Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #28

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Cold winter evenings are the perfect time to play some games. Can’t remember how to play? Here are suggested titles to refresh your memory.

Great Solitaire Games by Sheila Anne Barry
More versions of solitaire than you could possibly explore in one winter fill this slim book. Some of the games are quick and very simple, others much more complex and will challenge your powers of concentration.

Winner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em Poker: The Smart Player’s Guide to Winning at Hold’Em by Ken Warren
Warren reveals his inside and top secret strategies in this, the definitive and essential guide to playing and winning at Texas Hold’Em, today’s most popular version of poker.
795.412W WCV EPL UPL

Teach Yourself Visually Bridge by David Galt
Bridge can be a very challenging card game, but you can quickly grasp the basics with this guide that SHOWS how it’s played. Covering everything from evaluating a hand and bidding it, through playing the cards, then scoring the results, this book guides you step by step with clear and colorful illustrations.
795.415G WCV SHL TPL

How to Play Better Dominoes by Miguel Lugo
28 tiles and four players, that’s all you need for a game of dominoes. Challenge your brain and test your logic with this old fashioned but still enduring game. This book offers insights and techniques to honing your skills at this deceptively easy game.

Hoyle’s Rules of Games Edited by Albert H. Morehead & Geoffrey Mott-Smith
A definitive book when it comes to the rules of the game – whether it's bridge, backgammon, blackjack, or blind tiger. Also included is a chapter on computer games.
795.4H WCV SBL

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Whichever holiday you celebrate...

Outside of a Dog, #27

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

As often as books are touted as the perfect Christmas gift, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a subscription to a favorite magazine as a less costly alternative. The Civic Center Library and other Warren branches have literally dozens upon dozens of magazines to peruse for ideas. The following are all craft-related magazines that you may never have considered for that crafty relative or friend in your life.

Jewelry Artist and Lapidary Journal


Gems, minerals, beads, stones, sterling silver, gold, crystals, pearls, and most anything else you can imagine related to the field of making costume as well as high quality jewelry are touched on each issue.

Simple Scrapbooks


Hey, who doesn’t scrapbook anymore or know someone totally addicted to the process? Unlike several other magazines in the genre, this publication is pretty much geared to the beginner. It’s loaded with simple and creative projects and ideas. Even the ads are fun.

Vogue Knitting International


This so-called bible of the knitting world has set the standard for knitting magazines for years. Its longevity is probably due to the fact that it skillfully blends knit patterns for the beginner as well as the spectacularly skilled knitter. Published 4 times a year, there is enough packed in each issue to keep knitters inspired and busy in between issues.

Sewing Today
Does anybody still sew? Sure they do! - and these two publications prove the point.

Threads is a high quality magazine that addresses all sorts of sewing and sewing related topics. The current issue has articles on buttons, resizing a pant pattern, and how to preserve garments.

Sewing Today is published by the folks that produce Butterick and McCall’s patterns. It’s an entertaining and instructional magazine aimed at inspiring the average sewer to not only tackle traditional clothing items but other fun projects. The holiday issue included clever ideas for pet projects, aprons, doll clothes, and for those ready to sew up a more ambitious project – winter coats.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Author Profile: Robert A. Heinlein

(There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)

Heinlein, a four-time-Hugo Award winner, is respected as the father of hard science fiction – the kind of sci-fi that has accountability for the concepts that it uses to tell a story. Along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, he’s probably best known for revitalizing the genre. Here’s a selection of some of his most famous books for any reader interested in classic sci-fi, or in reading an author whose tales of liberty and self-reliance in the face of government control and interference have become famous, even after his death.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Originally serialized in Worlds of If magazine in 1965, the book version of “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” is separated into three ‘books’ – The Dinkum Thinkum, A Rabble in Arms, and TANSTAAFL! In 2075, when the story takes place, the moon has been colonized for use as a penal colony. The problem, of course, is once someone has spent a long time there, their bodies are unable to live anywhere else. The story becomes more interesting, though, when the computer that’s responsible for all of the systems on the Lunar Colonies because self-aware and intelligent. What follows is a revolution on two worlds, leading to Heinlein’s second Hugo Award.
Fic Heinlein ROG
SF Heinlein TPL UPL
Audiocassette available at SBL

Starship Troopers
Most people will know the title from the movie of the same name, made in the late 90’s. While the movie version was controversial at the time it was made, so was the book, with readers suggesting the promotion of militarism rather than social and political ideas, which were found in most, if not all, of Heinlein’s novels.
YA Heinlein LWM
SF Heinlein TPL RSV

