Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Prince Charles was wearing the full uniform of a naval commander but it was Diana’s wedding dress that people remember the most: an ivory silk dress, with a 25 foot-long train. The church, the decoration and glass coaches, everything resembled those weddings we all imagine when we were children where the fairytale ended: “… and they lived happily ever after!”
As we all know, things went differently after the wedding, but because of that, they were not less popular in United Kingdom or around the world. Charles and Diana’s relationship put the Royal family in the news and thousands of people read everything about them avidly. If you are still interested in the biography of these two famous members of the Royal family, here are some titles you might enjoy:
Charles and Diana's tour of North America
Invitation to a royal wedding
The housekeeper's diary: Charles and Diana before the breakup
The Prince of Wales : a biography
Monday, July 28, 2008
Many recent blockbuster movies have been based on comic book super heroes. This is no coincidence. Hollywood has simply begun paying attention to a long ignored yet very influential demographic concerning popular culture. For the past few days the world’s largest concentration of comic book connoisseurs and devotees have been gathering in San Diego, California in celebration of one of this country’s most original and enduring facets of popular culture. The Austin Public Library has several titles readily available for the uninitiated. I’ve listed a small sampling of titles below.
Comic-Con Conference 2008
Austin Public Library Graphic Novels:
Batman : the Dark Knight returns
Batman. The Dark Knight strikes again
WWH - World War Hulk
The invincible Iron Man. Vol.2, Execute program
Superman, the man of steel. Vol. 3
Ultimate Spider-man, [Vol. 15], Silver Sable
Friday, July 25, 2008
The Paris Review
The quintessential literary journal. Known for founding editor George Plimpton’s larger-than-life presence and the first spot to publish numerous titans of twentieth century literature. New editor Philip Gourevitch has steered the journal away from its traditional fiction-heavy approach, and now peppers the journal with beautiful photography, reportage, poetry, and memoir. Whatever form the art takes, The Paris Review is an exceptional historical and contemporary journal.
Virginia Quarterly Review
The self-professed “national journal of literature and discussion” has a storied pedigree. The Virginia Quarterly Review—founded in 1925—has published a wide-ranging stable of writers, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Aldous Huxley, Cormac McCarthy, and Joyce Carol Oates.
This Cambridge, England based journal offers thematic issues containing short stories from around the world. Issues such as “The View from Africa,” “War Zones,” and “The New Nature Writing” provide wonderfully linked and relevant stories. Whether initially written in English or translated from a myriad of languages, GRANTA contributes a uniquely global voice.
Oxford American is random, and I mean that in the most complimentary manner. This southern-bent quarterly jumps between stories, music essays, and over to topics like “ode to the South.” The journal benefits from beautiful art and a refined quirky approach.
Tin House is the new kid on the block. Founded in 1998, this Portland, Oregon quarterly has quickly earned its reputation by publishing award-winning fiction from up-coming writers. In recent years, Tin House has begun publishing books. Whether through the journal or book publishing, Tin House never fails to publish good writing. Plus, the attention to detail is wonderful; each issue is wrapped in a beautiful cover.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
His Illegal Self by Peter Carey
The Gathering by Anne Enright
Life Class by Pat Barker
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Three Girls and Their Brother by Theresa Rebeck
Another Thing to Fall by Laura Lippman
Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
The Ghost War by Alex Berenson
Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline
A Mammoth Murder by Bill Crider
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdich
Rebel Island by Rick Riordan
7th Heaven by James Patterson
Winter Study by Nevada Barr
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
Carnival by Elizabeth Bear
Whipping Star by Frank Herbert
Beautiul Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Meth Addiction
Your Inner Fish
Superclass: the Global Elite and the World They Are Making
The Ten-cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America
Monday, July 21, 2008
Ms. Allen is a young gal from
I know I don’t speak for everyone, but I truly enjoyed this CD and would carefully recommend it to anyone…it’s not smart music, but it’s easy to dance to and sing along with. Check it out!
