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Archive for February, 2008

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Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls is a hilarious and subtly thought provoking young adult mystery by Bennett Madison. Lulu Dark would be the first to tell you that she isn’t the girl detective type. She’s just a fashion-conscious Halo City teenager who lives with her father. Then, someone steals her favorite cheap, tacky knock-off of a purse. She can’t just let that go, now can she? Her hunt turns up more than she expects, including mistaken identity, missing persons, and a bit of romance. All it takes is the first two pages to suck you in. Lulu’s tone is so chatty and self-assured that you can’t help but want to know what happens next. And my goodness, all that happens next. The hunt for the missing purse leads Lulu and her friends all sorts of places, from her sworn enemy’s house to a strangely comfortable dumpster. Who is Berlin Silver? Where has she disappeared to? Can Lulu Dark really see through walls? I especially recommend this book for teenage girls, but if you enjoy the first two pages…I’m betting that you’ll stay around to see what happens next.

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Thursday Thirteen #8

For this week’s Thursday Thirteen I thought that it would be fun to look into Mysteries that have made the transition to film. Do you have a favorite mystery? Has it been filmed?

13 Mysteries You Can Watch and Read:
1. Flowers for the Judge by Margery Allingham – I love the Campion mysteries. Albert Campion has long been my example of when characters refuse to do what you tell them. Allingham had created for herself what she felt was the perfect protagonist. He was a doctor that was well known at Scotland Yard for all of his assistance. And then, this secondary character up and took over the story. Margery was reportedly quite annoyed. The well-known doctor, George Abbershaw, is never heard from again in her books. (book) (tv version)

2. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – Not filmed nearly as often as “And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians,” the title of story is nevertheless very well known. I’ll bet that this book still influences people to travel on the real Orient Express. (book) (1974 film) (2001 tv version)

3. Six Days of the Condor by James Grady – This book was made into a film called “Three Days of the Condor.” It should be noted that it has nothing to do with the 1981 film Condorman, which instead came from the book “The Game of X’ by Robert Sheckley. (book) (film)

4. That Darn Cat (a.k.a. Undercover Cat) by The Gordons – I loved the first version of this film, but I haven’t yet seen the second one. I I was surprised to discover that my library actually owns a copy of the book. Yet another thing to add to my reading list. (book) (1965 film) (1997 film)

5. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The 1914 film was the first in a series from Germany. Actually, this story seems really popular in Germany, but it also has quite the international following. It would be possible to do a Thursday Thirteen on this title alone! (book) (1914 film) (1920 film) (1929 film) (1932 film) (1937 film) (1939 film) (1955 tv version) (1959 film) (1968 tv version) (1972 tv version) (1974 tv version) (1978 film) (1981 tv version) (1982 tv version) (1983 tv version) (1983 tv version) (1988 tv version) (2000 tv version) (2002 tv version)

6. Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman – Tony Hillerman is another of my mother’s favorite authors. She tells me that she enjoyed the televised version too, but that they changed it a bit. Okay, a lot. (book) (tv version)

7. Blood Sport by Dick Francis – Dick Francis’s jockey mysteries are naturals to film. I really need to get around to watching them, to see if they made the transition gracefully. (book) (tv version)

8. Devices & Desires by P.D. James – Roy Marsden plays Commander Adam Dalgliesh in the mini-series adaptation of P.D. James’ famous mystery. He went on to play the same character a few more times. (book) (tv version)

9. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – This book was so very popular that it was surely destined to make the transition to the big screen. Would you believe that I have neither read the book, nor seen the film? Well, you see, it’s book two, and I couldn’t get into book one. Speaking of which, Angels & Demons is in the film pipeline. (book) (film)

10. The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry – I loved both the book and the film for this one, even though they changed the murderer’s motive for the film. Anne Perry has a bit of a rocky past. Did you know that she is really Juliet Marion Hulme? The story of Juliet and her friend Pauline Parker’s murder of Pauline’s mother has appeared on film in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures. (book) (tv version)