Have Space Suit –Will Travel
The last of 12 YA/Juvenile novels that Heinlein wrote, Have Spacesuit follows a teenager named Kip, who wins a spacesuit in an advertising jingle contest. On one last trip out in the suit (intending to sell it for money to finance college), he gets drawn into an intense adventure that ends up with him pleading the case of the human race to an intergalactic tribunal.
J Hein SBL

If you’re looking to see if you like Heinlein before getting involved in any of his three well-known series (Lazarus Long, The World as Myth, and Future History) try one of his short-story collections, like “The Man Who Sold the Moon” or “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag."

The Man Who Sold the Moon
SF Heinlein RSV

The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag
SF Heinlein RSV

Thanks to NB and PW for this author suggestion!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Friend MeL

MeL, short for "Michigan Electronic Library" is a service provided to libraries and residents in Michigan from the state government. What does MeL do for you? Provides access to databases (like Learn-a-Test, Opposing Viewpoints, InfoTrac, and LegalTrac), and allows you to order books, videos and CDs from libraries all across Michigan – for free!

If you’ve ever wanted to read a book that no library in the cooperative owns, or there’s a CD that your favorite artist sings on that you can’t find anywhere, why not try MeLCat? It’s easy to search, and will tell you just how many libraries own whatever you’re looking for.

How does it work?
1. Point your browser of choice to www.mel.org
2. Click on “MeLCat”
3. Type in your search words. I tried “Frank Sinatra.”
4. I chose “Classic Duets,” because it’s not owned by any SLC libraries.

5. Click on “Get this for me!”
6. Sign in – choose your home library, then type in your name and library card number.

Your item should show up in about a week, depending on where in the state it’s coming from.

Remember, this service is free for you to use from your home computer, any time, day or night. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can always ask a reference librarian to help you.

Due to shipping times and costs, we ask that you check the SLC (Suburban Library Cooperative) holdings first, to make sure that we can’t order your item from within the county.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Get Bitten by this book!

Today’s Book: Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong

The plot: Elena Michaels is the only known female werewolf. After being bitten (which is what turned her into a werewolf in the first place), she spent her time with The Pack, an organized family of mostly hereditary werewolves, run much in the way of a real wolf pack. At the beginning of the book, she’s been gone from the Pack for a year, trying to live among humans, most notably Philip, her live-in boyfriend. When the Pack Alpha calls her back from Toronto to New York to help with an uprising of ‘mutts’ (werewolves, usually bitten, who aren’t affiliated with The Pack), she goes because she feels she owes them. That’s, of course, when the story gets really interesting, since she left her werewolf ‘brothers’ and more than a few matters unsettled.

Bitten is the first of Armstrong’s “Women of the Otherworld” series, though they can be read out of order, due to the large cast of characters. The series involves werewolves, like Elena and The Pack, as well as witches, demons, and vampires.

Why You’ll Love It: The series began as a short story influenced by an X-Files episode about werewolves, and now enjoys status as one of the brightest and best urban fantasies. Bitten is a new take on an old favorite in werewolf books, and once you’ve met headstrong Elena, you’ll want to keep reading about her in the books that follow – Stolen and Broken, and you may even branch out into the other Otherworld books, short stories, and novellas, some available online at the author's web site.

Who Will/Should Read It: Fans of the Urban Fantasy genre, or anyone who enjoys a good otherwordly murder mystery. There’s a little gore and some sex scenes, though they’re mostly tame as compared to other authors in the genre.


PBK Fantasy Armstrong K ROG

Monday, December 15, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #26

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Cooking is certainly a big part of the holiday season. Why not try some time-tested and foolproof recipes offered in this selection of non-traditional Christmas cookbooks by some of our most well-known food companies?

The Jell-O Collection: 3 Cookbooks in 1 by Publications International

For more than 100 years, Jell-O has been a part of the American kitchen. This book offers a compilation of traditional as well as new and innovative recipes to delight Jell-O fans everywhere.

641.864 J WCV

The Kellogg’s Cookbook: 200 Classic Recipes for Today’s Kitchen by Judith Choate

Who could have imagined plain old cereal could generate so many tempting recipes but Kellogg’s has managed to compile an impressive collection.