Friday, July 18, 2008
These picture-novels, mute but eloquent creations….are all so strangely compelling, so deeply felt, so rich in ideas, that one never tires of looking at them. But the most personal, the most intimate, the warmest, the most human and most candid of them all is this Passionate Journey. It is such a popular work that it is quite natural and fitting for a publisher to want to take it out of the realm of the esoteric and make it available to the worker, the taxi driver, and the young telephone operator. It belongs much more to the common people than to the snobs; and I am happy to do my part in making it better known to the democratic-minded public.
Below are a few more "mute" graphic novels at your library:
Mad Man's Drum: A Novel in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Blood Song: A Silent Ballad by Eric Drooker
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
Graphic Witness: Four Wordless Graphic Novels by George Walker
Sticks and Stones by Peter Kuper
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The courthouses, churches, and city halls do not rival the great masterpieces of world architecture, but they remain impressive and are uniquely Texan. They’re ours and they’re all over the state. The Austin Public Library offers several noteworthy books about Texas architecture. Check one out and enjoy the pictures, or pack one along on your next trip.
The Courthouses of Texas
Nineteenth Century Churches of Texas
Great Houses of Texas
Texas Towns and the Art of Architecture
The Art and Architecture of the Texas Missions
Early Texas Architecture
Architecture in Texas, 1895-1945
Monday, July 14, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Last Templar (2006) by Raymond Khoury - battle over a lost relic
Rule of Four (2004) by Ian Caldwell - students solve an ancient mystery
Numbered Account (1998) by Christopher Reich - swiss bank account and terrorist
The Tenth Justice (1997) by Brad Meltzer - legal thriller set in Washington
Absolute Power (1996) by David Baldacci - president is an evil villain
The most recent debut novel that became a bestseller is this year’s Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. Below is the review for Child 44 from from Publisher’s Weekly:
"Set in the Soviet Union in 1953, this stellar debut from British author Smith offers appealing characters, a strong plot and authentic period detail. When war hero Leo Stepanovich Demidov, a rising star in the MGB, the State Security force, is assigned to look into the death of a child, Leo is annoyed, first because this takes him away from a more important case, but, more importantly, because the parents insist the child was murdered. In Stalinist Russia, there's no such thing as murder; the only criminals are those who are enemies of the state. The evocation of the deadly cloud-cuckoo-land of Russia during Stalin's final days will remind many of Gorky Park and Darkness at Noon, but the novel remains Smith's alone, completely original and absolutely satisfying."
Other success stories that were not overnight are described by well-known mystery writers on the Crime Fiction blog. The local author, Rick Riodan, writes about his "overnight" success on his blog.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to write an overnight bestseller, these new 2008 books might help you with that dream.
The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains, Dangerous Situations, & Dramatic Conflict
How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries: the Art & Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Here’s some nonfiction books to get you started:
And if you're not in the mood for nonfiction, try this novel:
Check the databases for articles and photographs: For instance, American Decades Primary Sources has a great picture and article and you can even find a few articles in the Military & Government Collection.
Monday, July 07, 2008
The Library's Information Guides created by the Library's reference librarians have reliable websites to help you with business, work, school, and family. I have listed a half dozen of the guides with highlights. To find the Information Guides from the Library's homepage, click Research Tools, then scroll down.
Work at Home
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Quilting has been and continues to be a time honored tradition in the U.S.. Historians glean a better understanding of early American women's history by studying quilts and their creators. Look for one of our many titles that discuss the history and craft of quilting:
The American Quilt: A History or Cloth and Comfort, 1750-1950
Quilts in a Material World: Selections from the Winterthur Collection
Passing on the Comfort: The War, the Quilts, and the Women Who Made a Difference
African American Quilting: The Warmth of Tradition
Hearts and Hands: The Influence of Women & Quilts on American Society
Art Quilt Workbook: Exercises & Techniques to Ignite Your Creativity
The Modern Quilt Workshop: Patterns, Techniques, and Designs from the Funquilts Studio
Community Quilts: How to Organize, Design, and Make a Group Quilt
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The Good Life According to Hemingway
Conversations with Ernest Hemingway
Nabokov’s Butterflies: Unpublished and Uncollected Writings
Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited