Monday, January 31, 2011

'TKAM' listed among 'Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time'

A little over a week ago, on Jan. 22, I posted a list of the nominees for this year’s Edgar Allan Poe Awards, which are given annually by the Mystery Writers of America.

While researching that subject, I ran across a reference to a best-of list I’d never heard of, “The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time,” which the MWA released in 1995. I was more than a little surprised by some of the books that made the list, for example, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “The Godfather,” “Dracula,” “The Hunt for Red October” and “Rosemary’s Baby.”

This list was originally published in “The Crime Crown Companion: The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time,” which was annotated by Otto Penzler and compiled by Mickey Friedman. Published by Three Rivers Press in 1995, this guidebook provides a synopsis for each book on the list plus dates of publication.

Below you’ll find the complete list, which I gleaned from Wikipedia. You’ll probably be surprised by how many of these novels you’ve read or watched on the big screen. Here they are.

1. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887-1927)
2. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)
3. Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe (1852)
4. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Trey (1951)
5. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow (1987)
6. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John le Carre (1963)
7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)
8. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)
9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
10. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (1939)

11. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver (1958)
12. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (1926)
13. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (1953)
14. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (1934)
15. The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969)
16. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (1988)
17. A Coffin by Dimitrios by Eric Ambler (1939)
18. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers (1935)
19. Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie (1948)
20. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth (1971)

21. Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (1940)
22. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915)
23. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1980)
24. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevski (1866)
25. Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (1978)
26. Rumpole of the Bailey by John Mortimer (1978)
27. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (1981)
28. The Nine Trailors by Dorothy L. Sayers (1934)
29. Fletch by Gregory McDonald (1974)
30. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre (1974)

31. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (1934)
32. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860)
33. Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley (1913)
34. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain (1943)
35. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith (1981)
36. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers (1930)
37. Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman (1973)
38. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake (1970)
39. Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett (1929)
40. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1908)

41. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (1934)
42. The Firm by John Grisham (1991)
43. The IPCRESS File by Len Deighton (1962)
44. Laura by Vera Caspary (1942)
45. I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane (1947)
46. The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (1968)
47. Bank Shot by Donald E. Westlake (1972)
48. The Third Man by Graham Greene (1950)
49. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (1952)
50. Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark (1975)

51. “A” is for Alibi by Sue Grafton (1982)
52. The First Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (1973)
53. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman (1989)
54. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)
55. Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (1939)
56. Muder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers (1933)
57. The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesteron (1911)
58. Smiley’s People by John le Carre (1979)
59. The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler (1943)
60. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

61. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene (1958)
62. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens (1870)
63. Wobble to Death by Peter Lovesey (1970)
64. Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham (1928)
65. The Seven Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer (1974)
66. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout (1965)
67. Stick by Elmore Leonard (1983)
68. The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre (1983)
69. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (1938)
70. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

71. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)
72. The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin (1946)
73. A Time to Kill by John Grisham (1989)
74. Last Seen Wearing… by Hillary Waugh (1952)
75. Little Caesar by W.R. Burnett (1929)
76. The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins (1972)
77. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (1927)
78. From Russia, with Love by Ian Fleming (1957)
79. Beast in View by Margaret Millar (1955)
80. Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert (1950)

81. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (1948)
82. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (1975)
83. Shroud for a Nightingale by P.D. James (1971)
84. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy (1984)
85. Chinaman’s Chance by Ross Thomas (1978)
86. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (1907)
87. The Dreadful Lemon Sky by John D. MacDonald (1975)
88. The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett (1931)
89. A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell (1977)
90. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey (1950)

91. The Chill by Ross MacDonald (1963)
92. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (1990)
93. The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh (1975)
94. God Save the Mark by Donald E. Westlake (1967)
95. Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice (1944)
96. The Three Coffins by John Dickson Carr (1935)
97. Prizzi’s Honor by Richard Condon (1982)
98. The Steam Pig by James McClure (1974)
99. Time and Again by Jack Finney (1970)
100. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters (1977) and Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin (1967) (tie)

In the end, how many of these books have you had a chance to read? What did you think about them? Which did you like? Dislike? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Shadowfever' debuts atop best-sellers list this week

It’s Sunday, so that means that it’s time for my weekly review of this week’s Publishers Weekly Best-Seller List. According to the list, we’ve got two new books at the top of the four major best-seller lists this week.

“Shadowfever” by Karen Marie Moning replaced “The Inner Circle” by Brad Meltzer as the No. 1 book on the hardcover fiction best-sellers list.

“True Grit” by Charles Portis replaced “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo as the top book on the trade paperbacks best-sellers list.

"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand retained the top spot on the hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list, and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Larsson retained the No. 1 spot on the mass market paperback best-sellers list.

There are three books on this week’s hardcover fiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. Those books (and their place on the list) are "Shadowfever" by Karen Marie Moning (1), "Strategic Moves" by Stuart Woods (2) and "Call Me Irrestible: A Novel" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (6).

There are five books on this week’s hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They include "The Investment Answer" by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray (8), "The Carb Lovers Diet: Eat What You Love, Get Slim For Life" by Ellen Kunes and Frances Langeman-Roth (10), "Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It" by Kris Carr (13) and "The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda" by Peter L. Bergen (14).

There are two books on this week’s mass market paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on that list last week. Those books include "How to Woo a Reluctant Lady" by Sabrina Jeffries (4) and "The Lady Most Likely...: A Novel in Three Parts" by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway (14).

There are two books on this week’s trade paperbacks list that weren’t on the list last week. Those books are "The Imperfectionists: A Novel" by Tom Rachman (13) and "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay (14).

As a reminder, I’m posting these lists each Sunday because they, as a whole, represent a great, contemporary recommended reading list. They are initially released each week on Thursday, and if you’re interested in reading them then, visit Publishers Weekly’s Web site at www.publishersweekly.com. Below you’ll find all four of this week’s best-seller lists.

HARDCOVER FICTION
1. "Shadowfever" by Karen Marie Moning
2. "Strategic Moves" by Stuart Woods
3. "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson
4. "The Inner Circle" by Brad Meltzer
5. "The Sentry" by Robert Crais
6. "Call Me Irrestible: A Novel" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
7. "Dead or Alive" by Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood
8. "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
9. "What the Night Knows: A Novel" by Dean Koontz
10. "Secrets to the Grave" by Tami Hoag
11. "Cross Fire" by James Patterson
12. "Room: A Novel" by Emma Donoghue
13. "Three Seconds" by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom
14. "Freedom: A Novel" by Jonathan Franzen
15. "The Outlaws: A Presidential Agent Novel" by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth

HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand
2. "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua
3. "Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat after Forty" by Suzanne Somers and Michael Galitzer
4. "Decision Points" by George W. Bush
5. "The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life" by Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow
6. "The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommom Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman" by Timothy Ferriss
7. “Cleopatra: A Life" by Stacy Schiff
8. "The Investment Answer" by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray
9. "Life" by Keith Richards
10. "The Carb Lovers Diet: Eat What You Love, Get Slim For Life" by Ellen Kunes and Frances Langeman-Roth
11. "Autobiography of Mark Twain" by Ed. by Harriet Elinor Smith
12. "Decoded" by Jay-Z
13. "Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It" by Kris Carr
14. "The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda" by Peter L. Bergen
15. "Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man" by Steve Harvey

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS
1. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
2. "Deliver Us From Evil" by David Baldacci
3. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson
4. "How to Woo a Reluctant Lady" by Sabrina Jeffries
5. "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown
6. "The First Rule" by Robert Crais
7. "Live To Tell: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel" by Lisa Gardner
8. "Impact" by Douglas Preston
9. "The Scent of Jasmine" by Jude Deveraux
10. "Altar of Eden" by James Rollins
11. "Promise Canyon" by Robyn Carr
12. "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton
13. "Treasure Hunt" by John Lescroart
14. "The Lady Most Likely...: A Novel in Three Parts" by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway
15. "Ruthless Game" by Christine Feehan

TRADE PAPERBACKS
1. "True Grit" by Charles Portis
2. "Water for Elephants: A Novel" by Sara Gruen
3. "Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back" by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, Colton Burpo and Lynn Vincent
4. "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese
5. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
6. "The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have" by Mark Nepo
7. "Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah
8. "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave
9. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson
10. "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz
11. "The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel" by Garth Stein
12. "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult
13. "The Imperfectionists: A Novel" by Tom Rachman
14. "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay
15. "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

In the end, let me know if you’ve had a chance to read any of these books. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Which book will win this year's NBCC Award?

The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its 2010 book awards last Saturday at an event in New York City.

This year, the NBCC will present awards in six categories – fiction, biography, autobiography, criticism, nonfiction and poetry.

