Noe Valley Voice April 2004

Books in our Branch

This month's book list, chosen by Noe Valley librarians Carol Small and Wayne Donica, features tales from the Jack Kerouac School, an exposé of the Plum Island germ laboratory, and a book on the pros and cons of being a pirate. To find out which selections are available, call 695-5095, log onto, or visit the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Library at 451 Jersey Street near Castro. Besides books, the library has magazines, videos, DVDs, music CDs, and the archives and index to the Noe Valley Voice. You can also dive into the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, or peruse the library's collection of books in Spanish and works on women's history. Branch hours are Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesdays, 1 to 9 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays, 1 to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Adult Fiction

- In Daniel Silva's A Death in Vienna, spy Gabriel Allon is dispatched to investigate an explosion and conspiracy in the city where his wife and child have been killed.

- Jane Porter closes her New York City bakery and returns to her childhood home in Rhode Island to meet the daughter she gave up for adoption, in Dance with Me by Luanne Rice.

- In What We Lost, Dale Peck describes growing up poor on rural Long Island in the 1950s and sharing a one-room house with seven siblings, an abusive mother, and an alcoholic father.

Adult Nonfiction

- In When I Was Cool: My Life at the Jack Kerouac School, Sam Kashner tells how he got to know Beat writers Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and William Burroughs while attending the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in the mid-1970s.

- An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, by Washington insiders David Frum and Richard Perle, charts the right-wing agenda in the ongoing "War on Terrorism."

- Attorney Michael Christopher Carroll's Lab 257 describes the U.S. government's germ laboratory on Plum Island (near Long Island), where viral outbreaks and biological meltdowns have occurred regularly.

- Pete Rose discusses his record-breaking baseball career and the gambling problem that led to his imprisonment and many years in exile, in My Prison Without Bars.

- In foreign correspondent Neely Tucker's family memoir, Love in the Driest Season, bureaucratic red tape and cultural taboos thwart the adoption of a baby girl abandoned under a tree in Zimbabwe.

Children's Fiction

- A tugboat who must be a first cousin to Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could helps numerous big ships do what they need to do, in I'm Mighty! by Kate McMullan, illustrated by Jim McMullan. Ages 2 to 4.

- After several disappointing experiences, Harry meets Sam and they find they are kindred spirits in Hi, Harry! The Moving Story of How One Slow Tortoise Slowly Made a Friend, written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Barbara Firth. Ages 3 to 5.

- When a cat named Betty is introduced into Buster the dog's world, he is terrified until she rescues him from a scary situation, in Buster by Denise Fleming. Ages 3 to 5.

- With How I Became a Pirate, Melinda Long (author) and David Shannon (illustrator) give children a multifaceted view of the pirate's life, with some positives (singing sea chanteys, not having to eat vegetables), and some negatives (no bedtime stories, not getting tucked in at night). Ages 3 to 5.

- When Newton takes off his hat and lets Wizzie wear it, he shows that children are capable of empathy, in Holly Keller's What a Hat! Ages 4 to 6.

- In What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Robin Page and Steve Jenkins, a child can learn about diversity in the animal world while enjoying cut-paper collage illustrations of the text. Ages 5 to 7.

- In The Nine Lives of Aristotle by popular author Dick King-Smith, a lovable kitten with an inclination toward risky behavior finally settles down. Ages 6 to 9.

- In a 19th-century Wyoming Territory community where there is considerable bigotry and racial tension, a Caucasian boy and a Chinese-American boy form a forbidden friendship in Laurence Yep's The Traitor: Golden Mountain Chronicles, 1885. Ages 10 and up.


TV Turn-Off Week

- Mary Burke, M.D., discusses "Screen Media, Children's Development, and Mental Health," in observance of TV Turn-Off Week, on Wednesday, April 21, at 7 p.m.

Stories and Films for Kids

- Children 2 to 5 are invited to attend preschool story time at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, April 6, 13, and 27. Meanwhile, kids a bit older (3 to 5) can come watch short films at 10 and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20.