Marshall Field’s Cookbook: Classic Recipes and Fresh Takes from the Field’s Culinary Council by Stephen Siegelman

Okay, so the retail giant has changed its name from Hudson’s to Marshall Fields to Macy’s. Still, Macy’s Lakeshore Grill hasn’t abandoned some locally famous dishes including the perennial favorite Maurice Salad. And yes, that recipe is included here.


The Butterball Turkey Cookbook: 150 Turkey Recipes with all the Trimmings by the Butterball Turkey Company

This collection offers 150 easy recipes, ranging from soups and stews to one-dish meals for whole turkeys, boneless breasts, and ground turkey. No doubt turkey lovers everywhere will appreciate the advice, tips, and wide variety of ways to utilize those leftovers.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Author Profile: Charlaine Harris

A Southern writer with charm to spare, Charlaine Harris started writing mystery novels in the early 1990s, with her tales of Aurora (“Ro”) Teagarden, librarian extraordinaire and part-time, accidental crime solver. Once Ro had found her happily ever after in the ten-book series, Harris wrote for Lily Bard, from Shakespeare, Arkansas, the kind of girl even bad guys didn’t want to mess with. Finally, and most recently, Harris writes about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic barmaid, and Harper Connelly, grave reader. Sookie’s famous right now because of the HBO series “True Blood,” which has just finished its wildly successful first season.

Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden)
When Ro’s “Real Murders” club finds themselves and their members taken down by, well, real murders, it’s up to Ro and the club to figure out who’s behind it all, and stop them!

Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard)
Lily, a fiercely private cleaning woman and self-defense student, finds the body of her landlord hidden in the dumpsters behind her home. When she realizes that her prints are on the body, she starts to question her customers, and strikes up a relationship with the police chief and her karate instructor to get to the bottom of the murder mystery. Lots of action and excitement colors Lily’s world in this first novel.

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/ Southern Vampire)
If you’re reading the Sookie books because you loved the television show True Blood, you might be in for a surprise. While most of the characters and plot elements are the same, there are some differences that needed to be made to make the show pop. This novel is the basis for the first season, when young women who have associated with now-legal and “out” vampires, keep turning up dead in tiny Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly)
Harper was struck by lightning when she was a teenager, and ever since, has been able to ‘read’ graves – she can stand over someone’s resting place, and tell who’s under the ground, and sometimes, how they died. Seeking to make peace with her past – she has, thus far, been unable to find her missing, presumed-dead little sister – she travels the country trying to help people find their missing loved ones, with her stepbrother and manager, Tolliver.
Available on CD and as an E-Audiobook at TPL

While you can read each series out of order, Harris does reference previous books a lot in her works, so here’s the chronological list for each series:

Ro Teagarden
Real Murders
A Bone to Pick
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
The Julius House
Dead Over Heels
A Fool and His Honey
Last Scene Alive
Poppy Done to Death

Lily Bard
Shakespeare’s Landlord
Shakespeare’s Champion
Shakespeare’s Christmas
Shakespeare’s Trollop
Shakespeare’s Counselor

Sookie Stackhouse/ Southern Vampire
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone (coming May 2009!)

Harper Connelly
Grave Sight
Grave Surprise
An Ice Cold Grave

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Study Hard - The Easy Way!

Thanks to the Michigan Electronic Library, you can study for big tests from the comfort of your home – or at your local Warren library!

Using the Learn-A-Test/Learning Express Library database provides free access to study guides and tests of all kinds, from GED and GRE to EMS and ASVAB! Books on these exams are hard to get your hands on, especially during peak testing seasons, so use the guides online to see what you’re in for. You can even take timed sample tests, and get graded as you go, so you know where your strengths lie. Learn-A-Test also allows you to print questions to make your own study guide, and print out your progress report, too.

You can access Learn-A-Test through the MEL portal (http://www.mel.org), or from the link on any library computer(). Register using your library card number and PIN, and you’re ready to try a test!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #25

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

All sorts of craft ideas and projects compete for our attention. Why not indulge your crafting instincts with a few homemade holiday greeting cards? They are easy to make, quick, and can often be made with supplies you have around the house. The following titles offer inspiration as well as many samples.

Greeting Cards for the First Time by Karmen Quinney

Your cards will be a bit more special when they’re handmade with a particular loved one in mind. Sample cards, material lists, and advice are given here, and more importantly, the core ideas can easily be adapted with your own creativity in mind.

745.5941 G WCV SHL SBL

Creative Greeting Cards by Sandi Genovese

Die-cuts to the rescue! Teachers, storytellers, and librarians have long used die-cuts for a wide variety of craft projects. Here they are utilized to create a selection of greeting cards. Everything from Christmas cards to invitations is showcased in a way that will inspire you to create your own unique cards.

