Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #40

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

April is National Poetry Month, and we’re very excited about introducing patrons to the best modern and classic poetry we know. The Academy of American Poets offers lots of suggestions on how to spread the word – why not try Poem In Your Pocket or get e-mailed a new poem each day of April? Or, check out the blog at Gotta Book where writer and librarian Gregory K. will post a new, unpublished poem each day!

Here, some of our favorite poetry books:

Where the Sidewalk EndsShel Silverstein

Silverstein has always been great fun to read, from “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout (Would Not Take the Garbage Out)” to “Sick,” kids and adults alike will laugh at the poems and drawings in his collections of poems; he also wrote “The Giving Tree.”


Also available in audio, read by the author: BKD JFic 811 S WCV

The New Kid on the Block – Jack Prelutsky

Another poet specializing in fun for kids, this book features the poem “Boing! Boing! Squeak!” – the tale of a bouncing mouse, and the title poem, “The New Kid on the Block,” which ends not at all how you’d expect.

Juv 811.54 P WCV WAM WDB

The Waste Land and Other Poems – T.S. Eliot

While Eliot’s personal life is full of drama, his poems were usually long, twisting affairs and thoughts on life both in the city and in his imagination. The Waste Land is his best known offering, and reading it is a delight of mythologies and references.

811.09 E WDB


Don’t You Turn Back; Poems – Langston Hughes

Famous for being part of the amazing Harlem Renaissance, Hughes was an African-American poet whose work sounds like jazz riffs on a piano. He wrote about music and life and growing up black in Harlem, and each poem rolls and rocks with a lyrical style all his own.


The Oxford Book of American Poetry – David Lehman (ed.)

If you’d like to sample different poets and styles, try this edition. Included are e.e. cummings, Sylvia Plath, and this blogger’s favorite, Wallace Stevens.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Author Profile: Augusten Burroughs

Humorous memoirist Augusten Burroughs is probably best known by most people as the guy who wrote the book that spawned the movie “Running With Scissors,” which released on DVD in 2007. Of course, there’s much more to the author that just that – he’s got six books (some fiction, some memoir), and has been a commentator for NPR, and a columnist for Details magazine.

Running With Scissors
The most famous of Burroughs’ memoirs, this book details his young life, when, at age 12, he was sent to live with his mother’s psychiatrist for three years. The story is true by Burroughs’ accounting, and some of the events are definitely adult in nature.
Bio Burroughs WCV WMB
CD B Burroughs ROG (Audiobook, read by the author)
DVD R 46 WCV/ DVD R 533 WDB/ DVD Run 496 WMB (Film Adaptation)

Detailing Burroughs’ adult life as an alcoholic and an ad-writer for a top New York agency, Dry follows the author from New York to Minnesota and back. Here, he discusses rehab and what comes after; especially how hard it became to return to his life that revolved around alcohol once he was “tenuously sober.”
B Burroughs CHE LWM

Magical Thinking: True Stories
Witty and sarcastic again, Magical Thinking showcases Burroughs’ gift at telling stories of his childhood and adult life. While many (okay, most) are mean-spirited and a little R-rated, they’re well worth a read.

If you’d like to read some of his shorter pieces, Details magazine is owned by St. Clair Shores Public Library and is available for interloan.

Also out is his first novel, Sellevision, about the antics behind-the-scenes at a home shopping network. Sellevision is available as a book from Harper Woods Public Library, and as an audiobook from Troy Public Library.

Thanks to CB for this author suggestion!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #39

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

Did you know that twenty years ago today, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill happened? In remembrance of that disaster, today we’re offering books on how to be more eco-friendly and green:

Green house: Eco-friendly disposal and recycling at home – Norman Crampton
363.72 C WDB

Cut your energy bills now: 15 smart ways to save and make your home more comfortable and green – Bruce Harley
644 H WCV

Easy green living: The ultimate guide to simple eco-friendly choices for you and your home – Renée Loux

The little green book of gardening – Diane Mills
635 M WCV

The little green handbook: 7 trends shaping the future of our planet – Ron Nielsen
363.7 N WDB

The green book: The everyday guide to saving the planet one simple step at a time – Elizabeth Rogers
YA 333.72 R WCV

Friday, March 20, 2009

Get Vamped for this book!

Today’s Book: Vamped, by David Sosnowski

The plot: Humans are nearly extinct and vampires are the ruling species in this alternate-reality book from local Michigan author Sosnowski. The main character is vampire Marty, who’s been dead for eighty years, drinks blood manufactured from stem cells out of juice boxes, and collects human food like Count Chocula bought at auctions on eBay.
While planning to end his boredom by killing himself, he runs into little blond Isuzu Trooper Cassidy, a child who was being raised on an illegal human-hunting farm. His immediate plans include making a snack of the six-year-old, but after she busts into his antique breakfast cereals, she wins him over. Vamped is the comical tale of how a vampire raises an illegal human in an all-vampire world.

Why You’ll Love It: Told with humor and warmth, Vamped is a vampire novel for people who aren’t fans of the typical vampire novel. It features great characterizations (like the “Screamers” – children turned into vampires, who usually become quite disturbed) and reads fast and funny.

Who Will/Should Read It: Fans of the Sookie Stackhouse series will find similar wit in Sosnowski’s warped story. If you’re a fan of vampires, any vampires, then pick this one up, too!

