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Leviathan, Have You Read It?!

Leviathan, the newest book from Scott Westerfeld, is all about an alternative history. It is the ultimate face-off between the German Clankers with their advanced machinery and the British Darwinists with their crossbred animals. Steampunk writing at its best, this book is certain to take you for an adventure.

In honor of Teen Tech Week, join the discussion here and post a question, response, or review of Leviathan to be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Elegant Enigmas

Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey by Karen Wilkin

While by no means an exhaustive collection of Gorey's works, this collection includes lots of information about Gorey himself and the many collaborators with whom he worked. The art included here is based around an exhibition of the same title which was shown at the Brandywine River Museum. Wilkin is a Gorey scholar and writes about many facets of Gorey as a person, including his influences, his attitudes, and his personality. Having been a fan of his work since I was a child, this glimpse into what he was like was quite interesting.

A Good Ol' Book

I don't even follow stock car racing, and I am tearing through this entertaining history of NASCAR. The focus is on the first fully televised Daytona 500 in 1979, but other fascinating characters and times are highlighted along the way. Sometimes a subtitle says it all. Since this title has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, I'll let it speak for itself: He crashed me so I crashed him back: the true story of the year the King, Jaws, Earnhardt, and the rest of NASCAR's feudin', fightin', good ol' boys put stock car racing on the map

Incarceron

Incarceron is one of the more wildly imaginative books I've read in a while. Forests made out of metal, airships inside, and animals that might have a bit wiring weaved into their veins. The narrative winds between a boy trapped inside a futuristic, living prison and a girl on the outside, in a faux 17th century world, trying to get him out. The outside world has outlawed technology and everyone is forced to live "in period", though occasionally people cheat, which makes for some intersting scenes...like a scullery maid secretly whipping out a laser wand to get rid of her wrinkles... Try this for a fresh, original fantasy.

Atomic Ranch

Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes by Michelle Gringeri-Brown, photographs by Jim Brown

As the owner of a ranch home, I'm quite familiar with the challenges and charms of this modest style. I'm quite happy to have a smaller footprint (both literally and in terms of sustainability) but it can take some clever thinking to make the most of limited space. The houses profiled here range from full-on retro to classic mid-century modern to sleek contemporary, and common ranch architectural features are also profiled.

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.

Felties

Felties: How to Make 18 Cute and Fuzzy Friends by Nelly Pailloux

Felt is such a versatile and easy to work with material. It's perfect for small projects like these adorable felt figures. You only need some basic hand-sewing skills and you can whip up a passel of pals from felt and materials you probably have around the house.

The Knitter's Book of Wool

The Knitter's Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber by Clara Parkes
Wool is one of the most-used fibers for knitting and this book contains all the info you could possibly want to know. There are dozens of varieties of wool outlined here, as well as advice for handling and use and twenty patterns that show off the beauty of this natural fiber.

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).

Aware Knits

Aware Knits: Knit & Crochet Projects for the Eco-Conscious Stitcher by Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong
Many popular knitting patterns are designed to take advantage of and show off the myriad of man-made fibers available today, but a lot of crafters prefer to be more environmentally responsible. The patterns in this book are designed to highlight the beauty of natural fibers and even some creative materials like reused newspaper. These projects are not only eco-conscious, they are lovely and useful.

Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) is considered the first African American woman to become a millionaire. She was orphaned at age 7 and raised by her older brother. She was widowed in 1887 with one daughter after 6 years of marriage and began working as a washerwoman in St. Louis, Missouri. It was here that she developed and started selling a line of hair care products. In 1905 she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she met and married Charles J. Walker, a newspaper man. Walker demonstated and sold her products door-to-door in African American communities. She trained women to establish their own businesses for selling her hair care products and other cosmetics. The "Walker Agents" were soon well-known in the United States and the Caribbean.

What Has Your Library Done For You?

Are you a woman who has a life-changing story about your library? Would you be willing to share it with others? If yes, consider entering the Woman's Day/American Library Association essay contest. Up to four winners will have their essays published in an upcoming Woman's Day issue. Good luck!

Knit Along with Debbie Macomber

Knit Along with Debbie Macomber: Summer on Blossom StreetKnit Along with Debbie Macomber: Summer on Blossom Street

Debbie Macomber's Blossom Street books have many fans and now you can knit and crochet ten projects inspired by the series. This book is designed with ease in mind - the print is large and you can easily refer back to the patterns without losing track of the stitches on your needles. The patterns are simple yet elegant and range from beginner to intermediate skill level.

Glamour Dogs

Glamour DogsGlamour Dogs by Catherine Ledner

Are you a dog person? Or someone who appreciates the art of photography? This book is a stunning gallery of beautiful dogs of all shapes and sizes. My favorite is Petunia the Boston Terrier - how about you?

Omnibus Evil

Check out the first two of our newly arrived Star Wars omnibus comic collections — close to 400 pages of jedi goodness. It's the type of book that just feels good to hold in your hands, and it doesn't hurt that the comics are good too. Rise of the Sith and Menace Revealed give you each a taste of dark jedi and bounty hunters alike. Yeah, you get the familiar good guys thrown in there, like Qui-Gon and Mace Windu, trying to save the day, but be honest, it's the bad guys that have you hooked. It's o.k. I won't tell anyone you've joined the dark side. It'll be our little secret. Take a peek.

George Washington Carver

Carver was born about 1864 and lived until 1943. His work as a scientist won him international fame for his agricultural research. He was especially noted for his work with peanuts. He made more than 300 products from peanuts, including a milk subsitute, face powder, ink, and soap. Carver also created more than 75 products from pecans and over 100 products from sweet potatoes. In addition, he developed a synthetic marble from wood shaving along with many other products. His achivements enabled poor Southern farmers to grow crops that would sustain them instead of just cotton. In 1910, he became head of Tuskegee's Department of Research and gave his life savings to this institute.

Mixology 101

Mixed drinks have undergone a massive revival. High end restaurant menus often have artisanal cocktails listed with specific and detailed ingredients. Old drinks have been refashioned and new beverages created by cutting edge bartenders, often called mixologists. Why not try creating these luscious libations in your own home?