Looking for Alaska named 2006 Printz Award Winner

Looking for Alaska by John Green introduces you to 16-year-old Miles “Pudge” Halter who heads off to seek his Great Perhaps at an Alabama boarding school, where new-found freedom, guilty pleasures and an enigmatic girl named Alaska hurl him into life.

Honor books include Black Juice by Margo Lanagan, I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth by Elizabeth Partridge, and A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson.

Desserts YUM!

I know that Christmas is over with its attendent goodies and I gained 5 pounds over the holidays but You gotta live and dream!. These gorgeous books with great ideas are for all seasons.
Nancy Baggett: appeared December 19th on the Diane Rehm show to discuss her new book All-American Dessert Book" (Houghton Mifflin)
An award-winning baker and cookbook author offers suggestions for holiday goodies. She talks about the 4 years, 370 pounds of sugar, 130 pound of butter, and more than 1,100 eggs she went through in her search for America's best desserts.

New DVD Titles

The Library has recently acquired the Criterion edition of 1960's swordplay classics The Sword of the Beast, Samurai Spy, Kill!, and the excellent Samurai Rebellion, left, starring Toshiro Mifune. Also new--and from the same decade--is 1963's Jason and the Argonauts, which showcases Ray Harryhausen's brilliant use of stop-motion animation, and the family favorite Born Free (1966). While you're in the 1960s, this may also be a good time to revisit 1964's Mary Poppins and lend your voice to the fray over this week's news that Steven Spielberg is considering a remake.

Some Favorite Series

It’s always fun to discover a new series, or an old one, and settle down to hours of good reading. Here are a few of my favorites, with a slight prejudice for fantasy. The Bagthorpe Saga by Helen Cresswell is a very funny series about a very eccentric British family, sort of an Arrested Development for kids. Jack is the hero who has to put up with the outrageous antics of a demented aunt, a contentious grandmother and a totally self-centered father. Sound familiar? Tales of Gom in the Legends of Ulm by Grace Chetwin is full of mountain lore, wizardry and adventure. After his mother disappears, Gom must solve the mystery of a strange rune that she has left him. Subsequent adventures lead Gom to his mother and to the discovery of his power. The DarkAngel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce begins when Aeriel sets out to destroy the vampire Irrylath, but chooses to love him instead. Her quest is to break the spell of the witch who has enchanted him. My all-time favorite is The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. When Will Stanton, age 11, discovers he is the last of the Old Ones, he and his siblings must uncover the items necessary to vanquish the rising forces of the Dark. This series is a wonderful read-aloud. Two of the five of this series are Newbery winners.

Records of the Year?

Another year-end list! This time it's the top three records of the year according to Entertainment Weekly's David Browne. 1) Extraordinary Machine, by Fiona Apple; 2) Guero, by Beck; 3) Late Registration, by Kayne West.

Read more about EW's choices...or tell us your own.

The Greatest DVDs Never Made

Want to buy that film-lover on your list The Magnificent Ambersons or The African Queen? Sorry, neither are available on DVD--at least not officially. Last year the rest of the Marx Brothers comedies and the great Astaire and Rogers musicals finally made it to DVD. So did La Dolce Vita, which had been involved in a legal dispute. And it took Warner Brothers several years to catch up but last year they finally released White Heat, Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Meet Me in St. Louis. Here are a few others I'm still waiting for: Johnny Guitar, Penny Serenade, Night on Earth, La Ronde (1950), Man in the Wilderness and Exterminating Angel. So what's on your most-wanted list?

Holiday CD is music for tired ears

If your ears are jangling from too much holiday noise, switch to the uplifting sounds of this CD, Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: Christmas Favorites from the World's Favorite Tenors. Not only are their voices glorious, but the selections - including I'll be Home for Christmas and Joy to the World - hit just the right note, too. Happy holiday listening!

Holiday CD is music for tired ears

If your ears are jangling from too much holiday noise, switch to the uplifting sounds of this CD, Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: Christmas Favorites from the World's Favorite Tenors. Not only are their voices glorious, but the selections - including I'll be Home for Christmas and Joy to the World - hit just the right note, too. Happy holiday listening!

Bah, Humbug! Who's the best Scrooge?

scrooge

There have been dozens of film and TV adaptations of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas ghost story A Christmas Carol including musical, animated and dramatic versions. But which is the best, and which features the most convincing portrayal of Ebeneezer Scrooge? Is it Reginald Owen, Alistair Sim, George C. Scott, Michael Caine, Mr. Magoo, Bill Murray, Disney's Uncle Scrooge, Patrick Stewart or someone else? Our family favorite is the musical 'Scrooge' featuring Albert Finney in the title role. Although this version is temporarily not available from the library's collections, it's worth looking for. What's your favorite?

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