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Showing posts from November, 2008

BPL@Night Presents Alabama Actor Thom Gossom in Voices of Spirits

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The diverse voices of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., politician Robert Kennedy, poet Maya Angelou, playwrights Athol Fugard and August Wilson, singers and songwriters Harry Chapin, Elton John and Marvin Gaye, and others are dramatized in an evening of American prose and literature interpretation. While many of the featured voices and spirits are well known, others are less known, but nevertheless brilliant. From these voices came the power to vote, to change laws, to love, to unite, and to enlighten the masses. The voices in these spirits altered the prism through which we view life.

Accompanied by a biting soundtrack, Voices of Spirits is inspirational, motivational, fun, and stirring. Through his unique oratorical style, dramatic flair and audience participation, Gossom presents Voices of Spirits as a dramatic, motivational lecture interspersed with speeches, sermons, poetry, hip-hop, and his own writings.

An accomplished actor, Gossom has appeared on television in th…

Brown Bag Program ~ Alabama School of Fine Arts Presents

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Join us for a wonderful opportunity to hear the Alabama School of Fine Arts Music Department present a musical delight. The department is under the direction of Kim Scott. Wednesday, December 3, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Free Geneaology Classes at Central

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The staff of the Southern History Department will discuss how to begin genealogical research. The Southern History Department is located on the 1st floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library. For more information call 226-3665.

Schedule of Classes for November thru January
Sunday
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
January 11

Tuesday
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
November 25
January 27

Life After the Bugger War

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It's been 23 years since readers were introduced to Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, a 12-year-old tapped to save the human race from an insect-like alien race called Formics, or "Buggers." Orson Scott Card's Ender in Exile is a direct sequel to Ender's Game, and it explores the lost years of Ender's life between the ages 0f 12 and 35.

After extensive training at Battle School—beginning when he was just 6-years-old—and winning the third war against the Formics, Ender must leave school and find his place in the world. But what does the Savior of Earth do for an encore?

With every nation vying to own a piece of Ender, it is decided that Ender will not return to earth but will travel to one of the worlds won in the war. He is joined by his sister, Violet, who begins writing a history of the Bugger War.

Later when Ender is searching for a new site for future colonists, he discovers a "note" from the Formics in the form of a game he played in Battle School.…

The Story Behind Schindler's List

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Searching for Schindler, Thomas Keneally's latest nonfiction book, is about a chance encounter in 1980 with a Polish Jew named Poldek Pfefferberg while shopping for a briefcase, and where that encounter led.

Pfefferberg, number 173 on Oskar Schindler's famous list, convinced Keneally that the story of Schindler is one that begs to be told: "I was a Jew imprisoned with Jews. So a Nazi saves me and, more important, saves Misia, my young wife... Not that he was a saint. He was all-drinking, all-black-marketeering, all-screwing, okay? But he got Misia out of Auschwitz, so to me he is God."

Pfefferberg had tried selling the story to the screenwriters and filmmakers who came into his Beverly Hills luggage shop, but no one was interested. In 1963 Metro-Goldwym-Mayer bought the story rights from Oskar Schindler, who was living in Frankfurt at the time, but the movie was shelved.

An intrigued Keneally sifted through Pfefferberg's extensive Schindler files and saw the potenti…

Book Trailer: Running Hot

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz will be released on December 30.
Click here to reserve a copy today.
By the way, if you enjoy books by Jayne Ann Krentz you might consider joining our immensely popular Best Sellers Club, so that we can put advanced holds on all of her new releases for you.

The Bestsellers Club is provides quick access to new releases from many best-selling authors. Select from a list of authors and have the books delivered to your preferred Birmingham Public Library location. You will be notified when your copy is available.

Click here to join the club or visit any Birmingham Public Library for more information.

3rd Annual Local Authors Expo

Birmingham Public Library is excited and happy to present the 3rd Annual Local Authors Expo.

