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.

Picking the 2007 Newbery Winner

The winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal will be announced in January. It's always fun to run your own competition and see if you can spot the winner and honor titles.
Some bookstores and libraries run Mock Newbery contests. These provide good reading lists that can start you on your way. Here are three good lists from three different Mock Newberys. Happy reading!!

http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/children/newbery_current.html
http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/reading_lists/mock_newbery.php
http://www.lori.ri.gov/youthserv/newbery.php

Wise Women and the Great Lakes

Some of my favorite pieces in Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes edited by Alison Swan, take place along Lake Michigan in the Chicago area. In particular, “Hunting the Moon,” by Gail Louise Siegel, includes this wonderful description: “At the lake I hit pay dirt. Turning off Sheridan Road, I see her, rising slowly out of the black water like a holy melon – the full moon. And I’m not the only one who’s come to look; cars line the street. I poke along for a parking spot.” Swan visited Crazy Wisdom in Ann Arbor this week, and now must be headed for Chicago, where she is scheduled to appear at Women & Children First on Clark Street at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, along with Chicago area contributors to the book (Donna Seaman, who wrote “Reflections from a Concrete Shore,” and Judith Strasser (“In the Apostle Islands.”) This book offers a wealth of good to great writing about the Great Lakes and will appeal to anyone with a feminine sensibility, a love of the lakes, or just an appreciation of strong storytelling. The Michigan pieces are varied and splendid, especially “Dunetop Dying,” by Gayle Boss, and “The Gray Lady of Lake Huron,” by Laura Kasischke.

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