Finalists in the fiction category included “A Visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan, “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen, “To the End of the Land” by David Grossman, “Comedy in a Minor Key” by Hans Keilson and “Skippy Dies” by Paul Murray. For a complete list of the finalists in the other categories, visit www.bookcritics.org.

The NBCC was founded in 1974, and its members include 600 active book reviewers. Many consider the National Book Critics Circle Awards to be more prestigious than the National Book Awards, and it’s hard to argue with this line of thought when you consider that the NBCC awards are handpicked by professional book reviewers.

All of this got me to wondering about the other books who have received the NBCC award for fiction over the years, and today I present you with a complete list of the all-time winners. Here they are:

2009 – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
2008 – 2666 by Roberto Bolano
2007 – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2006 – The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
2005 – The March by E.L. Doctorow
2004 – Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
2003 – The Known World by Edward P. Jones
2002 – Atonement by Ian McEwan
2001 – Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
2000 – Being Dead by Jim Grace

1999 – Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
1998 – The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro
1997 – The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
1996 – Women in Their Beds by Gina Berriault
1995 – Mrs. Ted Bliss by Stanley Elkin
1994 – The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
1993 – A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
1992 – All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
1991 – A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1990 – Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

1989 – Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow
1988 – The Middleman and Other Stories by Bharati Mukherjee
1987 – The Counterlife by Philip Roth
1986 – Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price
1985 – The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
1984 – Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
1983 – Ironweed by William Kennedy
1982 – George Mills by Stantley Elkin
1981 – Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
1980 – The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

1979 – The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan
1978 – The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
1977 – Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
1976 – October Light by John Gardner
1975 – Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

In the end, how many of these books have you had a chance to read? Which did you like? Which would you recommend? Of this year’s finalists, who do you think will win this year’s award? Let us know in the comments section below.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Which movie will be named this year's Best Picture?

The Academy Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning, and some of the year’s best movies are now in the running for the Best Picture Oscar.

Best Pictures nominees this year include “The King’s Speech,” “True Grit,” “The Social Network,” “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Toy Story 3,” “127 Hours” and “Winter’s Bone.”

How many of these movies have you seen? Which do you think will take home top honors as this year’s Best Picture?

We’ll all have to wait about a month to find out who will win. The Academy Awards will be given out on Sun., Feb. 27, in Hollywood. The awards show will be broadcast by ABC.

I haven’t written about it in a while, but some of you may remember that I’m in the process of watching all of the Academy Award Best Picture winners in reverse order. I last updated you on this little project on Jan. 3 when I posted a review of the 2002 winner, “Chicago.” Since then I’ve scratched the following winners off my list – “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “Gladiator” (2000), “American Beauty” (1999), “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), “Titanic” (1997), “The English Patient” (1996), “Braveheart” (1995), “Forrest Gump” (1994), “Unforgiven” (1992), “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) and “Dances with Wolves” (1990).

If you read the above list carefully, you’ll notice that the 1993 winner, “Schindler’s List” is missing. It must be an extremely popular movie because I’ve had it in my NetFlix queue for weeks now, and it still says it will be a “very long wait” before it will be available. It’s also not currently available for instant viewing online. I’ve actually seen the movie a couple of times, and I wonder if it’s a popular title among educators who show it to their classes.

If I had to rank the above titles in order of best to worst, that ranking would look something like this:

1. The Silence of the Lambs
2. A Beautiful Mind
3. Forrest Gump
4. American Beauty
5. Braveheart
6. Unforgiven
7. Gladiator
8. Dances with Wolves
9. Titanic
10. Shakespeare in Love
11. The English Patient

Don’t agree? Then how would you rank the above films? Which do you like? Which do you own? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Evergreen Courant Sports Flashback for Jan. 27, 2011

TWO YEARS AGO
JAN. 22, 2009

“The Lady Warriors, ranked No. 3 in the AISA in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association prep basketball poll, whipped region rival South Choctaw, 66-29, last Thursday night in Toxey.
“Erica Palmer, a junior, led Sparta with 15 points, three rebounds, five steals and a block. Mallory Kendrick followed with 14 points, five rebounds, two steals and five assists. BreAnna Pate finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists.”

“Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team snapped a 10-game losing streak last Thursday night by whipping region rival South Choctaw, 55-40, in Toxey.
“Senior Mason Black led the Warriors with 23 points, nine rebounds, a steal, a block and an assist. Devlin Crosby followed with 12 points, three rebounds, a steal and an assist.”

“Steven Hamby, 12, bagged his first deer while hunting Monday morning near his home in Castleberry. Hamby, a sixth-grader at Conecuh County Junior High School, brought the deer down with one shot from a 20-gauge single-shot shotgun just after dawn on Monday. The 11-point deer weighed around 170 pounds. Hamby is the son of Paul and Mary Hamby of Castleberry.”

17 YEARS AGO
JAN. 27, 1994

“The Hillcrest High School varsity basketball team is pictured with their first year coach, Keith Nettles. The Jaguars will host the annual Hillcrest Invitational Tournament beginning tonight at Hillcrest High School. Pictured are Derrick Rudolph, Roger Rudolph, Terry Holt, Lavon Lyman, Charles Thomas, Jason Boykin, Coach Nettles, Isaac McMillian, Marlon Tolliver, Ray Rudolph, Chris Watts, Gary Betts and Sherman Grace.”

“Members of the Sparta Academy varsity boys basketball team are Casey Grant, Adrian Mitchell, James Johnson, Larry Wright and Nicholas Jones, Coach Keith York, Sandy Salo, Britt Ward, McPherson Cook, Andy Clanton, Aaron Albritton and Brian Gorum.”

“Members of the Sparta Academy varsity girls basketball team are Aundria Griffin, Janet Kendrick, Valerie Griffin, Carla Grimes, Kelly Booker, Nann Castleberry, Nikki Jones, Joy’l Lowman and Rachel Bohannon. Their coach is David Mallory.”

“Allen Pettis and Connie Pettis, both of Castleberry, proudly show off this huge buck that they killed the first day of deer season. The deer was a 10-point, which had a 16-inch spread and weighed 175 pounds. It was killed near Castleberry.”

32 YEARS AGO
JAN. 25, 1979

“The girl Warriors were champions of their part of the annual Sparta Academy Invitational Tournament held in the school gymnatorium here Friday and Saturday.
“Friday, the Warrior girls downed the Vol girls of Monroe Academy in easy fashion, 34-24. Sparta’s girls had even less trouble in the championship game as they outshot the Tornado girls of Greenville Academy, 38-20, to win the title on Saturday.
“(Cathy) Cope, (Angie) Driver and (Melissa) Thacker were all named to the all-tournament team.”
Other players on Sparta’s team that year included Mary Claire Robinson, Cathy Johnson and Julie Saunders.

“The Lyeffion High Yellow Jackets defeated the Uriah Bulldogs, 56-55. Scorers for the Jackets were Adrian Woods with 25 points and 13 rebounds, Eric Finklea, nine points; James Riley, eight points; Donald Lee, seven points and five rebounds; Ricky Hall, four points and Ricky Johnson, three points.”

“The Conecuh County High School Blue Devils defeated the Southern Normal Cyclones, 65-64, on Jan. 9.
“Scorers for the Blue Devils were William Griffin, 26 points, three rebounds; Ronnie Sanders, nine points, 16 rebounds; Henry Sanders, seven points, 15 rebounds; Curtis Scott, six points, six rebounds; Robert Moye, four points, four rebounds; Paige Stokes, 13 points, 11 rebounds.”

47 YEARS AGO
JAN. 23, 1964

“The Evergreen Aggies captured the Conecuh County Basketball Championship Saturday night in Evergreen as they whipped a strong Lyeffion squad, 63-48, in the finals of the county tournament. The Aggies succeeded Castleberry, the defending champions.
“Ronnie Jackson with 18, Scott Cook with 13 and Joe Sasser and Larry Ellis with 10 each were the bellwethers of the Aggie offense. Sid Lambert and Kenny Harper had six each.
“Pat Brown had 11 and Sam Williams 10 to lead the Yellow Jackets. They were followed by Garrett with nine, Norwood with seven, Smith with five and Daniels with four.
“In the first round Friday night Evergreen clobbered Repton, 46-13, despite the Bulldogs’ stalling tactics. Ronnie Jackson had eight for Evergreen while Davis Robinson led Repton with four.
“Lyeffion downed Castleberry, 53-44, Friday night to gain their slot in the championship battle. Pat Brown pumped in 17 and Sam Williams and Donald Garrett had 12 and 11, respectively, to pace the winners. Castleberry’s top scorers were Donald Sawyer with 11 and Larry Heaton with 10.
“All-tournament team members were Scott Cook, Ronnie Jackson and Joe Sasser of Evergreen and Pat Brown and Danny Norwood of Lyeffion.”

