Thursday, May 31, 2007

This Just In ! ! ! ! !

John Grisham's Doubleday publisher Stephen Rubin announced that Grisham's next book will be out in September. While it will be a fiction novel, the New York Times best-selling author is still on hiatus from writing the legal thrillers that made him famous. This fall's outing, Playing for Pizza, will revolve around an American quarterback trying his luck on the Italian gridiron.

Rubin further commented on Grisham's works:

"Who would have thought that the master of the legal thriller would write a novel about cotton farming (A Painted House) or a novel about the excesses of Christmas? (Skipping Christmas) Now, John pulls another rabbit out of his endless supply of hats with Playing for Pizza, a romp about a fish out of water that had me laughing out loud."


A Pinch of Historical Fiction

What do a boating party, a sixteenth century ladies' man, and Saxon mercenaries have in common????
Nothing really, other than representing three very different, but definitely entertaining historical novels. The short reviews of Susan Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party, Douglas Carlton Adams' The Lost Diary of Don Juan, and Tim Willock's The Religion in today's Book Roundup from USAToday will have you dusting off your art history books and wishing for a suit of armor!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Scintillating Science Fiction Cinema Scuttlebutt

Science fiction fans take note!

Some juicy gossip from one of my favorite blogs, Cinematical, spotlights preproduction activity by the Weitz brothers (who are also working on adapting Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass to the big screen!) on Michael Moorcock's epic fantasy series, Elric of Melniboné. Veering sharply away from the precedents set by other muscle-bound, überheroic protagonists Elric is a sickly creature fatally tied to the sentient sword he carries. It will be interesting to see what Hollywood can do with this multifaceted character when/if they follow through with production of the film.

Now this one completely slipped by me!

One of my absolute favorite novels, Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, is coming to the big screen and will star Will Smith as Robert Neville, a man who is very likely the last man on earth not infected with vampirism. This classic horror novel has been adapted to film twice featuring big names like Vincent Price and Charleton Heston. A trailer for the film will precede Ocean's 13 when it opens June 8 with I Am Legend hitting theaters in December. You should definitely pick up I Am Legend before then! It's a quick read, more a novella than a novel though I would hesitate to call it light reading. I believe it would make an interesting companion novel to be read with Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Oprah's recent selection for her Book Club.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Admit It!

I admit that I, dear readers, was inspired by Holley's recent post: Incognito, and ReAd A RoMaNcE novel (insert shock here)! I picked up Eloisa James' book Pleasure for Pleasure and very much enjoyed it. Here's why:
a.It was a quick read - I read it by the pool, by the bathtub, in the car, and before I fell asleep at night and never had to worry about losing my place or forgetting where I was.
b. Engaging characters and a plot that was not completely implausible!
c. Very little cheesy romance writing, but a good romance!
d. Lots and lots and lots of period detail, which made it fun!
So I hereby second Holley's nomination of Ms. James as a great author if you want to venture into the field of romance.
All in favor?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Great Chick Lit Website ! ! !

I believe the Candy Covered Books logo is one of the best I've seen AND I've just spent the past 10 minutes perusing their website! There is alot of content there and it's a wonderful source for book reviews of chick lit and women's fiction. The vast review database is in alphabetical order by title, making for a great browsing experience. The website is clean and uncluttered with all the navigation buttons located on the left-hand side of the screen. While they have an archive of newsletters, the latest one is dated 2006 so I don't know if that is still a service they offer. I did notice that the Events link is current. There is a FAQ file, contact info for making feedback about the site, and a page of recommended links that seem like they would appeal to a wide range of interests. Overall, this light-hearted site gets to the heart of chick lit reader's advisory without being stuffy or pretentious!


USA Today snuck in an article about the genre of romance that some readers may find quite surprising! What do romance writers do in their spare time? Eloisa James is the pseudonym of Mary Bly, a Shakespeare scholar at Fordham University with degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale. If her name sounds familiar, you may have heard of her father Robert Bly, the famous American Poet. As if that is not enough, she is married to a Dante scholar at Rutgers who also happens to be an Italian knight, a cavaliere. If anyone was qualified to write historical fiction, it should be Mary Bly!

So don't be so hesitant to pick up that romance novel you've been might be missing a great read!

If you're interested, award-winning romance writer Gayle Wilson will be the featured speaker at our June 13th Brown Bag Lunch program. She'll share stories like these as well as some statistics on the readers and writers of romantic fiction!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Children's Book Author Lloyd Alexander Dies at Age 83

Read the USA Today report on how the prolific author of the Chronicles of Prydain succumbed to cancer on Thursday. All of Alexander's books are popular and may interest fantasy-loving readers who enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia and Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series! Also, one of the novels in the Chronicles of Prydain series, The Black Cauldron, was made into a popular animated feature! We are saddened to lose such an asset to children's literature.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The Summer Reading List is out for Mountain Brook Junior High and High School and WE ARE READY! For students going into 7th grade, stop by the Reference Desk and we'll show you the most important aisle for you this summer in the library! For everyone else, you know the drill :)

The Summer Reading aisle is divided by grade and within each grade you'll find fiction, nonfiction, and biography sections. There is a three ring binder with details, requirements, and any forms you may need to fill out for class--feel free to make copies!

We do keep a copy of the Summer Reading Lists for Altamont but the Summer Reading aisle is specifically collected for Mountain Brook City Schools. There is overlap between the two lists so many of the books you may be looking for may be found there.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Paperback Book Sale ! ! !

Tuesday May 22, 2007 the Friends of the Library will hold a special Beach Book Blowout Sale!

