The Baby-Sitters are Back

Any child of the eighties will remember the adventures of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey. Now you can revisit Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club series thanks to comics artist, Raina Telgemeier (known for her webcomic Smile). She has updated our old friends for a new generation in her graphic novel adaptation of Martin’s series, recently published by Scholastic/Graphix. Telgemeier’s clean and expressive black and white artwork enhance the story by adding comedy, action, and emotion.

Highlights from Fresh Air for the Week of September 18th to 22nd, 2006

On Wednesday, Maureen Corrigan reviewed Nell Freudenberger’s first novel, The Dissident. A September 2006 Book Sense pick, this is “a bold, intricately woven first novel about an enigmatic stranger who disrupts the life of one American family” (publisher synopsis). Also check out her 2003 award-winning short story collection, Lucky Girls. Hear the review on Fresh Air here.

Also Wednesday, New York Times columnist Frank Rich spoke about his new book, The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina. Rich, a former theatre critic for the Times, now writes about politics and culture. Get in line for this new book now – this title is on its way to our shelves and our Hot Books list. Listen to Rich talk about his new book on Fresh Air.

Friday was a movie kind of day on Fresh Air. Critic Robert Edelstein reviewed a new movie version of Robert Penn Warren’s novel All the King’s Men, starring Sean Penn; featuring Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, and James Gandolfini; and directed by Steven Zaillian, best known for writing the screenplay for Schindler’s List. See the 1949 version of the film, starring Broderick Crawford, who won an Oscar for his work in this film. Listen to Edelstein’s review on Fresh Air.

Also Friday, Fresh Air aired a 1999 interview with actor James Woods. Woods can be seen on TV this fall in the new CBS drama Shark, and you can catch some of his big screen work on our shelves in Once Upon a Time In America and The Virgin Suicides. Listen to the interview here.

Long-awaited classics coming to DVD this fall

Well, it's about time. This October, Warner's is finally releasing five classics on DVD from MGM, "the Tiffany of movie studios": Producer David O. Selznick's A Tale of Two Cities (1935), starring Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone and David Copperfied (1935), starring W.C. Fields; Treasure Island (1934), starring Wallace Beery; the opulent Marie Antionette (1938), starring Norma Shearer; and, drum roll, please, the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Laurence Olivier. As if that wasn't enough, the classic civil rights documentary series Eyes on the Prize will be here in November (we currently have the VHS edition), as well as 49 Up, the next installment in the landmark documentary series by filmmaker Michael Apted that began with the 1964 film Seven Up!. Stay tuned. We'll be getting them all.

Viva Italia!

September 28 is the birthday of Italian actor, Marcello Mastroianni who was born on this date in 1924. Often cast as a womanizer or a jilted lover,Mastroianni was best known for the films, La Dolce Vita and Divorce, Italian Style. In addition to films with Mastroianni, the Library has an extensive collection of Italian films.

What's Michael? Planet of the Cats

Volume 11 in the spot-on tails of cats, Japan and absurdity by Makoto Kobayashi is just as fab as the previous 10 volumes. No one draws cats with as much humor and accuracy as Kobayashi. The stories show how people interact (and often make idiots of themselves) with cats - while letting us look into the lives of cats and the people who love (and hate) them! Whether you are a cat-lady-in-training or an official cat-hater you *will* find something to love in these great stories.

The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey...In the Wild West!

Steve Sheinkin's snappy and concise graphic novel is a unique and hilarious blending of Jewish wit and wisdom warmly set in the Wild West. Sheinkin was inspired by an equal childhood love of an old copy of 101 Jewish Stories and a book on the wild west - while this may seem an unusual pairing it works quite well. As Sheinkin puts it - Harvey is part old world rabbi, part western sheriff.

Flora and Fauna Art Show, September 30 and October 1

This weekend, enjoy the crisp fall weather at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum’s Flora and Fauna Art Show. More than fifty artists will be displaying paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other works outdoors at the gardens. The show is open to the public Saturday, September 30 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sunday, October 1, from Noon to 4:00 pm. Click here for directions and other information for planning your visit

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #35 (What I did this summer)

Nordic mysteries.

If you like Sun Storm and Borkmann’s Point, you might just like these…

Jar City is a thriller by Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason, the first to be translated by Bernard Scudder from Icelandic. Set in modern day Reykjavik, this police procedural is as twisted as its city streets and as chilling as the arctic wind. It also introduces Inspector Erlendur, a dogged loner of a policeman with a few secrets of his own. Jar City won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel 2002. (Reviews).

"Shock"

Shock

On Friday 9-21-06 Diane Rehm hosted the co-authors of "Shock" Kitty Dukakis, Larry Tye, and Michael Dukakis, professor of political science at Northeastern University, former Massachusetts governor, and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee.

Depression affects countless numbers of people in varying degrees. The authors purport that Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) can offer immediate relief to some people suffering from severe depression. In the book, Kitty Dukakis describes her personal experience and co-author Larry Tye details its recent resurgence as a treatment option. Over the years Electroconvulsive Therapy has been depicted in several films, books, and songs, almost always in an extremely negative light. How many remember that Thomas Eagleton lost his Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1972 when it was discovered he had undergone Electroconvulsive Therapy?

Book Discussion Groups Abound

A book discussion group called McSweeney’s Book Klatch will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday at Shaman Drum Bookshop, to talk about the book "Icelander," by Dustin Long. This group meets monthly to talk about a new title from McSweeney’s, the publishing house founded by Dave Eggers. Authors of the books being discussed weigh in by phone, and members of the klatch get free pizza and book discounts. Other Ann Arbor bookstores - plus schools, churches, and individual readers – organize and host a huge variety of reading groups around our city. Stay tuned. If you haven't read "Icelander," here's what Publishers Weekly had to say: "Nabokov meets Lemony Snicket in this manic Chinese box version of a mystery."

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