Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the Award Goes To...

New York Times bestsellers and Pulitzer Prizewinners aren't the only books in the literary world to get awards. Just announced yesterday - the Youth Media Awards, put together by the American Library Association.

The big three are:

Newbery Medal - for the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.
New YA Fic Gaiman CHE

The Caldecott Medal - for the artist of the "most distinguished American picture book for children."
The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson.
Easy Swanson WMB
E Swanson MTC

The Printz Award - for a book that "exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature."
Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta.
YA Marchetta MPL
YA Fic Marchetta ROG

The full lists of all the awards and honor books can be found here, at the American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children Blog.

Outside of a Dog, #32

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

Last week, we featured graphic novels NOT about superheroes. This week, let’s see what the world of the caped and masked, brought to you by one of the great comics titans, DC, has to offer:

Wonder Woman: Love and Murder – Jodi Picoult

Picoult, probably best-known for her controversial and popular novels like Nineteen Minutes and My Sister’s Keeper, now takes on the legend of the Amazon princess. When Diana Prince, Special Agent of the Department of Metahuman Affairs, is assigned to capture Wonder Woman, her alter ego, she’s set on an adventure of both human and epic proportions.

YA Fic Wonder WCV

Graphic Teen Wonder Woman TPL

Watchmen – Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

The excitement surrounding Watchmen is at fever pitch right now, as the movie was originally set to release in March 2009. The book, published in 1986 and 1987, follows superheroes at a time when they’ve become outlawed. Watchmen is a masterpiece of art and story, sometimes showing flashbacks, sometimes using a story-within-a-story, and it has won not only praise from Time magazine and The Comics Journal, but a Hugo Award, as well.

GN Watchmen CHE


Ya Graphic Moore ROG

Green Arrow: Quiver – Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith, director of cult favorite movies like Clerks and Dogma, is a big DC Comics fan. He was offered the chance to write for Green Arrow, a superhero archer whose trick arrows can do anything from stick to a villain like glue, or trap them in a web. The best part? Green Arrow was killed off in 1995 fighting eco-terrorists. Smith reboots the original character, Oliver Queen, and the series, to great success in Quiver.

YA Comic Smi - WMB

Batman: Dark Detective – Steve Englehart

Could we mention caped crusaders without mentioning Batman? While The Dark Knight Returns, by comic legend Frank Miller, is the best-known and best-regarded of the superhero’s impressive history, the Dark Detective series delves into a storyline where the Joker is running for Mayor of Gotham City.

YA Fic Batman WCV

YA Graphic B SHL

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tax Time!

Unsure about what forms to file? First time filing? Just plain confused about the whole process? Here's help!

AARP - The American Association of Retired Persons - will help seniors prepare their taxes at many Warren locations. From February 2nd to April 7th, there will be AARP staff at the Warren Conference Center (in the City Hall building, ground floor, next to the Civic Center Library).
Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 am - 12 pm
Call (586) 574-4552 for details.

If you're not a senior and you still need help, try Intuit's Tax Freedom program online at http://www.taxfreedom.com. They'll do your taxes for you if you meet their criteria.

Finally, if you're a paper filer, you can get basic forms at all of the Warren libraries. If you need something more than just a 1040, your reference librarian can print out any forms you need for the cost of a copy - 10 cents per page.
[Please note: Michigan tax forms will be sent to the libraries at the end of January and are not yet available for pickup.]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On Sale This Week!

Did you know the library has an ongoing book sale? At the Civic Center branch, it is located on stacks 31 and 32, near the Reference Desk. The sale offers a selection of paperbacks and hard covers, fiction and nonfiction. Mostly adult titles - lots of James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell - but there are some children’s books and even the occasional encyclopedia set for sale. The sale is coordinated by our very active and indispensable Friends of the Warren Public Library. The cost of the items is as follows:

Hard covers $2
Trade Paperbacks $1
Fiction Paperbacks $1
Harlequin and Silhouette paperbacks 25 cents
Children’s soft cover books 25 cents
Children’s hard covers 50 cents

The next time you’re visiting the library be sure and stop back and see what is available. And don’t forget! Every month, the Friends have an even bigger sale at the Old Village Fire Hall – check with your library for dates and times.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #31

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

Are comics just for kids?