745.5941 G WCV MTC RSV

Instant Gratification Cards: Fast and Fabulous Projects by Carol Endler Sterbenz and Genevieve A. Sterbenz

Here we have plenty of quick and creative techniques to produce professional and sophisticated greeting cards in an afternoon that don’t look hokey or handmade. Whether a beginner or an experienced crafter you will find surely something in this book to inspire you.

745.5941 S WCV WDB

Better Homes and Gardens Handmade Greetings for all Occasions: 85 Cards, Gift Tags, and Invitations by Susan Banker

Send sentiments from your heart with cards made by your hands. Whether you’re looking for an extra-special way to say Happy Birthday or simply want someone to know you care, you’ll find ideas for perfect cards inside this book.

745.5941 B WCV SHL

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Take this book to the Graveyard with you!

Today’s Book: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

The plot: Bod, or Nobody Owens, was only a baby when he stealthily escaped from his crib and went crawling the streets of London. As luck would have it, he also barely escaped being killed with the rest of his family. He manages to get across the street, to a graveyard, where the ghostly Mistress and Mr. Owens decide to care for him, and give him the Freedom of the Graveyard – meaning he can come and go where only the dead usually are allowed. As Nobody grows up between the worlds of the living, the dead and the not-exactly-dead, he finds out why he's only safe in the graveyard.

Why You’ll Love It: Gaiman is a master storyteller, there’s no doubt about that. In this children’s book, released September 30 of this year, he visits a graveyard he once lived near, where his son liked to play, and plays, himself, with what might have been behind those gates. If you’d like to stretch your imagination to the spooky (but not-too-spooky), try this book!

Who Will/Should Read It: Gaiman enthusiasts (it’s no surprise that the writers of this blog are big fans!), kids who like a good spooky story, and even adults reading to kids (or to themselves) should pick up The Graveyard Book!

New YA Fic Gaiman CHE

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Author Profile: Michael Chabon

Perhaps best known amongst comics fans as an Eisner Award Winner for his book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon has been writing novels and short stories (and the occasional movie!) since 1988, when he wrote Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Since then, one of his books, Wonder Boys, has been turned into a movie starring Michael Douglas, and he’s consulted on scripts for Spiderman 2, X-Men, and The Fantastic Four. Listed here are some of our favorites:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Two cousins with a pulp sensibility form an unlikely friendship and decide to draw a comic book about The Escapist, who breaks taboos and deals deathly blows to Hitler in this award-winning novel.


Also available as E-Audiobook

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

Described by Publisher's Weekly as "a murder-mystery speculative-history Jewish-identity noir chess thriller," this alternate-history novel is Chabon's newest release to date. His hero is a much hung-over detective, stuck in a Jewish settlement in Alaska, with the mystery of a corpse in a hotel to solve and lots of brandy to drink.


BCD Fic Chabon WCV RSV

Wonder Boys

Writer's block is the worst thing that can happen to a writer. The protagonist in this tale is also middle-aged, unhappy, and a mess. What's the worst that could happen in one weekend? The lead character, Grady Tripp, finds out.



VC Wonder WAM


Chabon's first (and only) novel for young adults, this work takes us into a modern-day, American other world, much like Narnia or Wonderland. A young boy, who's really bad at baseball, is called upon to save the faeries of Summerland from the destructive Coyote and his band of warriors. Can 11-year-old Ethan do it?

YA Fic Chabon CHE


BCD Fic Chabon TPL

Werewolves in Their Youth (short stories)

In his second short-story collection, Chabon visits the aftermath of rape, what happens when boys playing at superheroes goes a little too far, and a fictional author's pulp horror tales (an author he created in the aforementioned "Wonder Boys" writes the last story in the book!) Wholly original, as are all of Chabon's work, and a great place to start if you're not sure you'll like his style.

Fic Chabon SHL TPL

Thanks to IC for the author suggestion!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Testimony-al: This book is good!

Today's Book: Testimony by Anita Shreve

The Plot: This is a behind-the-headlines story dealing with a sex scandal at a prestigious high school in Vermont. The novel unfolds as various individual characters slowly share their own unique viewpoints of the events. We are relentlessly pulled into the story and quickly become conflicted as to what really happened and why.

Why You’ll Love it: The story builds slowly with an ever-growing dose of suspense. It gives readers a chance to see behind a tabloid-like headline. It’s a multifaceted tale that shows how one poor choice or decision can have life-changing consequences we might never have imagined.

