Friday, March 28, 2008

Museum of Hoaxes

With April Fools’ Day just around the corner, you might want to check out the The Museum of Hoaxes Web site. Its curator is Alex Boese, a 1991 graduate of Amehest, who also has an M.A. in the History of Science. The site lists the Top 100 April Fool's Hoaxes of All Times, including Burger King’s 1998 ad in USA Today promoting the “left-handed burger” or the 2002 announcement from a British grocery chain that it had developed a “whistling carrot.” For more reading on hoaxes you can try the books below:

Fooled You: Fakes and Hoaxes Through the Years by Elaine Pascoe

A Treasury of Deception by Michael Farquhar

The Museum of Hoaxes by Alex Boese

The Skeptics’ Dictionary by Robert Todd Carroll

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Edible Book Festivals

If you want to trek down to Decatur, Ga., this weekend, check out the Fifth Annual Edible Book Fest, hosted by Wordsmith Books on March 29. The festival honors edible art that has something to do with book shapes or content such as a scene or a character from a book, book covers or book structure. The ingredients must be edible and can be anything from chocolate to cheese or vegetables. Judges will select winners in a variety of categories, and prizes are awarded. All proceeds will benefit a literacy group in Atlanta.

Edible book festivals are an international phenomenon. In addition to the U.S., there have been edible book festivals in Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia and Hong Kong. You can see some of the previous year’s winners and learn about the history of the event at

Don’t Miss . . .
Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m. Kingstowne Library
Meet the Author. Lori Smith discusses her book, A Walk With Jane Austen: A Journey Into Adventure, Love, and Faith. Books available for signing and purchase. Cosponsored by the Friends of Kingstowne Library. Adults.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Persepolis and Other Works of Art

The graphic novel is no longer restricted to manga-crazed teens as the popularity of Marjane Satrapi’s memoir Persepolis, and its sequels, demonstrate.

The author, who also created the Academy-Award nominated film, will discuss her work at 7:30 p.m. April 2 at the Alden Theatre in the McLean Community Center. Free tickets will be available at the theater beginning at 7 p.m. the evening of the event, four per person, first come, first served.

Satrapi grew up in Tehran, but later moved to Paris and was introduced to many of France’s “new wave” comic book artists. Persepolis is the story of her youth in Iran in the 1970s, during the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq.

To browse more of this literary art form, you can try these books for adults.

We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katim

300 by Frank Miller

Watchmen by Alan Moore

Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Maus 2: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

The Tale of One Bad Rat by Brian Talbot

Read any good graphic fiction or non-fiction lately? Share your favorites.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mysterious Reading

The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association recently announced last month’s top sellers. If you want to save a few bucks, reserve these popular whodunits at your local library branch:

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

L.A. Outlaws by T. Jefferson Parker

Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey

Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter by Nancy Atherton

The Anatomy of Deception by Lawrence Goldstone

The Black Dove by Steve Hockensmith

A Pale Horse by Charles Todd

Hell's Bay by James Hall

Prepared for Rage by Dana Stabenow

The Crazy School by Cornelia Read

Do you have a favorite new mystery? Let us know.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden

Learn more about al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and terrorism on March 27 when Michael Scheuer, author of Marching Toward Hell: American and Islam After Iraq, will be interviewed by Mimi Georges, host of satellite radio’s “The Mimi Georges Show.” The live interview will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the City of Fairfax Regional Library. Reservations will be accepted beginning March 13; call 703-293-6227.

Scheuer, who also wrote the bestseller Imperial Hubris, is a veteran CIA counterterrorism analyst and headed the Osama bin Laden unit at the agency.

The elusive bin Laden and al Qaeda are the subjects of more than 25 books owned by the Fairfax County Public Library. Here is a sampling of recent titles to check out:

The Al Qaeda Reader by Raymond Ibrahim

The Secret History of Al Qaeda by Abdel Bari Atwan

The Osama Bin Laden I Know by Peter Bergen

The Road to Al Qaeda: The Story of bin Laden’s Right-Hand Man
by Muntair Zayyat

Osama: The Making of a Terrorist by Jonathan Randal

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What the Troops Are Reading

As expected, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Scott Turow and Louis L’Amour are among the most popular authors found in bookcases on military bases across Anbar Province in Iraq, reports an embedded reporter on his L.A. Times blog Reading in Iraq: Some Embedded Books.

But Tony Perry, who covers the military for the Times, found some unusual titles as well – Henry James’ The Ambassadors at Camp Fallouja and John Hersey’s A Single Pebble at Al Asad airfield.

His favorite finds were in an old British hotel which is now the Habbaniya base. Below a poster of the venomous snakes in Asia he found some Edna Ferbers, a few Cornelius Ryans and a book of essays about World War II by James Jones, the author of From Here to Eternity.

Don’t Miss . . .
George Mason Regional Library. March 17, 2 p.m. Mason Matinee. All ages. And on Tuesday, March 18, 10:30 a.m. Golden Oldies. Movies from Hollywood's Golden Age. Call for film titles. 703-256-3800

Patrick Henry Library, March 18, 6 p.m. Nowruz Celebration. Celebrate the eve of the Iranian New Year - music, dancing, food. 703-938-0405

Sherwood Regional Library, March 19, 3 p.m. Podcast. Learn to create your own podcast. Age 8-18. 703-765-3645

Call the specific branch to register, for more information and ADA accommodations (TTY 711).

Friday, March 07, 2008

Learn about Books on Channel 16

Have you seen the library’s show on Fairfax County Cable Channel 16? Watch Libraries: Check It Out to find out what books should be on your must-read list.

On the current edition of Libraries: Check It Out meet some of the most traitorous spies in our country’s history, learn about the rise and fall of organized crime in America, visit the heart and soul of New Orleans and discover the entertaining books of children’s author Shel Silverstein.

The show can be seen on Channel 16 at the following times:

Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Friday at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday at 12:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.

Libraries: Check It Out can also be seen on your computer at the above days and times with Live Video Streaming or anytime with Video on Demand.

Have you seen the program? Tell us what you think.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Inside the United Nations

You can learn more about the role of the United Nations in recent world affairs when former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton launches the library’s 2008 Perspectives Series at 7:30 p.m. March 11 at the Alden Theatre in the McLean Community Center.

Free tickets will be available at the Alden Theatre beginning at 7 p.m. the evening of each event (limit four tickets per person), first come, first served. For details, call 703-324-8428 or e-mail us. Books will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Borders. You can listen to a recent interview with Bolton on the library's Web site.

Bolton, the author of Surrender is Not An Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad, will present “America, International Security and the Future.” He will offer a candid survey of world trouble spots and discuss U.S. economic and security interests in these regions, as well as identify new potential areas for concern.

For some background reading on the U.N. try these books:

Basic Facts About the United Nations by United Nations Public Information Office

United Nations: The First Fifty Years by Stanley Meisler

The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the U.N. in the Era of American World Power by James Traub

"Complicity With Evil": The U.N. in the Age of Modern Genocide by Adam LeBor

At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention by David Rieff

What are your thoughts on the U.N.’s role in the 21st century? Let us know.