Graphic novels - usually defined as collections of storylines in regular comics (like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns or The Astonishing X-Men: Gifted), or standalone novels in graphic format (like American-Born Chinese or Maus) – are taking the literary world by storm. Once the province of kids and collectors, the offerings available in the graphic novel format now are, well, astonishing! Here are a few of our favorite “no flying, no tights” graphic novels:

Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale:: My Father Bleeds History and Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale:: And Here My Troubles Began – Art Spiegelman

The Maus novels, by legendary writer and artist Art Spiegelman are based on the author’s father’s recollections of being a Polish Jew during the Holocaust. While the story is told using mice, pigs, cats, dogs, and other animals, it never feels like a child’s storybook. Maus has won the Eisner Award for great achievement in comics, as well as a Pulitzer Prize Special Award.

Y 940.531 S HPW

Y 741.5973 S SCS

940.531 Spiegelman SHL

Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

Satrapi grew up in Iran during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and here, in startling black-and-white drawings, relives that childhood, as a rebellious girl with radical parents who struggle under the new regime. There’s a second novel, too, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, which details the author’s schooling in Vienna, and return to Iran. The first graphic novel was also made into a movie in 2008, though it cannot be placed on hold through the library at this time.

YA Graphic Satrapi FRA

YA Graphic S ROK

YA Fic Comic Satrapi WMB

Graphic Teen Persepolis TPL

Bone – Jeff Smith

Bone is a serialized collection of comics put together irregularly from 1991 to 2004, currently published in 9 graphic novel collections. The story follows the Bone Family as they are run out of the city of Boneville, and is something of a high fantasy novel, though with humor interjected at key points. Almost every edition of Bone has won an Eisner Award, and a Harvey Award.

JFic Smith WCV SHL

YA Graphic Smith FRA

J 741.597 Smi LWM

Next week, we'll visit with some great superhero graphic novels from one of the comics giants: DC.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coming Soon to a Library Near You!

January and February are big months for new books from your favorite authors. Here are just a few you can expect to see on our shelves soon - ask your librarian to put them on hold for you!

The Associate - John Grisham (1/29)
Run For Your Life - James Patterson (2/2)
Fool - Christopher Moore (2/10)
Promises in Death - J.D. Robb (2/24)
Bones - Jonathan Kellerman (2/24)
Night and Day - Robert B. Parker (2/24)
One Day at a Time - Danielle Steel (2/24)

And if you happen to be on a waiting list, why not try one of these recently released novels?

Mounting Fears - Stuart Woods
Plum Spooky - Janet Evanovich
Cross Country - James Patterson
The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling
Scarpetta - Patricia Cornwell
The Pagan Stone - Nora Roberts
Black Ops - W.E.B. Griffin
Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Author Profile: Christopher Moore

An author of absurdist fiction – often writing about things that could never really happen (right?) in the real world, Christopher Moore is probably best-known for his books “Lamb” and “Bloodsucking Fiends.” What’s best about these novels (and many of his others), are the absolute comedy that starts with the subtitles. If you enjoy a particularly silly laugh, or you’d just like to know how a stupid angel tries to make a child’s Christmas wish come true, give these books a try:

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Jody never wanted to be a vampire. Unfortunately, she didn’t have much choice, because she sort of woke up dead. Adjusting to the change from 9-to-5 office drone to, well, bloodsucking fiend, is a lot harder than she’d ever imagined. Lucky for her, she meets Tommy, a night-shift worker (and champion turkey bowler). He agrees to help her during the day, and eventually falls for her at night in this comedic tale.

Moore followed up this novel with 2007’s “You Suck: A Love Story.”


Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

The chronicle of Christ’s life has been told and retold many times, but never quite like this. Levi (who is called Biff) is called upon by the angel Raziel to tell his side of the story, and he starts from the very beginning, when he sees Joshua-bar-Joseph (Jesus as a child) reanimate a dead lizard. What follows is the telling of Joshua growing up in one of the most comedic ways possible, with occasional reflections from the modern world as Biff tries to convince Raziel to let him stick around for a while.

YA Fic Moore ROK

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

Raziel is back, this time, doing his best to grant a child’s Christmas wish – to have Santa Claus back. Unfortunately, the Santa Claus in question is the town drunk, who was killed by a shovel to the head. When Raziel intends to revive Santa, he accidentally raises a cemetery of dead people, who are surprisingly as amusing and lively as the living.