Who Should Read it? : Almost anyone who likes character-driven novels will find Anita Shreve’s novel enticing and entertaining. Book clubs especially will enjoy this selection because of the challenging dilemmas and moral questions the characters face as the plot unfolds.
Readers who have enjoyed novels by Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, Elizabeth Berg, or Alice Hoffman will definitely enjoy discovering author Anita Shreve.

BKD Fic Shreve WCV ROG

Thanks to MH for this book review!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Readers are going to love this book!

Today's Book: The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry

The Plot: Towner Whitney returns home to Salem, Massachusetts, after several years in California. She is still recovering from surgery, but she must go back home because her Aunt Eva has just drowned there under mysterious circumstances. Towner ends up rekindling relationships with her mother, May, her Aunt Emma, and an old boyfriend. She also begins to relive the traumatic events of her youth that drove her to get as far away from home as she could. A new cop in Salem is assigned to her aunt's case and finds himself entangled with Towner and her secrets. And, by the way, all of the Whitneys have psychic abilities of various degrees. Towner's Aunt Eva was even in the process of writing a guide for learning to "read lace" which allows you to see someone's future. Towner is pretty good at it too - though she struggles against what the readings tell her.

Why You'll Love It: This is a well-written and compelling story. The author skillfully inserts clues about Towner and her past and about her aunt who has drowned. So don't overlook the details - they are all important! And the ending will really shake you up!

Who Should Read It: Mystery and fiction lovers will enjoy this book - also people who are intrigued by psychic phenomena. If you have ever visited Salem (like I did last year) you'll also enjoy reading about places and sites you may have seen while you were there.


Thanks to KF for this book review!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"When you can live forever, what do you live for?"

Fans across the world will be rushing into movie theaters next weekend for the opening of the movie "Twilight," based on the wildly-successful Young Adult book of the same name. The original four books (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn) are hard to get your hands on - the holds lists are almost 200 people strong! If you loved Twilight, how about some other supernatural books to keep you reading while you're waiting?

Blood and Chocolate, Annette Curtis Klause
Vivian is a hereditary loup-garou (that is, werewolf), in a pack that's been run out of at least one town before. She lives like any other teenage outcast - willingly keeping company only with her age-mates in the pack. Until she reads a poem by another student, and becomes convinced that this one boy will understand what it's like to be a wolf, beautiful and wild and free. Meanwhile, people in the community are showing up dead - did Vivian do it? If not, who did?
(This was made into a movie, too, but the movie is completely different from the book.)

Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Carrie Vaughn
Kitty Norville is just your average radio DJ, who hosts a late-night call-in show called The Midnight Hour. Oh, and not all of her callers are average. Or human. Of course, neither is Kitty. She's a werewolf, and in this first book in the ongoing series, the head of the vampire crime family (an undead mafia!) wants her show canceled, and Kitty dead.
Fic Vaughn SCS

Vamped, David Sosnowski

One question that always gets asked in vampire novels is, if they're the more powerful predators, why haven't they killed all the humans and taken over yet? Sosnowski answers this question in Vamped, where vampires are the dominant species, and hilarity abounds.

Fic Sosnowski WCV RSV MTC

Sweep: Book of Shadows, Cate Tiernan

First in a series that now has 13 novels and a super edition, Sweep is a great set of novels about Morgan, a high school junior who finds out that she's a witch. Tiernan fills the novels with great prose, and accurate information about Wicca. Once you finish these, there's also the quadrilogy "Balefire" available.
YA Tiernan CHE

Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle, Jim Butcher
We've recommended the Dresden Files before on this blog, but if you've never picked up "Storm Front," or if you just prefer something a little easier on the eyes, try this new graphic novel, written by Butcher, and illustrated by Ardian Syaf, who is relatively new in the comics world. This is a stand alone story of Harry Dresden, and is as funny as the rest of the series. The art is well-done, and it's a great placeholder book while fans eagerly await "Turn Coat," due out in April of 2009.
YA Graphic Butcher FRA

And of course, who can forget the classics:

Dracula, Bram Stoker
At the heart of all vampire novels is a vampire who wants to love a human. Here, the very first written story.
Fic Stoker WCV MTC RSV

The Wolf Man: The Legacy Collection [DVD]
'When a man is attacked by a werewolf, he finds to his horror that he now becomes one himself under a full moon.'
DVD 791.43 Wolf WCV
DVD Arts Wolf TPL

The Witches, Roald Dahl
A boy who's been warned about witches ends up at the yearly convention as a target. He finds that witches, REAL WITCHES, dress normally, live normally, and act normally, so it's terribly hard to catch them. Will he catch the witches, or will they catch him - and turn him into a mouse?