Fic Sosnowski WCV RSV MTC

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #38

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

Recently, Publisher’s Weekly asked, if you were a literary orphan, which fictional family would you choose as your own? These are just some of the most popular answers:

The Weasleys (J.K. Rowling)

All bearing bright red hair and living in a house quaintly called “The Burrow,” The Weasleys are a pure-blood wizarding family. While they’re not as rich as antagonist family the Malfoys, matriarch Molly Weasley is a powerful protector of her clan, and they all help to teach orphan Harry about what it means to be a family.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

All Harry Potter books are available at all four Warren Libraries – look under JFic Rowling.

The Pevensies (C.S. Lewis)

Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund Pevensie are a family of children sent away from London during World War II. Taken in by the professor who built the wardrobe to Narnia, these four have adventures in many of the Chronicles of Narnia books – all going on to be named Kings and Queens.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe JFic Lewis WCV WDB WAM

Prince Caspian JFic Lewis WCV WMB

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader JFic Lewis WCV WMB WDB

The Silver Chair JFic Lewis WDB WMB/ Juv PBK L WCV

The Horse and His Boy JFic Lewis WDB WMB/ Juv PBK L WCV

The Magician’s Nephew Jfic Lewis WCV WAM

The Last Battle JFic Lewis WDB WMB WAM/ Juv PBK L WCV

The Chronicles of Narnia (all seven books in one volume) YA Fic Lewis WCV / Fic Lewis WAM

The Cullens (Stephenie Meyer)

All supernaturally beautiful and strange to the eyes of the residents of Forks, Washington, the Cullens are as magnetic as they are fearsome. Carlisle, the “father” of the family, is a respected doctor; he and his wife Esmé have taken on five vampire children: Edward, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper, and Emmett.

Twilight YA Fic Meyer WCV WMB WAM

New Moon YA Fic Meyer WCV WMB WDB WAM

Eclipse YA Fic Meyer WCV WMB WDB WAM

Breaking Dawn YA Fic Meyer WCV WMB WDB WAM

(All four Twilight books have holds lists; why not try them in audio or e-audio?)

The Murrys (Madeline L’Engle)

Beginning in the Time Quintet and continuing in the Polly O’Keefe series, Meg Murry’s family travels through time, space, and adventures with witches, angels, and mind-controlling alien characters.

The Time Quintet

A Wrinkle in Time JFic L’Engle WCV WMB WDB WAM

A Wind in the Door Juv PBK L WCV/ JFic L’Engle WAM

Many Waters YA PBK L WCV /YA Fic L’Engle WAM

A Swiftly Tilting Planet YA PBK L WCV/ YA Fic L’Engle WDB WAM

The Polly O’Keefe Series

The Arm of the Starfish JFic L’Engle WMB/ YA Fic L’Engle WAM

Dragons in the Waters JFic L’Engle WCV

A House Like a Lotus YF L’Engle TPL/ YA L MPL

An Acceptable Time YA PBK L WCV

The Cassons (Hilary McKay)

Children of artsy parents Bill and Eve Casson, the children are named after colors from a paint chart on the kitchen wall – Saffron, Rose, Cadmium, and Indigo. While the Casson family’s adventures are as mystical as some of the other families listed here, they approach everyday life through artists’ eyes. Author Hilary McKay has won several awards for these books.

Saffy’s Angel JFic McKay WCV WMB WAM

Indigo’s Star JFic McKay WCV WMB WDB

Permanent Rose JFic McKay WCV WMB WAM

Caddy Ever After JFic McKay WDB

Forever Rose JFic McKay CHE HPW SHL

Remember – if your Warren Library branch doesn’t have one of these excellent novels, we can order it from within the county, within the state (MeL), and sometimes, even outside of the state (WorldCat) – Just ask!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #37

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

(We apologize for missing last week's Outside of a Dog.)

From 48 Hours to To Catch a Predator and Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice, true crime is all the rage today. Law and Order takes its cues from real life murder mysteries, and so does Criminal Minds. Want to read about murder and mayhem? Try some of these tried and true books!

Too Late to Say Goodbye: a true story of murder and betrayal– Ann Rule
Ann Rule is the most famous of the famous true crime authors – known best for her book A Stranger Beside Me (Rule worked with serial killer Ted Bundy at a suicide prevention hotline). Too Late is the story of Bart Corbin, a successful Georgia dentist who killed his wife, and fourteen years earlier, his girlfriend.
364.152 R WCV
364.1523 R WDB WAM

Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments – Dominick Dunne
Dunne has written for Vanity Fair since 1982, when his daughter was murdered, sending him on a path to write several novels and true crime books about the lives, loves, and deaths of the rich and famous elite. Justice contains several essays, including pieces of Claus von Bulow, the Menendez brothers, and Dunne’s daughter, Dominique.
364.1523 D WCV WMB

Darker than Night: The True Story of a Brutal Double Homicide and an 18-Year Long Quest for Justice – Tom Henderson
Henderson is still relatively new to the true crime field, with only two other books published so far. Darker than Night is the story of two Detroit deer hunters who went missing in 1985, and their murders, solved 18 years later, only when a terrified witness finally spoke up.
364.1523 H WCV SCS TPL

Cracking More Cases: The Forensic Science of Solving Crimes : the Michael Skakel-Martha Moxley Case, the Jonbenet Ramsey Case and Many More! – Henry C. Lee
Renowned forensic criminologist Lee, who worked on the O.J. Simpson murder case in 1995, has written several titles about mistakes made by criminals and theories about murders and their perpetrators. Here, he talks about the scientific skills one needs in order to view crimes separate from their victims.
363.25 L WCV WDB