62 YEARS AGO
JAN. 27, 1949

“The Evergreen High Aggies went on a scoring binge Tuesday night in Frisco City and recorded their highest total of the season cracking the Whippets, 51-35. Coach Wendell Hart’s cagers played by far the best offensive ball of the season.
“John Greel Ralls, playing his second game at the pivot post, continued to show improvement. His total for the night was 16 (points).
“Dickey Bozeman found the range on his jump shots in the final two periods and sacked up six field goals after getting only one in the first half. Bozeman had 16 points to tie Ralls as the Evergreen leader.
“Billy Mudge Lee hit for 10, Guerry Moorer made four and Gwyn Daniels three. Bobby Frank Snowden made only two points, but his basket was the ‘big one’ that took the Aggies across the 50 mark for the first time this season.
“Big Ollis Tanton, towering 6’5” and a little bit more Frisco City center, was the Whippet offense. Tanton led the scorers for the evening with 18 points, 14 of them coming in the last half.”
Other players on Evergreen’s team included John Law Robinson and Jack Cunningham.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My movie picks this week are 'The Rite' and 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest'

It’s Wednesday, so today I give you my weekly list of movies that will open in theatres this week as well as a list of movies that will be released this week on DVD.

I hope this will serve as a useful guide as to what’s going on this week if you happen to be near a movie theatre or if you’re looking for something to drop into your NetFlix queue.

Movies that are scheduled to hit theatres this Friday include:

Biutiful (R, Drama): Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and starring Javier Bardem, Maricel Alvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib and Guillermo Estrella.

From Prada to Nada (PG-13, Romance): Directed by Angel Gracia and starring Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama, Nicholas D’Agosto and April Bowlby.

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster (R, Action): Directed by Wilson Yip and starring Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Simon Yam, Sammo Hung and Darren Shahlavi.

Kaboom (Not Rated, Comedy, Horror, Thriller): Directed by Gregg Araki and starring Thomas Dekkler, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida and Juno Temple.

The Mechanic (R, Action): Directed by Simon West and starring Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland, Christa Campbell, Jeff Chase and Liam Ferguson.

The Rite (PG-13, Drama, Thriller): Directed by Mikael Hafstrom and starring Anthony Hopkins, Ciaran Hinds, Alice Braga, Toby Jones and Colin O’Donoghue.

New DVD releases for the week of Jan. 25 include:

Adventures of Power (PG-13, Comedy): Directed by Ari Gold and starring Gold, Michael McKean, Adrian Grenier, Richard Fancy, Jane Lynch, Shoshannah Stern, Nick Kroll, Annie Golden and Steven Williams.

Client 9: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer (R, Documentary, Special Interest): Directed by Alex Gibney and starring Eliot Spitzer.

Enter the Void (Not Rated, Suspense, Drama): Directed by Gaspar Noe and starring Paz de la Huerta, Nathaniel Brown, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind and Jesse Kuhn.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (R, Action, Mystery): Directed by Daniel Alfredson and starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Annika Hallin, Jacob Erickson, Sofia Ledarp and Georgi Staykov.

Like Dandelion Dust (PG-13, Drama): Directed by Jon Gunn and starring Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, Kate Levering, Maxwell Perry Cotton, L. Scott Caldwell, Abby Brammell, Kirk B.R. Woller, Brett Rice, Brooke Bryan, Blake Michael Bryan and Rus Blackwell.

Nowhere Boy (R, Drama): Directed by Sam Taylor Wood and starring Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff, Thomas Sangster, David Morrissey and Sam Bell.

Open Season 3 (PG, Family, Comedy): Directed by Cody Cameron and starring voices by Crispin Glover, Fred Stoller, Georgia Engel, Steve Schirripa, Cody Cameron, Dana Snyder, Matt Munn, Matt Taylor, Melissa Sturm, Andre Sugliozzo and Sean Mullen.

Red (PG-13, Action, Comedy): Directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, John Malkovich, Julian McMahon, Richard Dreyfuss, Michelle Nolden, James Remar, Brian Cox and Ernest Borgnine.

Red Hill (R, Drama): Directed by Patrick Hughes and starring Steve Bisley, Kevin Harrington, Jennifer Jarman-Walker, Ryan Kwanten, Tommy Lewis and Claire van der Boom.

Saw: The Final Chapter (R, Horror): Directed by David Hackl and starring Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Gina Holden, Rebecca Marshall, Chad Donella, Anne Greene, Jon Cor, James Van Patten and Laurence Anthony.

Secretariat (PG, Family, Drama): Directed by Randall Wallace and starring Diane Lane, Scott Glenn, Dylan Walsh, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Cromwell, Kevin Connolly, Amanda Michalka, Sean Michael Cunningham, Eric Lang and John Malkovich.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “The Rite,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”

In the end, let me know if you get a chance to watch any of the new movies in theatres this week or if you’ve already seen any of the movies that have just been released on DVD. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Military author Stan Richardson visits Evergreen

On Tuesday of last week, I finally got to meet someone that I’ve wanted to meet face-to-face for a long time, World War II combat veteran and military author Stan Richardson.

In 2005, Richardson published one of the best personal accounts I’ve ever read of WWII, a book titled “Growing Up in a Foxhole, 1944-1946: A Foot Soldier Looks Back.”

I was working at the newspaper in Monroeville at the time, and we heard about Richardson’s book through the grapevine. I eventually got my hands on a copy the book, read it from cover to cover and reviewed the book for the paper.

During that time, I began to correspond with Richardson, who is now 85, and we’ve been e-mailing each other regularly, back and forth for almost six years. Keep in mind that we’d never met in person.

On Tuesday of last week, Richardson and his wife, Chat, were on their way down I-65, and we all met up at the McDonald’s at Exit 96 for a cup of coffee. I enjoyed finally getting to meet Stan for the first time, and look forward to seeing him and his wife the next time they find themselves in our neck of the woods.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to read Richardson’s book, I highly recommend it, especially to veterans and individuals interested in first hand accounts of World War II. The back of his book sums up it up nicely:

“From harrowing to hilarious, Richardson’s account takes you through the rigors and ribaldry of basic training to the battlegrounds where one day you’re hiding behind a tree, holding your breath, to avoid some German soldiers close by, and the next day you’re rounding up K-rations to give to hungry German children rummaging through the garbage bins.

"You’ll experience with him (Richardson) those painful moments when he saw his buddies killed before his eyes, and you’ll feel the poignancy of a bunch of GIs singing ‘Lili Marlene’ along with German soldiers across the Saar River at the end of the fighting. All in all, ‘Growing Up in a Foxhole’ is a darned good read from one darned good solider reliving World War II.”

Richardson’s book is dedicated to “all the veterans who fought on the front lines in WWII and especially to those who gave up their lives so that we could live free.”

If you’re interested in reading and owning a copy of “Growing Up in a Foxhole,” you can purchase copies of the book online. They are available through both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

Stan, who grew up in Cambridge, Mass., was just 18 years old when he joined the Army during World War II. After the war, Stan worked for the Atomic Energy Commission at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is now commonly referred to as MIT. Later, he moved to Montgomery, where he worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Stan eventually retired from the EPA, and now lives in the town of New Site, which is in Tallapoosa County, not far from Alexander City.

Monday, January 24, 2011

'The Lost Symbol' reminded me of 'National Treasure'

I recently finished reading “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown, and I have no problem saying that this is the best book that I’ve read in a long, long time.

Published in September 2009, this novel is set in Washington, D.C. and is the third Dan Brown novel to feature the character of Robert Langdon, a Harvard University symbologist. Many of you will remember Langdon from the 2000 novel, “Angels & Demons” and 2003’s “The Da Vinci Code.” (Tom Hanks played Langdon in the blockbuster motion picture version of “The Da Vinci Code,” which was directed by Ron Howard.)

The events in “The Lost Symbol” take place after the events in “The Da Vinci Code,” but the two novels are very different (and you won’t have to have read one to enjoy the other). “The Da Vinci Code” is set in Paris and centers on a murder investigation that ends up including the search for the Holy Grail.

The plot for “The Lost Symbol” relies heavily on elements of freemasonry, and many of the novels central characters are high-ranking freemasons themselves. Before all is said and done, Langdon is called on to help a friend (who happens to be a 33rd degree Mason) who has been kidnapped by a madman bent on unearthing freemasonry’s biggest and best kept secret.

To me, this novel reminded me of the movie, “National Treasure,” which has a similar plot. Many of you will remember this movie. It starred Nicholas Cage, Harvey Keitel and Jon Voight.