Do you have a favorite supernatural book?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

November is Native American Heritage Month!

Find out more about Native American heritage by reading some of these books, or checking out the websites listed below.

Storyteller by Leslie Marmon Silko
Silko is another well-known author, who delves into the past with both fiction and nonfiction (See her work Ceremony for a winding tale of modern-day tribe members.) This is more of an autobiographical offering, with stories, personal history, poems, and photographs of her life.
Fic (Storage) MTC

Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit: Essays on Native American Life Today by Leslie Marmon Silko
Written in 1997, but still relevant (and used in college curricula today), is this book containing nonfiction pieces on "America's Debt to the Indian Nations" and "Interior and Exterior Landscapes: The Pueblo Migration Stories."
970.00497 S CHE

American Indian Trickster Tales by Richard Erdoes
Coyote is the best known trickster of the Native American stories, but he's not the only one. Included here are also Iktomi, a shapeshifting Lakota spider-man, and Veeho, the Cheyenne daredevil, in one hundred illustrated stories.
398.2089 E EPL
398.2 A SHL TPL

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Alexie is regarded as one of the best writers about modern Native Americans, mixing history and traditions of the tribes (usually the Coeur D'Alene tribe, of which he is one) with current topics, characters, and events.
YA Fic Alexie WCV

The Business of Fancydancing: Poems and Stories by Sherman Alexie
Alexie's first book, which follows his usual format of short stories with humorous titles, as well as poems.
811 Alexie WAM
811.54 A WMB

The Blessing Way, by Tony Hillerman
Known and rewarded as a top mystery author and Special Friend of the Navajo Tribe, Hillerman made his name in fiction for his Navajo Tribal Police/ Joe Leaphorn mysteries. Unfortunately, he also passed on recently, so there will be no more after the most recent, 2006's "The Shape Shifter. Start with this first book in the series, or with "The Joe Leaphorn Mysteries" collection, which features the first three novels.
Fic Hillerman CHE

The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Coyote is one of the most famous (and beloved) of the Native American spirits - always in trouble for making deals and promises he doesn't exactly keep. Edited by Datlow and Windling, well-known for being a part of "The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror," this is a collection sure to show many different sides of the Trickster.
YA Fic Coyote SHL


Native American Heritage Month (homepage): put together by the Library of Congress, this is a great jumping-off point for anyone interested in the subject.

Oyate: A Native organization devoted to making sure Native Americans are portrayed honestly in books and other media.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
: Three sites that make up the National Museum include artwork, history, archives, and more.

Friday, October 31, 2008


The Warren Public Libraries would like to wish all of our patrons a very

*Please remember the Libraries will be closed on Tuesday, November 4th, for Election Day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Outside of a Dog: The Spooky Edition

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Halloween is just around the corner, and we’d be remiss without suggesting a few spooky stories to put you in the mood.

Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco
The Rolfes rent a summer home that sounds too good to be true. Soon they discover themselves caught up in a web of unimaginable menace and terror.
Fic Marasco

Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton
Published in 1998, this is the 7th novel in the featuring Anita Blake vampire hunter. Hamilton’s immensely popular series, now numbering 16 books, continues to intrigue and fascinate readers. In this novel, Anita is dealing with leaving one boyfriend, the werewolf pack Alpha Richard, and turning to another, Jean-Claude the Master Vampire of St. Louis; not to mention combating a possible psychic firestarter.
Fic Hamilton

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
A vampire book that's not at all like any vampire book you've ever read (we promise!) It's a story within a story within a story, generations of families and friends haunted by the search for Vlad Dracul. The dramatized version on CD is really a fright!
BKD Fic Kostova

Fic Kostova

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
We’ve all seen or not seen the Academy Award nominated movie. You really have to read the book to truly appreciate how truly frightening the printed word can be.
Fic Harris

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Regarded as the most frightening and disturbing of King's many horror novels (and that's saying something!), Pet Sematary has lasted the test of time will give you chills. The story of a family who moves from Illinois to Maine, and finds local pets being raised from the dead is a sure scare at Halloween, or any time.
Fic King

Coma by Robin Cook
This is the book that is credited with introducing the medicine gone awry genre. A young female medical student uncovers a shocking crime at her hospital.
Fic Cook