11. The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman – Philip Pullman has had a bunch of projects in the works of late. The Ruby in the Smoke, and its sequel The Shadow in the North, appeared on the BBC during two successive Christmases. Both star Billie Piper of Doctor Who fame. His Golden Compass has appeared on the big screen recently, and it looks like The Subtle Knife is primed to follow it. Whew! (book) (tv version)

12. One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters – In the Brother Cadfael series, Derek Jacobi does an excellent job as a former man of the world turned monk. Okay, like Derek Jacobi could actually do a bad acting job. Too bad that there won’t be any more of the books. (book) (tv version)

13. Rumpole on Trial by John Mortimer – The Rumpole series spawned a whole line of shirts and mugs bearing the phrase “She Who Must Be Obeyed.” Apparently, Rumpole was referring to his wife. Oh dear. (book) (tv version)

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Women in Art

This is portraits of women in western art during the last 500 years– all in 2 minutes and 52 seconds. I’m not really sure what else to say about this one. You pretty much just have to watch it. You might want to sit down while you do though, just in case it makes you a little dizzy.

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The date was February 19, 2008 and it was a stormy night but that didn’t stop people from coming to Centerville Library for a fun celebration of Chinese New Year. It was a warm and festive program carried out by the library staff, teen volunteers, and most importantly, the audience itself!

About 100 people from more than 25 families filled up the tiny meeting room. The adorable preschoolers opened the program with Chinese New Year songs and finger plays they learned from our storytime. No one expected them to be professional but with only two short practices, their performance really impressed everyone. Following the fun opening, we exercised our brains by solving lantern riddles with lots of excitement. Click the buttons to see how many you can solve.

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Have you ever seen a Chinese firecracker string? Here is a picture of one. According to a Reuters news article , the longest firecracker string was made in Hunan Province, China last year. It measured 20 km long and exploded for 68 minutes. We probably can’t beat that record but all the participants of the firecracker-making contest worked their hardest trying to make the longest of the night! The winner of the longest firecracker was completed by the Ge and the Zhong families together. They used 99 paper tubes and it measured about 8 feet long! The second place had 90 tubes and the third 89!

What an exciting night! Take a look of a short clip of some of our great moments!

Many thanks to everyone in this video for agreeing to share their pictures with us!

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There are so many books being made into films lately! It’s hard to keep on top of all the film adaptations that are out there, but I’ve managed to round up a few that you may already be familiar with the book versions. Some of these are currently in the theaters, and others are on their way. Let’s get started!

* Jumper by Steven Gould – This one is currently in the theaters, and stars Hayden Christensen. Also…the directing/producing folks also did Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the Bourne movies. (book) (trailer)

* The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – This one is to open this Friday. It features Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as the two Boleyn Girls and Eric Bana as King Henry VIII. (book) (trailer)

* The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black – This film comes recommended by my sister, who has now decided that she must read the books. Yes, books. I’m not sure how many of the series this film covers, but with Freddie Highmore playing the Grace twins, how far wrong can you go? (book) (trailer)

* Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss – Having seen the teaser trailer, I’m wondering about this one a little. Mind you, it’s been a while since I read the book. This one is animated, and due in theaters on 14 March. (book) (trailer)

* Twilight by Stephenie Meyer – Yes, that’s right, this popular teen vampire novel is headed for the big screen. It is currently being filmed and is due to appear in the US on 12 December. Robert Pattinson, who played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, will be playing Edward. (book)

* The Giver by Lois Lowry – This book has been listed as being in pre-production for a couple of years now. The current release date is “2011.” I’m not sure if this one will ever make it to the big screen, but only time will tell. I’ll let you know as soon as I know more. (book)

* Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – This title is listed as being “Announced” which is generally the very beginning of the filming cycle. No cast has been listed yet, but the release date is still currently set for sometime in 2008. (book)

* The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo – This animated tale is currently in post-production, and is expected to appear in US theaters on 19 December 2008. The star-studded cast of voice actors include Emma Watson, Sigourney Weaver, and Dustin Hoffman. Hopefully a trailer will be forthcoming. (book)

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Fremont Main and the Islamic Society of the East Bay co-sponsored a moderated panel discussion of the basic tenets of the Islamic faith on Saturday, February 9. There were around 60 people there to hear about the 5 Pillars, the role of women, practices of Ramadan, how Islam has evolved over time and how the Quran is relevant to today’s modern world. This program will be repeated at the Union City Library on Saturday, March 1st at 2 pm, and at the Newark library on Saturday, April 5th, also at 2:00.

