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Guns for Hire


[a:Robert B. Parker] switches from mysteries to westerns in [k:Appaloosa,and Parker|Appaloosa] and creates his finest novel in years. All of his trademark humor, themes and inimitable dialogue are here but are refreshed and enhanced in this setting. Fans will enjoy trying to decide how much Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch resemble Spenser and Hawk. I could easily imagine this story as an episode on the old “Gunsmoke” series or as a script for a [k: Western films, Peckinpah|Sam Peckinpah movie].

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New Non-fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (July 24, 2005)


At #4 is [a:Bob Woodward|Bob Woodward's] [t:secret man|The Secret Man]: the story of Deep Throat.

At #6 is [a:Bernard Goldberg|Bernard Goldberg's] [t:100 people who are screwing up America|100 people who are screwing up America (and Al Franken is #37)]: Paris Hilton made the list. She is "the most vapid, empty-headed, inane, hollow, vain, tasteless, self-centered, useless twerp in the entire country." Dwight Garner of The New York Times quipped "I bet she puts that on a T-shirt."

At #12 is [a:James Frey, 1969|James Frey's] [b:1244682|My Friend Leonard]: Leonard is his mobster guardian as Frey tries to rehab from alcohol, drugs, and prison.

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Who was Mary Lamb?


Mary Lamb certainly wasn't the little girl who brought her snow white lamb to school. This little Lamb was an English writer who suffered a breakdown and wound up stabbing her mother to death with a carving knife. Amazingly, after this act of violence, Lamb was released into the care of her younger brother, Charles. The brother and sister remained together for the next 40 years writing together. Read her story in [t:The Devil Kissed Her: The Story of Mary Lamb].

You'll never hear that childhood song the same again.

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Memory of Running, by Ron McLarty


You think [k:Lance Armstrong|Lance Armstrong] has a tough gig on the [|Tour de France]?

That’s nothing compared to Smithy Ide’s odyssey across America. In [k:Ron McLarty|Ron McLarty’s] terrific [t:Memory of Running], 43 year old Viet Nam vet Smithy is a gentle wreck of a human being. A star athlete in a Rhode Island high school, he ballooned to nearly 300 alcoholic pounds after he was discharged from the military to recover from 23 bullet wounds. When his parents die in a car accident, Ide attends their service in a drunken stupor and then climbs aboard his old high school bicycle and starts pedaling. His destination: California, to search for his sister, lost to the ravages of schizophrenia.

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New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (July 31, 2005)


Popular authors return to the list this week with new summer releases.

At #1 is [k:Gross, Andrew, Lifeguard|Lifeguard] by [k:James Patterson, 1947|James Patterson] & [a:Andrew Gross]: a $5 million heist at a Florida resort goes wrong.

At #3 is [t:Until I Find You] by [a:Irving,John, 1942|John Irving]: the life and loves of movie star Jack Burns.

At #5 is [t:Origin in Death] by [a:J.D. Robb] ([a:Nora Roberts]): Lt. Eve Dallas investigates the double murder of cosmetic surgeons in 2059.

At #10 is [k:New Iberia, Crusader's Cross|Crusader’s Cross] by [a:James Lee Burke]: Dave Robicheaux searches for a serial killer in Louisiana.

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The Year of the Year in Non-fiction Book Titles


After a spell when John Doe: a Biography seemed the favorite form for titles, this year the trend is to use a year as the title with a descriptive subtitle.

[b:1241567|1066: the Hidden History in the Bayeau Tapestry] by [a:Andrew Bridgeford]

[b:1249583|1453: the Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West] by [a:Roger Crowley]

[b:1248260|1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus] by [a:Charles C. Mann]

[b:1235701|1759: the Year Britain Became Master of the World] by [a:Frank McLynn]

[b:1243119|1776] by [a:David G. McCullough]

[b:1229390|1812: the War That Forged a Nation] by [a:Walter R. Borneman]

[b:1243120|1942: the Year That Tried Men’s Souls] by [a:Winston Groom]

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Beach Reads


[|] continues to feature a sizzling beach read every week through August 19th.

Here is the latest pick: [a: Monroe, Mary Alice|Mary Alice Monroe] and her delightful novel [t: Sweetgrass].

Read an [|excerpt] from the novel, an interview with Mary Alice, and find out about her interest in environmental conservation. She currently lives with her family in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

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Eating your words

[cover_image]0195174062|12368222 [/cover_image]

I love food. I love words. This combination obsession has led me to spend entirely too much time wandering a certain online [| food dictionary]. But now there is something I can finger through from the comfort of my bed, or on the bus, or anywhere: [t:Eating Your Words] by William Grimes.

This book includes a full page list of cooking methods and on a sweeter note, a list of cookies (ever hear of a rugelach, or a springerle?). Wondering about muffuletta? Looking for a definition of "variety meats"? This might be the book for you.

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Faulkner Factoids


Did you know that:

[a:Faulkner, William|William Faulkner] faked a British accent and forged letters of recommendation in order to get accepted into the Royal Canadian Air Force?

William Faulkner worked at Oxford University as a Postmaster?

William Faulkner got his start as a novelist when his friend [a:Anderson, Sherwood|Sherwood Anderson] encouraged him to abandon poetry for fiction? When Faulkner agreed to this path, Anderson said he’d talk up [b:1024072|Soldier’s Pay], Faulkner’s first effort, as long as Faulkner didn’t make him read it.

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First Lady of the Press


Appearing on Fresh Air July 21, 2005 · Helen Thomas has been covering the White House for 62 years. She gives us an inside look at the White House Press Room and comments on the recent scandals surrounding the Valerie Plame name leak and the possible involvement of White House deputy chief of staff [k:Karl Rove]. The library has several books by [a:Helen Thomas].