Ages 18+.

Happy Birthday, Alice Hoffman

Today, March 16, is the birthday of Alice Hoffman, author of more than twenty books and several screenplays. Her latest book for young teens, Aquamarine about a wise mermaid, has recently been made into a film. Hoffman's books are infused with magic so that sometimes it's dificult to tell the real from the unreal. Ghosts can be as important in the development of the story as the flesh and blood characters like in The River King and the moral concerns can be both contemporary and timeless.

Former British Army captain tops charts!

James Blunt, a former captain in the British Army, is now topping charts with his debut album Back to Bedlam. His first single “You’re Beautiful” is currently #3 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart. His emotionally charged music may be enjoyed by those who are already fans of Jack Johnson or Damien Rice. The hold list is growing, so add yourself soon!

Imagine the Edge!

These are not just for kids. M.T. Anderson has two new books with two different illustrators and they are lovely "share alouds" for elementary school ages! In Me, All Alone, At The End Of The World and A Serpent Came To Gloucester Anderson's melodious prose wrap around dramatic pictures and make these original tales memorable.

Award Bits - Caldecott 2006

The winner of the 2006 Caldecott Award for picture books is The Hello,Goodbye Window. The text is by Norton Juster and the illustrations are by Chris Raschka, who is illustrator for Charlie Parker Played BeBop, Mysterious Thelonius, and more.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (3/5/06)

I'm not a huge fan of James Patterson's thrillers but millions are and he enters the list at #1. On the other hand I loved The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant and couldn't wait to read her latest book of historical fiction. For something completely different, check out her contemporary mysteries especially those featuring Hannah Wolfe.

At #1 is The Fifth Horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro: the Women's Murder Club and Det. Boxer investigate suspicious deaths at a San Francisco hospital.

At #6 is In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant: in this "moody and bristling" historical novel a courtesan and her household fight for survival in Renaissance Italy.

Norman Mailer receives France's highest honor

Norman mailer

In a ceremony at the French cultural Embassy on New York's Upper East Side, H.E. Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States, awarded Norman Mailer, 83, France's Legion of Honor medal.

M. Levitte said the medal, which has only been bestowed on a handful of foreigners, was given to Mr. Mailer who is " American hero with a fierce love of freedom and an intellectual who has taken a stand in all the great struggles for his time."

During World War II, Mr. Mailer lived in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne. From that experience came The Naked and the Dead.

This is not the first time that the French have bestowed honor on Mr. Mailer. He adds France's 1983 insignia of Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters to his two Pulitzer Prizes (The Armies of the Night, 1969, and The Executioner's Song, 1980).

Wayne Greenhaw wins the 2006 Harper Lee Award

Wayne Greenhaw

Wayne Greenhaw, author of this year's The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow was named the 2006 Harper Lee Award winner.

The intensely private Harper Lee is one of Alabama's most revered citizens following the publication of her classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

Born in 1940, Greenhaw's extensive bibliography includes contributions
to The New York Times and the Alabama section for Fodor's Guide to the South.

The Harper Lee Award was established in 1998 to "... recognize the lifetime achievement of a writer who was born in Alabama or who spent his or her formative years living and writing in the state."

Struggling for Words at Ground Zero

Jenny Holzer, conceptual artist, best known for her truisms, in often glowing and disembodied text; stunningly conveyed in unexpected venues – from anonymous posters hung in the streets of Manhattan, electronic signs in sports stadiums, to one spiraling up the Guggenheim Museum, is now busily tweaking her newest installation at Ground Zero.

This project is not without struggle between the architect, the developer and the artist. The almost-final selection is ” a continuing stream of poetry and prose written by dozens of different authors, from Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg to Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman”, that evokes the history of New York, and will scroll across a glowing, 65-foot wide, 14-foot high wall in the lobby of 7, World Trade Center, scheduled to open mid-May.

Are you ready for the "Big Ten?"

With the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament coming up, get inspired by the following 2 books and expanded dvd.

Transition Game by L.Jon Wertheim, writer for Sports Illustrated, is the story of Wertheim's return to his alma mater, Bloomington North High School where he witnesses the transformation of the game from crisp cuts and mid-range shooting to the hip-hop high flying style of the current NBA. He takes off from this example to examine changes in basketball nationwide. To underline the bittersweet nature of success, he follows the fortunes of one Sudanese family whose sons get basketball scholarships. Also, check out a two disc collector's edition of the 1986 film, Hoosiers that includes footage of the Milan vs. Muncie 1954 Indiana High School championship game.

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