Also available in audiobook

BKD Fic Moore WAM

A Dirty Job

Poor Charlie Asher – in the same day, he loses his wife and gains a daughter. Oh, and becomes the new Grim Reaper (called Death Merchants). People all around him start dropping dead, and his only clue is an instruction manual accidentally opened by Lily, the goth girl and Death wannabe who works in Charlie’s secondhand shop. Add in Moore’s wacky humor, his favorite setting, San Francisco, and find out how a beta male like Charlie learns to take charge of his life – and, kind of by accident, other’s lives and deaths, too.


Also available in audiobook, ebook and eaudiobook.


Thanks to AD for this author suggestion!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Little Brother is watching!

Today’s Book: Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow

The plot: Marcus, a.k.a. w1n5t0n (pronounced “Winston,” not “double-you-one-en-five-tee-zero-en”), is a 17-year-old high school student in San Francisco, California. He’s also a hacker who has learned how to fool the video cameras, gait recognition software and RFID (called ‘arphids’) technology to skip classes. Usually, he’s going out with his friends Vanessa, Darryl, and Jolu to play their favorite ARG (Alternate Reality Game), Harajuku Fun Madness.
The group just happens to be on the streets one day when a group of terrorists blow up the Bay Bridge. They all get taken captive by the Department of Homeland Security, and held for several days. When they return, the world as they know it has changed – and not for the better. Marcus and his friends find new ways to retain their privacy with new technology and hacked versions of old technology, and some everyday paranoia and ingenuity. Can they get their city and their lives back?

Why You’ll Love It: Doctorow’s vision of a modern-day 1984 is thrilling and exciting, and in parts, a little bit sad. There’s a some romance, and espionage, of course, and while the book was originally intended for the Young Adult crowd, adults who enjoy a good technology thriller or suspense tale will enjoy it, too. It’s a frightening vision of a post-9/11 world that will entice you and make you think.
Also a draw are the explanations of the technology that Marcus uses; if you don’t understand Linux or Cryptography, there are short descriptions and histories included in the flow of the text.

Who Will/Should Read It: Young Adults, especially boys (the book is written from Marcus’ point of view), wannabe techno-wizards, aspiring activists, and anyone who wants a good modern thrill.


Teen F Doctorow TPL
Little Brother is also available as an electronic audiobook, and as a variety of online files (including .lit, .pdf, and .mobi) from Doctorow’s website.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #30

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

So...the Lions have not been the most winning football team this past season, setting a new record for the NFL. Still, in preparation for the Super Bowl on February 1st, here are some entertaining football reads you might enjoy.

The 100-Yard War: Inside the 100-year-old Michigan-Ohio State Football Rivalry by Greg Emmanuel

ESPN coined it the number one sports rivalry of the century. This title showcases the two great football teams with history, behind-the-scenes stories, and information about the players as well as the fans.

796.332 E WCV WDB CHE

Football Made Simple: A Spectator’s Guide by Dave Ominsky and P.J. Harari

Do you believe over 60% of Americans watch football? Do all these people really understand what’s going on? This simple guide is filled with illustrations and explanations and contains everything for necessary for fans and non-fans alike to better understand and enjoy the game.

796.33202 O WCV SBL CHE

The Way We Played the Game: A True Story of One Team and the Dawning of American Football by John Armstrong

Back in 1903, football was a very different game than what is played professionally today. This is the true story of a high school football team, its young quarterback and an enlightened coach pushing them toward modern-day football. A uniquely American story that will delight readers of history and fans of football.

796.33262 A WCV SCS

Friday, January 02, 2009

What's a Playaway?

THIS is a Playaway.

It's a portable digital audiobook - no need for a cassette or CD player, or even a computer. Just plug in headphones and listen away! You can even walk around the house, the neighborhood, take it while traveling; a Playaway is always ready to go!

The Warren Public Libraries have lots of Playaways to offer you, including:

The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren (Playaway 248.4 W)
Spanish: The Complete Language Course by Henry N. Raymond (Playaway 468 S)
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (Playaway 822.33 S)
For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Playaway Fic Albom)
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (Playaway Bio Keller)

And we have a great selection for kids and teens, too!

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (Playaway JFic Curtis)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Playaway JFic Lewis)
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Playaway YA Fic Colfer)
Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Playaway YA Fic Paolini)

Each Playaway checks out for three weeks, and comes with a AAA battery and a lanyard to keep the Playaway easily accessible. You can use your own headphones, or purchase a pair of earbuds at the front desk for $1.00. If we don't have the one you want, we can also borrow them from other libraries in the Cooperative - just ask your reference librarian!