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The May list of good reads at the San Francisco Public Library is provided by Children's Librarian Pam Ow and Voice bookworm Karol Barske. To reserve a book, call or stop by a local branch or visit the library online at www.sfpl.org. Be aware that the Noe ValleySally Brunn Library on Jersey Street is closed for renovation until early 2008. For information, call 557-4400.
- A neurotic woman falls in love with a narcissistic man in Him Her Him Again The End of Him, by Patricia Marx, a New Yorker contributor and former writer for Saturday Night Live.
- Poppy Z. Brite's latest foodie mystery, Duck: A Tale of Men, Birds, and One's Purpose in Life, is set in a New Orleans that never experienced Hurricane Katrina.
- An aristocratic young Englishman emigrates to Manhattan's Bowery district in 1848 in search of "enlightenment, vulgarity, and democracy in action," in Heyday by Kurt Andersen, cofounder of Spy magazine.
- Fay Weldon, author of The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, discusses seven sources of happiness and four threats to it, in What Makes Women Happy.
- The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and Why, by Washington Post columnist Jabari Asim, offers a historical account of depictions of African Americans in popular culture over the past 400 years.
- David Mamet critiques "corrupt and cutthroat" Hollywood, in Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business.
- Senator John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry collaborate to document the ecological challenges ahead, in This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future.
- Sean Wilsey, son of San Francisco socialites Pat Montandon and Al Wilsey, spares no one in his memoir Oh, the Glory of It All, least of all his stepmother, local philanthropist Dede Wilsey.
- Barbaro: A Nation's Love Story, by Tom Philbin and Pamela K. Brodowsky, celebrates the horse that won the 2006 Kentucky Derby but ended his racing career with a fractured leg in the Preakness Stakes.
--Karol Barske, Noe Valley Voice staff
- Charlotte Voake celebrates the individuality of each twin, Simon and Charlotte, and their happy sibling connection, in Hello Twins. Ages 3 to 5.
- Linda Sue Park's bouncy, rhyming text and Ho Baek Lee's appealing illustrations tell of a Korean girl's eager anticipation of her mom's delicious Bee-Bim Bop! (mix-mix rice). A recipe is included. Ages 4 to 7.
- A boy who wanted an active pet comes to appreciate his quiet one, in Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett, with digital artwork by Noah Z. Jones. Ages 5 to 8.
- Welcome a new, endearing pig protagonist, Ernest, the intelligent peacemaker among Grampa Bender's family of pets, including Gabby, a loquacious mynah bird, and the young cat, Milly. Grampa, a veterinarian who runs a animal boardinghouse, sets off a family crisis when he brings home a mysterious fire survivor, in Joan Carris' beguiling short novel, Welcome to the Bed & Biscuit, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.Also a fine read-aloud book. Ages 7 to 9.
- Jin Wang, the only Chinese-American at his new school, just wants to fit in; he befriends Wei-Chen, newly arrived from Taiwan. Chin-Kee, who seems to embody classic Chinese stereotypes, visits Danny, his Caucasian cousin, with embarrassing results. American Born Chinese, a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, with color by Lark Pien, weaves these parallel stories together. Winner of the 2007 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Ages 12 and older.
- Lynne Truss focuses our attention on the grammatical importance of the comma in Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why Commas Really Do Make a Difference!, humorously illustrated by Bonnie Timmons' watercolor cartoons. Ages 6 to 8.
--Pam Ow, Children's Librarian, Eureka ValleyHarvey Milk Memorial Branch Library
Lapsits and Stories for Kids
- You and your baby or toddler will enjoy song, rhymes, and finger play at the 10:15 a.m. lapsits, held on Tuesdays, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, at Bethany United Methodist Church, 1268 Sanchez St. Preschool story time, for children ages 3 to 5, follows at 11 a.m., also on May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29.
- Kids of all ages might want to check out the San Francisco Library's Bookmobile, parked at 665 Elizabeth Street near Diamond Street on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.