Persepolis animated film premieres at Cannes

Fans of Marjane Satrapi and her popular and acclaimed graphic novels, Persepolis and Persepolis 2 may be interested to see this french trailer for an animated film based on the books which is premiering this week at Cannes. It includes voice acting from Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni, and will surely see a US release. While you wait, you might try Satrapi's lesser-known Embroideries or Chicken with Plums, or view this video of the author's visit to the Seattle Public Library when Persepolis was the subject of their 2006 community read.

Picture Book Best Seller List

When you think of best seller lists you think of John Grisham's new title or the South Beach Diet. But there are lists for all kinds of books. Here is the list of the current best selling children's picture books according to this coming Sunday's New York Times.

1. Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O'Connor. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. This sequel is as good as the original. See #6.
2. Someday by Alison McGhee. Illustrated by Peter Reynolds. A Mother's Day favorite.
3. Thanks to You by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton.
4. Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan. Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. Children's version of the author's Marley and Me.
5. On the Night You Were Born written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman. This is a celebration of a child's birth.
6. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor.Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. This has been on the best seller list for 69 weeks.
7. Flotsam by David Wiesner. 2007 Caldecott Medal winner.
8. Ghost Ship by Mary Higgins Clark. Illustrated by Wendell Minor. A writer of mysteries for adults is trying her hand at a children's book.
9. Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long. Illustrated by David Shannon. A crew of pirates try their hand at babysitting.
10. The Longest Season by Cal Ripken Jr. Illustrated by Ron Mazellan. This title is being ordered but is not yet in the system.

A Dangerous Mind Comes to Town

Part secret agent, part talent scout - Chuck Barris has lived a life most of us only dream about. Host of The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, and The Gong Show, and a one-hit wonder with the 1962 hit "Palisades Park," Barris also wrote Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: The Unauthorized Autobiography, ("a remarkably well-crafted and entertaining book" Publishers Weekly) which includes a dubious "confession" of his double life as a decorated CIA assassin. (The book was later made into the 2003 film directed by George Clooney). Barris' most recent effort is the novel The Big Question.) Bang a gong with one of the more inventive minds of the television era next Tuesday, May 22, at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown Multi-Purpose Room.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #63

North Carolina's Cataloochee valley is the setting for its native son Wayne Caldwell's much prasied debut novel.

Caldwell recounts a century of history, families, loves, deaths, dreams and disappointments among the citizens of this tiny isolated community forgotten by time, until the 1920s when the United States government marched in to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The loss of land brought on devastating and deadly effects, not surprising since these mountain folks have always regarding bearing arms as an inalienable right and liquoring up as a way of life.

Quietly observant and respectful of his characters, flaw and all, Caldwell has penned an engaging and deeply moving novel while bringing a small slice of Appalachia to life. A readalike for Sharyn MCCrumb's Ghost Riders and Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons.

Stardust

Stardust was quite a good read. It’s a fairy tale but for mature teens and older readers. Be advised that there is some graphic language. And Yes they do ultimately live happily ever after. Gaiman is a central figure in the emergence of the "graphic novel," a genre that combines novelistic storylines with comic-book graphics and is well known for his many other works such as the graphic serial novel "Sandman" : and other works.
It’s exciting to learn that Stardust has been made into a movie that is coming out this summer with a star-studded cast including Robert De Niro, Peter O'Toole and narrated by Ian McKellen. Hopefully the movie will remain faithful to the story line. There is also a graphic novel version of this book illustrated by Charles Vess.
The Ann Arbor District library has a great collection of graphic novels with collections for youth, teens and adults.

I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite

Amina is going to Africa to visit her father’s family. On the way she notices that she has a loose tooth. Her father tells her if she loses her tooth in Africa and puts it under a gourd she will get a chicken from the African tooth fairy. This Coretta Scott King Honor and Reading Rainbow book is filled with hope and family love. It is a wonderful adventure for a small child.

Life Journeys

Were you 20 something in the 70’s? Are you 50 something in the new millennium?
These stories are good ArmChair travels with people finding their way since coming-of-age in the 1970s.
Better Off: Flipping The Switch On Technology is the story of an MIT graduate who decided to step away from a high-tech future and work an Amish-style farm life for the first two years of marriage. Same River Twice is a documentary on the “grown-up” lives of five Colorado River Guides “since they left the summer river life” of their youth. William Least Heat Moon wrote Blue Highways in 1982 while traveling county roads (the blue highways on maps) across the US, and visiting with residents all along the way. Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain’s Journey is written by Linda Greenlaw, the only female Swordboat Captain off the east coast of Main.

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (5/13/07)

The setting of Anita Shreve's latest bestseller Body Surfing will poignantly remind readers of past novels. She returns to the summer house on the coast of New Hampshire, the enthralling scene of Fortune's Rocks, The Pilot's Wife, The Weight of Water and Sea Glass. Once again it is the tragic setting for betrayals and deceptions, by friends and lovers and by families. And once again Shreve weaves a spell with seductive characters and a hypnotic mood.

The other new books are Simple Genius by David Baldacci, Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber, and The River Knows by Amanda Quick. None of these authors are strangers to the List.

Take it to the top

On May 16, 1975, Japanese climber, Junko Tabel was the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Later, in Japan, reflecting on the trip, she commented,"I can't understand why men make all this fuss about Everest- it's only a mountain." Since then, more women have met or want the challenge including a group of Nepalese women who call themselves Daughters of Everest. These are Sherpa women who want to climb but are held back by traditional customs and financial constraints.

If you're preparing to challenge some summits this summer, you'll find some great inspirational and reality testing reading at the library in our books on mountaineering.

Jerry Falwell Dead at 73

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One of the most controversial religious leaders in our country's history died Tuesday. Agree or disagree, Falwell always had an opinion about all things social, political and theological. See what Jerry Falwell had to say and what others said about him...not always the same thing. Read the CNN obituary.

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