Steampunk Anime

Last Exile dvd coverLast Exile dvd cover

Are you a fan of Fullmetal Alchemist wondering what to watch next? Consider checking out some of the other steampunk anime—stories set in an alternate past with advanced technology, or that combine magic and machinery—in our anime dvd collection:

Steamboy
Last Exile
Howl’s Moving Castle
Escaflowne

Orhan Pamuk wins the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature

Orhan PamukOrhan Pamuk

Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, 54, received the Nobel Prize for Literature yesterday. Never one to shy away from political controversy, the Nobel Prize brings Pamuk full circle in a tumultuous year – last year he was put on trial in his native country for insulting “Turkishness”. Bowing to international outrage, Turkey dropped the charges.
In recognizing Pamuk’s artistic courage, the Nobel Committee stated that the author, “…in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city [Istanbul] has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.”
Pamuk, who wrote My Name Is Red, The White Castle, and Snow, will receive a $1.4 million purse, gold medal, and diploma, and a place of honor at the December 10 banquet in Stockolm honoring all the winners.

Zappa Zoning In

This great adventure story of the newest generation in a long line of monster hunters by Frank Zappa's son, Ahmet is filled with gross formulas and bizarre illustrations. Why are we not surprised? The Lemony Snicket crowd will gobble The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless up.

Gimme Shelter 2006

The Interfaith Hospitality Network at Alpha House is hosting its annual fundraiser at the Morris Lawrence Building on the campus of Washtenaw Community College this coming Saturday October 14, 2006 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. A Silent Auction preview begins at 6 p.m.

Gimme Shelter 2006 will feature:
* a fabulous strolling dinner coordinated by Donnie Burton and Amie Mongeau
* live music by Mannafest
* a fabulous silent auction

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Children 6 and under can come for free!

Click here for more information about this fun event and this wonderful community organization.

Kid Bits - Trick or Treat

If you are planning for Halloween, here are some reads for costume inspirations, as well as fun for the Preschool Set. Fancy Nancy by Robin Preiss Glasser], How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, or Skippyjon Jones by Judith Byron Schachner.

Family Reads - If You Like Junie B.

If you enjoy Junie B. Jones and Ramona Quimby, try Roxie And The Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Willimena Rules: How To Fish For Trouble by Valerie Wilson Wesley, and Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry.

Domestic Violence in the Spotlight

domestic violencedomestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Sponsored by a number of organizations, it is designed to raise awareness of the effort to end violence against women, children and within families. It is estimated that 20% of violent crimes against women are committed by their partners. Locally the effort to support and protect victims is led by the SafeHouse Center. Family violence, spouse abuse, and child abuse are all pervasive problems in American society which need our serious attention. If you are a victim, call the SafeHouse hotline at (734)995-5444 for assistance.

Kiran Desai wins the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006

If you believe that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then you won’t be surprised to learn that Kiran Desai, daughter of acclaimed author Anita Desai, won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday, October 10, 2006.

Kiran Desai, 35, is the youngest woman (and the first woman since 2000) to be awarded the UK’s most prestigious literary award in its 37-year history. She enchanted the jury with The Inheritance of Loss, an epice novel spanning the globe from India, home of Ms. Desai’s birth, to the tense world of Manhattan’s illegal immigrants.

The other authors on the shortlist for this year were: Hisham Mater (In the Country of Men), Kate Grenville (The Secret River), Edward St. Aubyn (Mother’s Milk), M. J. Hyland (Carry Me Down), and Sarah Waters (The Night Watch).

The Desai women are the first mother/daughter team to be nominated for the Booker. Anita Desai, (Baumgartner’s Bombay and The Zigzag Way), was a finalist three times.

What do opera and bebop have in common?

Not much, except that today, October 10, is the birthday of both Thelonious Monk and Giuseppe Verdi. Thelonious Monk, born in North Carolina in 1917, is best known as one of the prime inventors of bebop, a kind of jazz that uses repitition of sound to create a jumpy, irregular phrasing out of standard tunes. Monk played music with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. His two most popular albums are Brilliant Corners and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.

Giuseppe Verdi was born in Parma, Italy in 1813. His first opera, Oberto, performed at La Scala, was a modest success. After the tragic death of his wife, Verdi vowed he would never compose again but after reading the brilliant libretto of Nabucco, he changed his mind. Verdi wrote a total of 26 operas, his most famous, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Falstaff.

Stormbreaker opens in theaters October 13

The film, Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker opens this Friday nationwide. A teen who saw it in England told me it is great. Based on the first Alex Rider book, Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz, it's the story of Alex Rider, a teenager with unusual talents, who is recruited by the British Secret Service to carry out a dangerous mission following the mysterious death of his uncle. Check local theaters for the AA release.

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