Realistic World War II background for this gripping thriller

Philip Kerr’s new novel Hitler’s Peace provides an entertaining mix of history, espionage, political infighting and murder mystery. Focused on the Teheran Conference of the Big Three allies in 1943, the story follows intrigue in the Third Reich and among the allies as Himmler, Schellenberg, von Ribbentrop and other Nazi bigwigs try to find ways to divide the allies and undermine their ‘unconditional surrender’ policy.

While the main fictional character is an OSS agent with a checkered past, all the real historical figures are on stage in convincing fashion.

Judith Rossner, 1935-2005

Judith Rossner, author of Looking for Mr. Goodbar, died today in New York City.

Ms. Rossner faced head-on, women on the edge. A married woman carries another man's child in her first novel, To the Precipice. She later proved that there is life after forty in August (1983).

But it was in her signature novel, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, that Rossner captured the frenetic loneliness of single urban women in the 1970s that defined her literary career.

Based on the true stoy of Roseann Quinn, a New York City teacher murdered by a man she had picked up in a bar, Looking for Mr. Goodbar riveted the literary world. Diane Keaton and Richard Gere starred in the movie adaptation, which was nominated for four Oscars.

Do you want fries with that?

I have to admit that I have a hard time with the ever popular term, "obesity epidemic". However, even if I do have a problem with the language choices involved, I do think that collectively we need to take a good appraising look at the issue at hand. It's a complicated matter though it seems like it should be simple. Consume more calories than your body is burning and you'll gain weight. Consume less calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight at your current level of activity and you'll lose weight. But is it that simple when millions of Americans (and increasingly people across the globe) are overweight?

Scarier still is that a higher and higher percentage of kids are overweight/obese. What do we do about this. While a single book won't answer the question, Fed Up: Winning the War Against Childhood Obesity if nothing else, puts the facts about childhood fat out there.

Are you ready for the PGA?

The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received by Donald Trump, the host and coproducer of the megahit reality show The Apprentice presents "a unique collection of golf advice. From Palmer and Player, Mickelson and Vijay to Pat Boone, Stone Phillips, and even Yogi Berra, these players, teachers, businesspeople, and celebrities will help you play better and score lower."

Here is a list of the best 2005 Summer Golf Books recommended by

More on the 87th PGA Championship and the TV schedule of the tournament...
Do you know that Tiger Woods will tee off on Thursday at 8:25 a.m. EDT, with reigning U.S. Open Champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand and Australia's Greg Norman?

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (August 7, 2005)

There are three new additions to pack for the beach or cottage on this week’s list.

At #2 is The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan: a troubled marriage is complicated even more by an unplanned pregnancy.

At #7 is The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella: the laughs begin when a lawyer flees London and her job in a high-powered law firm to work as a housekeeper in the middle of nowhere.

At #8 is No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy: a gritty modern western involving drugs and stolen money.

New Non-fiction Books on the New York Times Best Sellers List: August 14, 2005

Ann Arborites, which book do you think will get the most holds?

Bill Maher’s New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer with such polite, timid musings on George W. Bush as “George Bush must stop saying he owes all his success to Laura. George Bush owes all his success to his daddy, his daddy’s friends, trust funds, legacy admissions, the National Guard, the Supreme Court, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and A.A.


Pennsylvania’s Senator Rick Santorum’s It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, a direct rebuttal to New York’s Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s It Takes a Village : and Other Lessons Children Teach Us. The book outlines how liberal philosophies and attempts to deal with social problems over the past forty years have failed. Senator Santorum feels we need compassionate conservatism, a policy approach that centers on family, community and church. Dr. Laura A. Schlessinger likes the book: “I am amazed at the depth and breadth of information, wisdom, and sensitivity.”

Traveling Through Time: a Guide to Michigan’s Historical Markers

This book, edited by Laura R. Ashlee, is arranged by county and by place within the county and has the location and the text of the official Michigan Historical Markers. Of the over fourteen hundred Michigan Historical Markers dedicated since the program began in 1955 fifty-five are in Washtenaw County and fourteen are in Ann Arbor.

The markers in Ann Arbor commemorate the founding of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society in 1836; the Earhart Manor on the grounds of Concordia University; Governor Alpheus Felch (also Mayor of Ann Arbor, Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, United States Senator, and Tappan Professor of Law at the University of Michigan); the Ticknor-Campbell House (the Cobblestone Farm); Michigan’s First Jewish Cemetery Site; and nine other events, buildings, and churches.

The Cup of the World

Enjoy fantasy? Here’s one that should keep you guessing. The Cup of the World by John Dickinson is the story of 16-year-old Phaedra who is courted by a handsome, mysterious young knight who has visited her in dreams since childhood. When she finally meets the knight in the flesh, she marries him immediately, despite his family's sinister reputation for practicing black magic and his leadership of a territory on the verge of rebellion against the king. As her country descends into civil war, Phaedra discovers the dark truth about her husband's powers and must find the strength to fight for what matters most to her. Ages 14 and up. Watch for the sequel The Widow and the King.

Summer's End

Summer's End by Audrey Couloumbis takes place in the summer of 1965. But it could just as well be set in the present.
12-year-old Grace is angered when her 18-year-old brother burns his draft card and takes off for Canada the day before her 13th birthday party. The party is called off and her family is thrown into turmoil.
When four generations of Grace's family gather at the family farm that summer, feelings run rampant. Two of the cousins are off to Canada, two are already in Vietnam, some older members are veterans from the Korean War. The discussions are heated, but always filled with mutual love and respect.

A Long Way Down

Just finished Nick Hornby’s latest – A Long Way Down . It’s a bit darker than About a Boy and High Fidelity, but no less engaging. That wicked sense of humor is there though you might not expect it since the plot centered around four desperate would-be jumpers who met on New Year’s Eve atop one of London’s tallest buildings.
Narrated in alternate chapters by each of these miserable souls, they recounted what led them to this fateful meeting and also subsequent events that coalesced them into some kind of surrogate family.

Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Critic’s Choice in People Weekly. Film rights to Johnny Depp.

I am thinking Jude Law to play bad-boy Martin Sharp; definitely Toni Collette as at-the-end-of-her-rope single Mom Maureen; Evan Rachel Wood as the vulnerable, potty-mouthed Jess; and we MUST have hunky Ewan for the washed-up rocker – besides, he already knows how to ride a bike. What do you think?

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