Hounds of the Morrigan

You want so much celtic mythology that it will seep out your pores? You want drippingly lush language? You want quests steeped in magic so strange and beautifully mad that it could only be Irish folktale? You want cackling witches that ride motorcycles and can scare a shark by showing their true faces? You want unfortunate frogs given guard post duty? Mazes made from fingerprints? Talking earwigs that think they are Napoleon?

Of course you do. Read The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea.
This book has been out for a while, but I just had to mention it as it is one of my favorites, and I was reminded of it again recently...A good read for the summer for teens or adults.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts # 26

As a rule I don’t get particularly excited over debut novels by Hollywood insiders. However, the cover blurb intrigued me. Literacy and Longing in L.A. is about a book junkie.

When other thirty-something L.A. socialites with failed marriages and time on their hands shop, yoga and lunch, (Eu)Dora book binges, albeit in style - with $50 bubble baths, Coltrane, a steady supply of red wine and a doorman who shops and delivers.

Despite being a bit of a literary snob, Dora is sexy, smart, and likable, with a healthy dose of insecurity and a strong sense of family. She is open (to historical romance and the hunky clerk in a bookstore) and generous (I will let you find out).

The Chick Lit. ending won’t surprise you. Not brain surgery for sure, but what a fun read! And keep your eyes out for the very funny book quotes.

"Terrorist"

On June 5th, 2006 on the Diane Rehm show John Updike the award winning & highly popular author was interviewed about his new book (his 22nd novel) Terrorist with a 150,000-copy announced first printing. The book plucks its subject from the daily headlines as it explores the psychology behind young recruits to terrorism. Why do seemingly rational individuals commit destructive acts of terror? What can happen when diparate cultures co-exist?

Lambda Literary Award Winners

The 18th Annual Lambda Literary Award winners were announced today. Celebrate LGBT literature (or literature that happens to be LGBT) and be the first to get one of these titles - as I write, many of our copies are still on the shelves! Categories and titles for which AADL has holdings are:

Anthology Freedom in This Village: 25 Years of Black, Gay Men's Writing ed. E. Lynn Harris
Belles Lettres The Tricky Part by Martin Moran
Biography February House by Sherill Tippins
Gay Men's Debut Fiction You Are Not the One by Vestal McIntyre
Gay Men's Poetry Crush by Richard Siken
Humor Don't Get too Comfortable by David Rakoff
Lesbian Fiction Wild Dogs by Helen Humphreys
Lesbian Mystery Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar de Alba
Lesbian Poetry Directed by Desire: Collected Poems by June Jordan
Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Daughters of an Emerald Dusk by Katherine V. Forrest

Fresh Air Picks from the week of May 29th, 2006

Joseph R. Gannascoli, known until recently as mob captain Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos, has tried his hand at writing. Check out his new crime novel, A Meal to Die For, about a mobster and gourmet chef who has to prepare a feast for a boss who is about to be sent to jail. While you're at it, check out the first five seasons of The Sopranos on DVD: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Listen to Gannascoli talk about his new book on Fresh Air here.

Jamaican singer Desmond Dekker died last week at the age of 64. Check out The Best of Desmond Dekker, or hear his 1969 hit "Israelites" on one of several compilations: Rhythm and Blues Beat (Volume 2, 1964-1969), Caribbean Playground, and The Best of and the Rest of: Greatest Original Reggae Hits. Rock historian Ed Ward remembers Dekker on Fresh Air - listen here.

David Douglas Duncan is best known for his war photography, but he was also a frequent photographer of Picasso. Check out Viva Picasso or Duncan's photographic autobiography Photo Nomad, which includes seven decades of photos. Hear an interview with Duncan from July 2, 1990 here.

Good ending v Bad ending

Should "Caution: Bad Ending Ahead" warning labels come on books like content warnings come on CD's? Should we be warned ahead of time that a book is going to leave us hanging off the cliff, and sometimes falling into the never ending pit, of literary "Nowhereland"?
After reading The Alchemist's Daughter by Katharine McMahon, I am thinking maybe a cautionary warning label would be a welcomed disclaimer.
For the record, I am no literary wimp, and have been known to accept and eventually even embrace the "surprise" ending, the "untidy" ending, or the "out of character" ending.

A Horse by a Different Author

Dick Francis has probably written his last mystery, a loss for all of us who loved his books set in the world of horse racing. Fear not! Top-notch mystery writer John Dunning has taken up the race track theme and combined it with another great mystery subject, bibliomania, to create The Bookwoman’s Last Fling, starring rare-book dealer and former cop Cliff Janeway. Cliff is brought in to appraise a horse training family's book collection but bodies keep getting in the way of his research. So it’s

Bad Dog Club

Does this sound familiar? Your dog is kicked out of obedience school for terrorizing the instructor. He chews on walls for entertainment. She thinks light bulbs are a great appetizer. Then Marley and Me is the book on cd for you. John Grogan’s loving tribute to the Labrador from Hell (or Heaven depending on the day) will make you appreciate your dog – or at least find comfort in knowing he’s not the only one who stayed a puppy his whole life.

James Shapiro's book on Shakespeare wins the Samuel Johnson Prize

James Shapiro, a Professor of English at Columbia University, was named the winner yesterday of the 2005 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction. His acclaimed book, A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, studies the pivotal year in Shakespeare's life when he was 35 and not only wrote As You Like It and Henry V, but also finished the first draft of Hamlet.

Shapiro, who also wrote Shakespeare and the Jews in 1996, was awarded the $55,000 purse in this most prestigious UK nonfiction prize.

Good News

It's nice to hear something positive in the news. Nearly four months after refusing potentially life-extending treatment for his failing kidneys, Art Buchwald is alive against all expectations.

On the Diane Rehm show June 8, 2006 Diane visited with Mr Buchwald at the hospice where he’s been staying before he leaves to write a book on Martha’s Vineyard this summer.

Art Buchwald, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist has been ranked among America's finest humor writers for decades. The library has a number of his works available including his latest Beating around the Bush

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