We even created two videos for the event:

one excited, in the fashion of a monster truck announcer



and one happy



Join us
Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6, 2008.
11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
at the Central Library

Meet local authors who will sell and autograph their books including:

Mychal Smith - Author of "Choosy Lovers a Radical Romance"
Jeanenne Bell - Author of "How to be a Jewelry Detective"
Jessie Crawford - Author of " The Christmas Prayer"
(Click on the authors name to watch an interview)
The Expo is sponsored by the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library.

BPL@Night Presents Flying Jenny, Old-time String Band

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The Birmingham Public Library is excited to host the old-time string band, Flying Jenny, of Birmingham, Alabama. They play the music of the American settlers from the British Isles, which is a forerunner of bluegrass and country music. It consists of lively fiddle tunes meant for dancing as well as old songs sung on front porches and in front of fireplaces when families and friends got together after the day’s work was done. Flying Jenny (named after an old-fashioned mule-powered carnival ride) plays breakdowns on fiddle, guitar, banjo and bass, and sings old songs, often comical, in three-part harmony.

In addition to the music, a performance by Flying Jenny includes stories about the tunes and the fiddlers who first played them. They have done a number of thematic performances on such topics as Alabama history, folk art, early radio music, Christmas folk music, romance in old-time music, etc., and have collaborated with storyteller Dolores Hydock in Footprint on the Sky: Memories of a…

Brown Bag Program ~ It's Perfectly True

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It's Perfectly True evolved from a suggestion by Martha Harrbauer, director of The Seasoned Performers, to develop a play based on a fable. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fable, the hens become human and the tale takes a decidedly human turn.

Don't forget to make your appointment at the Curl Up & Dye where the Seasoned Performers catch up on all the latest gossip...the things that you hear at this beauty shop will make your hair curl! It's Perfectly True! Wednesday, November 19, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Tech Tuesdays ~ We See Dead People...Online

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Comic by Jonathan Brown
Genealogical resources are a mouse click away with BPL’s databases. Join us as we explore census, church, cemetery, obituary, mine fatality, and inventor records. Tuesday, November 18, 6:30 p.m. Live @ Central Library's Arrington Auditorium and simulcast at Five Points West Library.

IM, del.icio.us, MySpace, Facebook, RSS, Mashups, Photobucket, Pixer, Second Life, Wiki, blogging. What are these things and will they hurt me? Join us at Tech Tuesdays for a look at the technologies sweeping the Internet and see if you need to join the crowd!

Brown Bag Program ~ Sharing Native American Culture

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A storyteller from The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama, Vickie King—Spirit Eyes, will be telling informative stories of Indian culture, tradition, beliefs, and lifestyles. Her original oil paintings, gathered herbs, musical instruments, tanned skins, and baskets will be on display to accompany the stories. Join us for a fun and informative look into the work of the Native American Indian. Wednesday, November 12, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Children's Book Review: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

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Laura Numeroff, author of the wonderful If You Give series, has a new book out titled If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. Parents, who know all to well that the moment they sit down their children will ask for something, which will lead to something else, and then to something else, will enjoy the tables being turned on some frazzled children trying to appease some needy animals.

In her latest book, a kind young girl offers a cat a cupcake. Not satisfied, the cat wants some sprinkles to go with it. When he spills them on the floor and has to sweep them up, he gets hot and is put into a bathing suit and taken to the beach. Before she knows it, the girl has taken him to the gym, a karate class, rock climbing, boat rowing, on a merry-go-round ride, the science museum, and finally back home. The sand emptied from his shoes reminds him of sprinkles, and, of course, he's going to need a cupcake to go with them!

The animals take center stage in this fun series as the girls and boys tire themselve…

BPL@Night Presents Alabama Actor Thom Gossom in Voices of Spirits

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The diverse voices of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., politician Robert Kennedy, poet Maya Angelou, playwrights Athol Fugard and August Wilson, singers and songwriters Harry Chapin, Elton John and Marvin Gaye, and others are dramatized in an evening of American prose and literature interpretation. While many of the featured voices and spirits are well known, others are less known, but nevertheless brilliant. From these voices came the power to vote, to change laws, to love, to unite, and to enlighten the masses. The voices in these spirits altered the prism through which we view life.

