Looking for a Christmas Read?

In previous years, I've suggested popular fiction for holiday reads. This year I have decided to concentrate on two of my favorite genres: Romance and Mystery.

Recently, I buried myself in Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower Series. The final book in this 5 part series is Wallflower Christmas. Once Lillian Bowman and the other Wallflowers are settled with beaus, it's time to find her elder brother Rafe a wife. If romance, action, mystery, and the supernatural meets your interest, try Kerrelyn Sparks' All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire part of the Love at Stake Series. If short stories are your thing try this Christmas compilation: Wish List with stories by Lisa Kleypas, Lynsay Sands, Claudia Dain, and Lisa Cach.

For good Christmas mystery reads try Deck the Halls and it's sequel He Sees You When Your Sleeping co-written by bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol Higgins Clark. Regan Reilly, Carol Higgins Clark's dynamic young sleuth, meets Alvirah Meehan, Mary Higgins Clark's famous lottery-winning amateur detective, and both embark on a desperate search for Regan's kidnapped father and then reassemble in the sequel to help a family reunite during the holidays. Additionally, there is the short story collection Wolfsbane and Mistletoe with tales by talented authors such as Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, and Carrie Vaughn.

For more suggestions of Romance, Mystery, as well as other Fiction Christmas reads, Check out: http://www.overbooked.org/booklists/subjects/themes/christmas.html

World Fantasy Awards

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Created in the mid-1970s, the World Fantasy Awards, associated with the annual World Fantasy Conventions were established as a fantasy counterpart to the SF-oriented Hugo and Nebula Awards. If you enjoy reading/watching/writing fantasy or science fiction, the annual conventions are definitely for you! Think about attending the 2010 convention. It will be close by in Columbus, Ohio on the weekend of October 28-31. A great way to celebrate Halloween by dressing up as your favorite fantasy character- a Volturi anyone?

Here are the winners for best novel:

The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford: In the wake of a classmate's disappearance, a sixth grader and his older brother observe strange events in 1960s Long Island, including the appearance of a man in a large white car and the deteriorating mental state of the school librarian.

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan: A young woman who has endured unspeakable cruelties is magically granted a safe haven apart from the real world and allowed to raise her two daughters in this alternate reality, until the barrier between her world and the real one begins to break down.

Best Anthology:
Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, by: Ekaterina Sedia, ed.
A collection of urban fantasy stories featuring cities--whether real or imaginary and throughout history--and how they affect the lives and experiences of their inhabitants.

Best Collection:
The Drowned Life by: Jeffrey Ford: In this mesmerizing blend of the familiar and the fantastic, multiple award-winning New York Times notable author Jeffrey Ford creates true wonders and infuses the mundane with magic.

It's your bet...

Griffen McCandles is a dragon, he just doesn't know it. Dragons have adapted and learned to live virtually undetected in the human world, taking on human form and mannerisms, but they are still dragonish. McCandles has been making his way through college mostly playing poker, earning himself the nickname "Grifter." One day Uncle Mal drops a bombshell on Griffen and his sister, they're dragons. What will the two of them do? Fortunately, they have friends and find themselves in New Orleans where "Grifter" can put his poker skills to good use. Follow the story in Robert Asprin's Dragons Wild and Dragons Luck.

Youth Music Notes -- Wizard Rock

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The Ann Arbor District Library has been fortunate enough to host wizard rock bands Tonks and the Aurors and The Remus Lupins, but did you know that we also have a collection of wizard rock on CD -- that fans of all things Harry Potter can listen to whenever we want?

Harry and the Potters bring us the "good" side of wizard rock, their several CD's chock full of inspiring music to fight the Dark Lord by. Exactly what we expect from the co-founders of the Harry Potter Alliance. Have I mentioned that they also have a special Christmas CD? How...seasonally appropriate.

Representing the often overlooked Slytherin perspective, we have evil wizard rock band Draco and the Malfoys, with a collection of twelve heart-wrenching tunes to remind us that evil wizards are people too.

And, of course, for purists, we also have many authorized CD's of the Harry Potter movie soundtracks.

