New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (8/27/06)

George Pelecanos has garnered great reviews and accolades from fellow mystery writers for years but has never had the sales or visibility of Michael Connelly or Ian Rankin. This time out his publisher made a big push promoting his latest murder mystery and it has paid off with a spot on this week's List.

At #3 is Crisis by Robin Cook: on the other hand, Cook's books almost sell themselves; another medical thriller involving shocking malpractices from a master of the genre.

At #8 is Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston: her first book was a step away from the usual chick lit. In Good Grief the heroine was not looking for love; she was in mourning. Her new book chronicles how infertility and infidelity can explode a marriage.

At #12 is The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos: after 20 years a serial killer may once again be loose on the mean streets of Washington, DC; as in all his best work, including his scripts for HBO's The Wire, the action is authentic and real.

Mystery Bits - the Wright book

If you like facts along with your fiction, read Wright 3 by Blue Balliett. There is a mystery to solve for the three sixth gradersin this book. While following the clues you learn about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House in Chicago, and facts about both of them. If this book intrigues you, read more in Frank Lloyd Wright: Maverick Architect and Frank Lloyd Wright For Kids and compare facts with fiction.

American comic book artist Jack Kirby

89 years ago today (August 28, 2006) Jack Kirby was born in New York City. According to wikipedia.org Kirby "was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books."

To celebrate Kirby's life check out some of his comics at the library, or visit the Kirby museum. Also of interest is the the Jack Kirby Chronology from the Marvel Masterworks website.

Idlewild

According to Sunday's Ann Arbor News, Idlewild, the new film opening this week, is named after the famous Lake County Michigan resort, otherwise known as the Black Eden of Michigan in the 1920s and '30s and the Summer Apollo of Michigan in the 1950s and '60s. Idlewild, Michigan, hosted great jazz acts in its day, including Duke Ellington, and was the vacation spot of choice for such black luminaries as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Even W.E.B. Du Bois owned a home there. But the film itself is set in Georgia and its "Idlewild" is a small-town speakeasy. It does take place during the same period and features the music of OutKast (a bit of a historical stretch, but oh well). So far, reviews are mixed but Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-.

You can read more about the real Idlewild in Idlewild: the Black Eden of Michigan by Ronald J. Stephens.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

The Gin Game is a two-act, four-scene play about a woman in her twilight years, Fonsia Dorsey, who enters a "home for the aged" and is, for a while, saved from melancholy by the crusty charm of Weller Martin. They were most famously played by Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn back in 1977 and it eventually ran on Broadway for 516 performances. This week Redbud Productions' Lenore Ferber directs local actors in a staged reading of DL Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Wed. August 30, 8:00pm at the Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Tickets $10 in advance and at the door. 769-2999.

The perils and politics of research

Allegra Goodman in her new novel, Intuition, takes us to a struggling research lab in Boston where Cliff, a somewhat careless postdoc when it comes to record keeping, finds that the R-7 virus he's had little luck with is now producing amazing remissions in his cancerous mice. Sandy Glass, lab director, pounces on these findings and broadcasts them to the medical research community at large. While all this is happening, Robin, Cliff's jilted lover and unsuccessful researcher in the same lab, discovers his slo

Pluto Downgrade

Mercy Me!

This is one joyful, adventurous little pig, and she is much better looking than her parents! Kate Dicamillo's newest reads for the beginning chapter book crowd, Mercy Watson to the Rescue and Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, are filled with escapades illustrated by Chris Van Dusen that look like 1950's pics gone wild. Check out the fabulous description of Dicamillo's essay writing experience on her kid-friendly website katedicamillo.com. It says it all.

Marketing Research: Key tool for entrepreneurs

Robert J. Kaden's new book Guerrilla Marketing Research provides an accessible introduction to all phases of marketing research for prospective, new and established entrepreneurs. Presented in a clear, easy-to-read format, the book examines topics such as how to get started, how much it costs, how much research should be done, how to develop a research plan, and the various methods of getting information such as surveys, focus groups, sampling, brainstorming, etc. The subtitle of the book says it all: 'Marketing Research Techniques That Can Help Any Business Make More Money.' It's a great place to start for all business people.

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