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A craft book on recycling old sweaters and an essay collection about friendships among women are among the San Francisco Public Library gems highlighted this month by children's librarian Pam Ow and Noe Valley Voice bookworm Karol Barske. If you'd like to reserve a book, call your favorite branch or visit the Library's web site, www.sfpl.org. You may also check out the Bookmobile, which is parked in front of St. Philip's School at Elizabeth and Diamond streets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Note: The Noe ValleySally Brunn Library, 451 Jersey Street, is closed for seismic repairs until late 2007. For information about the renovation, call 557-4353.
Twelve American tourists on a Himalayan journey find the road to Burma is paved with "less than honorable intentions, questionable food, and tribal curses," in Amy Tan's Saving Fish From Drowning.
Resourceful Henry Smart leaves behind a life of crime in Dublin (and his wife in jail), travels to America, and helps Louis Armstrong's musical career, in Oh, Play That Thing, Roddy Doyle's follow-up to A Star Called Henry.
In the new essay collection Stranger Than Fiction, journalist/author Chuck Palahniuk (best known for his novel Fight Club) covers a variety of weird subjects, including Marilyn Manson, Juliette Lewis, submariners, and his own father's murder.
Edited by Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell, The Friend Who Got Away is a collection of 20 women's "true-life tales of friendships that blew up, burned out, or faded away."
In The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World, archaeologist Robert McGhee explores the climate and inhabitants of the far north.
Tama Janowitz, author of Slaves of New York, tells fond tales of that other great coastal city, in Area Code 212: New York Days, New York Nights.
--Karol Barske, Noe Valley Voice staff
Find out if Maisy the mouse and her four friends will be able to fit inside their tent, in Maisy Goes Camping by Lucy Cousins. Ages 2 to 5.
In a garden near Beijing, The Pea Blossom yields five peas, each with its own dream and destiny, in Amy Lowry Poole's retelling of a Hans Christian Andersen tale, with her delicate watercolor paintings. Ages 5 to 8.
David Biedrzycki wittily relates the adventure of Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective, who is on the trail of the missing Queenie Bee amidst the insect inhabitants of Motham City. Ages 7 to 9.
Read Butterflies by Martin Schwabacher before visiting the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers' Butterfly Zone exhibit. Ages 8 to 10.
Dip into the collection of stories, memories, advice, poems, and drawings in Guys Write for Guys Read, edited by Jon Scieszka, for glimpses into 91 authors' and artists' experiences of boyhood. Ages 11 to 14.
Unleash your crafting creativity by recycling and transforming clothing into items such as mittens, hats, and purses, as seen in Second-Time Cool: The Art of Chopping Up a Sweater, by Anna-Stina Lindén Ivarsson, and others. Ages 12 and up.
--Pam Ow, Children's Librarian, Eureka Valley Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library
Stories & Lapsits
Bethany United Methodist Church, at the corner of Sanchez and Clipper streets, is now offering space for the Noe Valley Library's weekly programs for children. This month's lapsits, for newborns to 3-year-olds, will be held Tuesdays, July 11, 18, and 25, at 10:15 a.m. Preschool story time, for kids ages 3 to 5, takes place at 11 a.m., also on Tuesdays, July 11, 18, and 25.
Meanwhile, the Eureka Valley and other local libraries, along with the Main Branch, host a variety of lapsits, lectures, and special events, for both children and adults. Go to www.sfpl.org for complete listings.