People apparently eat this stuff up because “The Lost Symbol” helped make Dan Brown an even richer man. According to The New York Times, the book sold one million hardcover and e-book copies in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada on its first day, making it the fastest selling adult novel in history.

Those of you who enjoyed “The Lost Symbol” will be interested to know that a motion picture version of the book is in the works. Columbia Pictures will distribute the film, which is scheduled for release in 2012. And, yes, Tom Hanks is supposed to return in the role of Robert Langdon.

In the end, I’d like to know how many of you have had a chance to read this book. What did you think about it? What did you like, dislike about it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meltzer's 'The Inner Circle' takes top spot on best-seller list

It’s Sunday, so that means that it’s time for my weekly review of this week’s Publishers Weekly Best-Seller List. According to the list, we’ve got two new books at the top of the four major best-seller lists this week.

“The Inner Circle” by Brad Meltzer replaced “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larsson as the No. 1 book on the hardcover fiction best-sellers list.

“The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have” by Mark Nepo replaced “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Larsson as the top book on the trade paperbacks best-sellers list.

"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand retained the top spot on the hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list, and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Larsson retained the No. 1 spots on the mass market paperback best-sellers list.

There are three books on this week’s hardcover fiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. Those books (and their place on the list) are "The Inner Circle" by Brad Meltzer (1), "The Sentry" by Robert Crais (2) and "Room: A Novel" by Emma Donoghue (13).

There are five books on this week’s hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They include "Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat after Forty" by Suzanne Somers and Michael Galitzer (3), "Love For No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love" by Marci Shimoff, Marianne Wilson and Carol Kline (7), "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua (9), "The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream" by Gary Shapiro (14) and "The Life You Want: Get Motivated, Lose Weight, and Be Happy" by Bob Greene, Ann Kearney-Cooke and Janis Jibrin (15).

There are two books on this week’s mass market paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on that list last week. Those books include "Treasure Hunt" by John Lescroart (14) and "The Last Surgeon" by Michael Palmer (15).

There are two books on this week’s trade paperbacks list that weren’t on the list last week. Those books are "The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have" by Mark Nepo (1) and "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell (14).

As a reminder, I’m posting these lists each Sunday because they, as a whole, represent a great, contemporary recommended reading list. They are initially released each week on Thursday, and if you’re interested in reading them then, visit Publishers Weekly’s Web site at www.publishersweekly.com. Below you’ll find all four of this week’s best-seller lists.

HARDCOVER FICTION
1. "The Inner Circle" by Brad Meltzer
2. "The Sentry" by Robert Crais
3. "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson
4. "What the Night Knows: A Novel" by Dean Koontz
5. "Dead or Alive" by Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood
6. "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
7. "Three Seconds" by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom
8. "The Confession" by John Grisham
9. "Cross Fire" by James Patterson
10. "Secrets to the Grave" by Tami Hoag
11. "Freedom: A Novel" by Jonathan Franzen
12. "The Outlaws: A Presidential Agent Novel" by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth
13. "Room: A Novel" by Emma Donoghue
14. "Hell's Corner" by David Baldacci
15. "Damage" by John Lescroart

HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand
2. "Decision Points" by George W. Bush
3. "Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat after Forty" by Suzanne Somers and Michael Galitzer
4. "The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommom Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman" by Timothy Ferriss
5. "Cleopatra: A Life" by Stacy Schiff
6. "The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life" by Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow
7. "Love For No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love" by Marci Shimoff, Marianne Wilson and Carol Kline
8. "Life" by Keith Richards
9. "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua
10. "Autobiography of Mark Twain" by Ed. by Harriet Elinor Smith
11. "Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man" by Steve Harvey
12. "Decoded" by Jay-Z
13. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot
14. "The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream" by Gary Shapiro
15. "The Life You Want: Get Motivated, Lose Weight, and Be Happy" by Bob Greene, Ann Kearney-Cooke and Janis Jibrin

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS
1. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
2. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson
3. "Deliver Us From Evil" by David Baldacci
4. "Live To Tell: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel" by Lisa Gardner
5. "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown
6. "The Scent of Jasmine" by Jude Deveraux
7. "Altar of Eden" by James Rollins
8. "Impact" by Douglas Preston
9. "Deja Vu" by Fern Michaels
10. "Ruthless Game" by Christine Feehan
11. "The First Rule" by Robert Crais
12. "Promise Canyon" by Robyn Carr
13. "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton
14. "Treasure Hunt" by John Lescroart
15. "The Last Surgeon" by Michael Palmer

TRADE PAPERBACKS
1. "The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have" by Mark Nepo
2. "True Grit" by Charles Portis
3. "Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back" by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, Colton Burpo and Lynn Vincent
4. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
5. "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese
6. "Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah
7. "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave
8. "Water for Elephants: A Novel" by Sara Gruen
9. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson
10. "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult
11. "The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel" by Garth Stein
12. "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert
13. "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz
14. "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell
15. "Just Kids" by Patti Smith

In the end, let me know if you’ve had a chance to read any of these books. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Edgar Award nominees announced this week

Wednesday would have been Edgar Allan Poe’s 202nd birthday, and, to mark the occasion, the Mystery Writers of America announced its list of nominees for the 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, commonly referred to as The Edgars.

Poe, who is best known for his horror stories, is also considered the father of the modern mystery-detective novel because of his popular tales involving the detective C. Auguste Dupin. The Edgars, which were named in Poe’s honor, aim to honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film and theatre from the previous year.

The Edgar Awards are given in 14 categories, and this year’s slate of Edgars will be presented during a banquet on April 28 in New York City.

This year’s nominees for Best Novel include the following books:
- "Caught" by Harlan Coben
- "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" by Tom Franklin
- "Faithful Place" by Tana French
- "The Queen of Patpong" by Timothy Hallinan
- "The Lock Artist" by Steve Hamilton
- "I'd Know You Anywhere" by Laura Lippman

For a complete list of this year’s other nominees, visit the Mystery Writers of America’s Web site at http://www.mysterywriters.org/.

As you can imagine, a long line of outstanding mystery novels have received the Edgar for Best Novel over the year, going all the way back to the first award in 1954. What follows is a complete list of the all-time Edgar winners for Best Novel. Here they are:

1954 – Beat Not the Bones by Charlotte Jay
1955 – The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
1956 – Beast in View by Margaret Millar
1957 – A Dram of Poison by Charlotte Armstrong
1958 – Room to Swing by Ed Lacy
1959 – The Eighth Circle by Stanley Ellin

1960 – The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin
1961 – The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons
1962 – Gideon’s Fire by J.J. Marric
1963 – Death and the Joyful Woman by Ellis Peters
1964 – The Light of Day by Eric Ambler
1965 – The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre
1966 – The Quiller Memorandum by Adam Hall
1967 – King of the Rainy Country by Nicolas Freeling
1968 – God Save the Mark by Donald E. Westlake
1969 – A Case of Need by Jeffery Hudson

1970 – Forfeit by Dick Francis
1971 – The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
1972 – The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
1973 – The Lingala Code by Warren Kiefer
1974 – Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman
1975 – Peter’s Pence by Jon Cleary
1976 – Hopscotch by Brian Garfield
1977 – Promised Land by Robert B. Parker
1978 – Catch Me: Kill Me by William Hallahan
1979 – Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

1980 – The Rheingold Route by Arthur Maling
1981 – Whip Hand by Dick Francis
1982 – Peregrine by William Bayer
1983 – Billinsgate Shoal by Rick Boyer
1984 – La Brava by Elmore Leonard
1985 – Briarpatch by Ross Thomas
1986 – The Suspect by L.R. Wright
1987 – A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
1988 – Old Bones by Aaron Elkins
1989 – A Cold Red Sunrise by Stuart M. Kaminsky

1990 – Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke
1991 – New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
1992 – A Dance at the Slaughterhouse by Lawrence Block
1993 – Bootlegger’s Daughter by Margaret Maron
1994 – The Sculptress by Minette Walter
1995 – The Red Scream by Mary Willis Walker
1996 – Come to Grief by Dick Francis
1997 – The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook
1998 – Cimarron Rose by James Lee Burke
1999 – Mr. White’s Confession by Robert Clark

2000 – Bones by Jan Burke
2001 – The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
2002 – Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker
2003 – Winter and Night by S.J. Rozan
2004 – Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin
2005 – California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker
2006 – Citizen Vince by Jess Walter
2007 – The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin
2008 – Down River by John Hart
2009 – Blue Heaven by C.J. Box
2010 – The Last Child by John Hart

In the end, how many of these mysteries have you had a chance to read? What did you think about them? Which did you like? Dislike? Let us know in the comments section below.

