NPR Pick for the Weekend of October 28th, 2006

Does Halloween make you feel like a bit of a kid again? Join Bill Bryson as he takes you on a tour of his children in 1950s Des Moines, Iowa in his latest book, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Bryson will take you on a tour of the local establishments that he remembers fondly, from the local supermarket with its comic books to the department store with a tea room fit for a queen. Listen to an interview with NPR’s Weekend Edition, see pictures of a young Bill Bryson, and read an excerpt of the book here.

Bryson is also the author of several other popular books, including A Walk in the Woods, A Short History of Nearly Everything, and Notes from a Small Island.

Tom Brady Book Due Out Today

Tom BradyTom Brady

Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything by Charles P. Pierce is scheduled to be released today at bookstores. Why Halloween?

Last night on Monday Night Football Tom Brady picked apart what was thought to be a very good Minnesota defense, throwing four touchdown passes among his 29 completions in 43 attempts for 372 yards. He has three Super Bowl rings and has twice been the Super Bowl MVP.

Brady started every game for the Wolverines in 1998 and 1999. The Wolverines were 20-5 in games that Brady started, with a Big Ten co-championship and an Orange Bowl victory.

From the Publishers Weekly review: “Pierce offers a genial look at the unlikely rise of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from embattled Michigan player through draft afterthought to multiple Super Bowl MVP. But while the book might seem late considering the Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years in 2004, it actually benefits from Pierce using the team's trying 2005 season as a backdrop against which to highlight his main argument: that Brady's intangible abilities as a leader under any circumstances are worth far more than what can be measured with a stopwatch. In addition to stories from Brady's coaches and teammates that bear out this assessment, journalist Pierce serves up some entertaining prose.”

Do ORDINARY PEOPLE go to HEAVEN? John Legend may have the answer...

John LegendJohn Legend

...or maybe he doesn't...

but in any case, if you loved John Legend in his debut album, Get Lifted, then you're sure to enjoy his second release entitled, Once Again.

Oh, and by the way, He'll be in concert on Wed, Nov 8th, 6:30pm at the State Theatre in Detroit. Check Ticketmaster for details...

...and let's get lifted once again...

New DVDs

Recently available on DVD is the 1962 winner of the Academy Award for best documentary The Black Fox: The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler and this year's The Goebbels Experiment. Three stellar films exploring Nazi occupation and the Holocaust are the recently restored Czech masterwork The Fifth Rider is Fear, about an aging Jewish doctor who is forbidden to practice medicine in Prague during the Nazi occupation; Image Before My Eyes, a photographic history of Jews in Poland between the two World Wars; and Volker Schlöndorff's The Ninth Day, starring the remarkable Ulrich Matthes--he played Goebbels in 2004's Downfall--who, "with his spooked, black-eyed stare burns with rage and mortification" (New Yorker) as an anti-Nazi Catholic priest given nine days reprieve from his internment at Dachau in 1942 to return home for his mother's funeral.

Theodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has died

Theodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has diedTheodore Taylor, beloved author of The Cay, has died

Theodore Taylor, author of the enduring 1969 classic The Cay, about a racist white boy marooned on an island in World War II with a wise black man, died Thursday, October 26, 2006, in California.

Taylor, a high school dropout who joined the merchant marines during World War II, earned a commission in the Navy, and then was called back to service during the Korean War. He used his wartime experiences and observations to write The Cay, which resonated so strongly across this country that 38 states put it on their required or recommended lists. It received a dozen literary awards and was made into a TV movie starring James Earl Jones.

Taylor, a prolific writer who penned fiction and non-fiction books for teens and adults, was 85 when he died.

All About Barack Obama...

Barack Obama is...the hottest name in politics these days! You've probably heard that Senator Obama may run for President in '08 (if Oprah has her way!) A lot is being written about Obama...and by Obama! Take a look at Harper's Magazine, November 2006 or Time Magazine, October 23, 2006, both available in the Library's Periodical Room. Or check out Obama's own writing in his autobiographical Dreams from My Father, and more recently in his new book calling for a 'new brand of politics'. All fascinating reads!

"Give me your tired..."

On October 28, 1886, the The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. Originally conceived by the French sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi who titled it "Liberty Enlightening the World," the statue symbolized immigrants' dreams of freedom and prosperity. Emma Lazarus' poem, "Collossus" contains the famous words inscribed inside the pedestal of the statue.

Diddy Comes Back

It does not matter if you call him Diddy or P. Diddy. He is back on the Billboard 200 Chart with his first number one cd in nine years entitled Press Play. Even though the cd is number one, it is the lowest first week sum of his solo career. Will the cd be number next week?

Fabulous Fiction First #39

When a young girl is murdered and mutilated and another disappears in Wind Gap, Mo., Chicago Daily Post reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the story. She is less than surprised with the cold reception after her long absence, especially at her mother's house.

Fans of Shirley Jackson and Minette Walters will welcome this debut psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. In Sharp Objects, she writes "fluidly about small-town America", but what distinguishes this gruesome tale is the skills with which she misdirects the reader, allowing secrets to unfold only towards the shocking ending.

Flynn (Author interview) is the lead television critic for Entertainment Weekly, and Sharp has been endorsed by both Stephen King and Harlan Coben. Starred review in Library Journal. Can the film rights be far behind? Stay tuned.

Are you ready to bring SexyBack?

Justin TimberlakeJustin Timberlake

I know you've already heard Justin Timberlake's "My Love" & "SexyBack." Now check out the entire FutureSex/LoveSounds album. You won't be disappointed... I promise!

Oh yeah, after you've listened to the CD a few times, come back to this blog and let us know what you think...

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