Crooked Tree by Robert C. Wilson
An engrossing tale that combines Indian legend and supernatural terror in a Northern Michigan setting. First published in 1980, it was recently reissued in paperback.
Fic Wilson

Superstitious by R.L. Stine
After zipping through all of Fear Street and Goosebumps when I was 12, I dug up R.L. Stine’s only adult offering to date. Truly chilling for those young and old, Superstitious is about a college girl’s affair with a folklore professor – who might just be scarier than the superstitions he teaches her.
Fic Stine

For our younger readers looking for a scare, try R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps or Fear Street, Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, or Morgan Burke’s Party Room trilogy.

Readers: What is your favorite scary book?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You'll want to Host this book!

Today's Book: The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

The Plot: In this new science fiction offering, the Earth has been invaded by beings from another planet. To the invaders, it appears as though they have been successful. They have taken a chaotic planet filled with emotional and often violent inhabitants, and created a peaceful, organized community. And this isn't the first time! They've conquered other planets with the same satisfying results. In order to achieve success, the invaders surgically introduce "souls" into people and take over their bodies. Usually the soul of the human is overcome and eventually disappears. But Melanie Stryder doesn't allow the invading soul called Wanderer to take over her body. She fights to regain control and the peace-loving and gentle Wanderer must learn to fight back. But Wanderer becomes so overwhelmed by Melanie's memories of her love for her family and for Jared, a fellow resistor, that she yields to Melanie's wishes to find her family and friends. Then the excitement really begins!

Why You'll Love It: Two people living in the same body - weird! Invaders that are peace-loving, kind, friendly, and only come to improve our chaotic, emotional, and sometimes violent ways - hey the invaders sound like good guys! A huge, many-roomed dark cave with tiny natural skylights enhanced with mirrors to create light inside - cool and inventive. People wrestling with fascinating questions about what makes a person who they are (is the greater good always preference to what is good for an individual? Can altruism ever be evil?) -- Interesting!

Who Should Read It: Science fiction fans, fiction readers, and young adult readers will love this book. (Stephenie Meyer also writes the Twilight series, so if you like her style of writing - and you're waiting eagerly for Midnight Sun to be published! - try this book.)

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

Thanks to KF for this review!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Author Profile: Meg Cabot

Famous for the Young Adult bestsellers "The Princess Diaries," now numbering 13 titles, Meg Cabot has been writing both adult and teen books for years. She has a great sense of the places she writes about (usually New York, sometimes Michigan), and a sense of humor and style that is unusual and fun.

The Boy Series [The Boy Next Door (2002), Boy Meets Girl (2004), Every Boy’s Got One (2005)]
Each book of The Boy Series is based on a different character in New York City, usually a girl somehow involved with or related to the workers at the fictional New York Journal magazine. Every story is unique, and interspersed with e-mails, receipts, and other items, making them easy and engrossing to read - much like talking with an old friend, or looking at a scrapbook.
The Boy Next Door Fic Cabot ROG UPL / Audio Cabot SCS
Boy Meets Girl YA Fic Cabot CHE WAM TPL
Every Boy's Got One Fic Cabot ROG RSV

The Heather Wells Mysteries [Size 12 is Not Fat (2005), Size 14 is Not Fat Either (2006), Big Boned (2007)]
Heather Wells used to be a rock star on the mall tour (think Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, in the 80’s). Engaged to the lead singer of a boy band, and ready to write her own songs and make it big, Heather’s life is changed when her father is sent to prison and her mom runs off with her money. She works for the fictional New York College, and somehow is always involved in the newest murder on campus.
Size 12 Is Not Fat YA Fic Cabot WAM WDB WCV HPW
Size 14 Is Not Fat Either Fic Cabot WDB ROG FRA
Big Boned YA Fic Cabot WCV HPW / Fic Cabot MPL MCL SCS

The Queen of Babble Series [Queen of Babble (2007), Queen of Babble in the Big City (2008), Queen of Babble Gets Hitched (2008)]
Lizzie Nichols, fashion expert extraordinaire, and resident big mouth, is off to England to meet her long-distance boyfriend Andy. The only problem is, after the big graduation party (and a dozen or more travel book-lights), Lizzie finds that she never graduated. What happens next to our loquacious leading lady? Read to find out!
Queen of Babble Fic Cabot WCV MCL ARM / BCD Fic Cabot TPL
Queen of Babble in the Big City Fic Cabot ARM CHE UPL / ACD Fic Cabot CHE / EAudio WCV
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched Fic Cabot ARM WAM WDB / BCD Fic Cabot MPL TPL

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #23

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Selected this week are some older fiction selections that we happily classify as forgotten treasures. All were on best seller lists many years ago but definitely still qualify as a good read.