In the words of Harry and the Potters, "It's never too loud to read," so turn up the CD player and get ready to sing along to some quality wizard rock.

YPT presents Wizard of Oz

Young People's Theater presents the classic Wizard of Oz Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 5-8, in U-M's Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. You can view photos of actresses and actors on the YPT website. Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for age 18 and younger and 65 and older. Originally released as a motion picture in 1939, the story has inspired creations including the 2009 graphic novel Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Vampire Strikes Back

Looking for a bone chiller to curl up with tonight? How about Way of the Wolf by E. E. Knight. Follow the adventures of David Valentine as he battles against the alien Kurian invaders with their blood/aura sucking minions the Reapers. In this first book of the series, we see David grow from a young man to a fighting Wolf, transformed by one of the Lifeweavers. This is book one in the ongoing Vampire Earth saga. You can read the next chapter of David's battles in Choice of the Cat.

Al's Book Club for Kids: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

On Friday morning Al Roker, the beloved weather man of NBC's The Today Show, announced his latest pick for Al's Book Club for Kids: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.
"In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest."
Not only is this story a beautiful blend of traditional Chinese folklore themes and characters (keep an eye out for the fabulous talking fish!), it is also a physically beautiful book. Grace Lin's full-color illustrations throughout this tale are intricate and dazzling, and the use of multiple type faces make this journey all the more enchanting. Adult readers will appreciate Lin's author note at the end of the book, where she explains her Asian-American roots and the folktales from her childhood that continue to resonate with her today.
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An assassins live for me...

Vlad is an assassin. He's one of the few human citizens of the Empire, ruled and populated mainly by the Dragaerans. Dragaerans are humanoid, with extended life-spans and averaging seven feet in height. They view themselves as "human", while the human minority sometimes call them "elfs". Vlad's talents have earned him a number of important Dragaerans friends, placing him in many important Empire events. You can follow Vlad's adventures in the Dragaerans series written by Steven Brust. Start with the Book of Jhereg followed by Book of Taltos and Book of Athyra along with he other books in the series.

The Magicians

Have you ever wished that you could attend Hogwarts? Or walk through a dusty old wardrobe and find yourself in Narnia? If so, then Lev Grossman has written a new novel just for you! It’s called The Magicians, and it’s being advertised as the latest “Harry Potter for grownups.” The hero of the story, Quentin Coldwater, is a bright high school senior from Brooklyn who is still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy books he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. (Fillory is essentially the same as Narnia, and Grossman admits as much in an interview for NPR last month.) Quentin, while preparing for a Princeton interview, suddenly finds himself admitted to a secret college of magic in upstate New York, where he learns that magic is real – and so is Fillory.

The Magicians was published in August in the US (May in the UK), and AADL has several copies on order. Get on the hold list now, it’s only getting longer! Lev Grossman is the book critic for Time Magazine, as well as one of the magazine’s lead technology writers. He has published two other books, Warp and Codex; The Magicians is his first fantasy novel.

August Book to Film, Part 2 (A Fabulous Fiction First)

(Already in theaters - Sorry, I am allowed a vacation, right?) The Time Traveler's Wife is based on Audrey Niffenegger’s phenomenal debut novel. (My goodness, 223 holds!)

A literary sensation and perpetual bestseller since its publication in 2003, Time is a “soaring love story” of Clare (an artist) and Henry - a rather dashing librarian at the famous Newberry Library in Chicago, who is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder. Periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, disappearing spontaneously for experiences alternately harrowing and amusing.

Segments of the novel is set in South Haven, Michigan - Niffenegger’s (interview) birthplace and Chicago, where she now lives.

August also brings us her much anticipated new novel in 6 years - Her Fearful Symmetry - a most captivating story about two sets of twins, a rather determined ghost, and some very interesting happenings around London's Highgate Cemetery, where the novel is largely set. You could expect nothing less than the fabulous storytelling that made The Time Traveler's Wife a must-read. Another all-nighter, seriously. I am sure I won't have to remind you to GET ON THAT WAITING LIST NOW.

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