Friday, January 21, 2011

BSFA Awards short list announced

The British Science Fiction Association released on Monday its shortlist of nominees for the 2010 BSFA Awards.

For those of you unfamiliar with the BSFA Awards, they are given each year by the British Science Fiction Association to “honor works in the genre of science fiction.” Nominees and winners are selected by a vote of BSFA members and Eastercon members. (Eastercon is the common name of a long-running British sci-fi convention that dates back to 1948.)

This year, BSFA Awards will be given in four categories – Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Non-Fiction and Best Art. The nominees in each category this year include:

Best Novel:
- The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
- Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
- The Restoration Game by Ken Macleod
- The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
- Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan

Best Short Fiction:
- Flying in the Face of God by Nina Allan
- The Shipmaker by Aliette de Bodard
- The Things by Peter Watts
- Arrhythmia by Neil Williamson

Best Non-Fiction:
- Blogging the Hugos: Decline, Big Other by Paul Kincaid
- Review, With Both Feet in the Clouds, Asking the Wrong Questions Blogspot by Abigail Nussbaum
- Review, Wheel of Time, Punkadiddle by Adam Roberts
- Red Plenty by Francis Spufford
- The Notes from Coode Street Podcast by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe

Best Art:
- Conflicts (cover by Andy Bigwood)
- Fun with Rainbows, written by Gareth Owens (cover by Charlie Harbour)
- The Cat’s Cradle, written by Kurt Vonnegut (cover by Dominic Harman)
- Zoo City, written by Lauren Beukes (cover by Joey Hi-Fi)
- A Deafened Plea for Peace (cover for Crossed Genres 21 by Ben Greene)
- Finch by Jeff Vandermeer (cover by Adam Tredowski)

The winners in each of the four award categories will be announced on Sat., April 23.

The award categories have changed over the years by one constant since the awards were first handed out in 1970 is the category for Best Novel. As you might imagine, a number of great sci-fi novels have received this award, and I leave you tonight with a complete list of the BSFA Best Novel Award winners. Here they are:

1969 – Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
1970 – The Jagged Orbit by John Brunner
1971 – The Moment of Eclipse by Brian W. Aldiss
1972 – No award (insufficient votes)
1973 – Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
1974 – Inverted World by Christopher Priest
1975 – Orbitsville by Bob Shaw
1976 – Brontomek! By Michael G. Coney
1977 – The Jonah Kit by Ian Watson
1978 – A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
1979 – The Unlimited Dream Company by J.G. Ballard
1980 – Timescape by Gregory Benford
1981 – The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
1982 – Helliconia Spring by Brian W. Aldiss
1983 – Tik-Tok by John Sladek
1984 – Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
1985 – Helliconia Winter by Brian W. Aldiss
1986 – The Ragged Astronauts by Bob Shaw
1987 – Grainne by Keith Roberts
1988 – Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock
1989 – Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
1990 – Take Back Plenty by Colin Greenland
1991 – The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
1992 – Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1993 – Aztec Century by Christopher Evans
1994 – Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks
1995 – The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
1996 – Excession by Iain M. Banks
1997 – The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
1998 – The Extremes by Christopher Priest
1999 – The Sky Road by Ken MacLeod
2000 – Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle
2001 – Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds
2002 – The Separation by Christopher Priest
2003 – Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
2004 – River of Gods by Ian McDonald
2005 – Air by Geoff Ryman
2006 – End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
2007 – Brasyl by Ian McDonald
2008 – The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod
2009 – The City and the City by China Mieville

In the end, how many of these books have you had a chance to read? What did you think about them? Which did you like? Dislike? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Jan. 20, 2011

19 YEARS AGO
JAN. 16, 1992

“Annette Wells, sister of Conecuh County Sheriff Edwin Booker, taught the sheriff a thing or two about fishing during her recent trip to Conecuh County. She pulled in this 10-pound bass. The fish was caught on a purple worm in an ‘undisclosed’ location. Wells lives in Holley-Navarre, Fla.”

“Randy Hildreth of Las Vegas, Nev. had a great start to the New Year when he killed these two nice bucks while visiting his parents, William and Dorothy Hildreth of Paul, over the holidays. He killed the six-point on New Year’s Day and the eight-point two days later. Each deer weighed approximately 200 pounds. Randy owes his success to his nephew, James Brown of Evergreen. He said, ‘James made me get out of bed everyday, showed me all the hot spots, woke me up when the deer were in shooting range and then let me shoot them. That’s a great nephew!’ When we asked where Randy and James shot the deer, they said ‘in the shoulder.’”

“Bobby Townson of Evergreen shot this fine eight-point, 200-pound buck Saturday afternoon from his tree stand. The buck had a spread of 18-1/4 inches at the tips.”

34 YEARS AGO
JAN. 20, 1977

“Jo Ann Harper bagged this trophy buck Saturday afternoon with one shot from her 12 gauge pump. The 11-pointer was her first buck after hunting for four seasons. Jo Ann’s husband, Edwin, has been rather quiet about the five-pointer he killed Saturday morning.”

“The Sparta Academy Warriors lost two games in the Crenshaw Academy Tournament in Luverne Friday night. Crenshaw handed the Warriors their worst defeat of the season, 74-63. Sparta lost to Hooper by 75-69 in the consolation game Saturday night. Jerry Peacock was named to the all-tournament team.
“Bobby Johnson topped the Warrior scoring against Crenshaw with 17 points. Tim Johnson had 15; Jerry Peacock, 11; Gray Stevens, eight; Wesley Stuckey, five; Terry Peacock and Steve Dubose, two.
“Jerry Peacock with 25 and Bobby Johnson with 23 set the pace against Hooper. Tim Johnson had 11; Stevens and Stuckey, three each; and Hugh Bradford and Terry Peacock, two each.
“Sparta is now 8-4 on the season.”

“Jimmy Sumpter, son of Mrs. Earnestine Sumpter, is Lyeffion High School’s senior of the month for December. He has played football for four years and basketball for five years. He was named ‘All Tourney’ basketball player.”

49 YEARS AGO
JAN. 18, 1962

“Ronnie Jackson hit a free throw with only seconds remaining Monday night to give the Evergreen Aggies a thrilling 50-49 win over the T.R. Miller Tigers.
“Mike Ward hit for 24 for the Aggies while Jerry Wilson had 22 for the Tigers.”

“Everybody enjoyed Wayne Frazier Day and especially these participants shown behind the beautiful silver service presented to Wayne. They are Sen. Bob Kendall, Coach Wendell Hart, Wayne, Coach Hal Herring and Waynard Price.”

“Castleberry and Evergreen shared the final honors in the Conecuh County basketball tournament in Castleberry Saturday night. Castleberry won over Repton in the varsity finals with a score of 66-37.
“Named to the all-tournament team were Mike McEnnis and William Carter of Lyeffion, Mike Ward and Winston Pugh of Evergreen, Gene Baggett, Mick Goneke and Earl Rigby of Repton, and Donnie Kast, Henry Foster and Larry James of Castleberry.”

“Sarah Ann McLendon of Brooklyn spent the weekend with Mr. and Mrs. C.D. McLendon and attended the ball tournament at the school here (Castleberry).”

64 YEARS AGO
JAN. 16, 1947

“The big games of the season for the Evergreen Aggies will be played in Evergreen Gymnasium Friday night when the Murphy High aggregation rolls into town for the first of a two-game series. The first game is slated for 7 p.m.
“The Evergreen Aggies racked up their fifth win of the season Friday night after losing to Miller High Wednesday night. W.S. Neal was the Aggies victim Friday to the tune of a 28 to 21 score.
“Wednesday’s battle was one of the best games seen in this section in the past several years. Mickey Logue, Aggie sharpshooter, dropped in 19 points to lead both teams in scoring. James Carpenter, who came out of the game with an injured ankle, was next for the Aggies with 12 points. Right on Carpenter’s heels was Brantley with 10 points, who was followed by Ivey with four points. Bradley was high-point man for the winners with 12 points.
“W.S. Neal led the Aggies until late in the fourth quarter when a scoring assault by the Aggies gave them a 28 to 21 win. This time it was Ivey who led the Greenies with seven points to his credit. Brantley and Logue were close behind with six points each, followed by Hendricks with five and Jones with four. Coxwell and Morris each had six points to carry the brunt of the losers’ scoring attack.”

79 YEARS AGO
JAN. 21, 1932

“The Aggie girls basketball team played one of their finest games against Jay to win, 36-3. Capt. Kelly was at her best and scored 29 of her team’s points. Crick Wild played a fine game and aided materially in Kelly’s scoring with her fast accurate passing. Cole played an excellent brand of ball at center as did Lyle Belle Johns at guard. Sowell and Snowden at guard played their usual good game. Ruth Parker gave a good account of herself at running center. The girls have won five and lost none to date. They play the fast Opp sextet at Opp Friday.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My movie picks this week are 'The Way Back' and 'Buried'

It’s Wednesday, so today I give you my weekly list of movies that will open in theatres this week as well as a list of movies that will be released this week on DVD.

