Passport Preparation Time

If you're planning a trip outside the U.S. after January 7, 2007 that includes re-entry through an airport or seaport, remember that U.S. citizens will need a passport for travel to and from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. This new rule could mean a 6 – 12 week processing wait so start your preparation now.

Millers Creek Film Festival

Did you know the Huron River Watershed Council sponsors a film festival? The Millers Creek Film Festival is a filmmaking competition and festival that is held to raise awareness about the river and water issues in the area. You can submit a film five minutes long (or shorter) or a 30 second public service spot. The subject is human connections to the River or its tributaries. Prizes will be awarded and the winners will be shown at the Michigan Theater on March 20, 2007.

Entries must be submitted by February 20, 2007. The entry fee is $15 (or $10 if submitted by February 1, 2007).

Check for further information and entry forms online at HRWC

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (10/1/06)

One of the best books I ever read about teenagers in love was That Night. It perfectly evoked a time and place (the 60s in a small town on Long Island). In subsequent novels, Alice McDermott would return again and again to this setting and its resident Irish Catholics, capturing their lives in beautiful, heartbreaking stories.

At #1 is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: "A biographer struggles to discover the truth about an aging writer who has mythologized her past."

At #3 is The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen: " Boston medical examiner and a detective must solve a series of murders involving apocalyptic messages and a sinister cabal."

At #11 is World War Z by Max Brooks: "An "oral history" of an imagined Zombie War that nearly destroys civilization."

At #12 is A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon: "The world of a mild-mannered British family man falls apart; from the author of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' "

At #13 is Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski: "Two teenagers, forever 16, describe a 100-year road trip; their versions begin at opposite ends of the book, upside down from each other."

At #14 is After This by Alice McDermott: "The life of a Catholic family on Long Island at midcentury."

New Youth DVD's

There are so many new Youth DVD's. There is a new Bob the Builder DVD, called Bob the Builder. Help is on the way! where Bob is has to build a stand for the flower show, builds a movie theater, and has other adventures. The new Curious George with Drew Barrymore, Will Ferrell, and Dick Van Dyke is now available. Disney has released a DVD version of The Little Mermaid, that has special features available on two discs. For all of you Pokémon fans Pokémon Advanced Challenge volumes 5-10 are now available to be checked out!

Kite Runner

Thursday 9-28-2006 on the Diane Rehm show Khaled Hosseini an Afghan-American doctor talked about his first novel Kite Runner which was an international literary sensation. Books like the Kite Runner can help us begin to understand the culture of this and other previously obscure nations which have become pivot points in global politics. Supposedly there's a movie being made of Kite Runner due out in 2007 from Dreamworks and directed by Marc Foster of Finding Neverland fame.

If you like Kite Runner click here for other similar titles. One of my colleagues highly recommends Sewing Circles of Herat from that list.

BNL In town and for Free

This five piece band from Toronto will be in Ann Arbor at Borders downtown on October 4th at noon for a short, but FREE concert. Martin Bandyke, from 107one, will interview the band. BNL's now have their own label, Desperation Records, with Barenaked Ladies Are Me recently released.
http://www.bnlmusic.com/

Expedition 13 Returns to Earth

SoyuzSoyuz

The thirteenth crew of the International Space Station, Commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams, returned to earth yesterday landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan. They had been at the station since last April performing scientific experiments and station maintenance.
With them was Anousheh Ansari, the first woman space tourist, who paid an estimated $20 million for an ISS trip under an agreement between Russia's Federal Space Agency and the Virginia-based firm Space Adventures. During her eight-day stay on the ISS, Ansari performed a series of experiments on behalf of the European Space Agency. Visit Ansari’s blog to read more about her trip to space.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #36

Alternately called “campy”, “intriguing”, “wry”, “mesmerizing”, “overkill” (500+ pages), this artfully structured debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics, is in the end, a sincere and uniquely twisted look at love, coming of age and identity.

Teen narrator Blue Van Meer is finally staying put her senior year at the St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina, after spending most of her life with her father, an itinerant academic, on a tour of college towns. She is bemused when befriended by a group of eccentric geniuses - “The Bluebloods”. And then, there is a murder. Blue and the "Bluebloods" are deeply enmeshed.

First time novelist Marisha Pessl impresses by modeling this intricately plotted novel after the syllabus of a college literature course, by naming each of the 36 chapters after great works such as Othello and Paradise Lost. Stunning effort – absorbing and great fun. Starred review in Publishers Weekly.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground doesn't know much about African Violets except that we like them and can sometimes get them on sale at Kroger for $1.00 per. Perhaps, after attending the African Violet Fall Display & Sale at Matthaei this weekend, we will become more discerning. Michigan State African Violet Society. September 30 & October 1. UM Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. Free admission. 647-7808.

What Do You Think of Fergie's Solo CD?

Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas debuted her solo cd this week.

The Dutchess opened at no. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Other cds by Black Eyed Peas include Elephunk and Monkey Business.
Listen to the group and compare with Fergie's solo.

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