Ages 18+.

Trust and Betrayal

Samurai XSamurai X

The Meiji Restoration (1866-1869) marked the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. The two part OVA Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal is a story set during that tumultuous era. In the shadows of Kyoto, Himura Kenshin works for the Choshu revolutionaries as their best assassin. But a chance meeting with a mysterious young woman named Tomoe leads him to reconsider his choices.

Samurai X is gorgeously animated and features some of Japan’s best voice actors, including Mayo Suzukaze and Tomokazu Seki. It’s based on events from volumes 19, 20, and 21 of the manga Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki, but unlike the manga, it’s aimed at adults rather than teens.

If you’re interested in reading more about this historical era, the library also has some great nonfiction books about it, such as Inventing Japan, 1853-1964, The Making of Modern Japan, and The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori.

Guys and Teens - Short Stories

If you're a Teen you may enjoy these books of short stories. If you have already been a Teen, you are sure to enjoy them. How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen, has great read-aloud possibilities for family reunions, or fireplace sit-arounds. If you like to sample multiple authors, try Tomorrowland for glimpses of the future, or Every Man For Himself for slices of contemporary lives.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #41

Giraffe is the debut novel by Economist correspondent J.M.Ledgard that recounts the extermination of the world's largest captive herd of giraffes (49 of them) in a Czechoslovakian zoo in 1975.

The story spans the giraffes' capture in Africa to their deaths behind the Iron Curtain. We see them mainly through the eyes of three individuals whose lives were touched - a haemodynamicist (who studied blood flow in vertical creatures); a factory girl who visited them daily; and the sharpshooter ordered to bring them down one by one.

Ledgard unearthed the truth behind this little-known historic event while researching for the novel. The result is a "magnificent meditation on the quiet ways in which ordinary people become complicit in the crimes committed in their midst; … (and) a fairy tale about the power of other living creatures to enchant us into wakefulness”.

For wildlife enthusiasts, try also The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy. It’s a journey into the minds of African elephants as they struggle to survive years of drought and the deadly ivory trade.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (11/12/06)

Stephen King has written his first love story. The King of Scarey Stories said he was really afraid of his fans' reactions to his latest book. He need not have worried. His bittersweet romance entered the List at #1.

At #1 is Liseys' Story by Stephen King: the widow of a famous novelist who suffered from horrifying memories grapples with grief on her way to a new life. Is this a case of autobiographical projection?

At #6 is Hundred-Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker: in the latest Spenser mystery the beautiful teenage runaway that our modern knight errant rescued twice (Ceremony and Taming a Sea-Horse) years ago asks for his help once again.

At #10 is First Impressions by Nora Roberts: this is a reprint of a 1984 romance. But everything this prolific author writes is publishing gold.

At #13 is Road of the Patriarch by R.A. Salvatore: this is Book 3 of the Sellswords fantasy series, and another winner for this popular author.

Let Them Eat History

It’s easy to admire Kirsten Dunst’s acting in Marie Antoinette – but it’s also admirable that plenty of educational asides on the history of the French and American revolutions found their way into Sofia Coppola’s new film. Check out reviews at metacritic, including this one from The Christian Science Monitor: “Freighted by its contentious reception at Cannes, writer-director Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" is destined to become this year's love-it-or-hate-it movie. Is it OK to say I merely liked it a lot?” The film continues this week at Quality 16 theater on Jackson Road. At the library we have loads of good books and films about the last queen of France, including the popular new book Abundance:A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund.

Book lover fights crime!

Read or DieRead or Die

The protagonist of Read or Die isn’t exactly your classic secret agent. Yomiko Readman is a mild-mannered substitute teacher who has a habit of spending every last cent she earns on books. But, as a monster quickly discovers when it tries to steal one of her books (which she hasn’t even finished reading—the horror!), she can put up a pretty good fight with her special skill for using sheets of paper as weapons.

Yomiko’s talent brings her to the attention of the British Library Special Engineering Force, which is investigating a rash of thefts involving rare books. Can Yomiko and her colleagues uncover the mastermind behind the thefts before their sinister plan comes to fruition?

Writers recommend....

The most recent book recommended in the "You must read this" feature on NPR is Tillie Olsen's Tell Me a Riddle. Scott Turow talks about the profound influence Olsen's novella had on him as a young writer in college. Other titles recently discussed on the program have been Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter, recommended by Alice McDermott and Maud Martha, Gwendolyn Brooks' only work of fiction described as "indispensable" by Asali Solomon whose book of short stories, Get Down was recently published.

Shedding light on Happy Meals

Many of us eat McDonald’s burgers and Chicken McNuggets and yet know very little about what we’re putting in our bodies. Chew on This! Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food shares what fast food industry officials would rather you not know about what’s in the food, what it does to the body, and about their campaign to lure children into a life long habit of fast food eating.

What if you ate nothing but fast food? Check out film director Morgan Spurlock's 2004 film, Super Size Me and see.

What Is Schizophrenia, Anyway?

This chronic, disabling brain disorder affects about 2.2 million Americans. Its symptoms typically appear in the late teen years or twenties. Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is treatable and manageable. Michael Jibson, MD, PhD, Prof. of Psychiatry and Director, UM Psychiatry Residency Education, and expert on schizophrenia, has written extensively about this disease and has a special interest in the medications used to treat it. Learn about the latest research and treatment of schizophrenia when Dr. Jibson visits the downtown Library on Mon., Nov. 13 at 7 pm. A variety of books about schizophrenia, both fiction and non-fiction, are available at the Library to help us understand the disease and its effects on the lives of those who suffer from it.

Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, one of the Cheaper by the Dozen authors, has died

Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, one of the Cheaper by the Dozen authors, has diedErnestine Gilbreth Carey, one of the Cheaper by the Dozen authors, has died

Ernestine Gilbreth Carey who, with her younger brother Frank, wrote Cheaper by the Dozen, one of the more endearing classic autobiographies, died Saturday, November 4, 2006, in California.

Carey (number three of the 12 children of Frank Bunker Gilbreth and his wife, Lillian Moller Gilbreth) and her brother delighted generations of readers with the antics and logistics of managing such a large household in the 1920s. Myrna Loy and Clifton Webb starred in the 1950 movie version; Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt appeared in the 2003 remake.

Mrs. Carey was 98.

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