– Sallie

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13 Nobel Peace Prize Winners

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Thursday Thirteen #7

Sorry that this is so late this week. I was going to work on it from home, and then my laptop died. *sniffle* Anyway, for this week’s Thursday Thirteen I have chosen to look at 13 Nobel Peace Prize Winners. Some of these seem obvious, but others really make you wonder.

13 Folks With the Prize:
1. Theodore Roosevelt (1906) – He received the award for being a collaborator on various peace treaties, most notably the Treaty of Portsmouth. Did you know that he ran the Police Department of New York City at one point? Apparently, he would put on a black cape and wander the slums at night checking on his patrolmen. (He was also the 26th President of the United States.)

2. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1919) – He received the award for being the founder of the League of Nations. Did you know that he actually practiced law for a year? It didn’t really go well, so he went back to school and ended up teaching at Universities. (He was also the 28th President of the United States.)

3. Albert Schweitzer (1952) – He received the award for his medical contributions in founding (and running) a hospital at Lambaréné in French Equatorial Africa. I actually went to Albert Schweitzer Elementary School. Did you know that Schweitzer began substituting for his church organist at the age of 9? (Schweitzer was a medical missionary, theologian, and musician.)

4. Linus Carl Pauling (1962) – He received the award for his tireless crusade against nuclear testing and even war itself. Did you know that he also received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1954 and the Presidential Medal of Merit in 1948? Shame he wasn’t distinguished or anything. Wow. (Pauling taught at Caltech for many years.)

5. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964) – He received the award for his passionate and non-violent work in the Civil Rights movement. Did you know that he graduated from High School at the age of fifteen? He was also named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963. (MLK was a pastor and crusader for Civil Rights.)

6. Henry A. Kissinger (1973) – He shared the prize with Le Duc Tho for their efforts to end the fighting in Vietnam. Did you know that he was born in Germany, and his name was originally Heinz? His family fled to the United States in 1938 to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. (Kissinger was the 56th Secretary of State of the United States.)

7. Mother Teresa (1979) – She received the prize for her work among the poor (and all of the people no one else would care for) and founding her own order “The Missionaries of Charity” which has now spread the world over. Did you know that she was born “Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu”? (Mother Teresa was a Nun that took her work among the poor and forgotten very seriously.)

8. Lech Walesa (1983) – He received the award for his work in the organization of Solidarity in Poland. Did you know that he spent two years in military service? I actually went to High School with two people whose family had been forced to escape Poland to avoid persecution for their part in the fight for Solidarity. (Walesa is a Trade Union Leader, and was actually President of the Repulic of Poland for five years.)

9. Desmond Mpilo Tutu (1984) – He received the award for his work against apartheid in South Africa. Did you know that he was a High School teacher for three years? (Tutu is Bishop of Johannesburg and the former Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches.)

10. Elie Wiesel (1986) – He received the award for his work on the behalf of victims of opression. Did you know that he survived a German concentration camp? Well…if you’ve read his books, you do. (Wiesel is a writer and educator. He is famous for his book Night among others, and his work fighting opression.)

11. The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) (1989) – He received the award for his crusade for a peaceful end to the occupation of Tibet (and work toward peace in general.) Unlike his predecessors, this Dalai Lama has traveled quite extensively. He is well known as a scholar and a man of peace.

12. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (1990) – He received the award “for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community.” Did you know that his father was an “agricultural mechanic” on a small farm? Quite the humble beginning. He also won a Grammy Award for best spoken word album for children. (Gorbachev is a former President of the Soviet Union and is now the first head of the Union of Social Democrats.)

13. Jimmy Carter (2002) – He received the award “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” Did you know that he once studied technology and nuclear physics during his time in the Navy? (Carter was the 39th President of the United States.)

Sources:

Nobel Prize Winners (1987), Edited by Tyler Wasson.

Nobelprize.org – The official site for the Nobel Foundation.

The Biography Resource Center – (a database available to Alameda County Library Card holders.)

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