Noe Valley Voice November 2010


By Susan Higgins
Adult Services Librarian
Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Branch Library

This month we’re featuring good books you may have missed: popular titles from last year that had been in high demand at the library but are now easier to find on the shelves. The selection includes both fiction and non­fiction, for many tastes and interests. And for those of you who are beginning to think about the holidays, here’s a list of some of the newer cookbooks in our collection. They may help you find inspiration and new ideas for great holiday meals.


Adult Fiction

* Winner of last year’s Man Booker Prize, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is a fictional account of the lives and times of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.

* The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee is the story of a Korean War refugee dying of cancer in the U.S. who goes to Europe to search for her son.

* The final book by novelist and journalist Dominick Dunne, Too Much Money, brings back the wealthy New Yorkers introduced in his 1988 novel People Like Us.

* Hype or good thriller? Check out The Lost Symbol, the latest bestseller by Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, to find out.

* Two women in a small New England town follow a female American radio reporter covering World War II London in The Postmistress, the first novel by Sarah Blake.

* Recently translated into English, Desert by Nobel Laureate J.M.G. Le Clézio tells the story of a North African tribe driven from its land in 1909 and the contemporary story of one of the tribe’s descendants, an orphan living in Morocco who flees to France to escape a forced marriage.

* Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon is a private-eye story set in Los Angeles during the psychedelic 1960s.


Adult Nonfiction

* Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich is a provocative look at the negative effects of optimism from the author of Nickel and Dimed.

* Hundreds of interviews provide a fascinating look behind the scenes of the 2008 presidential election in Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.

* Jake Adelstein, the only American journalist ever admitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Press Club, provides a fascinating and sometimes humorous look at the seedy side of Japan in Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.

* Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, chronicles his efforts to build relationships with village leaders and provide children with education in Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

* The Bolter by Frances Osborne describes the life and adventures of five-time divorcee Lady Idina Sackville and the adulterous lifestyles of high society in London and in Africa in the early 1900s.

* Former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni recounts his lifelong struggle with food in Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater.

Bestselling author Mary Karr’s third book, Lit: A Memoir, focuses on her addiction to alcohol following the birth of her son and the spiritual awakening that led to her recovery.


Books About Food

* My New Orleans: The Cookbook by Chef John Besh offers 200 recipes and personal stories from his family of restaurants in Louisiana.

* Find ideas for using fall and winter fruits, including oranges, persimmons, apples, and dried fruits, in Seasonal Fruit Desserts From Orchard, Farm, and Market by Deborah Madison, author of the classic cookbook Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

* Supper for a Song by Tamasin Day-Lewis focuses on healthy, satisfying comfort food recipes and includes a chapter on baking desserts.

* Melissa Gray, producer for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, is the author of All Cakes Considered, a collection of recipes and photos of more than 50 cakes, plus lots of advice on baking techniques and ingredients.


New Look  for Children’s Room

The Noe Valley Library has rearranged some of the materials in the Children’s Room to make it easier for you to browse some of our more popular sections. Holiday books including Thanksgiving stories and craft books are now located on the shelves directly behind the new books. We’ve consolidated our children’s media collection so you’ll find DVDs, music CDs, CD-ROMs, and audiobooks side by side. Graphic novels (comic books) now have their own section along the back wall in the righthand corner.




Toddler Tuesday

The Noe Valley Library sponsors Toddler Tales—stories, rhymes, movement, and music—on Tuesdays, Nov. 2, 9, 23, and 30, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m., and from 11 to 11:30 a.m. The program is aimed at children 18 months to three years old, but all ages are welcome. On the third Tuesday of the month—Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 10:15 and 11 a.m.—the library hosts Family Films, short films based on picture books. Please park baby strollers by the elevator.


A Book Club Invite

The Noe Valley Book Discussion Group welcomes new members to its monthly meetings. The next get-together will be on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Drop-ins welcome.


All events take place at the Noe Valley/ Sally Brunn Branch Library, 451 Jersey Street between Castro and Diamond streets. Call 355-5707 for information.