Elephants and clowns in a tree...what more do you need?

Tree Ring Circus
by Adam Rex

Beautiful, lush ilustrations bring out the imagery of a circus gone haywire. Animals of all types somehow get stuck precariously in a tree. Have fun picking them out from page to page as the scene gets more crazy and impossible. The illustrations really are amazing; each animal, whether tiny or huge, is a wonder to just stare at, let alone play the game of hide and seek with. Very captivating. A fun little picture book for all ages.

Recent Notable Business Books

New business titles at the library include three books of particular note. Lawrence G. Hrebiniak's Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change analyzes how to translate business strategy into actual change. The author, a professor of business management at the Wharton School argues that while many executives know how to formulate a business strategy, they frequently lack the skills to execute it effectively. This book aims to show how to implement a plan successfully. In Why Some Companies Emerge Stronger and Better from a Crisis, Ian I. Mitroff, a specialist in crisis management, outlines 7 methods for businesses to prepare for, manage and overcome potential crises. Finally, a new study on employee motivation and satfisfaction by David Sirota] and others, The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want uses case studies, surveys and in-depth research to show how managers can develop high-performace, loyal, enthusiastic employees.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (6/11/06)

The List has one thing in common with Congress. Incumbents are hard to beat. Week after week a new book by a past best-selling author debuts on the List. Name recognition can even trump a bad review. And this week the trend continues with three new entries.

At #1 is At Risk by Patricia Cornwell: this was first serialized in "The New York Times Magazine" for fifteen weeks; Cornwell said, “This book is more about suspense, and characters, and their skills of deduction. It is people who solve this case---a determined investigator digging through boxes. That’s how things happen out there." Is she taking on CSI?

At #13 is Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder: the author scored a hit with Company Man; he has returned with a thriller about getting ahead in business with a little help from the Special Forces.

At #15 is The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl: this author had a hit with his first literary mystery, The Dante Club; he returns with another fascinating blend of fact and fiction.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts # 25

Historical mystery fans – here is a new reason to rejoice. Let’s see… exotic locale, opulent settings, a tough, savvy amateur sleuth, plenty of seduction, danger and intrigue, not to mention a few dead bodies. Could we ask for more?

Jason Goodwin, a noted historian turns to fiction for the first time with The Janissary Tree, a mystery set in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. The sultan’s eunuch (Warning: DO NOT jump to conclusions here) Yashim Togalu suspects the involvement of the Janissaries’, an elite troop in a series of barbaric murders and jewel theft around Istanbul and the royal court.

This is the impressive debut of a projected series.

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie wins 2006 Thumbs Up!

The Thumbs Up! Award committee has voted Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar as the 2006 Thumbs Up! Award winner. Sleeping Freshmen. . . is the journal of Scott Hudson during his first year in high school. It’s a year full of bullies, romance, honors classes, and brotherhood, and oh yes, his mother’s pregnancy.

The committee also chose three Honor books. They are Twilight by Stephenie Meyer which received the most teen votes, Looking for Alaska by John Green, and Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.

A "Magykal" Summer Read

For all those Harry Potter and Fantasy fans out there, there is a new series in youth literature that is a lot of fun. Angie Sage has written a series called Septimus Heap which tracks the story of a young boy who was switched at birth and raised as a soldier, away from his large, quirky wizard family. With a twist in fate the boy becomes involved in an escape with an ExtraOrdinary Wizard and a princess. He eventually discovers his true identity: that he is the seventh son of a seventh son for whom many prophecies have been foretold. While these stories are not quite as engaging as the Harry Potter series, they are still a good, light summer read for young minds (or those young at heart) and you will not be able to put them down. The first book in the series is called Magyk while the second book, Flyte, just came out this year.

Angie Sage is also collaborating with illustrator Jimmy Pickering for a new series this summer, Araminta Spookie, which will be coming out in August. The first book in the series will be My Haunted House. So check out Angie Sage for a "magykal" summer read!

Lost in the Woods

In this critically acclaimed film version of Carl Sams and Jean Stoick’s bestselling children’s book, a lost raccoon, Fernando Hernandafandavez--voiced by AADL staff member, Diego Ascani!--is confused by the signs of spring until he finally gets a little help from a wise old box turtle named Shirley. Using live action nature footage and photographic stills, filmmakers Laura and Robert Sams carefully match up the characters' dialogue and movements on screen for a fun and clever way to teach young viewers about animal behavior and their environment.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Ok, if you don't already know about the tragic Mimi how can I summarize La Boheme in a few sentences? I can't. But, describing Act I gives a good entre into this classic opera.
Paris, Christmas Eve, c. 1830. In their Latin Quarter garret, two starving artists try to keep warm by burning pages from Rodolfo's latest drama. They are joined by their comrades bring food, fuel and funds. Meanwhile, the landlord arrives to collect the rent. There is another knock: a neighbor, Mimì, says her candle has gone out on the drafty stairs. Offering her wine when she feels faint, Rodolfo relights her candle and helps her to the door. Mimì realizes she has dropped her key, and as the two search for it, both candles are blown out. In the moonlight the poet takes the girl's shivering hand, telling her his dreams. She then recounts her solitary life, embroidering flowers and waiting for spring. Drawn to each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave for the café. Sigh.
La Boheme by Guiacomo Puccini, Arbor Opera Theater, June 15-18, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

A great weekend watch!

Boondock Saints is a great movie for anyone who enjoyed Pulp Fiction, or my personal favorite, Reservoir Dogs. This strangely religious tale is about two brothers who kill two mofia "bad guys" in self defense, and are seen as heroes. They then see it as a calling by God and start killing off mofia members one after another. Willem Dafoe play the detective trying to catch these killers, however the closer he gets to catching them, the more he starts to believe they may be doing the right thing. If you are looking for a thrilli

Oasis Definitely, Maybe Beats the Beatles

In a recent poll, 40,000 music fans voted the debut album by British rock band Oasis, "Definitely, Maybe," as the best album of all time. It topped the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band and Revolver and several others in the top 10, including Nevermind by Nirvana and OK Computer, by Radiohead. Naturally, there's plenty of controversy over the rankings. So, what do you think?

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