Judas revisited

Debate is raging over Judas' true role in Christianity. A 1,700 year old mansucript, vetted by scholars as genuine, has recently surfaced and seems to suggest that Jesus asked Judas to betray him, and warned Judas that he would be the ultimate scapegoat.

Tomorrow two ABC programs, Good Morning America and Nightline, will delve into controvery (some scholars feel this document is irrelevant; others claim it could rewrite religious history) by interviewing author James M. Robinson whose new book The Secrets of Judas: The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel is sure to be in demand. The Ann Arbor District Library will order this title this month. Once it appears in the Library's catalog, you may place a hold on it.

Caruso and the earthquake

One night Enrico Caruso was serenading San Francisco opera lovers in Bizet’s Carmen, the next night the city was in flames after the massive 1906 earthquake. The earthquake and fire destroyed the opera house and Caruso never sang in San Francisco again. Read more about the earthquake, and see a picture of Caruso in costume for Carmen, at National Public Radio’s website. You can borrow a recording of Caruso singing “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen from the library to get a feel for the magic of that night.

Muhammad Ali Sells Rights to Name and Likeness

Muhammad Ali recently agreed to give up majority control of the rights to his name and image to an entertainment and licensing firm in exchange for $50 million. CKX, Inc. also owns the rights to Elvis Presley's marketing.

The library has many materials for those interested in learning more about Ali. Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times and the more recent The Lost Legacy of Muhammad Ali, both by Thomas Hauser, are highly recommended. Other books include The Muhammad Ali Reader and King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero.

DVDs include When We Were Kings, an excellent documentary about the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" versus a younger and meaner George Foreman. Also on order is Michael Mann's director's cut of the 2001 film Ali. For those who don't want to wait, the original DVD release is also available.

2006 Thumbs Up! Nominee

A Room on Lorelei Street -- Vote For Me!
Zoe’s life is more than she can bear – until she rents a room of her own on Lorelei St. But between struggling to pay rent and feeling guilty for leaving her alcoholic mother, how far will Zoe go to keep her independence?

2006 Thumbs Up! Nominee

Teach Me -- Vote For Me!
High school senior Nine (short for Carolina) has always felt different from her classmates. When she crosses the line with her high school English teacher, her new feelings are so overwhelming she wonders if she even understands herself.

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Today on Fresh Air, Michael Pollan, author of 2001's The Botany of Desire, discussed our national eating disorder, the seductive pastoral experience that draws us down the aisles of Whole Foods, and the high cost of our dependence on corn--the SUV of plants responsible for 1/5 of our fossil fuel consumption, the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup that contributes to our national epidemic of obesity, and the cause of a fish-killing Bermuda triangle in the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey. All this and more is available in Pollan's "remarkably clearheaded book" (Publisher's Weekly), The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. You'll never look at a chicken nugget the same way again.

Name the genre of music…

...that includes Bebop, Latin, Smooth, Acid, Swing and Fusion?

That’s right, Jazz! April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Designated by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, JAM celebrates the rich tradition of Jazz and its influence on American history and culture. A celebration would not be complete without celebrating some of today’s Jazz artists. If you’re looking for a new sound to discover, here is a list of some of Amazon.com’s Top Sellers:

Michael BubleIt’s Time
Thelonious MonkThelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
Cassandra Wilson – Thunderbird
Madeleine PeyrouxCareless Love
Chris BottiTo Love Again

For more familiar favorites, the library has a host of Jazz greats to choose from like:Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Paul Whiteman

Ever play in a Jazz band? What instrument did you play?

2006 Thumbs Up! Nominee

Twilight -- Vote For Me!
Bella leaves sunny Phoenix to live in gloomy Washington and is drawn to fellow student Edward, a distractingly handsome but aloof and angry boy. Bella falls dangerously in love – a danger magnified by Edward’s secret life as a vampire.

2006 Thumbs Up! Nominee

Inexcusable -- Vote For Me!
Senior Keir Sarafian is a good guy: a loving son and brother, a loyal friend, and an excellent teammate. He can’t understand why Gigi Boudakian, his friend since kindergarten and the love of his life, would accuse him of something so...inexcusable.

The Silent Spring

On Thursday, April 13, 1962, The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was published. The book sounded an alarm about the use of chemicals, especially pesticides, and the harm they caused to humans and the environment. The book's publication heralded the beginning of the environmental movement. Carson, an ecologist, took great pleasure in her natural surroundings, and in her observations saw disturbing signs of the effects of these pollutants.

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