The Hamilton Case by Michelle de Kretser

Sri-Lankan-born Michelle de Kretser spent her first 14 years in her native land (formerly Ceylon) before emigrating to Australia. Now 45, Ms. de Kretser sets her second novel, The Hamilton Case, in the land of her birth.

Sam Obeysekere is a Ceylonese prosecutor from a spectacularly dysfunctional family. Wanting to fit into the upper class British way of life, he takes on a scandal-ridden murder case of a white English tea-grower in the 1940s. A big fan of Agatha Christie mysteries, Sam’s attempt to emulate her method derails, and The Hamilton Case becomes something much more than a crime novel.

The Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business

Check out the latest album from The Black Eyed Peas: Monkey Business. It's been on the top of the Billboard Charts since its release. The album features such artists as Justin Timberlake, James Brown, and Sting. Like their other albums, listeners experience a variety of musical genres including hip-hop, funk, rock, and pop.

Extremely Dangerous Home Makeover

Amateur sleuth Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree is still trying to restore her 1823 Federal home in Eastport, Maine, but murder keeps getting in the way. In Tool and Die, Jake works her way into another treacherous entanglement with a clever, determined killer. A top-notch narration by Lindsay Ellison makes this as enjoyable a listen as Mallets Aforethought and Unhinged, two previous books in the Home Repair is Murder series by Sarah Graves.

For All Mankind

With all the recent news of the Space Shuttle Discovery, now is the perfect time to check out a film like For All Mankind. This Oscar-nominated documentary by filmmaker Al Reinert features breathtaking film footage shot by NASA astronauts. For wannabe space cadets who want more, the library collection also includes Blue Planet (IMAX), Apollo 13, and Moonraker.

This Week on Stateside

On the July 29th edition of Stateside Charity Nebbe interviewed David Pilgrim, Curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University. The museum explores the Jim Crow system of segregation that began at the end of the Civil War and lasted through the mid-1960s and the dehumanizing racial caricatures it engendered.

The library has two new books that deal with different aspects of Jim Crow. The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South by William P. Jones illustrates how industrial employment was not incompatible with the racial segregation that defined African American life in the Jim Crow South.

Now 19

Bursting into the number one spot on the Billboard 200 Chart this week is Now 19. Who knew that these compilations of current pop music would be so in demand and still going strong with the nineteenth cd in the collection!

Totally Hits 2005 is one other choice if you desire to sample a smorgasbord of hits.

You think it is hot out there?

Intense heat was what Dave Robicheaux felt in James Lee Burke’s 14th entry in this award-winning series set in New Iberia, La. This time our unemployed, widowed, ex-homicide detective came up against a wealthy family, the New Orleans Mafia and several gruesome killings.

“Superb writing and a throbbing pace… a violent, complex story peopled by sharply defined characters who inhabit a lush, sensual, almost mythological world”, prompted Publishers Weekly AND Booklist to give Crusader's Cross much-deserved starred reviews.

August 1, 1791: Virginia Planter Robert Carter III Frees His Slaves

Robert Carter III filed a Deed of Gift to gradually emancipate his slaves (fifteen slaves each year over twenty-one years): “I have for some time past been convinced that to retain them in Slavery is contrary to the true principles of Religion and Justice and therefore it is my duty to manumit them.”

Andrew Levy’s The First Emancipator: the Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves details Carter’s life, the Deed of Gift, and the ideas behind it and the reactions to it. One anonymous correspondent wrote “A man has almost as good a right to set fire to his own building, though his neighbors is to be destroyed by it, as to free his Slaves.”

Best diet of them all

Maybe this doesn't qualify as a diet, but reading about food is my favorite way to enjoy food without having to worry about my waistline. Give it a try: Fork It Over.

The Search for Belle Prater by Ruth White

What happened to Belle Prater? Find out in this sequel to the Newbery Honor Book,
Belle Prater’s Boy (1996). Woodrow and Gypsy set out to find Woodrow’s mother, Belle. They are joined by Cassie, who has the gift of second sight and Joseph, a black teen runaway. They face issues of racism in the segregated south as they search for Joseph’s father and Woodrow’s mother. Ruth White weaves a mysterious tale that touches the depth of human emotion in this long awaited sequel.

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