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.

New Non-Fiction DVDs

The library has just added some new non-fiction DVDs to our collection. Why we Fight, a film from Sony Pictures directed by Eugene Jarecki, discusses the United States dealings with military engagement. It includes scenes with Dwight D. Eisenhower, John McCain, and Dan Rather. Other new DVDs that have been added to the non-fiction collection include The Gospel of Judas, The Untold Story of Emmett Till, The End of Suburbia, and Eugene O'Neill. Come in and check some out!

Kid Bits - Under Construction

If Trucks and Construction are very interesting to you, try the following picture books ... Hart Hat Area by Susan L. Roth; One Hole In The Road by W. Nikola-Lisa; Dig! by Andrea Zimmerman; and The House In The Meadow by Shutta Crum.

Kid Bits - Kindergarten Starts Soon

School starts in a month and Kindergarten will be a new world. Get ready by reading about it. Try Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson; and the bilingual Spanish-English version in the Foreign Language Collection Prepárate, kindergarten! Allá voy!. Try 10 Days To Kindergarten by Alison McGhee; Mrs. Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten by Joseph Slate; My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells; The Peanut-Free Cafe by Gloria Koster; or The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing.

Kid Bits - Babies

Is there a new big brother or sister in your home because a new baby arrived? These are stories especially for the bigger sibling. Dear Baby by Sarah Sullivan; Best Kind Of Baby by Kate Laing; Julius, The Baby Of The World by Kevin Henkes; Just Add One Chinese Sister by Patricia McMahon; and Walk On: A Guide For Babies Of All Ages by Marla Frazee.

Baby Bits - Farm Animals and You

If you like the song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm", you will probably enjoy these books too. Look for Can You Moo? by David Wojtowycz; What The Baby Hears by Laura Goodwin; Have You Seen My Duckling by Nancy Tafuri; and the classic Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins. You can play "find the animal" and "who makes this sound?"

Celebrating American Women

Friday, July 21 is the 27th anniversary of the the founding of The National Women's Hall of Fame. The hall was founded to honor women who have been the most influential in the development of the United States. Located in Seneca Falls, N.Y., "the birthplace of women's rights," the Hall of Fame stands where the first Women's Suffrage Movement Convention was held in 1848.

Some recently acquired biographies of American women are:

Mary Evans Walker:Above and Beyond by Dale L. Walker. Walker was a physician during the Civil War.

Mistress Bradstreet:The Untold Life of America's First Poet by Charlotte Gordon.

Beach Reads 2006 (#4, mostly Fabulous Fiction Firsts)

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Blow the House Down by Robert Baer. Riveting and complex debut spy thriller by an ex-CIA operative whose memoir inspired the film Syriana.

A Field of Darkness* by Cornelia Read. A tough-talking, shotgun-toting, ex-debutante being drawn into a cold case involving a double homicide. (A noteworthy FFF - primed as a mystery series opener).

The Futurist* by James P. Othmer. Wildly entertaining and deadly serious satire on global politics and personal integrity. (A FFF)

The Girls* by Lori Lansens. The lives, loves and dreams of a set of conjoined twins. Unforgettable, from a noted Canadian author.

Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn* by Sarah Miller. A wild ride inside the head of a sensitive, funny, and a bit lusty 15 year-old prep school hunk. (Another FFF!)

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs. Entertaining nonfiction account of one man's attempt to read the whole Encyclopedia Britannica. (Recommended by Sancho Panza).

Little Beauties by Kim Addonizio. FFF from a noted poet, about a has-been junior beauty queen, a pregnant teenager and a baby girl determined to carve out her own future. Moving and engaging. Reminds me of Billie Lett's debut novel Where the Heart is.

Owl Island by Randy Sue Coburn. A romantic and wise look at first loves, set in the Pacific Northwest. You will be hard pressed to find a better beach read.

* = Starred reviews

Sofie and the City by Karima Grant

Sofie does not like her new home in the city. The city is crowded and the people are not friendly. Sofie finds that friendship can make a new place seem like home. Karima Grant tells a story a child just learning english and who misses home can relate to.

Ode to Hank

Hank Williams, the greatest singer and songwriter in country music, has been the subject of numerous biographies as much for the tragedy of his life as his musical genius. Now comes a very personal story, Lovesick Blues, that intertwines the life of Williams and his biographer and fan, Paul Hemphill. The connection begins with Hemphill’s description of listening to Williams sing “like a hurt animal” and the prose only gets better. Listen to this slim, beautifully written ode to Hank and then give a listen to Hank’s music.

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