Boarded up for the winter

Why does snow always make me want to read about boarding schools? Something about the idea of a cozy wood-paneled room, a roaring fire, and the promise of institutional food at the end of the day ...

If you feel the same way, here are a handful of stories set at boarding school to help you get your fix:

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, in which Lee Fiora copes with being both invisible and an outsider at the East Coast prep school to which she has won a scholarship.
Boy by Roald Dahl, in which the author explains how to mask burned toast and keep from being thrashed. (more below the cut)

Living Longer and Healthier

Money, Money, Money

“Riches cover a multitude of woes”…Menander Lady of Andros
“The love of money is the root of all evil”. Bible 1 Timothy 6:10

Moolah, bread, dough, call it what you will, it all comes down to money. This book Money, Money, Money: Where it Comes From, How to Save it, Spend it, Make it by Eve Drobot explores the past, present and future of money. Did you know that Iceland leads the world in the use of credit cards, that a coin machine can count 2,500 coins a minute, that piggy banks go back about a thousand years, that the biggest denomination ever printed in the United States was a $100,000 bill, and that the bird pictured on American money was a real eagle named Peter? This is a fascinating book about a subject that is endlessly fascinating. Check it out! Ages 8 and up.

Michigan Reads! One State, One Preschool Book - Vote now!

The Library of Michigan has announced the five finalists for the 2006 Michigan Reads program. This program picks one picture book title to feature for a year. It is part of the Library's push to promote early childhood literacy.

The five finalists are:
Bed Hogs by Kelly DiPucchio
In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
Stranger in the Woods by Carl Sams
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
Imogene's Antlers by David Small

The public is welcome to vote. Votes can be cast here. The winner will be announced on December 12, 2005. That title will be featured in programs statewide during March.

The 2004 Michigan Reads book was Barnyard Song by Rhonda Gowler Greene. There was no 2005 award.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (11/20/05)

Talk about a change of pace! Two very well-known authors enter the list this week with something entirely different from any of their previous work.

At #4 is Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice: Neither her fans nor her detractors could ever have imagined that Rice would write a novel with Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, as the narrator.

At #7 is Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow: stepping out of the courtroom and away from the backrooms of Chicago, the author goes back to World War II to tell the story of his father’s military experiences in Europe.

Jon Stewart wins the 2005 Thurber Prize for American Humor

Funny guy Jon Stewart (host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and fellow writers David Javerbaum and Ben Karlin, won the 2005 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Their book, America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction exposes the foibles and quirks of American Democracy with Stewart’s trademark tongue-in-cheek mix of dead-on assessment, to the delight and, sometimes, outrage of his audience. Karlin and Javerbaum both previously wrote for The Onion. Karlin is now the executive producer for The Daily Show and Javerbaum, who used to also write for The Late Show with David Letterman, is The Daily Show’s supervising producer and head writer.

Chestnut by Constance W. McGeorge

Mr. Decker has important deliveries to make. It is the Mayor's daughter Jenny's birthday. The flour has to go the baker and the ribbon has to go to the dressmaker. He loads the wagon and then takes a nap. Mr. Decker's horse, Chestnut tries to wake Mr. Decker but to no avail. He then sets out on his own to make the deliveries. After facing several obstacles Chestnut makes all the deliveries on time much to the surprise and gratitude of Mr. Decker. Chestnut takes the reader back to a simpler time. Horse lovers will love the warmth of this endearing story.

Between You and Me: A Memoir

On NPR Nov. 8, 2005 Terry Gross interviewed TV news veteran Mike Wallace who has just published a book about his favorite interviews, titled Between You and Me written with Gary Paul Gates. He shares behind-the-scenes details from encounters with politicians, celebrities and criminals.
Mike Wallace has been with 60 Minutes since the show began airing in 1968. Wallace became known for hard-hitting interviews in which he refused to be led away from topics his interview subjects found uncomfortable. Now 87, he is beginning to take a more limited role on the show.

Remembering Nuremberg

Sixty years ago, on November 20, 1945, the war crimes trials against 24 former leaders of Nazi Germany began in Nuremberg. The trials were the first significant international attempt to hold national political and military leaders accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Besides exposing some of the most horrible crimes of the 2Oth century, the trials' legacy has resonated in some form ever since (e.g. Vietnam, Cambodia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and Iraq). Among the many books dealing with the subject are Earl Rice's The Nuremberg Trials, Joseph E. Persico's Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, Leon Goldensohn's The Nuremberg Interviews, R.J. Overy's Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, and the opening statement by American prosecutor Robert H. Jackson The Case Against the Nazi War Criminals. There are also some documentaries and films of note including The Nuremberg Trial and Judgment at Nuremberg. Additional useful infomation can be found at

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (11/13/05)

It is a given that some authors will make the list with every new book they publish. The only question is where they enter the list.

At #1 is Predator by Patricia Cornwell: the increasingly dark and grisly adventures of Dr. Kay Scarpetta continue in yet another serial killer mystery.

At #3 is The Camel Club by David Baldacci: who will believe it when eccentric conspiracy buffs stumble across an actual government plot?

At #4 is Toxic Bachelors by Danielle Steel: her fans are legion and with the Mediterranean setting providing a romantic backdrop, she does not disappoint with this latest adventure in love.

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