Before you leave on vacation, you HAVE to come by and get your beach reading selections. You can buy sunscreen or a toothbrush if you forget them, but you'll be hard pressed to find books at these low prices!


Friday, May 4, 2007

The People Who Shaped Our World

Time magazine has published their list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent, and moral example are transforming the world.

The list is categorized by

I peeked at the first few in each category and there are some interesting people I've never heard of. From the main page there are also lists for philanthropists, viewer commentary, and (on the amusement side) the Time Alt 100, chosen by a more non-traditional panel of...ahem... experts :)


Photos from the Alexander McCall Smith

We have some great photos from our author event. This past Sunday Western Supermarkets sponsored a fantastic author event with the best-selling writer Alexander McCall Smith whose series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency has been translated into over 39 languages and sold over seven million copies worldwide.

Mr. McCall Smith was charming, funny and everything this library and his fans hoped he would be. His talk "The Very Small Things Of Life" won the crowd over.

Here are some great photos of the event ...

Our director, Sue Murrell, with the author, Alexander McCall Smith this past Sunday.

Our Adult Services Department with the author just after the signing. Mary Donlevy (front left - in black) , one of our librarians, received a poem from Mr. McCall Smith that he had just written after his talk.

We heard from our local bookstore, Jonathan Benton, that they sold out of all his children's books they brought, as well as his new book The Good Husband of Zebra Drive.

Again we would like to thank Western Supermarkets for sponsoring such a great event. Our library and its patrons truly enjoyed this special afternoon!

If you would like information on future events such as this one, or the Western Supermarkets annual Wine Event, please email our Adult Services Librarian, Katie M. at


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Khaled Hosseini

Can he do it again?

Hosseini's new book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is due out May 22 and I for one am anxiously looking forward to it. If you haven't read The Kite Runner, climb out from under your rock and read it before the 22nd. These two books are not part of a series, but I would be very surprised if TKR does not become one of the greatest classics of this first decade of the 21st century. I do have a slight tendency toward melodrama, but I'm fervent about this title.

As usual, USA Today's Book section featured an interview with Hosseini, who talked about his motivation and muse for writing A Thousand Splendid Suns. Personally, I'll be buying a copy for my personal library as soon as it comes out and wishing it could be autographed like my copy of TKR :)


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Library to Host Jewish Literature Series!

Big news for Emmet O’Neal Library - we will host a free five-part reading and discussion series called “Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature – Identity and Imagination” starting in June.

The series explores Jewish literature and culture through scholar-led discussions of contemporary and classic books on the theme of “Your Heart’s Desire: Sex & Love in Jewish Literature.” Emmet O'Neal Library is one of over 250 libraries nationwide receiving grants to host the series developed by Nextbook and the American Library Association (ALA). Local support for the series is provided by the Levite Jewish Community Center.

The first program will explore Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth and will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.

Additional books will be discussed once per month at the library. These books are

  • The Little Disturbance of Man by Grace Paley, on July 31st at 10:00 a.m.
  • A Simple Story by S.Y. Agnon on August 28th at 10:00 a.m.
  • The Lover by A.B. Yehoshua on September 25th at 10:00 a.m., and, lastly
  • The Mind-Body Problem by Rebecca Goldstein on October 30th at 10:00 a.m.
All of these titles can be found at Emmet O’Neal Library. Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss of Temple Emanu-El will lead a discussion of the book at each session. This is the second time that Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss and The Emmet O’Neal Library have received such a grant from ALA and Nextbook for a Jewish Literature Series.

For details or to register, please visit or contact Katie Moellering at 445-1118 or

Bring Your Lunch and Join Us!

Looking for something fun to do on a Wednesday afternoon? Want to get out of the heat? Meet new friends? Then you absolutely shouldn't miss our Brown Bag lunch series!

We meet every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. for lunch and a film or speaker.
We have a GREAT line-up for May!

This week and next we'll watch the controversial film by documentary filmaker Michael Moore about the Bush administration and its relationship with the Saudi government.

Beyond the film - we'll have a real treat this month, as we have three speakers for our Brown Bag Series:

Wed. May 16th - We'll hear from the authors of The Visitor at Winter Chapel. Frank Sikora and Michelle Batcheler are two local authors who came together through a serendipitous meeting to write this book.

Wed. May 23rd - James Spann
ABC 33/40 weather man James Spann will be here at the library to speak about global warming from a meteorologist's perspective, don't miss it! We have heard about global warming this year from local author Jane Trechsel who spoke in March. If you'll remember, we also saw Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth.

Wed. May 30th - Finances and investments are hot topics in the lives of people today as most everyone becomes focused on retirement. Our speaker for today, local author and financial consultant Zach Ivey, will share insights and information that you may need to know and will also give us a glimpse into his recently published book, Truly Rich, about life's riches beyond monetary wealth.

We need your help!

Please let me know if you have a great idea for future Brown Bag Lunch series programming. This is your library too and we want to know what you're interested in! Post your comments and suggestions here about what you'd like to see @Your Library!

If you would like to be on our mailing list to recieve monthly calendars of library programming for adults and teens, email me with your name and address ( or sign up at a Brown Bag Lunch program.

Katie M.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tolkien-mania Returning???

USA Today's Book Buzz section had a great article today about the new Tolkien novel. Started in 1918 by J.R.R. Tolkien and abandoned before completion, The Children of Hurin was finished by his son Christopher and now boasts a staggering 900,000 copies in print world-wide! This prequel to the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy may also be optioned for film in the future if the reading audience is receptive to the novel.

Visit our website or give us a ring at 445-1121 (0r 1122) to reserve a copy today!