30 November 2011
29 November 2011
Don't Blame the Devil!
Lizan Mitchell, narrator
adult humorous fictionhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
African American fiction
Hold on to your wig! You are in for a wild ride when Delilah DuPree comes your way! This sassy 60 something year old can be mistaken for Lena Horne in her looks and singing, but heaven help us when Delilah loses her temper. Through a series of bad choices Delilah is without a car and without a family. She encounters her ex-husband, her son, and her granddaughter through chance or is it God's providence?
Either way, they are wise to her devilish ways and cautious. Will Delilah have a happy ending or be cast off as a sinner? This audiobook is hilarious and earthy in its treatment of the modern Christian African American church and the narrator does a whiz-bang job of giving each character his or her own voice.
“Librarians, Dusty, possess a vast store of politeness. These are people who get asked regularly the dumbest questions on God's green earth. These people tolerate every kind of crank and eccentric and mouth breather there is.”
― Garrison Keillor, Dusty and Lefty, The Lives of Cowboys
Dusty and Lefty, The Lives of Cowboys
Keillor does what he does best - blend homespun humor and tidbits of wisdom in telling American tales. The subjects of this collection of stories are two modern day cowboys - Dusty and Lefty - and their adventures with townfolk and other nuisances. For librarians, track number 6 is a "must listen" as Dusty and Lefty go undercover as librarians at the New York Public Library. Keillor uses positive and negative stereotypes to his humorous advantage.
Canada in Colours
board book, children's prose, ages 0-3
Happy cartoon animals and pretty landscapes show the colors of our neighbor to the north. Of course, these are Canadian animals - moose, bear, beaver, etc. It shows places like the prairies and the St. Lawrence and Prince Edward Islands.
For the places I had visited it was a nice reminder and for those I have not yet visited, it served as an inspiration to plan a trip. Hail, Canada! May your beauty last forever!
It seems that this book could be re-issued as a coloring book as well since the images are simple.
Three Cups of Deceit
Krakauer is one of my favorite adventure authors (up there with Will Hobbs, Gary Paulsen and Jack London). When I read "Three Cups of Tea" I thought of his writing. In this slim book (75 pages) Krakauer refutes the claims by Greg Mortenson that he was saved from death by Sherpas, that he build a number of schools, and more.
Although Krakauer acknowledges that Mortenson did some of the things he said, through interviews with the same people that Mortenon quoted and through investigative reporting, Krakauer tells (in the words of Paul Harvey) "the rest of the story".
Mortenson exaggerated or completely fabricated events to make his adventures sound more courageous and newsworthy. He also used money from his non-profit organization in ways that could be criticized by his donors. He ran (and continues to run) the Central Asian Institute as an erratic dictator. Maybe he has spent too much time around leaders who act badly.
That being said, both Mortenson and Krakauer write compelling works. We may have to re-classify Mortenson's as fiction, rather than nonfiction.
23 November 2011
Irish Folk Tales for Children
The Patchwork Quilt
by Sharon Kennedy
audiobooks for children of all ages
Both of these books on CD would be great for listening to in the car with family members of all ages. Sharon narrates a tale and there is music in the background during the time in between stories and for some special effects during the stories. The stories themselves are somewhat familiar, but this author has her own flair. I enjoyed the Irish tales more than the world stories on "The Patchwork Quilt". (After all, her name is KENNEDY and she does mention that her ancestors were Irish).
Ironically, it is "The Patchwork Quilt", not the "Irish Folk Tales" that was nominated for a Grammy award. Everyone is entitle to his or her own opinion. Mine is at odds with the committee.
With all of the stories I certainly didn't want to turn them off mid-story and had to listen to them in their entirety. Each story is 2 - 22 minutes long.
I have not spoken with anyone who has listened to this artist live, but based on the CD's I would hire her for my library program. She is out of Massachusetts.
21 November 2011
12 November 2011
“Harry Potter, he sends a message on Owl Mail while us poor old muggles have to make do with instantaneous emails and texting. Oh, if only we could be like you Harry Potter, with your four day owl delivery!”
― Craig Ferguson
09 November 2011
Princess and the Swineheard
Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrated by Palle Bregnhoi
Children's fiction, ages 5-9.
Somewhere I saw a reference to this H. C. Andersen tale and I did not recall this story, so I checked out the one version that our library had in storage (copyright 1971).
The illustrations are woodcuts. The text is awkwardly translated, making it tricky for my 7 year old "test reader" to read out loud. At one point, some court ladies speak in French, which, again, was confusing for the 7 year old.
Here is the plot: A stuck up princess refuses the extravagant gifts of a suitor prince, so he disguises himself as a pig tender and sets about to charm her. She proves herself to be, indeed, snobby.
The tale is amusing as the pig boy gets the princess to kiss him, but I would recommend a differently translated and illustrated version.