Wayne Greenhaw wins the 2006 Harper Lee Award

Wayne Greenhaw

Wayne Greenhaw, author of this year's The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow was named the 2006 Harper Lee Award winner.

The intensely private Harper Lee is one of Alabama's most revered citizens following the publication of her classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

Born in 1940, Greenhaw's extensive bibliography includes contributions
to The New York Times and the Alabama section for Fodor's Guide to the South.

The Harper Lee Award was established in 1998 to "... recognize the lifetime achievement of a writer who was born in Alabama or who spent his or her formative years living and writing in the state."

Bee-Bim Bop Fun!

Would you ever think of going to the picture book section for a recipe? Well, no. But the picture book section is full of surprises.
Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park with illustrations by Ho Baek Lee is a lively story about a child and parent cooking the the traditional Korean dish of the title.
The recipe for Ms. Park's family version is included in the back of the book. The step-by-step directions are divided into tasks that kids can do, followed by the those that need to be done by an adult. What fun in the kitchen for a parent and child!
Linda Sue Park won the 2002 Newbery Medal for her book A Single Shard. She will be coming to the Library for National Children's Book Week in November.

Struggling for Words at Ground Zero

Jenny Holzer, conceptual artist, best known for her truisms, in often glowing and disembodied text; stunningly conveyed in unexpected venues – from anonymous posters hung in the streets of Manhattan, electronic signs in sports stadiums, to one spiraling up the Guggenheim Museum, is now busily tweaking her newest installation at Ground Zero.

This project is not without struggle between the architect, the developer and the artist. The almost-final selection is ” a continuing stream of poetry and prose written by dozens of different authors, from Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg to Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman”, that evokes the history of New York, and will scroll across a glowing, 65-foot wide, 14-foot high wall in the lobby of 7, World Trade Center, scheduled to open mid-May.

Are you ready for the "Big Ten?"

With the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament coming up, get inspired by the following 2 books and expanded dvd.

Transition Game by L.Jon Wertheim, writer for Sports Illustrated, is the story of Wertheim's return to his alma mater, Bloomington North High School where he witnesses the transformation of the game from crisp cuts and mid-range shooting to the hip-hop high flying style of the current NBA. He takes off from this example to examine changes in basketball nationwide. To underline the bittersweet nature of success, he follows the fortunes of one Sudanese family whose sons get basketball scholarships. Also, check out a two disc collector's edition of the 1986 film, Hoosiers that includes footage of the Milan vs. Muncie 1954 Indiana High School championship game.

My Nana and Me by Irene Smalls

My Nana and Me is a warm celebration of the grandmother and grandchild relationship. Irene Smalls captures the little moments that are shared between a little girl and her grandmother in this touching picture book.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #9

A former researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics and currently a student at Stanford Medical School, Josh Spanogle’s debut medical thriller will bring to mind The Andromeda Strain; written by another young medical student named Michael Crichton some years back.

…"(F)rightening, scalpel-sharp, surprising, challenging," Isolation Ward takes hold of you immediately when young, brash Dr. McCormick must race against time to identify the baffling and unstoppable virus that racked the bodies of three female mentally impaired patients in a Baltimore hospital, and threatens to become an epidemic.

Starred review in Kirkus. A sure bet from a promising newcomer. Read an excerpt

Aquamarine: Another Movie Based on a Book

This Friday Aquamarine will hit theaters. This movie based on the book by the same name by Alice Hoffman and is toted as a Fish-Out-Of-Water comedy. A love-struck mermaid played by Sara Paxton is discovered in a swimming pool by two twelve-year old best friends, played by Emma Roberts of Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous and singer JoJo.

Celebrate Women's History Month through reading

In 1977, the schools of Sonoma County designated March as Women's History Month to raise awareness of women's history and to encourage its inclusion into the public and college curriculum. To help celebrate, here is a list of recent titles that explore the meaningful contributions of women throughout the ages.

Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom. Chess as a courting ritual? The rise of female power is seen through the history of female players of the game as well as many other women of royalty from the ancient Arab world to eleventh century Europe.

Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big

Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham

And Zingerman’s Community of Businesses is one of them. Interviews with Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig discuss how Zingerman’s made decisions on whether and how to grow and on what was important to them in running the business.

The book discusses fourteen companies that chose to focus on product quality, quality of work life, customer service, community involvement, and company soul or mojo rather than on expansion, IPOs, or merging with corporate conglomerates.

A nice cheerleading account of the history and philosophy of these fourteen “Small Giants.” The concluding paragraph: “There are no businesses that hold themselves to higher standards than do the small giants. Having more of them can’t help but make our world a better place."

Wal-Mart: Recent Books and Movies

Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer with $312.4 billion in sales for the fiscal year ending on January 31, 2006. Wal-Mart is also the largest private employer in the United States with 1.3 million employees.

Wal-Mart says:
"The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want," Sam wrote in his autobiography. "And really, if you think about it from the point of view of the customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience.”
The Wal-Mart fact sheets provide an interesting counterpoint to these books and movies.

The books:

Bully of Bentonville: the High Cost of Wal-Mart’s Everyday Low Prices by Anthony Bianco
The Wal-Mart Effect: the High Cost of Everyday Low Prices by Charles Fishman
The United States of Wal-Mart by John Dicker
Wal-Mart: the Face of Twenty-First Century Capitalism edited by Nelson Lichtenstein

The movies:

Wal*Mart: the High Cost of Low Price from Brave New Films
Is Wal-Mart Good for America? from PBS Video

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