The Guild of Geniuses

Frederick Lipton is a Movie Star. As is often the case with Movie Stars, his best friend is a monkey: Mr. Pip. They find themselves in need of the services of The Guild of Geniuses, a co-ed group of four wizened, lab-coated scientists who solve any problem and offer prizes to those who are able to stump them, although it is noted that they haven't yet had to give out a single prize.

This is Dan Santat's first book, both as an author and an illustrator, and while the story is sweet, it's also a bit dull. The art, however, is stylish, colorful, and retro-geeky, reminiscent of Mo Willems' excellent animated works such as The Off-Beats and Sheep in the Big City.

The English Roses

Madonna's music may or may not tickle your daughter's fancy, but this short bedtime book is a favorite with my girls. The story is of three young friends who learn to include a fourth girl into their circle.

If your daughter is poking around the stacks for something to read for the Summer Reading Game, this might be a right fit for her. It comes highly recommended from a five and a six-year old!

Sands of Empire

This morning on the Diane Rehm Show Robert Merry, president and publisher of Congressional Quarterly and a former reporter for "The Wall Street Journal" discussed his views on US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. His new book, Sands of Empire is on order.

Faulkner 101

Oprah's Summer of Faulkner is well underway, but it's not too soon to start reading the master of tragic farce. Check out Faulkner 101 for everything you need to know about Yoknapatawpha County and the three masterworks As I Lay Dying, The Sound and The Fury, and Light in August.

While you're waiting for the movie

Kevin Spacey's incarnation of crooner Bobby Darin may have left fans of both Spacey and Darin a little disappointed, but whether or not you're waiting to see the movie (on order), you can always check out The Swinging side of Bobby Darin, The Best of Bobby Darin or the soundtrack.

New from PBS

Check out one of PBS' most popular current titles, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, a documentary by Ken Burns (Civil War) about the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Visit the PBS website for more information.

RIP: Evan Hunter (Ed McBain)

Evan Hunter, author (as Ed McBain) of the 87th Precinct Series of detective novels, died Wednesday at 78. We have over 100 of his books, 4 of his full-length books on cd, and 16 of his books on cassette.

Hunter essentially created the police procedural novel in 1956 with Cop Hater, the first of the 87th Precinct novels, and many of the conventions of modern crime drama can be traced back to his work.

Steve Inskeep's Summer Books

This morning, npr.org posted the latest in their Summer Books series: a piece from Steve Inskeep, host of Morning Edition.

Steve mentioned several personal favorites that we have at AADL, including the Flashman series of humorous adventures set in Victorian England, and the Big Sleep and the Lady of the Lake, by Raymond Chandler.

New from the Criterion Collection

Some of the best suspense sequences in cinema history are featured in Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1952 film Wages of Fear, starring Yves Montand. In this recent addition to the Library's Criterion Collection, four desperate men attempt a suicidal mission to transport two truck-loads of nitro-glycerine 300 miles down a hazardous road in South America.

Other recently added Criterion titles include Touchez Pas Au Grisbi and Casque D'Or.

Eighteen Seconds Before Sunrise

Sigur Rós is one of those bands that seems to invade the background of your life without you even knowing it. Chances are, you've heard something by Sigur Rós on a TV commercial. Chances are, if you passed this album on our shelf, you'd simply move on. With a title like () it's hard to know what to do with this album. This album is also known as Eighteen Seconds Before Sunrise. Apparently, they named it after releasing it, probably because no one knew how to refer to it.

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