Noe Valley Voice May 2004

Books in our Branch

This month's book list, chosen by Noe Valley librarians Carol Small and Wayne Donica, features Arianna Huffington's latest political punditry, a picture-book biography of Erik Satie, and a toddler's view of the world from a stroller. 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 collections of books in Spanish and 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 Nicole Louise Reid's first novel, In the Breeze of Passing Things, 10-year-old Iva Giles resents her mother for moving her and her younger sister to a series of new homes after their father becomes mentally ill.

- Living in a remote Manchurian town in the 1930s, a 16-year-old girl becomes disillusioned with love and escapes into a game, in The Girl Who Played Go, by Shan Sa.

- Great Neck, an 800-page epic by Jay Cantor, is about a group of friends who join the civil rights and peace movements while growing up on Long Island in the 1960s and '70s.

- The line between reality and unreality is blurred in The Effect of Living Backwards, Heidi Julavits' black comedy about a pair of sisters involved in an airline hijacking.

Adult Nonfiction

- In I Love Being a Mom, Therese J. Borchard examines the common bonds of motherhood and the intimate experiences that create unique mother-child relationships.

- Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, by doctor and anthropologist Paul Farmer, explores the institutional roadblocks to the eradication of poverty and disease.

- Attorney Michael Christopher Carroll's Lab 257 investigates a U.S. government germ warfare research facility operating since 1954 on an island off the coast of New York.

- In Fanatics and Fools, syndicated columnist, talk show host, and former state gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington gives her "game plan for winning back America" by defeating George W. Bush in November.

- Dr. David Servan-Schreiber offers seven natural treatments for stress-related disorders, in The Instinct to Heal, focusing on the brain's own healing mechanisms.

Children's Fiction

- In Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! author Patricia Hubbell and illustrator Megan Halsey show us many different types of trucks and some surprising drivers, against a backdrop of unusual collages. Ages 2 to 4.

- Baby Radar, written by Naomi Shihab Nye and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, tells about an action-packed outing from the point of view of a toddler riding in a stroller. Ages 2 to 4.

- If you want to learn what to do and what not to do when you're sick, you can follow the tips in How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen, with humorous illustrations by Mark Teague. Ages 3 to 6.

- By showing what happens when friends go to a birthday party without taking gifts, James Rumford expresses some ideas about friendship in Nine Animals and the Well, which is also a counting book. Ages 5 to 7.

- In Sheila Hamanaka's Grandparents Song, illustrated in a folk art style, a young girl pays tribute to the different parts of her ethnic heritage. Ages 5 to 8.

- In Hatching Magic by Ann Downer, a wizard from medieval England must find his wyvern (small dragon) before his enemy Kobold finds her and uses her against him. Luckily, 11-year-old Theodora assists the wizard in his search. Ages 10 and up.

Children's Nonfiction

- A young dinosaur enthusiast can find vital facts about more than 700 species, including recent discoveries, in Don Lessem's Dinosaurs A to Z, which includes many dramatic color illustrations. Ages 8 and up.

- Strange Mr. Satie, by author M. T. Anderson and illustrator Petra Matthews, is a picture-book biography of a composer who didn't like to take baths, had a fierce temper, and "learned the rules of music so he could break them." Ages 8 and up.


Renovation Plans Unveiled

- The architects redesigning and retrofitting the Noe Valley Branch Library in 2005 show and discuss their updated plans, and welcome neighborhood input, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12.

Stories and Films for Children

- Kids 2 to 5 are invited to attend preschool story time at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, May 4, 11, and 18. Meanwhile, older children (3 to 5) can come watch short films, including Foolish Frog, Owen, and The Dingles, at 10 and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25.

Saturday Lapsits

- Share stories, songs, and fingerplays with your baby or toddler at the library's lapsits at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays, May 1, 8, 15, and 22.