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Friday, October 29, 2010

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week....

Maier, Pauline. Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788.

When the Constitutional Convention adjourned in Philadelphia September 17, 1787 those Federalists bent on state ratification must have taken to heart a saying of that city’s favorite son Benjamin Franklin: “Lost time is never found again.” M.I.T. American History professor Meier depicts a movement lasting four days short of a year driven by the fear that another opportunity to replace the Articles of Confederation may not ever come to pass. A roadblock was the Antifederalists that forced conventions in nearly every state (in Pennsylvania they insured a quorum at a Statehouse vote) and denounced the lack of a Bill of Rights. Their chief spokeman Patrick Henry at the Virginia convention was backed in his remarks by a sudden thunderstorm. Federalists such as John Jay used backroom genteel politics to gather more New York supporters than his brash colleague Alexander Hamilton at the podium. Sadly other backers of the new Constitution utilized censorship and mob violence against their rivals in debate. George Washington is depicted as ready to become President of whatever government resulted from the deliberations.

Also by Pauline Maier at Merrick Library:

American Scripture: Making The Declaration of Independence

The Library also has in its Reference section:

The Federalist Papers - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay

Reviewed by librarian, Bob.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Romance Readers Connection

Attention Romance Readers. Browse this site for reading suggestions, articles and reviews of romance novels.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Books to Movies....

Saturday, October 30th, 2pm

Bestselling authors of Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, RACHEL COHN & DAVID LEVITHAN and acclaimed YA author MATT DE LA PEÑA will speak about and sign their latest YA novels, Cohn and Levithan's Dash & Lily's Book of Dares and de la Peña's I Will Save You.

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn is the author of Very LeFreak, You Know Where to Find Me, Cupcake, Shrimp, Pop Princess and Gingerbread. David Levithan is VP Editorial Director at Scholastic Press and a teacher in the New School's Children's Literature program.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week....

Le Carre, John. Our Kind of Traitor. Viking.

“Everything old is new again!” penned the late songwriter Peter Allen. This tale by the creator of Alec Leamas and George Smiley has all the flavor of a Cold War spy story in dealing with modern international villains. Dima, a money launderer in his fifties, wants to spill all he knows about Russian organized crime kingpins in exchange for sanctuary in England and getting his children enrolled in prestigious Eton. Dima’s go-betweens are Gail and Perry, an upwardly mobile and unmarried British couple on a Carribean tennis vacation. Within a universe where every detail down to headwear reminds one of an old time espionage novel, the young pair soon find that their initially reluctant mission is being made difficult by a British Secret Service at cross purposes with Parliament. It might have been better for Perry to forget the whole business and do the old-fashioned thing every male suggests to him: marry Gail!

Also by John Le Carre at Merrick Library:

Absolute Friends
Call For The Dead
The Little Drummer Girl
The Mission Song
A Most Wanted Man
The Night Manager
Our Game
Single And Single
Smiley's People
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
The Tailor Of Panama

Reviewed by librarian, Bob.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Audiobooks!

For years, CIA agent Mitch Rapp has served his country with ruthless efficiency. Here, author Vince Flynn chronicles Rapp's very first assignment, a mission that will turn the green agent into the most hardened and revered counterterrorism operative in the world.

The author presents a collection of three animal-themed essays. In The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck, a group of complete strangers bitterly discuss the order of things within the animal kingdom. In Hello Kitty, a miserable alcoholic cat attends AA. In The Squirrel and the Chipmunk, two lovers are torn apart by their quarreling families.

A decorated Jewish detective solves a string of bizarre murders that brings him to the doorstep of the Third Reich.

After years as a respected defense attorney, Mickey Haller continued his stellar career as a state prosecutor by convicting the infamous Jason Jessup with a brutal child murder. Now 24 years later, DNA evidence clears Jessup of the crime. Convinced of Jessup's guilt, Haller calls on LAPD Detective Harry Bosch to uncover the truth before the killing resumes.

Introduced, narrated, and performed by Sam Hoffman ; with original performances by the Old Jews telling their jokes.

Art dealer Peter Harris and his wife, editor Rebecca, are living the quintessential Manhattan urban life with a comfortable apartment, a savory reputation, and boundless happiness. However, when Rebecca's younger brother Ethan walks back into the picture after years of drug problems, Peter starts questioning both his career and his personal life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Belva Plain Dies at 95.

SHORT HILLS — Belva Plain, who wrote more than 20 best-selling novels during a literary career that spanned several decades, has died. She was 95.

Plain's daughter, Barbara, said the author died in her sleep Tuesday at her home in New Jersey. A cause of death was not disclosed.

Plain, known for epic novels of family and forgiveness, never owned a computer and wrote her novels longhand on a yellow pad. And while she had written short fiction for women's magazines in her younger days, Plain put her pen on hold and instead focused on raising her three children.
She didn't start writing novels until after she became a grandmother.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Books to Movies....

