Here's one for the birds

Pigeons by Andrew Blechman was discussed on the Diane Rehm show Thursday 11-9-2006. According to the shows web site "Some see them as majestic birds capable of flights of fancy ranging from high-speed races to long-distance message delivery. Others see the rock dove as nothing more than a rat with wings. A look at the often reviled, often revered pigeon."

I'm interested in reading this book to learn how pigeons have been revered. My experience places them closer to the rats with wings. However I do remember being impressed by a cousin who raised pigeons and who learned a lot from that experience. It was impressive his accomplishment and the pigeons.

Don't forget the Library has an excellent collection of books on birds.

Grandmama's Pride by Becky Birtha

Sarah Marie, her mother and sister, are headed down south to visit Grandmama. Mama tells them that they can have the back seat of the bus all to themselves. When the bus pulls into a rest stop, Mama tells them they brought their lunches. When they arrive at Grandmama’s stop, Grandmama is waiting for them in the stand-up waiting room. When Sarah Marie learns to read during her visit, she reads the signs over the water fountain, lunch counter and bathroom and learns why “Grandmama’s pride was too tall to fit in the back of the bus.” Becky Birtha illustrates the determination and pride of those who fought for civil rights in this clearly written children’s book.

Blonde, James Bond

So far critics and fans alike are giving Casino Royale a big thumbs up. EW's Owen Gleiberman gives it a straight 'A' and its current ranking on the Internet Movie Database is 8.2. Contrary to expectations (and despite the hair color), Daniel Craig apparently puts a grittier spin on 007 that's not unwelcome to fans of the decades-old franchise. Still holding a torch for Sean Connery? AADL has just purchased new box sets of all the previous James Bond films.

That Growling in Your Stomach

Is NOT, repeat NOT hunger, according to the Committee on National Statistics. Instead, 35 million Americans last year experienced “low food security” and 10.8 million experienced “very low food security” per the 2005 Household Food Security in the United States report by the USDA. “Hunger” has been banished from the federal government lexicon as “too amorphous.” The U.S. Conference of Mayors, however, continues to count hungry people as “hungry.” Look for their new report in early December. Speaking of banished words, check out the annual lists of banished words from Lakes Superior State College.

Remember THE SHEIK?

Many of you are too young to remember him, but for young women in the 1920's, Rudolph Valentino was the first major movie sex symbol. On November 20, 1921, one of his most famous films, The Sheik was released. Valentino's steamy, melodramatic portrayal of a desert prince hopelessly in love with an Englishwoman left women fainting in the aisles. A sequel, The Son of the Shiek, was released in 1926, a few weeks after Valentino's tragic death.

The Library has an extensive collection of silent films featuring such greats as Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and the "It Girl, Clara Bow. Check them out!

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (11/19/06)

There's a lot of romance, sweetness and light on the List this week. Is it the time of year? The big book news this week was the announcement of the National Book Award winner. Richard Powers took home the big prize for Echo Maker.

At #1 is Dear John by Nicholas Sparks: "An unlikely romance between a soldier and an idealistic young woman is tested in the aftermath of 9/11."

At #4 is H.R.H by Danielle Steel: "An American-educated European princess faces unexpected challenges when she works at an African Red Cross camp."

At #12 is Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani: "Complications with family, friends and politics in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains."

Project Grow Gardens

If you don't have the space to plant your own flowers and vegetables, you might want to contact Project Grow. You can fill out an application for one of the organization's community gardens online. They are available now!

Hard copies of the applications will be available in the winter newsletter, coming out in late January or early February 2007.

You can also call 734-996-3169 for more information.

It's never too early to start dreaming about next year's garden and its bountiful pleasures.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #42

Michael Gregorio's fiction debut Critique of Criminal Reason is a compelling, highbrow historical whodunit set in 1804. Hanno Stiffeniis, a rural magistrate, was summoned by the Prussian king to Konigsberg, to aid his mentor and the great thinker Immanuel Kant in a serial murder investigation. Fear gripped the city, and added to the tension was the threat of invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte and a dark secret in Stiffeniis’ past.

With a twisty, fast-moving plot, pitch-perfect period detail and a psychologically complex protagonist, readers "can expect stunning and thought-provoking reversals before the last clue is deciphered". I will be anxiously waiting for the sequel.

Starred reviews in Publishers’ Weekly and Booklist.

Modern Fairy Bits

If you are a kid that loves fairies, and you like to listen to a good story, or read your own, try The Woman Who Flummoxed The Fairies, The Airy Fairy series like The Magic Mix-Up by Margaret Ryan. Until you have read Clemency Pogue by J.T. Petty, be careful whether you believe in fairies, or not!

Catch Up On Classic Fairies

Now that Fairies moved into the Library ... why not catch up on Fairy Lore. Michael Hague's illustrations accompany classic fairy tales in the collective The Book Of Fairies. You can try Bruce Coville's retold version for children of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with pictures by Dennis Nolan. And Don't miss Cicely Mary Barker's books on Flower Fairies such as The Complete Book Of The Flower Fairies. Each is a visual treasure to read.

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