I hope this will serve as a useful guide as to what’s going on this week if you happen to be near a movie theatre or if you’re looking for something to drop into your NetFlix queue.

Movies that are scheduled to hit theatres this Friday include:

- No Strings Attached (R, Comedy, Romance): Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Olivia Thirlby, Kevin Kline, Lake Bell, Cary Elwes, Greta Gerwig, Talia Balsam, Phil LaMarr and Stefanie Scott.

- The Way Back (PG-13, Drama): Directed by Peter Weir and starring Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan, Dragos Bucur, Igor Gnezdilov and Dejan Angelov.

- The Company Men (R, Drama): Directed by John Wells and starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Craig T. Nelson and Rosemarie Dewitt.

- The Housemaid (Not Yet Rated, Drama): Directed by Im Sang-soo and starring Ahn Seo-Hyun and Jeon Do-yeon.

New DVD releases for the week of Jan. 18 include:

- Animal Kingdom (R, Drama, Crime): Directed by David Michod and starring Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelson, Joel Edgerton, Jackie Weaver, Luke Ford, Dan Wylie, Sullivan Stapleton and James Frecheville.

- Buried (R, Drama, Thriller): Directed by Rodrigo Cortes and starring Ryan Reynolds, Ivana Mino, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis and Diane Farr.

- Down Terrace (R, Comedy): Directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Bob Hill, Robin Hill, Julia Deakin, Mark Kempner, Kali Peacock, Kerry Peacock and David Schaal.

- Eichmann (Not Rated, Drama): Directed by Robert Young and starring Thomas Kretschmann, Troy Garity, Franka Potente, Stephen Fry and Delaine Yates.

- Freakonomics (PG-13, Documentary, Special Interest): Directed by Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki and Morgan Spurlock.

- Jack Goes Boating (R, Comedy, Drama): Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega.

- Lebanon (R, Drama): Directed by Samuel Maoz and starring Reymond Amsalem, Ashraf Barhom and Oshri Cohen.

- Paper Man (R, Comedy): Directed by Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney and starring Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Lisa Kudrow, Hunter Parrish, Kieran Culkin, Arabella Field and Chris Parnell.

- Stone (R, Drama, Thriller): Directed by John Curran and starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich, Frances Conroy, Enver Gjokaj, Pepper Binkley, Rachel Loiselle and Sandra Love Alridge.

- The Switch (PG-13, Comedy): Directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon and starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis.

- Takers (PG-13, Action, Crime and Mystery): Directed by John Luessenhop and starring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Chris Brown, T.I., Matt Dillon, Zoe Saldana, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy, Steve Harris and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.

- The Virginity Hit (R, Comedy): Directed by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland and starring Zack Pearlman, Jacob Davich, Justin Kline, Krysta Rodriguez, Nicole Weaver, Savannah Welch, Seth Barrish, Tina Parker, Sunny Leone, Daniel Weber and David Jensen.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “The Way Back,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “Buried.”

In the end, let me know if you get a chance to watch any of the new movies in theatres this week or if you’ve already seen any of the movies that have just been released on DVD. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sweet Water 420 Extra Pale Ale gets an A in my book

I got the chance to sample a bottle of Sweet Water Brewing Company’s 420 Extra Pale Ale the other day, and I have to say that this is the best new beer that I’ve tried in a while.

According to the brewery, which was founded in 1997 and is located on Ottley Drive in Atlanta, 420 Extra Pale Ale is the company’s most popular brew. They describe it as “a tasty West Coast Style Pale Ale with a stimulating hop character and a crisp finish.”

This beer, which was “first conceived in our bat cave on 4-20,” has won a number of awards over the years. It won a silver medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival and a silver medal at the 1998 World Beer Cup. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution als named it one of Atlanta’s Top 10 local beers.

Each 12-ounce bottle contains 5.4 percent alcohol and 185 calories.

The Sweet Water Brewing Company, which has a “Small Brewery of the Year” award to its credit, produces a number of other types of brews. They include Sweet Water Blue (a fruit beer), Sweet Water IPA, Sweet Water Sch’Wheat American Wheat Ale, Sweet Water Georgia Brown, Sweet Water Happy Ending (an Imperial Stout), Sweet Water Road Trip (a Pilsner), Sweet Water Motor Boat (an ESB) and Sweet Water Festive Ale.

If you find yourself in Atlanta, the brewery is open for tours. Stop by on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and starting Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for tours and tastings. You can get a souvenir pint glass for and six drink tickets (each good for half a pint of beer) for $8. You do have to be 21 though.

For more information about the brewery www.sweetwaterbrew.com.

Monday, January 17, 2011

How many of these Golden Globe Award-winning movies have you seen

The 68th Golden Globe Awards were handed out by Hollywood Foreign Press Association last night in Beverly Hills, Calif. Since 1944, the Golden Globe Awards have been given out to “recognize excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign.”

“The Social Network” won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Film, beating out the other nominees – “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception” and “The King’s Speech.”

“The Kids Are All Right” won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical Film. The other nominees were “Alice in Wonderland,” “Burlesque,” “Red” and “The Tourist.”

“Toy Story 3” won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. The other nominees were “Despicable Me,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “The Illusionist” and “Tangled.”

“In a Better World” won the Golden Globe for best Foreign-Language Film. The other nominees were “Biutiful,” “The Concert,” “The Edge” and “I Am Love.”

All of this got me to wondering about what other movies have received Golden Globes in the past and about how many I’ve had a chance to watch.

When the Golden Globes were first awarded in the 1940s, there was a single category for Best Picture. In 1951, the Golden Globes split the Best Picture awards into categories for Drama and Musical-Comedy. (The award was later re-combined for one year in 1953).

Here’s a list of the films that have won Golden Globes for Best Picture:

1943 – The Song of Bernadette
1944 – Going My Way
1945 – The Lost Weekend
1946 – The Best Years of Our Lives
1947 – Gentlemen’s Agreement
1948 (tie) – Johnny Belinda and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
1949 – All the King’s Men

What follows is a list of the movies that have won a Golden Globe for Best Drama:

1950 – Sunset Boulevard
1951 – A Place in the Sun
1952 – The Greatest Show on Earth
1953 – The Robe
1954 – On the Waterfront
1955 – East of Eden
1956 – Around the World in Eighty Days
1957 – The Bridge Over River Kwai
1958 – The Defiant Ones
1959 – Ben-Hur

1960 – Spartacus
1961 – The Guns of Navarone
1962 – Lawrence of Arabia
1963 – The Cardinal
1964 – Becket
1965 – Doctor Zhivago
1966 – A Man for All Seasons
1967 – In the Heat of the Night
1968 – The Lion in Winter
1969 – Anne of the Thousand Days

1970 – Love Story
1971 – The French Connection
1972 – The Godfather
1973 – The Exorcist
1974 – Chinatown
1975 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1976 – Rocky
1977 – The Turning Point
1978 – Midnight Express
1979 – Kramer vs. Kramer

1980 – Ordinary People
1981 – On Golden Pond
1982 – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
1983 – Terms of Endearment
1984 – Amadeus
1985 – Out of Africa
1986 – Platoon
1987 – The Last Emperor
1988 – Rain Man
1989 – Born on the Fourth of July

1990 – Dances with Wolves
1991 – Bugsy
1992 – Scent of a Woman
1993 – Schindler’s List
1994 – Forrest Gump
1995 – Sense and Sensibility
1996 – The English Patient
1997 – Titanic
1998 – Saving Private Ryan
1999 – American Beauty

2000 – Gladiator
2001 – A Beautiful Mind
2002 – The Hours
2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004 – The Aviator
2005 – Brokeback Mountain
2006 – Babel
2007 – Atonement
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
2009 – Avatar
2010 – The Social Network

The following movies have received a Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy Film:

1951 – An American in Paris
1952 – With a Song in My Heart
1953 – No Award Given
1954 – Carmen Jones
1955 – Guys and Dolls
1956 – The King and I
1957 – Les Girls
1958 – Auntie Mame (Comedy) and Gigi (Musical)
1959 – Some Like It Hot (Comedy) and Porgy and Bess (Musical)

1960 – The Apartment (Comedy) and Song Without End (Musical)
1961 – A Majority of One (Comedy) and West Side Story (Musical)
1962 – That Touch of Mink (Comedy) and The Music Man (Musical)
1963 – Tom Jones
1964 – My Fair Lady
1965 – The Sound of Music
1966 – The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming
1967 – The Graduate
1968 – Oliver
1969 – The Secret of Santa Vittoria

