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madame librarian's Blog

Core Standards for K-12 Students

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers has, as part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), presented the K-12 standards's draft which is now available for public comment. The draft standards, developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, seeks to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce. Public comment is encouraged and can be made until Friday, April 2, 2010.

Murder Will Out

To demonstrate their tremendous enthusiasm for crime, mystery, and thriller fiction, the British are planning their first National Crime Fiction Week, to run from June 14 to 20, 2010. This event is sponsored by the Crime Writers Association. CWA members will take part in readings, discussions, readers' group events and workshops all over the country. Your favorite authors are already planning Murders in Libraries, Bodies in Bookshops and Strawberries and Crime at Village Fetes. For more information check out the National Crime Fiction Week website.

Strand Magazine Critics Awards Nominees

The Strand Magazine has announced its nominees for the 2009 Strand Magazine Critics Awards. The awards will be presented in the categories of Best Novel and Best First Novel at an invitation-only cocktail party, hosted by The Strand on July 7, 2010, in New York City.

Coming to PBS: Sherlock Holmes & Aurelio Zen Mysteries

MASTERPIECE on PBS and BBC Worldwide Sales and Distribution, Americas have announced a major co-production deal that includes Sherlock, a Sherlock Holmes with a 21st. century spin on it and three Aurelio Zen mysteries based on the series written by Michael Didbin (1947-2007).

My All-Time Favorite Movies

Citizen Kane [videodisc] Directed, written by, and starring Orson Welles. Technically the most innovative movie ever made. Still looks fresh and striking today.

Singin' in the rain [videodisc] Starring and co-directed by Gene Kelly. Best musical ever! Cant conceive as to how it could be improved.




Dick Francis, R.I.P.

Dick Francis, well-known author died at the age of 89 on Sunday, February 14. The author of best-selling mysteries, frequently involving horse racing, Mr. Francis was named to the Order of the British Empire and later made a commander. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America three times and was made a grand master, the group’s highest honor, in 1996. He also received the Diamond Dagger award, the highest honor of the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain, in 1990. Sport of Queens Mr. Francis' autobiography tells of his early days as a jockey for the Royal Family.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


The Swedish film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson’s phenomenon of a debut thriller, is set to open in U.S. theaters on March 19. Yes, it’s a subtitled flick.

Murder Will Out

If you are a fan of Dorothy L. Sayers and/or good British mystery television productions, you've probably watched the Lord Peter Wimsey series based on Ms. Sayer's books featuring English actor Ian Carmichael. The programs were broadcast during the 1970s on the BBC and later on PBS Mystery and are now available on DVD! Mr. Carmichael died this last week at age 89. The Guardian and BBC News both feature obituaries, and Kim Malo shares her memories of Carmichael in the blog Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room.

Happy Birthday, Hershey's Chocolate Company!

If you’re a chocolate lover, February 9 is no ordinary day — it’s the day that Hershey’s Chocolate Company was founded in 1894. Hershey’s was started by Milton S. Hershey, the son of a Mennonite family who had little formal education but went on to become one of the richest men in America. By 1905, Hershey had built a state-of-the art factory to mass-produce chocolate bars, wafers and other delicious delectables. By 1907, his company had cracked the code and created what would become their best-selling product: the Hershey’s kiss. Coincidentally (or not!), Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so celebrate by getting your sweetie some Hershey’s kisses and checking out a book about this American original.
2010 BookLetters LLC)

The Best of Times

Charles Dickens' birthday is February 7th (he'd be 198!), so this is the perfect month to read or reread a favorite novel by this beloved author. Whether you're picking up a well-thumbed copy of A Tale of Two Cities at the library or investing in a beautiful book like the new Penguin Classics clothbound edition of Great Expectations, you'll find yourself captivated by Dickens' intricate plots and eccentric casts of characters. If you're interested in the man himself, check out Michael Slater's new biography, titled simply Charles Dickens. (© 2010 BookLetters, LLC )

Murder Will Out - February 2010

Looking (literally) for a good DVD mystery series? These are a few of my favorites:

Alfred Hitchcock presents. Season one [videodisc] by Universal

Da Vinci's inquest. Season 1, Vol. 1 [videodisc] by Program Partners ; a Haddock Entertainment Barna-Alper production

Keen Eddie.

Father Dowling Creator Dead at 80

Prominent Catholic author, professor, and cultural commentator Ralph McInerny died last Thursday, January 29 at the age of 80. McInerny was the creator of the popular Father Dowling mystery series, which became a television series starring Tom Bosley and Tracie Nelson in the 80s. A prolific writer, McInerny also wrote the University of Notre Dame Mysteries, the Andrew Broom mysteries, and several books under the name Monica Quill.