Noe Valley Voice April 2009

More Books to Read

The Library--Your Place for Escape

Not everyone visiting the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Library reads Proust, or tomes translated from the Norwegian. So Voice literary scout Karol Barske, in honor of April foolishness, has picked a few odd ducks for this month's list of new adult titles. The children's volumes, on the other hand, were chosen by librarian Carol Small, and they relate to the usual subjects, such as dragons, dinosaurs, and playing with dirt. To check out the books--or CDs or DVDs-- escape to the library at 451 Jersey Street. Note that the branch is open Tuesday through Sunday (see hours below) and librarians Small, Susan Higgins, or Alice McCloud will be glad to help you. To get information from your sofa, call 415-355-5707 or go to


Adult Fiction

- Cream Puff Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery with Recipes, by Joanne Fluke, includes 20 recipes woven into a tale of a bakery owner who discovers a body on the floor at her new gym and a cream puff that links the murder to her part-time boyfriend.

- Nick Rawlings is a handsome gun-for-hire who sets out to kill Satan in He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot, Stephanie Rowe's follow-up to Date Me Baby, One More Time.

- In Dwayne Joseph's mystery Home Wrecker, Lisette finds a successful career helping wives get divorces by setting up a sting on their cheating husbands--that is, until she meets a client who is as manipulative as she is.

- No-nonsense physicist Portia inadvertently summons a spirit while attending a "fairy ring" in England, and winds up being kidnapped by a half-angel, half-human, in The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires by Katie MacAlister.

Adult Nonfiction

- Bruce Lansky offers an extensive list of 60,000+ Baby Names, including the most popular in the U.S. in 2007 (according to the Social Security Administration): Jacob, Michael, Ethan, Joshua, and Daniel; and Emily, Isabella, Emma, Ava, and Madison.

- A 17-year-old finalist on American Idol discusses his life before and after the show, in Dancing to the Music in My Head by Sanjaya Malakar, with Alan Goldsher.

Children's Fiction

- Pamela Edwards read-aloud book describes all the steps it took to build Jack and Jill's Treehouse. Ages 3 to 6.

- Thirty-three characters of the Chinese alphabet come to life when Lin searches for her runaway friend, in The Pet Dragon: A Story About Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters by Christoph Niemann. Ages 6 to 8.

- Patricia McKissack's Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt tells about generations of Alabama women quiltmakers and their struggles for freedom. Ages 6 to 9.

- Bruce Coville, author of the Magic Shop Books series, offers a collection of nine curious tales in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe, in Oddest of All. Ages 10 and up.

Children's Nonfiction

- In 1902, paleontologist Barnum Brown followed a map to the Montana Badlands, where he dug up dinosaur fossils, in Finding the First T-Rex by Kathleen W. Zoehfeld. Ages 7 to 9.

- Paulette Bourgeois' The Dirt on Dirt takes a look at earth, mud, soil, and grime, and its importance to our planet; fun things to do with dirt are included. Ages 7 to 10.

Annotations by Karol Barske, of the Voice staff


The Life and Work of Van Gogh

- Local author and educator Marlene Aron brings her popular lecture and slide show on "The Life and Work of Vincent Van Gogh" to the Noe Valley Library on Tuesday, April 7. Aaron will present more than 100 slides, including drawings and photographs from the 19th-century Dutch painter's early years. Aaron says few people are aware that "Van Gogh had a deep love and sympathy for the less fortunate, the poor, the working class. He was a lonely, brilliant man who created over 2,000 works of art and wrote over 800 letters in the last 10 years of his life. He had deep religious convictions, studied Eastern philosophy and religion, including Buddhism. He read, wrote and spoke in four languages fluently." The event will be held in the community room at 451 Jersey St. from 7 to 8 p.m.

Toddler Tales

- Treat your baby or toddler, age 18 months to 3 years old, to books, rhymes, music, and motion at Toddler Tales, offered on Tuesdays, April 7, 14, and 28, at 10:15 a.m.

Family Story Time

- The library invites you to Family Story Time, a read-aloud program for children 5 and younger, on Tuesdays, April 7, 14, and 28, from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Films for Kids

- Kids ages 3 to 5 are invited to come watch a half-hour of Short Films on Tuesday, April 21, starting at 10:15 a.m. The program will repeat at 11 a.m.

All events take place at the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Branch Library at 451 Jersey Street, between Castro and Diamond streets. For information, call 355-5707.