So Matt Groening, Stephen King and Amy Tan walk into a bar...

Did you know that Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, was in a rock band with the likes of Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Matt Groening, Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Greg Iles? According to Dave Barry, "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels." Check out the Rock Bottom Remainders for photos of Amy Tan decked out in a leather body suit and bright wigs.

For more amusing insight into Amy Tan's life (such as her determination to learn how to ski despite several major injuries doing so) I highly recommend reading The Opposite of Fate.

Happy Birthday, Aldous Huxley!

Writers Almanac offers some interesting tidbits about Aldous Huxley, who was born July 26, 1894, and died in 1963:
* Huxley's grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, is believed to have coined the word "agnostic."
* When Huxley was 17, he came down with a disease that rendered him almost blind. He taught himself Braille, and liked it because he could read in bed without getting his hands cold.
* Huxley wrote Brave New World because he wanted to write something light--in the model of H.G. Wells.
Does this intrigue you to take another look at Huxley? As Russell Baker said when he introduced Silas Marner on Masterpiece Theatre, don't let your high-school lit class prejudice you against classic literature.

Animanga Club: Cosplay Prep!

Come to the Downtown library Multipurpose room this Saturday, July 29th, between 2:00 and 4:00 pm, for last minute touches on your cosplay costume. Cosplay expert Darcy from Wizzywig will be available to help with your costume and show us how to make cat collars and cat ears. DDR will be set up and of course, Pocky will be provided. See you there!

A Mother and Daughter's Secret

Secret Daughter by June Cross tells the emotional story of the bi-racial daughter of Norma, a white woman, and James "Stump" Cross, a well-known African-American comedian. Since the kinky hair and dark skin did not allow daughter June to "pass" as white, the mother made the choice to send June to live with an African-American family in Atlantic City. Thus began the secret as June shuttled between the two worlds of her "adoptive parents" and her show-biz mom, who later married actor Larry Storch. June was reunited with her dad sho

Boomers! Pay attention!

Baby Boomers

Boomers!

Do you pride yourselves on looking outwardly fabulous through good diet, lots of exercise, and a great attitude, but you're quietly noticing that your eyesight is no longer 30 years old?

Great News!

The Large Print collection has received a big infusion of hot new titles and the tell-tale boring generic covers are a thing of the past. Check out cool titles such as Intuition by Allegra Goodman; Got the Look, by James Grippando; A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby; and The Wave, by Walter Mosley, that have the same covers as the regular size print and STOP STRAINING.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Rod Steiger's Jud Fry farmhand character from the 1955 movie Oklahoma still haunts The Play Ground. But Curly and Laurey and Aunt Eller sing classic Rogers and Hammerstein as they tell the story of the territory on the verge of statehood. Agnes de Mille, original choreographer, revolutionized musical theatre by creating dance that actually enhanced the plot. Now you can see it all in person. The Dexter Community Players are at the Dexter Center for the Performing Arts on July 27-29. 2200 Parker Rd., Dexter. 426-5060. For those who cannot make it to Dexter, check out a DVD or listen to a CD.
"I ....can't say no."

Before The Road Trip . . . Visit Your Library!

Before you start out on that long car trip with your kids, be sure to make a trip to your local library. We have many things that will keep all of you entertained as the miles roll by.

There are many classic books on compact discs that are as interesting for adults as they are for kids. For example, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. The movie is opening in December. You'll all want to have read it by the time you go see it. Be sure to take a look at the BOCD collections in our youth departments. You're sure to find some great titles for family listening.

We also have some great puzzle books for kids that might keep then occupied for hours.
The subject that all of these are listed under is Games for Travelers.
Way Cool License Plate Book
Smileage: Fun Travel Games & Activities for All Ages
Ha! Ha! Ha!: 1000 + Jokes, Riddles, Facts and More

And don't forget to check out the music section. There's nothing like a good sing-along. Let's hear it . . . "99 bottles of pop on the wall . . . "

Film Revolutionary

kubrick

July 26 is the birthday of film director, Stanley Kubrick. Born in 1928 in New York City, Kubrick began his film career shooting a documentary of a boxer, "The Day of the Fight" for which he made $100. Kubrick's films are known for their brilliant cinematography. More than any other director, most of his films were based on books. Some of his most famous were Dr. Strangelove and 2001: Space Odyssey. His last film before his death in 1999 was Eyes Wide Shut.

WebSpace: The Movies?

An article from Sunday's NY Times, "Hollywood Clicks on the Work of Web Auteurs," discusses the 11-minute online hit, MySpace: The Movie and the type of filmmaking fare the web is likely to spawn in the future. Times contributor Walter Kirn, author of the novel Thumbsucker, which was recently made into a feature film, makes the following comments: "The Net is a self-consciously anti-authoritarian audience. They are spit-ballers, defacers, vandals, skeptics. It's a class without a teacher. The movies that succeed on it will have those properties....The Net is going to unleash a hybrid talent and a hybrid sensibility. What it needs is an Orson Welles, an unclassifiable polymath...."

Jack Warden, 1920-2006

Jack Warden

I first saw Jack Warden, one of my favorite character actors, in the 1971 football tearjerker, Brian's Song. Then his familiar face and gruff voice seemed to show up everywhere--especially in movies with Warren Beatty. He was a strong presence in several other good films, including 1957's Twelve Angry Men, All the President's Men, The Verdict, Being There, and While You Were Sleeping. Warden died yesterday at the age of 85. More on Jack Warden at wikipedia.

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