Defects of the Heart by Barbara Gordon

Jessica Lenhart is a prize-winning television executive. She becomes deeply involved in producing a show that deals with a new drug recently approved by the FDA. This drug is supposed to be useful in preventing miscarriages; instead, her own findings lead her to believe the drug may be causing birth defects.
This novel was published in 1983.

Fic Gordon MTC

Tender Mercies by Rosellen Brown

Don and Laura Courser have lived contentedly with their two children in a small New England town. On vacation, a terrible accident occurs. Laura is swimming near a motor boat when Don accidentally guns the motor of the boat and the propeller blade severs her spinal cord. How this family deals with the unexpected tragedy makes this a compelling and thought-provoking story.

This novel was published in 1978.


Love and Glory by Jeane Westin

This is a fictionalized account of four remarkable women who were part of the original group of Women's Army Corps officer candidates in 1942. Although each woman was distinctly different in personality and came from a variety of backgrounds they managed to form life-long friendships.

This novel was published in 1985.

Fic Westin SHL

Four Days by Gloria Goldreich

A middle-aged woman spends four days in a hospital deciding on whether or not to go through with an abortion. Although written over 25 years ago, the story still has a remarkable moral relevance to a question that is still being hotly debated today.

This novel was published in 1980.

Fic Goldreich MTC

Thursday, October 09, 2008

License to...

With the new James Bond movie, “Quantum of Solace” due in theaters next month, why not look into other books and movies featuring the well-known spy:

Casino Royale: The movie released in 2006 with newcomer Daniel Craig taking over where Pierce Brosnan left off, is very different from the original story, written in 1953 by Bond scribe Ian Fleming. The movie that came out in 1967 was a parody only loosely based on the original book.

1967 Parody: DVD Arts Casino TPL
2006 Movie: DVD C22 ($1 for 2 days) WCV
Original 1953 Story: Fic Fleming WAM (book includes “From Russia, With Love,” “Live and Let Die,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Dr. No,” and “Goldfinger.”)

Dr. No: The first Bond film, and the first starring Sean Connery as the legendary James Bond, was actually the sixth book Ian Fleming wrote.

Original 1958 Story: Fic EPL
1962 Movie: VHS Fic D RSV/ DVD Action-Adventure D ROG

You Only Live Twice: The last (consecutive) film that Sean Connery portrayed the lethal leading man in, the book was written well before the movie, too.

Original 1964 Story: Classic F Fleming TPL
Audiobook: (as part of “The Best of Bond, James Bond”) CD Soundtrack J SBL
1967 Movie: VC Y 30, CL FRA/ DVD Action-Adventure Y ROG

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Often called the best non-Connery Bond film, actor George Lazenby only played the role once.

Original 1963 Story: Mys Fleming WDB
Audiobook: BKC Fic Fleming RSV
1969 Movie: DVD On MTC

The Living Daylights: One of the last movies to be based on Ian Fleming’s original work (none of the Pierce Brosnan movies were!), it starred Timothy Dalton in one of two shots at the secret agent.

Original 1965 Story: M Fic SCS (In an edition with “Octopussy”)
1987 Movie: DVD Bond CHE

* Note: Other libraries also have various editions of the movies on DVD and VHS, but some are not holdable.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

This book's not hard to love!

Today’s Book: Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger

The Plot:
John, a teenager who prefers to keep to himself, starts writing a 'zine (self-made and self-published magazine) to work through issues brought on by his divorced parents, his best friend joining the Drama Club and leaving him behind, and his first love - with Marisol, a fellow 'zine writer who also happens to be a lesbian.

Why you'll love it: The story of first love from an outsider isn't a first in the YA genre - far from it - but Wittlinger's story interspersed with pieces from John's 'zine make it easy and engrossing to read, and helps bring to mind the early days of your first big teenage crush.

Who Will/Should Read it?: Wittlinger is mostly a YA author - most recently famous for the controversial "Sandpiper" - but it was recommended to me by an English professor in college. Also, if you love it, Wittlinger has just released a companion book entitled "Love and Lies: Marisol's Story."

Hard Love
YA Fic Wittlinger WCV WDB EPL

Love & Lies: Marisol's Story