1970 – MASH
1971 – Fiddler on the Roof
1972 – Cabaret
1973 – American Graffiti
1974 – The Longest Yard
1975 – The Sunshine Boys
1976 – A Star Is Born
1977 – The Goodbye Girl
1978 – Heaven Can Wait
1979 – Breaking Away

1980 – Coal Miner’s Daughter
1981 – Arthur
1982 – Tootsie
1983 – Yentl
1984 – Romancing the Stone
1985 – Prizzi’s Honor
1986 – Hannah and Her Sisters
1987 – Hope and Glory
1988 – Working Girl
1989 – Driving Miss Daisy

1990 – Green Card
1991 – Beauty and the Beast
1992 – The Player
1993 – Mrs. Doubtfire
1994 – The Lion King
1995 – Babe
1996 – Evita
1997 – As Good as It Gets
1998 – Shakespeare in Love
1999 – Toy Story 2

2000 – Almost Famous
2001 – Moulin Rouge!
2002 – Chicago
2003 – Lost in Translation
2004 – Sideways
2005 – Walk the Line
2006 – Dreamgirls
2007 – Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
2008 – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2009 – The Hangover
2010 – The Kids Are All Right

The Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film is a relatively new award. It was given out for the first time in 2007 for films that came out in 2006. Here are the all-time winners of that award.

2006 – Cars
2007 – Ratatouille
2008 – WALL-E
2009 – Up
2010 – Toy Story 3

In the end, how many of these films have you had a chance to watch? Which did you like? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

'Halo: Cryptum' debuts on PW fiction best-sellers list

It’s Sunday, so that means that it’s time for my weekly review of this week’s Publishers Weekly Best-Seller List. According to the list, we’ve got one new book at the top of the four major best-seller lists this week.

“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larsson replaced “What the Night Knows” by Dean Koontz as the No. 1 book on the hardcover fiction best sellers list.

"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand retained the top spot on the hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list.

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Larsson retained the No. 1 spots on the mass market paperback best-sellers list and the trade paperbacks best-sellers list.

There are four books on this week’s hardcover fiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. Those books (and their place on the list) are "Three Seconds" by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom (10), "Damage" by John Lescroart (12), "The Judas Gate" by Jack Higgins (13) and "Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga" by Greg Bear (15).

There are five books on this week’s hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They include "The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life" by Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow (3), "Cinch; Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches" by Cynthia Sass (6), Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results" by Roger Connors and Tom Smith (9), "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections" by Nora Ephron (11) and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot (12).

There are three books on this week’s mass market paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on that list last week. Those books include "Altar of Eden" by James Rollins (6), "Master of Smoke" by Angela Knight (14) and "Impact" by Douglas Preston (15).

There are four books on this week’s trade paperbacks list that weren’t on the list last week. Those books are "Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back" by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, Colton Burpo and Lynn Vincent (12), "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho (13), "Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah (14) and "Eat This, Not That! 2011" by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding (15).

As a reminder, I’m posting these lists each Sunday because they, as a whole, represent a great, contemporary recommended reading list. They are initially released each week on Thursday, and if you’re interested in reading them then, visit Publishers Weekly’s Web site at www.publishersweekly.com. Below you’ll find all four of this week’s best-seller lists.

HARDCOVER FICTION
1. "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson
2. "What the Night Knows: A Novel" by Dean Koontz
3. "Dead or Alive" by Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood
4. "The Confession" by John Grisham
5. "The Outlaws: A Presidential Agent Novel" by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth
6. "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
7. "Cross Fire" by James Patterson
8. "Freedom: A Novel" by Jonathan Franzen
9. "Secrets to the Grave" by Tami Hoag
10. "Three Seconds" by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom
11. "Port Mortuary" by Patricia Cornwell
12. "Damage" by John Lescroart
13. "The Judas Gate" by Jack Higgins
14. "Hell's Corner" by David Baldacci
15. "Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga" by Greg Bear

HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand
2. "Decision Points" by George W. Bush
3. "The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life" by Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow
4. "The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommom Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman" by Timothy Ferriss
5. "Cleopatra: A Life" by Stacy Schiff
6. "Cinch; Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches" by Cynthia Sass
7. "Life" by Keith Richards
8. "Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man" by Steve Harvey
9. Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results" by Roger Connors and Tom Smith
10. "Autobiography of Mark Twain" by Ed. by Harriet Elinor Smith
11. "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections" by Nora Ephron
12. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot
13. "Decoded" by Jay-Z
14. "Sh t My Dad Says" by Justin Halpern
15. "Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?" by Ina Garten

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS
1. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
2. "Deliver Us From Evil" by David Baldacci
3. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson
4. "Ruthless Game" by Christine Feehan
5. "Live To Tell: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel" by Lisa Gardner
6. "Altar of Eden" by James Rollins
7. "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown
8. "The Scent of Jasmine" by Jude Deveraux
9. "Deja Vu" by Fern Michaels
10. "Promise Canyon" by Robyn Carr
11. "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton
12. "The First Rule" by Robert Crais
13. "The Lady Most Likely...: A Novel in Three Parts" by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway
14. "Master of Smoke" by Angela Knight
15. "Impact" by Douglas Preston

TRADE PAPERBACKS
1. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
2. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson
3. "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese
4. "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult
5. "Water for Elephants: A Novel" by Sara Gruen
6. "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert
7. "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave
8. "The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel" by Garth Stein
9. "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz
10. "True Grit" by Charles Portis
11. "Just Kids" by Patti Smith
12. "Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back" by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, Colton Burpo and Lynn Vincent
13. "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
14. "Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah
15. "Eat This, Not That! 2011" by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding

In the end, let me know if you’ve had a chance to read any of these books. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

These Mexican cervezas don't impress me much

I sampled two imported Mexican beers for the first time over the past week, and I wasn’t overly impressed by either one (although one was much better than the other).

The two beers were Cerveza Pacifico Clara (more commonly referred to as Pacifico) and Carta Blanca. I bought both beers at Lee’s Quick Stop on the Monroe-Conecuh County line.

Carta Blanca was my least favorite of the two beers. Its taste was very different than most beers that I am accustomed to, and it had a strong wine quality to it that I didn’t care for.

Brewed by the Cuauhtemoc-Moctezuma Brewery in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in Mexico, Carta Blanca is the brewery’s original premium beer. (This brewery, which is owned by Heineken International, is probably best known for producing Tecate and Dos Equis.)

My first clue as the quality of this beer should have been the layer of dust on each bottle that was in the six pack I bought. My second clue was the fact that I actually had to force myself to finish these beers. I operate under a strict “waste-not, want-not” policy, and it took an act of will to force myself to drink all of these beers over the course of several days.

Each 12-ounce bottle of Carta Blanca contains four percent alcohol by volume and 128 calories.

Who knows? Maybe it’s just me, but I give this beer a C-. For more information about Carta Blanca, visit the brewery’s Web site at www.cuamoc.com.

The other beer, Pacifico, was much better and was more in line with domestic and European beers. A Mexican pilsner-style beer, Pacifico was first brewed in 1900 by three Germans who founded the brewery, Cerveceria del Pacifico in Mazatlan, Mexico, which is a port on the Pacific Ocean (hence the name of the beer).

Each 12-ounce bottle contains 4.5 percent alcohol by volume and 146 calories.

Comparitively speaking, Pacifico was a tasty beer, and I’d have no qualms about drinking it again. Gradewise, I give it a solid B. For more information about Pacifico, visit its Web site at www.pacificoclara.com.

In the end, I’d be interested to know how many of you out there have tried either one of these beers. What did you think about them? Did you like them? Hate them? Let us know in the comments section below.

Friday, January 14, 2011

'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' gets an A+ in my book

I finally got the chance to watch “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” the other day, and I have to say that this is the best movie that I’ve seen in a while.

Maybe it’s because this isn’t your typical movie.

Filled with unusual and often totally bizarre special effects, including homages to comic books and early 1990s video games, this movie is like a musical, except that the characters suddenly break out into outrageous fight scenes instead of songs.

Based on the graphic novel series, “Scott Pilgrim,” by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the movie, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” was released in the U.S. on Aug. 13, 2010.

Directed by Edgar Wright, the movie stars Michael Cera (who plays the role of Scott Pilgrim and who many of you will remember from “Superbad”), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who was also in “Final Destination 3”), Kieran Culkin (Macaulay Culkin’s brother), Ellen Wong (who is best known for her role as Knives Chau in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), Alison Pill (who was in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”), Mark Webber (who was in “Snow Day”), Johnny Simmons (who was born in Montgomery and was in “Evan Almighty”) and Anna Kendrick (who is best known for playing Jessica Stanley in the Twilight Saga film series).

