Pull Up a bar stool

Aliens have landed and they like to hang-out in a bar in Siberia, or so Larry Niven writes in The Draco Tavern. Set in the not too distant future, the book is a collection of short stories written by Niven over almost 30 years. Rick Schumann is the owner of the Draco Tavern, where a wide assortment of aliens stop as often as a Chirpsithra liner passes through the system. If you liked the cantina scene in Star Wars, you'll love this book. We also have an audio version.

The City Beneath the City

If you have not discovered the wild Anybodies and the crazy Nobodies it is still not too late for the electric Somebodies! Somebody must save the endangered city beneath NYC. In this concoction of mystery, drama, fantasy and humor, author N.E. Bode takes our heroes Fern and Howard on another magical, fantastical romp!

Survivor of Rwandan Holocaust to Appear

Immaculee Ilibagiza, author of Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, will be in Ann Arbor next month to speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in St. Francis Catholic Church, 2250 E. Stadium. Ilibagiza and seven other women survived 91 days in their bathroom hideout in Rwanda in 1994, during a slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis in the country. The author's family members were murdered. Her book is being read and discussed by book groups at St. Francis and other churches in One Diocese, One Book. No tickets or reservations are needed for the appearance.

The Imagist Poet

September 10 is the birthday of Hilda Doolittle one of the first of the Imagist Poets. She was born in Bethleham, Pa. in 1886. Often referred to as H.D., Doolittle was known not only as a poet but a novelist, writer of non-fiction and actress. She was friends with the ex-patriate poet, Ezra Pound who introduced her to the literati of Europe at the time. She was an admirer of Ancient Greek culture which is evident in her work. The Imagist style demands "the perfect word" and musical, lush visual language. Following is one of Doolittle's poems, "Stars Wheel in Purple," which comes close to the Imagist ideal:

Stars wheel in purple, yours is not so rare
as Hesperus, nor yet so great a star
as bright Aldeboran or Sirius,
nor yet the stained and brilliant one of War;

Vergie Goes to School With Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Set in the Reconstruction era in Tennessee, Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys tells the story of a determined little girl and her desire to experience real freedom through education.

Madeleine L'Engle has died

Madeleine L'Engle has diedMadeleine L'Engle has died

Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time, one of the most enduring children’s classics, died September 6th in Connecticut.

Publication of A Wrinkle in Time, which won the Newbery Medal, was an exercise in patience. It was rejected more than two dozen times before Farrar, Straus & Giroux published it in 1963. Alfre Woodard starred in the film version in 2004.

Ms. Engle was 88.

Kid Bits - A Porcine Wonder !

If you are a fan of delightful pig fiction, then discover the tales of Mercy Watson. Mercy is the favorite pig of Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Read her adventures in
Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride;
Mercy Watson To The Rescue;
Mercy Watson Fights Crime and Kate DiCamillo's newest addition to the series
Mercy Watson: Princess In Disguise. Kids can read these as a "first chapter book", or the family can enjoy them together. OINK with pleasure !

DVD Bits - A Family Film

Most people know Winnie the Pooh. Many people do not know Winnie The Pooh originated with a real bear named Winnie, shortened from Winnipeg. A.A. Milne and his son Christopher met the real Winnie at the London Zoo in 1926. A Bear Named Winnie is based on the story of that amazing bear. Thus began the whimsical tales that appeared in Now We Are Six; House At Pooh Corner; and When We Were Very Young.

Madeleine L'Engle Brought Us Such Reading Pleasure

I remember being curled up in my "hiding place" 44 years ago and reading the first line, "It was a dark and stormy night". How many thousands of other children were turned upside down by Madeleine L'Engle's imagination and amazing literary skills? In her Newbery Award acceptance speech the author, who often claimed that children's literature is literature too difficult for adults to understand, said "A writer of fantasy, fairy tale or myth must inevitably discover that he is not writing out of his own knowledge or experience, but out of something both deeper and wider." That is why L'Engle, who wrote more than 60 books and died this week at the age of 88, will continue to enrich the lives of many young readers on a dark and stormy night.

One of my favorites

My love of fantasy stories started at an early age. One series that really captured my imagination was Xanth by Piers Anthony. The first story is A Spell for Chameleon about a young man named Bink, a woman named Chameleon, and the evil Magician Trent.

In the land of Xanth, each person must hae a magical power or become exiled to Mundania. Unfortunately, Bink doesn't know what his power is so he must travel to visit Good Magician Humfrey to discover what it is. Thus begins one of the best fantasy series ever written.

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