Fair Game:
Cast: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Satya Bhabha, Bruce McGill, Sam Shepard
Director: Doug Liman
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: November 5th (limited)
Based on: FAIR GAME: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own
Government by Valerie Plame Wilson

A suspense-filled glimpse into the dark corridors of political power,Fair Game is a riveting action-thriller based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose career was destroyed and marriage strained to its limits when her covert identity was illegally exposed.

As a covert officer in the CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division, Valerie leads an investigation into the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Valerie’s husband, diplomat Joe Wilson, is drawn into the investigation to substantiate an alleged sale of enriched uranium from Niger. But when the administration ignores his findings and uses the issue to support the call to war, Joe writes a New York Times editorial outlining his conclusions and ignites a firestorm of controversy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week....

Vaillant, John. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. Alfred A. Knopf.

The Amur tiger is a species not even the poet William Blake could have imagined “burning bright.” Within the 500-mile radius of the Primorye region of eastern Russia the Amur are able to survive multiple climates and plan out campaigns for prey that would be envied by any hunter. Three human hunters in the winter of 1997 were devoured by a particularly large member of the Amur. This was a shock to conservationists in that unlike tigers in India the Amur normally have no taste for human flesh. A team usually involved in preserving wildlife was led by ex-soldier Yuri Trush to isolate and destroy this rogue tiger. Vaillant alternates between the chase and explanations of Primorye culture and ecology plus how both were affected by the Soviet Union’s collapse six years before. The result is mounting terror within a world of overall disorder.

Reviewed by Bob.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Howard Jacobson Wins Man Booker Prize for ‘The Finkler Question’

Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award, on Tuesday night for “The Finkler Question,” a comic novel about friendship, wisdom and anti-Semitism

Visit this link for the full article:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Books to Movies in October......

Cast: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise
Parker, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss, James
Remar, Julian McMahon, Ernest Borgnine
Director: Robert Schwentke
Distributor: Summit Entertainment, LLC
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 15th (wide)
Based on: RED by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner

Frank, Joe, Marvin and Victoria used to be the CIA’s top agents --- but the secrets they know just made them the agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team
embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Books to Movies.....


Cast: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, James Cromwell, Kevin
Connolly, Scott Glenn
Director: Randall Wallace
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: October 8th (wide)
Based on: SECRETARIAT: The Making of a Champion by William Nack

Based on the remarkable true story, Secretariat chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father’s Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery --- with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin --- manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week....

Solotaroff, Paul. The Body Shop: Parties, Pills and Pumping Iron: Or, My Life in the Age of Muscle. Little, Brown.

This memoir concerns “bigorexia,” defined as an obsession particularly among males with some supposed defect in their personal appearance. Before body building achieved world fascination in the Seventies due to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno there was a 20-year old literature student at SUNY Stony Brook loathing how he looked especially to women. Receiving little sympathy from his father, a respected writer and editor, Solotaroff turned to a once “stick thin boy” in his dorm who got him into weight training. He would also be exposed to the “genie in the steel syringe” (steroids) long before anyone knew about the inevitable damage. Solataroff’s new appearance led to a sex and drugs party life and work as a male stripper. There then followed a complete physical/emotional burnout and loss of a steady girl friend. Now a contributor to Men’s Journal and Rolling Stone, Solataroff tells a cautionary tale of how some will go to extremes for social and personal acceptance.

Reviewed by Librarian, Bob.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tony Curtis

On September 29 movie and television actor Tony Curtis died in Nevada at age 85. Born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, Curtis's career extended over six decades. Perhaps his most famous film was the now classic 1959 Billy Wilder comedy "Some Like It Hot" (Merrick Library DVD collection) in which Tony Curtis costarred with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. In 2009, Curtis recounted his experiences in the book "The Making of Some Like It Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie." (Merrick Library Non-Fiction collection) A year before, the actor penned "American Prince: A Memoir," (Merrick Library Biography collection) covering his life up to age eighty.

Right after making "Some Like It Hot," Tony Curtis starred opposite Cary Crant in the World War II comedy "Operation Petticoat." Eighteen years later, a television series
based on that war movie premiered on ABC. Among the cast was Curtis's daughter Jamie Lee in her first series. Jamie Lee Curtis has gone on to a prolific film career that includes the following movies in Merrick's DVD collection:

Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Christmas with the Kranks
A Fish Called Wanda
Freaky Friday

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian novelist, poet, and essayist. She is best known for her novels, in which she creates strong, often enigmatic, women characters and excels in telling open-ended stories, while dissecting contemporary urban life and sexual politics. She is among the most-honored authors of fiction in recent history.

Visit this link for the full article.