Noe Valley Voice December-January 2004

Books in our Branch

This month's new book list, chosen by Noe Valley librarians Carol Small, Wayne Donica, and David Scott, features the exploits of a 19th-century female sleuth, a study of 97 strange animals, and the story of the patron saint of cooks and kitchens. To find out which books are available, call 355-5707, log onto, or visit the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Library at 451 Jersey Street near Castro Street. Besides books, the branch offers magazines, newspapers, DVDs, music CDs, Internet access, and the archives and index to the Noe Valley Voice. Library 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

- A nameless ex-con in an anonymous Rust Belt city gets work as a locksmith, but finds himself unwillingly dragged back into a life of crime, in Eugene Marten's In the Blind.

- In 1880 San Francisco, attorney Sarah Woolson encounters child slavery, Chinese gangs, and five mutilated corpses, as she tries to solve The Murder on Nob Hill, by Shirley Tallman.

- A battle between New York's Italian mafia and a lone supercop brings trouble to Paradise City, in a novel by a former writer of TV's Law and Order, Lorenzo Carcaterra.

- A man is torn between two women and lives after he returns to his Hudson Valley hometown in Scott Spencer's A Ship Made of Paper.

Adult Nonfiction

- In Fortress America: On the Front Lines of Homeland Security, Matthew Brzezinski predicts the emergence of a surveillance state in the near future.

- Writer Tim Flannery and illustrator Peter Schouten describe 97 animals at the outer limits of evolution in Astonishing Animals: Extraordinary Creatures and the Fantastic Worlds They Inhabit.

- In War and the American Presidency, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. warns that the hawks and unilateralists in the Bush administration seem bent on reviving the "imperial presidency" of Richard Nixon.

- In Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City, Anna Quindlen writes about three Londons: the fictional London, the historical London, and the European capital that welcomes visitors from around the world.

Children's Fiction

- A toddler who loves vehicles could have a great time with two board books by Peter Mandel, Boats on the River and Planes at the Airport, both featuring vivid illustrations of "tough towboats," "shiny showboats," and "whirly-bird planes." Ages 1 to 3.

- As the holiday season approaches, you might enjoy reading a traditional folk tale about kindness and compassion, The Elves and the Shoemaker, a story from the Brothers Grimm retold and illustrated by Jim LaMarche. Ages 4 to 8.

- Bow Wow Meow Meow: It's Rhyming Cats and Dogs is a book of poetry by Douglas Florian that includes word play and fanciful illustrations. Here's one poem: "I am a cat of longhaired version/A pet-igree that's known as purrrsian." Ages 5 to 8.

- In Ann Cameron's Colibri, a girl in Guatemala, living with her "uncle" for many years, finally finds out who he really is and tries to find her parents. Ages 10 and up.

- Room in the Heart, by Sonia Levitin, is about several teenagers who react to Nazi occupation of Denmark during World War II by trying to rescue Jews. Ages 10 and up.

Children's Nonfiction

- In Love That Baby! author Kathryn Lasky and illustrator Jennifer Plecas provide clear and helpful information about all the things babies do, for new brothers, sisters, and friends. Ages 3 to 6.

- A young man who wants to feed the poor gets some help in the kitchen (and later becomes a saint) in Tomie dePaola's Pascual and the Kitchen Angels. Ages 6 to 9.

- Ah, Music! written and illustrated by Aliki, is a wide-ranging introduction to a large subject. Learn about sound, rhythm, melody, feeling, dance, harmony, and even the value of practicing! Ages 6 to 9.


Chinese New Year

- Celebrate the Year of the Rooster, 4703, with lion dancers and a martial arts demonstration on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 3 p.m.

Magic Mike

- Mike Stroud performs feats of magic to astonish preschool children on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 10 and 11 a.m.

Stories and Films for Children

- Kids 2 to 5 are invited to attend preschool story time at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Dec. 7 and 21, and Jan. 4 and 11. Children 3 to 5 can watch short films at 10 and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, Dec. 14 and Jan. 18.

Saturday Lapsit

- Share stories, songs, and fingerplays with your baby or toddler at the library's lapsit at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18.