ages 11-18

October New and Noteworthy

You don’t need me to harp on about the mega-bestsellers but I would like to bring you each month, some of the easy-to-miss new fiction titles. They might be mainstream or quirky; unusual and trend setting; from a newcomer worth watching or a little-known foreign powerhouse who nevertheless deserves a closer look. Some are personal favorites (you can probably tell) but many are exciting new finds.

One Good Turn* by Kate Atkinson.
The story continues from Case Histories. Crackling one-liners, spot-on set pieces and full-blooded cameos make for another absorbing character study.

Spring and Fall by Nicholas Delbanco.
Sweetly satisfying tale of college lovers reunite after 40 years.

The Uses of Enchantment* by Heidi Julavits
The mystery of what did happened to Mary Veal, a 16 year-old abducted from a New England prep-school. Enthralling, atmospheric tale of "sick twisted love".

American Cookery by Laura Kalpakian
A versatile writer serves up tradition and innovation in a saga based on the joy of cooking, complete with 27 recipes.

The Other Side of the Bridge* by Mary Lawson.
Follow up to her much acclaimed debut novel Crow Lake. Moral quandaries and human drama in the Canadian North.

Bliss by O.Z. Livaneli.
Gripping contemporary story of three travelers who change each other, by an eminent Turkish writer.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Much awaited sequel to her teen/vampire FFF Twilight* (See blog). Don’t miss this one!

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas.
“(F)ast-paced mix of popular culture, love, mystery, and irresistible philosophical adventure” by a genre-blending young British writer and the author of PopCo. Edgy and worth a try.

* = Starred review(s)

Pinhole Photography Exhibition @ Malletts thru October 30

Pinhole Malletts wkshpPinhole Malletts wkshp

Stop by Malletts Creek Branch to see some great photos taken this summer by teens who made their own camera out of a paint can. Yes, paint cans! Drop in and learn what pinhole photography is all about.

Yes. Scientists can laugh at themselves.

You've heard of the Nobel Prize awards. In fact, the 2006 awards for chemistry, medicine and physics have already been announced. But this Thursday, October 5th, the Annals of Improbable Research Magazine will present the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize winners at the 16th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard's Sanders Theater. The prizes are awared by Nobel laureates to scientists whose research "makes people laugh." Examples of past winners' papers include: for economics in 2005, the invention of an alarm clock that runs away and hides so that people have to get out of bed. For chemistry, the award was given for research to determine whether people swim faster in syrup or in water. And my favorite for that year, an experiment begun in 1927 in which a glob of black tar has been dripping through a funnel, a drop every nine years.

For two enjoyable if not outrageous books on science, try 101 things you don't know about science and no one else does either by James Trefil or The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman.

2nd Tuesday Book Discussion Downtown October 9

2nd Tuesday2nd Tuesday

Join the next 2nd Tuesday book group and read the short stories of Jeff Parker, writer and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Eastern Michigan University. Register and pick up your packet of short stories through the Youth Department Downtown (327-8301). The group will meet 6:30-8 p.m. on Monday, October 9. Refreshments will be served.

Birthdays of two literary giants

Today, October 2, is the birthday of both Wallace Stevens, born in Reading, Pa. in 1879 and of Graham Greene, born in Hertfordshire, England in 1904.

Stevens was one of the few writers who kept his job after becoming a successful writer. He woke early every day and composed his poems in his head while walking to and from work at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company. Most people he worked with didn't know he was a poet and he preferred his anonymity. His first book, Harmonium, was published when he was 45. It contained some of his most famous poems including "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" whose first stanza contains a striking visual image:

"Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird."

Greene was a shy child who in his teens attempted suicide several times. At the urging of his therapist, he began to write. He spent much of his life in Vietnam where one of his most famous books, The Quiet American takes place. He published more than thirty books.

BNL In town and for Free

This five piece band from Toronto will be in Ann Arbor at Borders downtown on October 4th at noon for a short, but FREE concert. Martin Bandyke, from 107one, will interview the band. BNL's now have their own label, Desperation Records, with Barenaked Ladies Are Me recently released.
http://www.bnlmusic.com/

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #36

Alternately called “campy”, “intriguing”, “wry”, “mesmerizing”, “overkill” (500+ pages), this artfully structured debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics, is in the end, a sincere and uniquely twisted look at love, coming of age and identity.

Teen narrator Blue Van Meer is finally staying put her senior year at the St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina, after spending most of her life with her father, an itinerant academic, on a tour of college towns. She is bemused when befriended by a group of eccentric geniuses - “The Bluebloods”. And then, there is a murder. Blue and the "Bluebloods" are deeply enmeshed.

First time novelist Marisha Pessl impresses by modeling this intricately plotted novel after the syllabus of a college literature course, by naming each of the 36 chapters after great works such as Othello and Paradise Lost. Stunning effort – absorbing and great fun. Starred review in Publishers Weekly.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #35 (What I did this summer)

Nordic mysteries.

If you like Sun Storm and Borkmann’s Point, you might just like these…

Jar City is a thriller by Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason, the first to be translated by Bernard Scudder from Icelandic. Set in modern day Reykjavik, this police procedural is as twisted as its city streets and as chilling as the arctic wind. It also introduces Inspector Erlendur, a dogged loner of a policeman with a few secrets of his own. Jar City won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel 2002. (Reviews).

Comics Art Digital Coloring 101, Sunday, November 12

The FrontThe Front

Comics art in your blood? Jerzy Drozd will teach you how to use Adobe Photoshop Element to clean up your art, fill in line work with colors and halftones, create cool lettering, prep the finished page for printing, and more.

Choose the session you'd like to attend [12:30-2:30 p.m. OR 3-5 p.m.]. Register by calling 327-8301 or stop by any information desk.

ACT / SAT Test Practice 10:30-Noon, Saturday, September 30

E testE test

Yep, test time draws near! LearningExpress Library can help you get ready. Join us in the Pittsfield Computer Training Center and take an e-practice test.

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