooks, and led to the creation of the television series The Simpsons, which debuted as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. Futurama began airing in 1999 (and was co-created by Groening and David X. Cohen).

The Simpsons Movie is due out this July.

Women’s History Essay Contest

Don’t Waste Our Times Productions and the Adelia Cheever Program are sponsoring a Women’s History essay contest with cash prizes for the top essay writers in the following categories: Youth (grades 6-8); Young Adult (grades 9-12); and Adult (18 and up). Essays should be postmarked by Friday, March 9th, 2007.

Name a woman, not known to you personally (e.g. not a relative), whom you believe should be remembered for Women’s History Month. Explain your choice.

Include on the first page:
Entrant’s name
Age/Year in school
Phone number or email address
Number of Pages
School affiliation (if any)

Include last name and page number on subsequent pages

Send entries via email to cheever@umich.edu or snail mail to DWOT Productions, PO Box 4315, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. DWOT & Cheever may reprint all or part of entered essays. Call (734) 763-6301 or email cheever@umich.edu with questions. Visit us at www.dwot.org

An Author's Recommendation . . . See the Movie!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hearing a speech given by author Katherine Paterson. She's the author of The Bridge to Terabithia. This was the 1978 Newbery Award winner. The movie of that story is opening this week. Ms. Paterson said to ignore the movie trailers . . . they make it look like a fantasy. The story is not a fantasy. But she said she has seen the movie three times and likes it a lot. The screenplay was written by her son. She urged her audience to read the book and then go see the movie. Have you read the book yet?

So whether you read it or go see it . . . pack the tissues. It's a beautiful but sad story.

For once -- an intelligent take on Valentines

Linguist and author Geoffrey Nunberg brightened the airwaves on Valentines Day with an NPR radio commentary about changes in personal communication. Amid way too much Feb. 14 schmaltz, what fun to hear this guy talk about the history of Valentines, including that many now arrive by telephone or e-mail – but some still arrive by old-fashioned snail mail. Listening to him made me want to read his new book Talking Right: How conservatives turned liberalism into a tax-raising, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show.

Baby Bits - Kittens with Mittens

For babies with books .... mittens and hats and snow .... try Three Little Kittens; The Snowy Day; Do You Have A Hat?; Hello Snow; and All You Need For A Snowman. Happy snowflakes !

Syndicate content