Ages 18+.

Where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average

"It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota." So surely will begin 2006 Honorary Oscar winner Robert Altman's film version of A Prairie Home Companion, opening on June 9th.

All of your favorite residents of Lake Wobegon will be there: Guy Noir private eye (played by Kevin Kline), the singing cowboys Dusty & Lefty (John C. Reilly and Woody Harrelson respectively), and of course, hometown boy and host Garrison Keillor (played by none other than himself). Also on hand will be a few new old-fashioned singers from Lake Wobegon: Rhonda (Lily Tomlin), Yolanda (Meryl Streep), and Lola (Lindsay Lohan).

Make sure that you brush up on your Lake Wobegon gossip and A Prairie Home Companion antics to keep abreast of all the town happenings!

2006 Edgar Winners

2006 Edgar nominees

The Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2006 Edgar Allan Poe Awards on April 27, 2006. Winners in the top categories are:

Best Novel
Jess Walter for Citizen Vince

Best First Novel by an American Author
Theresa Schwegel for Officer Down

Best Paperback Original
Jeffrey Ford for Girl in the Glass

Best Fact Crime
Edward Dolnick for Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece

For the complete list of winners, go to this website

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (4/23/06)

Who knew Mary Higgins Clark was such a star in France? The Jerry Lewis of fiction writers? According to the Times, she hits the bestseller list over there regularly at #1, just as she did here last Sunday.

Coincidentally the other three new titles are all set in the states hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina.

At #1 is Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark: "A small girl communicates telepathically with her kidnapped twin."

At #4 is Shiver by Lisa Jackson: "A New Orleans detective tracks a serial killer."

At #12 is Hey, Good Looking by Fern Michaels: "Family feuds and forgiveness in Baton Rouge."

At #16 is We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg: "In Mississippi in 1964, a paralyzed woman struggles to raise her teenage daughter with the help of an African-American aide."

And You Know You Should be Glad...

Award-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune, broadcast journalist on ABC's Nightline, and bestselling author Bob Green (Duty), (All Summer Long) will be a featured speaker at the 2006 Ann Arbor Book Festival on May 13th.

He will be reading from his latest And You Know You Should be Glad. This true story of a lifelong friendship of five pals from Bexley, Ohio – the “ABCDJ” gang (Allen, Bob, Chuck, Dan and Jack) and their emotional reunion due to Jack’s terminal illness, is both nostalgic and heartwarming.

"Readers who enjoyed Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking will find Greenes writing to be more wistful and plainspoken but similarly rewarding." (Library Journal).

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #18

So it is not new, but decidedly it is ”first rate”(Booklist)!

Ken Kalfus’ debut novel is a “sweeping, quasihistorical fiction spanning two tumultuous decades in Russia” (PW). It traces the rise of a young cinematographer at Tolstoy's deathbed, to a high post in The Commissariat of Enlightenment (2003), Stalin’s powerful agency in charge of propaganda. The intricate plot brings to life many minor-and major-characters with double identities and secret agenda.

Ken Kalfus will be at this year’s Ann Arbor Book Festival on May 13. Besides reading from his new novel A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, he will be joined by his agent on a panel discussion on how to get published, a primer for aspiring writers.

Literary Mysteries by Boris Akunin

The Diane Rehm Show on Tuesday, April 25th featured an interview with Russian author Boris Akunin, the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili. His literary detective novels became bestsellers in Russia and soon spread to the English-speaking world. The AADL owns several of his books in both English and Russian, as well as The Winter Queen and Murder on the Leviathan as books-on-CD. Can anyone spot the sly allusion to a certain Russian thinker hidden in Chkhartishvili's pen name?

A New Novel by Reynolds Price

reynolds price

Reynolds Price, acclaimed Southern author, in his latest novel, The Good Priest's Son uses the tragedy of 9/11 to set in motion a chain of events that leads to art conservator Mabry Kincaid's reconciliation with his Episcopal priest father. The towers are crumbling as Mabry is flying back to New York from Europe. Not able to return to his apartment, he goes to his boyhood home in North Carolina where his father, Tasker, still lives. In the course of the story, Mabry forms a bond with Audrey, his father's caretaker and her son and begins to come to grips with his mortality on discovering he has the beginning symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Sunday Edition Author Series Presents:

ANN PEARLMAN, local psychotherapist and author, discussing her new book- INSIDE THE CRIPS: LIFE INSIDE L.A.'S MOST NOTORIOUS GANG

Sunday, May 7 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm at Malletts Creek Branch

Ms. Pearlman, who co-wrote this book with former gang member Colton Simpson, will talk about how she became involved with this fascinating project. Ms. Pearlman is also the author of a memoir, Infidelity, which was turned into a Lifetime TV movie.

Falun Gong: The End of Days

During last week's White House welcoming ceremony for China President Hu Jintao, a protestor interrupted Hu Jintao's opening speech by standing on a camera platform on the South Lawn and shouting at both Hu Jintao and George Bush. The woman pleaded for Bush to help stop the Chinese persecution of the controversial Chinese religious sect Falun Gong.

For those who want to know more about this topic, the library has a book called Falun Gong: The End of Days. According to Booklist, "Political scientist Chang provides a brief and accessible introduction to Falun Gong that places the movement in political and historical context, and she offers a critique of the Chinese government's policy toward religion that raises important questions about relations between quasi-religious groups such as Falun Gong and modern states.

The library also has two copies of Zhuan Falun, which is the core writing of Falun Gong's founder, Li Hongzhi. Finally, those interested in learning more about one of the central practices of Falun Gong can browse through the library's materials on Qi Gong.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #17

For Wendy Wasserstein fans, her passing this past January was deeply mourned. (Blog)

However, we could somehow feel a little comforted with the release of her first (and sadly also her last) novel The Elements of Style.

This dishy satire in the wake of 9/11, centers around Frankie Weissman, the down-to-earth pediatrician who treats the children of Manahattan's A-list, but is herself little affected by their excesses. Chock-full of shopping, private preschool worries, anxiety of maintaining a perfect image, or the scrambling simply to be top of the heap, “Wasserstein gets the trappings and tribulations of friendship and of romance right, making her depiction of the rich and fab trying to connect with one another witty and entertaining”. Enjoy.

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