New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (9/25/05)

Fantasy and romance enter the list this week.

At #5 is High Druid of Shannara: Straken by Terry Brooks. In the final volume of this trilogy the hero Pen Ohmsford is on a quest for save his aunt from exile.

At #6 is Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell. For fans wishing there were new episodes of "Sex and the City", the show's creator treats us to this story of three women trying to juggle their personal and professional lives.

Tattoo You! Latest issue...

Are you a fan of the hot new show on TLC (aka "The Learning Channel") Miami Ink? The November, 2005 issue of International Tattoo has a great "behind the scenes" article about this new tattoo-shop reality show. With lots of great photos and anecdotes learn more about Ami, Chris Garver and Yoji, the shop apprentice. International Tattoo Art is always loaded with close up photos of great tattoos, edgy articles and more. AADL also owns the tattoo magazine Skin and Ink - be sure to check 'em out on the 2nd floor of the DOWNTOWN location....

Adopted by an Owl: the True Story of Jackson the Owl

Ever wonder what it would be like to live with an owl? Written and illustrated by veteran animal rehabilitators, Adopted by an Owl: the True Story of Jackson the Owl by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen reveals the trials and joys of raising a great horned owl. Stolen from his nest and rejected by his owner, Jackson is driven to a farm and becomes an integral part of the family. It’s amazing to read of Jackson’s interactions with “Nick” (also the illustrator), his healing process, and his eventual decision to stay on the farm. What’s more, the story takes place in Michigan. A wonderful book to share for all ages. Illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.

Another Side of Bob Dylan

Whether or not you're a fan, Bob Dylan, the brilliant songwriter/musician who pioneered multiple schools of songwriting and almost single-handedly redefined what it meant to be a singer, musician and performer in the 1960s, is certainly a worthy subject for a documentary...even if it is over 3 hours long. Martin Scorsese's long-awaited film about the erstwhile Robert Zimmerman airs this week on PBS, but if you miss it, don't get tangled up in blue: The Library will be getting the DVD in October. In the meantime, check out D. A. Pennebaker's fascinating 1967 documentary Don't Look Back, or the energetic first volume of Dylan's autobiography which covers much of the same period as the Scorsese documentary.

So what's your favorite Dylan song?

Myla Scores Another Winner

Myla Goldberg, who gave us the "perfect" Bee Season returns with a historical novel set in South Boston during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic.
Irish working-class Lydia Kilkenny married the frail, well-to-do Henry Wickett who promptly quitted his medical studies to develop a health-giving elixir (the eponymous Remedy). Historical events such as America's entry into World War I and the Flu provide the catalysts that drive the plot but it is Goldberg’s skill as a novelist that stitches together the various pieces of a structurally complex novel, creating smooth, durable, barely-there seams that makes Wickett’s Remedy “sorrowful, humorous, tender (and) utterly satisfies” . ~ Starred Review , Library Journal.

Grit, Noise and Revolution

The University of Michigan Press has just released Grit, Noise and Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll, by David A. Carson. This 320-page book examines music made in Detroit after World War II, focusing on the "Detroit Rock" sound of the mid 1960s through the early 1970s. Carson devotes plenty of text to the influence of nearby Ann Arbor, including local favorites Bob Seger and Iggy Pop, as well as Commander Cody, John Sinclair, Ted Nugent and Grand Funk Railroad.

Red Hot Witchy Read

Red is For Remembrance by Laurie Faria Stolarz is the latest in her wicked new series. Laurie's stories blend suspense, romance, and the art of keeping secrets - with spicey doses of teen witchcraft and magic. Be sure to start with Blue is for Nightmares, followed by White is for Magic and Silver is for Secrets. A perfect way to get into the witchy season ahead...

#1 Record/Radio City

Although they only released three albums, Big Star is one of the most influential power pop bands of all time. They combined the best aspects of bands like the Kinks and the Byrds, added a touch of soul and created songs that are fantastically catchy. Frustration from their lack of commercial success led to several lineup changes and ultimately to the band's break up, but critics and bands such as R.E.M. continue to rate Big Star as one of the most important bands of the seventies.

Leaping lizards! The lad can dance!

Billy’s dad wants him to be a boxer. Billy’s brother wants him to be a boxer. Even Billy wants to be a boxer, sort of.

Everything changes when Billy secretly starts learning ballet instead of boxing. Billy Elliot is an unsentimental celebration of family, dance, and community set during the 1984 coal miners’ strike in northern England. Be aware that despite the young protagonist, this movie is rated R. Fans of The Full Monty, Ma Vie en Rose, or Strictly Ballroom might enjoy this sweet, exuberant, and riotously funny film. And of course there’s plenty more out there about lads, leaping, and labour conflicts.

Attack of the Banned Authors! Week Three

This week’s banned books blog (Week 1 and Week 2 here) deals with some of the most banned authors in America. These are authors where a very large number of their books have been banned, and as soon as a new one comes out, it faces increased scrutiny. J.K. Rowling has not quite made the list yet, but if she keeps writing, she will soon. Here are the authors:

Judy Blume: Blume has written a great deal of books for children, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Superfudge. In America, 13 of her books have been challenged or banned in over 100 schools and public libraries, for reasons including the fact that “bad is never punished. Good never comes to the fore. Evil is triumphant.”

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