Alice Turns 141 Today

On August 2, 1865, Lewis Carroll published Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. AADL owns several versions, as well as sound recordings and film adaptations. The latter include Walt Disney's 1951 animated film, the subversie and haunting 1966 retelling by director Jonathan Miller, starring Michael Redgrave, Peter Sellers and John Gielgud, and Alice in Wonderland in Dance.

Events at The Ark this month

Below are some of the artists appearing at The Ark this month, with links to their CDs in our catalog. Check 'em out before you go! Gaelic Storm; Kelly Joe Phelps; Little Feat; Billy Joe Shaver; Suzy Bogguss; and Robbie Fulks.

Here is the complete list, plus ticket prices and musical styles.

Twenty Years of the Friz

September 15 will be the 20th anniversary of Ms. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus series. To celebrate, NASDAQ will open with a dedication to the series and Scholastic will release "The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition," the 11th picture book in the series and the first in seven years, according to Publishers Weekly. Joanna Cole, the writer of the series, says "We have to make it simple enough for kids to understand, but not so simple that the meaning goes out of it."

Castro on Film

On Monday, prior to undergoing major surgery, 79-year-old Fidel Castro handed the reins to his brother, Raúl, leading many to wonder if it will soon be Springtime for Cuba? Now seems a good time to look back at the man on film. The Library carries the following DVDs: 2005's Fidel Castro and Fidel Castro: El Comandante. For more flavor, there's 1974's Waiting For Fidel; El Che; and various films detailing the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Kick Keswick: Three Measures of Elegant Summer Fluff

Kick Keswick did not know who her father was. Her mother lived in a trailer in the Oklahoma oil fields. Kick was a shoplifter of jewelry. After a year in juvenile detention, she goes off to college, takes a trip to London, skips out on the group tour, buys a very short Mary Quant miniskirt and some plastic boots, gets soaked in the rain, and is ushered into the limousine of Sir Cramner Ballantine, owner of the venerable Ballantine & Company Auctioneers. She becomes his mistress and the executive secretary of the auction house. She gradually becomes an elegant and self-possessed woman with a love for food, chocolate, wine, and jewels. She is a master jeweler and a master jewel thief (the Shamrock Burglar, leaving a “lovely crisp bouquet of shamrocks tied with an ivory satin ribbon” in the place of the stolen jewelry).

She wittily narrates three charming adventures (best read in order):

Brilliant 2003
Priceless 2004
Perfect 2005

Beach Reads #5 (admittedly borrowed...)

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Billed as the British version of Oprah's Book Club, the vastly popular "Richard (Madeley) & Judy (Finnigan)" talk show has its very own RICHARD & JUDY'S SUMMER READ!.

The 2006 list is selected by Amanda Ross who is the joint managing director of Cactus TV, which produces the show, and was recently named the No. 1 most influential person in British publishing.

Instead of the authors or experts, a panel of celebrities is invited to discuss the books (only paperback titles are considered) on air. Richard & Judy are pleased that "The books are there to be read and enjoyed and talked about sensibly, not in the rarefied ways of a wine buff or a food critic, but in the way the rest of the world does".

Don't be surprised to find U.S. titles and some very familiar names, and what a great way to get to know new ones.

Salaam, A Muslim American Boys Story by Tricia Brown

Imran takes karate, enjoys hanging out with his friends and celebrates special religious holidays with his family. Imran is like any other boy in America except he is a Muslim. His mother receives a threatening phone call because people don't like her faith. Imran is hopeful that once people get to know his faith they will like him the way his friends and neighbors do. Tricia Brown teaches about Islam through Imran's story. From a Muslim perspective the book gives an apologetic view of Islam with an emphasis on fitting in.

FolkTale Bits - African-American Tall Tales

Zora Neale Hurston collected these "lies" from "professional liars" of the Gulf States, as she noticed there was a "decline in the quality of lies and it was just gone get worse, unless somebody did something." Christopher Myers, the adaptor and illustrator, "found them in a government office, which is where they are keeping all the llies nowadays." Each page is a new "lie". It could be great fun to create your own "lies" based on these examples. Can you top this?

Beat the Heat with a Bestseller

Let the narrator do the work for you in these dog days of summer. We have five NYT bestsellers on book on cd that are sure to keep your mind off the heat and on the story. Sitting at #2 is Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich. This time out Stephanie is rescuing a kidnapped kid. James Patterson comes in at #6 with Beach Road, the story of a high profile court case. Closing in on Patterson are Dean Koontz with The Husband and Douglas Preston with The Book of the Dead. Patricia Cornwell rounds out our list with At Risk, a cold case story (insert appropriate blog puns here.)

Epic Tale from Ancient Iraq

This book is an exquisite rendition of an ancient middle east epic. The pictures and text are perfectly matched. The tale can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Lugalbanda is one of the oldest stories in the world. Lugalbanda was recorded over 5,000 years ago on clay tablets written in cuneiform by the Sumerians. It is older than the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the stories of Homer and the Greek and Roman myths.

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