Monday, August 21, 2006

Preview Shelf -- Thirteen Local Businesses are Sponsors!

Yes, local sponsors are providing great prizes for weekly drawings in the Crawfordsville District Public Library's summer adult reading program. As 34 patrons read books on four different routes from the East to the West coast and a final book on Indiana, one whose name is drawn is receiving a special prize each week. Come see the colorful countdown display on the south wall. The literary-savvy businesses shown helping the cause are Arni's, Campbell's on Main, College Street Deli, heathcliffe, Maggie's Angels, La Rose on Main, Milligans Flowers and Gifts, Nogginz, Pace Dairy, Schloot Furniture, Staples, Top Line Athletics, and Visible Changes Hair Salon. By August 14th, 25 patrons crossed the Mississippi for grab bags; Friends of the Library workers are donating book-sale funds for the Grand Prize. Such community generosity is encouraging patrons to spend this summer as bibliophiles, profiting from the huge collection of reading available at 205 S. Washington Street.

Now, here is some new nonfiction. Two books for brides and grooms are Pretty Weddings for Practically Pennies by Catherine Risling and Accessorizing the Bride by Norma Shephard, showing vintage wedding finery through the decades. Building the Titanic by Rod Green is the Reader's Digest history of the famous ocean liner. Coroner's Journal by Louis Catraldie is his story of work in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, from 1998 to 2003, showing how he stalked death in the Deep South's small city with big-city problems. For local basketball fans comes Landon Turner's Tales from the 1980-'81 (team) Indiana Hoosiers. Fantasyland is Sam Walker's season spent on baseball's lunatic fringe, when he traveled 19,000 miles spending $10,000 to play in Tout Wars, an unusual baseball league, to answer "Can excellence be predicted by statistics or is the human element more important?" State Fair by Arthur Grace is composed of text and black and white photos with the flavor and uniqueness of this annual celebration in 10 states. Forbidden Faith by Richard Smoley explains Gnostics, their history, and their ideas that keep reappearing throughout history, from roots in the Gospel of Thomas discovered in Egypt. Weird U.S. is a travel guide to America's local legends in back roads of America, like rock formations, unusual roadside attractions, and best-kept secrets; it includes the Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis. The Book of the Dragon by Ciruelo (Cabral), is a glimpse, with sketches, of culture we imagine, including the beauty and terror of an unknown world. Farley Mowat's No Man's River tells an Arctic tale of his life among Metis trappers, native people struggling in a brutal environment. Elizabeth Peters' novel Tomb of the Golden Bird is about archaeology in Egypt and the sinister forces blended into its scenery. It's as if South Africa confronts its history in Lisa Fugard's Skinner's Drift about the family farm on a stretch of land where jackals and leopards roam. Sometimes you can tell more truth through fiction reads the cover of Richard Clarke's The Scorpion's Gate, and in his new geopolitical thriller the reader moves into a future concerned with realigning the map of the Middle East. Chieh Chieng's A Long Stay in a Distant Land covers three generations of a wayward family, and the unexpected ways culture, love, and myth work to sustain and threaten family ties. Call to Arms by Livia Hallam visits Charleston, South Carolina as its secession ordinance is signed in 1860 and the story of young students and friends highlights the battle of Fort Sumter and other battles to come. In Wild Animus by Rich Shapero a young man rejects his normal life to follow an inner calling to the Alaskan wilderness.

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