Fabulous Fiction Firsts #49

AT LONG LAST!!! The much anticipated first novel from Peter Ho Davies, named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 2003 for his two award winning short-story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love, is finally here.

The Welsh Girl* is an ambitious and moving wartime romance. The story opens with the building of a POW camp for German prisoners in the remote Welsh countryside in 1944. 17 year-old Esther, pregnant after being rape by an English soldier, and Karsten, a German POW haunted by the loss of honor, are thrown together during his escape.

Adding texture and contrast to Esther and Karsten’s story is British army officer Rotheram’s difficult assignment to interrogate captured nazi officer Rudolf Hess, both of them haboring secrets and struggling with matters of honesty and honor.

“What makes this first novel …an intriguing read isn't the plot, …but the beautifully realized characters, who learn that life is a jumble of difficult compromises best confronted with eyes wide open.” (Publishers’s Weekly)

Read an interview with P.H.D. and an interesting piece in Michigan Today by Leslie Stainton.

* = Starred Reviews

2007 Edgar Award Best Young Adult Nominees

On the 198th birth of Edgar Allan Poe the 2007 Edgar® Nominees were announced. The winner will be announced April 26 in NYC. Read the list and tell us which one you think should be named the winner.

The Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson

Crunch Time by Mariah Fredericks

Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready

The Night My Sister Went Missing by Carol Plum-Ucci

Anna Molly


Guess what kids, Incubus is coming to the State Theatre (in Detroit, not A2) on Friday, Feb. 2nd @ 6:30pm.

Before you head down to the D, check out their latest album, Light Grenades. Want more? AADL has all things Incubus... well, not really... but you get my drift...

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (1/28/07)

While Richard North Patterson has been writing big (!) bestsellers for several years, his first book The Outside Man is still my favorite. The story is compelling, the plotting tight, the prose concise and he delivers all this in only 236 pages.

At #1 is Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich: "A mysterious man in Stephanie Plum’s life helps her track down a matchmaker who skipped bail."

At #6 is Exile by Richard North Patterson: "A San Francisco lawyer defends a Palestinian woman accused of assassinating the Israeli prime minister."

At #15 is Web of Evil by J.A. Jance: "Alison Reynolds, a former Los Angeles news anchor. comes under suspicion when her about-to-be-ex husband is murdered."

Baby Bits - Go, Go, Go

We did "things that go" in Baby PlayGroup this week. You can go home with books like Beep Beep Let's Go; Sail Away Little Boat; Sheep In A Jeep; Jiggle Joggle Jee; Giddy-Up! Let's Ride; or I Love Trucks and GO some more.

See ya, space cowboy

Cowboy Bebop is an anime that wears its influences on its sleeves. On its surface, it’s a cool science fiction story set in a future where most of humanity has left the ruined Earth to seek better lives in other parts of the solar system. But it’s also steeped in the traditions of noir and westerns, with bounty hunters and mysterious femme fatales, and all those influences come together to make it one of the most stylish and memorable anime series around.

Come for the very pretty animation and jazzy score; stay for the memorable characters. Spike and Jet, our protagonists, have all the mercenary instincts of the very good bounty hunters that they are, but they’re hampered by bad luck and the occasional twinge of conscience. Along the way they meet Faye Valentine, who’s trying to pay off a really big debt; Ed, a brilliant hacker; and Ein, the smartest Welsh corgi that you’ll ever meet.

If you like the anime tv series, you might also be interested in the feature film and the companion manga.

Happy Rebuild Day, Library of Congress!

The Library of Congress is marking 192 years since Congress accepted Thomas Jefferson's offer to rebuild the collection after the library was destroyed by the British. TJ offered books from his famously large personal collection, including, apparently, a copy of the Quran recently used in the swearing-in ceremony for Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress. Writers' Almanac has more.

February 2: Imbolc (Imbolog), Candlemas, and Groundhog Day

February 2 is a cross-quarter day, marking the mid-point of Winter, midway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. We have gotten off easy so far this Winter. Let's hope Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow.

Stormfax Weather Almanac has historic data. The odds favor six more weeks of winter. Shadow: 96 years; No Shadow: 14 years.

On Groundhog Day the Pittsfield Branch is hosting Harley, a groundhog from the Howell Conference and Nature Center. We are not sure what weather effect can be expected when the groundhog visits the library on Groundhog Day.

Wikipedia (have you noticed how many recent New York Times articles cite Wikipedia? An article in Monday's New York Times reported on the use of Wikipedia by judges in their opinions) on Imbolc; Candlemas; and Groundhog Day

Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in Groundhog Day

Library books about Groundhog Day

Library picture books and readers about Groundhog Day

Someone has busily been tagging the library's Groundhog Day materials.

On The Night You Were Born

On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Beautiful illustrations. Lovely text. No wonder this book is given a lot at baby showers as a gift for the newborn. What people might not know however is that this is not just a book for the very young... Try reading it aloud to anyone you want to give an instant ego boost to. Really, you can't help but feel good after hearing this book, like everything is right with the world, like your life has purpose. It's like someone naming a building after you or making you your favorite desert for no reason. It's that nice.

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