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.

Baby Bits - Deep Blue Sea

Take a Deep Sea Trip and never leave the tub with with your toddler. For sea adventure try Way Down Deep In The Deep Blue Sea, Ten Little Fish, and Jack's New Boat. Don't forget your water wings.

E3

E3

Presented by the Entertainment Software Association, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or Exposition), commonly known as E³ or E3, is the world's largest annual trade show for the computer and video games industry and the third largest gaming convention. The expo is open only to game industry professionals, celebrities and journalists who are over eighteen.

The 2006 E³ show focused on the upcoming releases of Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii, along with the next wave of games for the Nintendo DS and Xbox 360. Several websites such as the Washington Post noted in retrospect that Nintendo clearly dominated and stole the show. They cite as an example the queues; which were approximately half an hour long to play the PlayStation 3 and up to four hours long to play the Wii.

Final book in Uglies trilogy is here!


Specials book cover

Well, almost. Specials, released May 9th, is on order at AADL. You can place a request on it. Last week it reached the number six spot on the New York Times chapter books list just behind Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief. This is the third and final book in the series which began with Uglies and continued with Pretties. It’s set in a future society that seems to only value beautiful people. Check out Scott, Uglies, Specials and more at Westerblog.

Pearl's Picks for Youth and Teens

Librarian extraordinaire Nancy Pearl joined us at the Downtown library on Sunday for a talk about books, reading, and writing. She suggested several great books for young people, from picture books like Knuffle Bunny and Skippyjon Jones to chapter books like Three Terrible Trins, Whales on Stilts, and Ragweed. For teens, she especially liked Feed, by the same author as Whales on Stilts, Lisa Yee's Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Richard Peck's Teacher's Funeral, and the difficult but moving story in Looking for Normal by Betty Monthei. Already read these? Ask any librarian for more suggestions.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (5/14/06)

Even though a couple of colleagues are huge fans, I had never caught the Harlan Coben bug, until he published his first standalone (Tell No One). Then I was hooked and read every subsequent novel. But I still initially passed on his latest book because it marked the return of Myron Bolitar. Through sheer luck I picked up a copy and had a terrific time.

At #2 is Promise Me by Harlan Coben: in the eighth release of this series Myron Bolitar investigates the disappearance and possible kidnapping of two teenage girls who attended his old New Jersey high school.

At #6 is Susannah's Garden by Debbie Macomber: a return to her hometown propels a young woman to think about the direction of her life and the choices she has made.

At #10 is Everyman by Philip Roth: after leaving the funeral of his good friend Saul Bellow, Roth went home and immediately started writing this contemplation of aging and death.

At #14 is Vanished by Karen Robards: a young woman turns to her best friend (who just happens to be a handsome former FBI agent) for help in finding her missing daughter.

At #15 is Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein: before she died earlier this year, this award-winning playwright penned her own 9/11 novel.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #21 (Happy Mother's Day)

It is not for everyone but it will richly reward the patient reader.

The stream-of-consciousness narrative in Love Burns, the debut novel by noted Israeli playwright Edna Mazya, and the experimental writing style might feel like sand between the toes, but this "surprisingly fresh, deeply sardonic" (Publishers Weekly) tale of obsessive-love-turns-homicidal would keep you turning pages, and the provocative blend of sly humor and suspense might just win you over.

Ilan, a middle-aged astrophysics professor at a Haifa university is obsessed with his beautiful young wife while life is spiraling out of control. A fateful encounter with his wife’s sexy Russian lover proves to be his undoing. Thank heavens there is mother to take charge.

Already a bestseller in Europe.

What's With all the Gossip?

So the first book in the Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar was published 4 years ago and the 9th book in the series Only in your dreams just came out, but after Naomi Wolf wrote a scathing editorial in the New York Times about this series and their read-alikes Clique and The A-List everyone has been talking about it. Yes, they are basically Sex and The City for teens filled with consumerism and fun without consequences. Are they any worse than anything as popular that came before them? No. Are they flashier and better marketed? Definitely. Any teen who is reading these books - as opposed to watching the rampant fun without consquences on TV or online - is a teen I wouldn't worry about. Because *reading* is what separates the teens you worry about from the ones you don't.

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