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madame librarian's Blog

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.

Great Michigan Read: Stealing Buddha's Dinner

The Great Michigan Read program selection is Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen and this month the University of Michigan Library is hosting the Michigan Humanities Council’s traveling exhibit, Their Journey: Vietnamese in Michigan, which is on display February 1-24, 2010 (University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor) as well as a live webcast conversation on February 10 with Professor Peter Ho Davies and

A Personal View of the Bible

On Sunday, February 21 at 2:00PM in the University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library (Room 100/Gallery) Curator Kathryn Beam will share her personal memories of how the exhibit History of the Bible from Ancient Papyri to King James came to be and what the process has meant to her in Sharing a Personal View of the Bible Exhibit.

Sponsored by the University of Michigan Special Collections Library.

A History of the Bible Exhibit

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is currently hosting an exhibit: A History of the Bible from Ancient Papyri to King James at the Hatcher Graduate Library/Audubon Room/First Floor. The exhibit contains ancient Egyptian manuscripts on papyrus, Medieval manuscripts, and printed books. Follow a path of documents that lead to the creation of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.

Audubon Room Hours are Mon-Fri 8:30am-7:00PM, Sat 10:00AM-6:00PM, Sun 1:00-7:00PM
Shorter spring break hours begin February 27; see Hatcher Library/Audubon Room for more information.

Howard Zinn, Historian, Civil Rights Activist, Educator, Dead at 87

Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) an American historian and Professor of Political Science at Boston University from 1964 to 1988, died on Wednesday, January 27, 2010. He was the author of more than 20 books. Zinn was active in and wrote extensively about the African-American Civil Rights Movement 1955-1968, civil rights and civil liberties and peace movements. In his best-selling A People's History of the United States, "he concentrated on what he saw as the genocidal depredations of Christopher Columbus, the blood lust of Theodore Roosevelt and the racial failings of Abraham Lincoln.