Accompanied by a biting soundtrack, Voices of Spirits is inspirational, motivational, fun, and stirring. Through his unique oratorical style, dramatic flair and audience participation, Gossom presents Voices of Spirits as a dramatic, motivational lecture interspersed with speeches, sermons, poetry, hip-hop, and his own writings.

An accomplished actor, Gossom has appeared on television in th…

Michael Crichton Dies at Age 66

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U.S. bestselling author and filmmaker, Michael Crichton, died Tuesday, November 4th after a battle with cancer. He was 66. Crichton was the author of scientific thrillers including Andromeda Strainand Jurassic Park. Next, his most recent novel, was published in December 2006. The scientific thriller focused on genetic engineering. He was also the creator of the television medical drama, ER. Crichton won an Emmy, Peabody and a Writer's Guild of America Award for the show.

Through his writing, Crichton made many of the scientific mysteries of the world exciting and easy to understand. Andromeda Strain is a classic biological thriller portraying the threat of a worldwide epidemic from microscopic organisms. Jurassic Park involves the cloning of 15 species of dinosaurs and the construction of a park so that tourists may view these creatures. Prey explores the dangers of nanotechnology and the hazards of robots created at the molecular level. Next, published in December 2006, is an inte…

Battle of the Bands Gaming Tournament @ Springville Road Library

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Music Gaming Tournament Details
(featuring Guitar Hero 2, 3: Legends of Rock and Rock Band 2 for Xbox 360)
What: Players will form bands comprised of four members. These bands will work together to obtain the highest score obtainable with the boundaries of the rules.
Who: Produced and hosted by Greg "Mastermind" Kennedy
Where:Springville Road Library
When: Saturday, November 15
Time: Registration begins at 11:00 a.m.

3 Rounds Of Gameplay:
Round One: Solo
Round Two: Doubles
Round Three: Full Band

Round One Rules:
Each band will elect one member to represent their team in Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. They will get to choose and play one song from that game and their scores will be recorded. The band with the highest score will get to choose the order of which players play in the second round.

Round Two Rules:
Each band will elect a team of two players to play together a set of two songs in Guitar Hero 2. These songs and their scores will be added together and this will decide who qualifi…

Rick Bragg Featured at Annual Friends Meeting

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The annual meeting for the Friends of the Library will host special guest Rick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author from Alabama. Mr. Bragg’s new book, The Prince of Frogtown, is the third in his family trilogy. The first two books, All Over But the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man, established Bragg as a first-rate storyteller and a national voice.

The Prince of Frogtown chronicles the life of his father, a man whose difficult behavior, bad choices and alcoholism separated him from his family. The impetus for this book came from two sources. Rick Bragg decided to find something good about his father, a man who had left his mother with three young children. Secondly, Bragg “inherited” a stepson when he married “a tall red headed woman ... who was a little bit slinky.” This stepson had every advantage that Bragg didn’t have and brought Mr. Bragg full circle, to confront the issue of fatherhood.

The Prince of Frogtown intersperses the stories of Bragg’s father and the stories of his stepson. A…

It's Fall—Time to Watch Hannah and Her Sisters Again

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"And Nietzsche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we're gonna live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I'll have to sit through the Ice Capades again." ~ Mickey Sachs

Every fall when there's a chill and a whiff of wood smoke in the air, I watch Woody Allen's 1986 movie Hannah and Her Sisters. I don't know why it beckons me at summer's end. There's just something about the dark wood interiors of the New York apartments, and the fact that the meat of the story is sandwiched between three Thanksgivings. The first Thanksgiving introduces the characters; the second shows their crumbling lives; and the third shows them at peace with the choices they made over the span of two years.

Now stay with me—this gets complicated. Hannah at one time was married to Mickey Sachs (Woody Allen), but the marriage crumbled when Hannah wanted children and it was discovered that Mickey was reproductively challen…