Fabulous Fiction Firsts #22

I frankly cannot remember the last time a debut thriller generated such buzz. Library Journal, Booklist, as well as Publishers Weekly all gave John Hart’s The King of Lies starred reviews.

Critics are calling it ”stunning…, an exceptionally deep and complex mystery thriller”; “The writing is beautiful and the story is gripping, but it is the character study… that puts this debut novel on the must-read list.”

At the center of the mystery is Work(man) Pickens, a struggling North Carolina attorney with some serious baggage – one of them is being accused of his father’s murder. You won’t want to miss this one.

Read about Geeks Behind Video Games

For those who didn't make it to the Electronic Entertainment Expo here's a book that might provide some perspective on the videogame industry: Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution, by Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby. From the jacket: "Meet the geeks, geniuses, and mavericks behind this burgeoning culture." The book is showing available, shelved with new non-fiction books on the second floor of the Downtown Library.

New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed

New York New York The Big Apple from A to Z takes you on an alphabetical tour of some of the major tourist spots in New York City. Each page has a poem dedicated to a particular sight and facts, history and information in small captions. Watercolor illustrations add a colorful backdrop. This book is fun for native New Yorker's like myself or anyone interested in this great city.

Fred Eaglesmith at the Ark!

Fred Eaglesmith

For all you country-folk fans, here's a concert that you won't want to miss... Fred Eaglesmith will perform Thursday night (5/18), 8pm at The Ark. So log on to Ticketmaster and get your tickets will-call; then call your emergency babysitter and plan to leave work early on Thursday so you can catch dinner on Main Street and even stop by the AADL and pick up his CD.

If you love Eaglesmith, you'll also enjoy these artists:

Quirkiness abounds when Leo Kottke and Phish bassist Mike Gordon join forces

Acoustic guitar legend Leo Kottke is well known for his masterful fingerpicking on traditional and folk tunes, such as Bach's "Bourree" or his own hauntingly beautiful "Crow River Waltz." But his fans also know him for his quirky original music and odd sense of humor, as demonstrated in his in experimental album That's What (1990). It seems strangely appropriate, then, that Kottke should team up with Phish bass player Mike Gordon on his latest album, Sixty Six Steps.

Sixty Six Steps follows on Kottke and Gordon's well-received first collaboration, Clone (2002). Like Clone, Sixty Six Steps features amazing fingerwork, clever lyrics, and a catchy sound, resulting in an album strangely familiar to fans of both artists while still breaking new ground. Listeners may notice a bit more of a tropical flair in the new album, however, as Kottke and Gordon experiment with island music. The album may seem familiar for other reasons, too: it features a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" and a very deadpan rendition of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion."

First Impressions

"For the rest of her life, Charlotte Cleve would blame herself for her son's death because she had decided to have Mother's Day dinner at six in the evening instead of noon, after church, which is when the Cleves usually had it."
So begins The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Librarian extraordinaire Nancy Pearl considers this a great first line, a first line that compels the reader forward into the thick of the Cleve family's tragedy. Other compelling first lines: Christopher Morley's Parnassus on Wheels, Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys, and even a slightly morbid nonfiction work, Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. But there must be others...

What, Me Worry?

MAD

If upon reading above caption, you immediately grin, smirk, chuckle, snort, or downright guffaw, then you're one of the millions who've enjoyed MAD since its inception in 1952.

So go ahead, check out what AADL has in its collection - from the magazine (yes, there's even a kids' version) to several books put out by the "Usual Gang of Idiots."

And for those of you who have never read the magazine, but watch MADTV, just where did you think Spy vs. Spy came from?

Enjoy, kids!

- Alfred E. Neuman

Two new fiction titles

Anne Tyler's latest book, Digging to America has its typical cast of quirky characters including Bitsy McDonald, newly adoptive mom of Jin-Ho who has just arrived from Korea. A bit self-righteous but well meaning, Bitsy initiates a friendship with an Iranian couple who are picking up their daughter, Susan, at the airport at the same time. The two couples and their extended families meet every year for an anniversary party to celebrate the girls' arrival day. The story is not only about the adjustment of the girls but the difficulties of assimilation for any immigrant. Maryam, Susan's grandmother and frequent caretaker, exemplies this predicament as she tries to preserve her own cultural traditions in the midst of the americanization of the children.

History Bits - Girl Inventor

Mattie E. Knight was a natural inventor. At 8 years old, she invented a footwarmer for her mother, so her mother could keep her feet warm as she sewed late into the night to support the family. When she worked in the fabric mills by 13, she invented a shuttle stop to protect workers from injury when the looms malfunctioned. As a young adult she developed the machine that would fold paper into square bags ... the kind we carry groceries in today. Marvelous Mattie is a picture book biography about a girl at the turn of the century who held drawings and patents on her inventions.

History Bits: Houdini

Houdini World's Greatest Mystery Man And Escape King is a new picture book biography on Harry Houdini, the escape artist and magician. It was written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Eric Velasquez.

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