Ages 18+.

Green Day Heads MTV Video Award Nominees

The popular, punk-pop band, Green Day leads the MTV Video Award Nominations with 8 nominations - including two for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "American Idiot." Other nominees include Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliot, U2, Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay and Snoop Dogg. The 22nd annual MTV awards will be broadcast from Miami on Aug. 28. on MTV.

Those Wacky Artists

I think we'd all have to agree that there's something about art that makes people act a little crazy. If you've been enjoying the Ann Arbor Art Fair recently, I'm sure you've witnessed firsthand some of this "unbalanced" behavior of which I speak. Actors love playing artists because it allows them to portray very passionate, eccentric characters. Check out some recent films about famous artists like Jackson Pollock, Jean Michel Basquiat, Johannes Vermeer, and Frida Kahlo. You'll see some great performances.

Guns for Hire

Robert B. Parker switches from mysteries to westerns in Appaloosa and creates his finest novel in years. All of his trademark humor, themes and inimitable dialogue are here but are refreshed and enhanced in this setting. Fans will enjoy trying to decide how much Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch resemble Spenser and Hawk. I could easily imagine this story as an episode on the old “Gunsmoke” series or as a script for a Sam Peckinpah movie.

New Non-fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (July 24, 2005)

At #4 is Bob Woodward's The Secret Man: the story of Deep Throat.

At #6 is Bernard Goldberg's 100 people who are screwing up America (and Al Franken is #37): Paris Hilton made the list. She is "the most vapid, empty-headed, inane, hollow, vain, tasteless, self-centered, useless twerp in the entire country." Dwight Garner of The New York Times quipped "I bet she puts that on a T-shirt."

At #12 is James Frey's My Friend Leonard: Leonard is his mobster guardian as Frey tries to rehab from alcohol, drugs, and prison.

Memory of Running, by Ron McLarty

You think Lance Armstrong has a tough gig on the Tour de France?

That’s nothing compared to Smithy Ide’s odyssey across America. In Ron McLarty’s terrific Memory of Running, 43 year old Viet Nam vet Smithy is a gentle wreck of a human being. A star athlete in a Rhode Island high school, he ballooned to nearly 300 alcoholic pounds after he was discharged from the military to recover from 23 bullet wounds. When his parents die in a car accident, Ide attends their service in a drunken stupor and then climbs aboard his old high school bicycle and starts pedaling. His destination: California, to search for his sister, lost to the ravages of schizophrenia.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (July 31, 2005)

Popular authors return to the list this week with new summer releases.

At #1 is Lifeguard by James Patterson & Andrew Gross: a $5 million heist at a Florida resort goes wrong.

At #3 is Until I Find You by John Irving: the life and loves of movie star Jack Burns.

At #5 is Origin in Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts): Lt. Eve Dallas investigates the double murder of cosmetic surgeons in 2059.

At #10 is Crusader’s Cross by James Lee Burke: Dave Robicheaux searches for a serial killer in Louisiana.

Roman Polanski's Life and Films

Legendary film director Roman Polanski is making news headlines, and once again it has nothing to do with any of his films. Or does it? Polanski is one of those filmmakers whose personal life is so interesting that you just have to wonder how it all relates to his films. With a film like The Pianist, the link between Polanski’s personal life and screen is clear since it’s well known that Polanski is a Holocaust survivor. With other films, it’s less obvious. The library collection includes several of Polanski’s best films, including my personal favorite, Death and the Maiden. Here are some others: Knife in the Water, Macbeth, Rosemary’s Baby, and Chinatown.

Eating your words

I love food. I love words. This combination obsession has led me to spend entirely too much time wandering a certain online food dictionary. But now there is something I can finger through from the comfort of my bed, or on the bus, or anywhere: Eating Your Words by William Grimes.

This book includes a full page list of cooking methods and on a sweeter note, a list of cookies (ever hear of a rugelach, or a springerle?). Wondering about muffuletta? Looking for a definition of "variety meats"? This might be the book for you.

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