For those of you who have not seen “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” it’s about a young Canadian guitarist named Scott Pilgrim, who meets the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, her ex-boyfriends (and one ex-girlfriend) have teamed up to form “The League of Evil Exes.” In video game fashion, as Pilgrim navigates through the movie, he has to defeat each of the “seven evil exes” in order to win the heart of the girl of his dreams.

This movie was a lot of fun to watch, and the special effects and ridiculous plot twists only added to the experience. Once you realize that you shouldn’t take the movie too seriously, it becomes real easy to enjoy the hilarity of it all. Watching the movie also left me with a desire to check out the graphic novel series.

The graphic novel series ran between August 2004 and July 2010 and was issued in six digest-sized volumes. If you’re interested in looking them up on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, the titles of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, in order of publication, are “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” “Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness,” “Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe” and “Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour.”

According to the Internet Movie Database, the “original concept for ‘Scott Pilgrim’ was based around two premises: What if, after a life of playing fighting games, someone confronted you and you actually had the ability to fight like a ‘Street Fighter’ character? And also Bryan Lee O’Malley’s then-girlfriend (now wife) Hope Larson having, at one time, dated three different guys named Matthew. From that, the concept of a League of Matthew's was devised.”

In the end, I really enjoyed this movie, and I give it an A+ in my book. Have any of you had a chance to see this movie? If so, what did you think about it? Did you like it? Dislike it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You too can be a Lovecraftian scholar...

I am a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft, and over the years, I’ve had a chance to read most of his fiction with the exception of a handful of some of his older, more obscure stories.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I ran across a rare edition of Lovecraftian stories called “The Survivor & Others” while perusing the shelves at the “Treasures on the Corner” store in Evergreen.

Originally published in 1957 by Arkham House, this book contains seven short fantasy and horror stories written by Lovecraft’s close friend, August Derleth, who was inspired by notes that Lovecraft left behind when he died. (The edition of the book that I found in Evergreen is a softcover edition printed by Ballantine Books in February 1971.)

Stories in the book include “The Survivor,” “Wentworth’s Day,” “The Peabody Heritage,” “The Gable Window,” “The Ancestor,” “The Shadow Out of Space” and “The Lamp of Alhazred.” Derleth completed each of these stories from Lovecraft’s notes and outlines, which were discovered among the papers of the late R.H. Barlow. Barlow was a longtime friend of Lovecraft’s, who aided in preserving many of Lovecraft’s manuscripts.

The back cover of “The Survivor & Others” sums these stories up nicely: Seven magnificent tales in which Great Cthulhu walks again, the Dunwich-Arkham country lives once more, and in a final allegory, Lovecraft himself is portrayed in a quasi-autobiographical manner. The last, rare stories of a master craftsman.

Fans of Lovecraft owe much to Derleth. Interestingly, the two contemporary writers never met, but they knew each other by way of numerous letters over a period of years. Despite having some of his stories published in pulp magazines like “Weird Tales,” Lovecraft died in 1937 and was virtually unknown. His stories would have likely faded into obscurity if not for his friend Derleth.

In 1939, Derleth and writer Donald Wandrei founded Arkham House Publishing for the sole purpose of publishing a huge collection of Lovecraft’s stories, “The Outsider and Others,” in 1941.

Now, Derleth, who died in 1971, is best remembered for being the person chiefly responsible for keeping Lovecraft’s literary legacy alive and popularizing his stories, which have had a major influence on such individuals as Clive Barker, Stephen King, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mike Mignola, John Carpenter, Guillermo Del Toro and Joyce Carol Oates.

I enjoyed “The Survivor & Others,” and if I had to pick a favorite story from the book, I’d probably go with “Wentworth’s Day,” with “The Ancestor” coming in a close second.

Interestingly, despite Derleth’s death nearly 40 years ago, Arkham House Publishing is still going strong. Since 1939, the publishing house has produced over 200 books with Lovecraft’s work dominating their bulk of their output. For more information about Arkham House, visit its Web site at www.arkhamhouse.com.

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Jan. 13, 2011

10 YEARS AGO
JAN. 11, 2001

“Warriors travel to Grady for first game of 2001: The Sparta Academy Warriors traveled to Grady to take on the South Montgomery Academy Raiders on Fri., Jan. 5, 2001. The Lady Warriors handily defeated the Lady Raiders but the other teams did not fare as well.
“Lady Warriors 70, SMCA 39: Katie Etheridge had the hot hand for the Lady Warriors, leading her team with 23 points. Also scoring in double digits were Jill Pate with 13 points and Laura Wiggins with 10 points.
“Rounding out the scoring were Jessica Armuelles with nine points, Jessica Bennett with five points, Callie Ezell and Ashton Garner with four points each and Susan Ivey with two points.
“SMCA 84, Warriors 70: John McKenzie led the Warriors in scoring with 24 points. Also scoring in double digits were Kyle Johnston, Derrick Williams and Rusty Salter with 10 points each. Rounding out the scoring for the Warriors were Chris Garner with seven points, John Anderson with five points and Justin Tranum and Wiley Cobb with two points each.
“SMCA 27, JV Warriors 12: Thomas Nielsen scored seven points and Drew Davis scored five points for the JV Warriors.
“SMCA 30, JV Lady Warriors 24: Ashton Garner led the scoring for the JV Lady Warriors with eight points.”

25 YEARS AGO
JAN. 9, 1986

“Harry Phillips, general manager of Radio Station WEGN, presents the 1983 Ducks Unlimited Limited Edition Browning Shotgun to Harold Adams, owner of Conecuh Printing Co. and co-publisher of the South Central Alabama Trader. Adams was the lucky winner of the collector’s item shotgun.”

40 YEARS AGO
JAN. 14, 1971

“Coach Charles Branum will take his Evergreen High Aggie cagers into the South Alabama Conference Basketball Tournament next week in a dark horse role. The meet begins Monday night and continues through Saturday night at the Covington County High School gym in Florala.
“Three games are scheduled Monday at 5:00, 6:30 and 8 p.m. The Aggies get into action Tuesday night at 6:30, meeting Pike County High of Brundidge. A win then would put them into action again Thursday night at eight o’clock against tournament favorite, Andalusia High, which drew a first round bye.
“The semi-finals will be played Friday night, Jan. 22, with the Aggies’ bracket set at eight o’clock. The consolation and championship games will be played Saturday night, Jan. 23, at 6:30 and eight o’clock.
“Andalusia with an 11-1 record shares the favorite role with Luverne which has posted a 10-2 work sheet. The Aggies have a record of eight wins and three losses.”

“Mr. Harry Brislin and Mr. Lambert attended the Senior Bowl game in Mobile last Saturday.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Waynard Price, Rachel Price and Elizabeth Wilkerson attended the Senior Bowl game in Mobile Saturday.”

55 YEARS AGO
JAN. 12, 1956

“Evergreen High School and Georgiana High School were unanimously elected to the South Alabama Conference at a meeting of that body in Opp last Wednesday night. The two new members join charter members Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Greenville, Troy, Luverne, Elba and Enterprise.”

“Randy White paced the Evergreen Aggies to their seventh straight win Tuesday night as Evergreen overpowered neighboring Monroe County High School, 76-49, in Monroeville.
“Leading scorer, Randy White, lanky six-foot, five-inch Aggie center, scored 32 points. Robert King plopped in a very respectable 21 points, followed by Wayne Frazier with 10, Eddie Kelly with eight, Mickey Joyner with three and Walter Carrier with two points.”

“The Repton Bulldogs visited nearby Castleberry Tuesday night and lost to the Blue Devils, 67-43.
“Clarence Hart continued his torrid pace as he crammed 24 points through the nets. High point man for the evening, however, was Ray Blackwell for the losers, as he scorched 29 points in the nets. Blackwell will be remembered for his sterling play as a Bulldogs backfield ace during the football season.”

70 YEARS AGO
JAN. 9, 1941

“The Evergreen High Aggies and the Greenville High cagers battled on even terms for three whole quarters here Friday night but during the final period the visitors displayed a desperate surge of offensive power and came out the winner by a 23-14 margin.
“Nielsen and Hanks led the locals with four and five points, respectively.”

“Evergreen High School: The first basketball game since Christmas was very exciting. Evergreen played Greenville, and the fierce battle kept the spectators standing. Greenville won with the score 23 to 14.
“The basketball team has new uniforms, and they really shine. They also have elected a captain, Judson Murphy with Knud Nielsen as alternate captain.”

“Miss Martha Binion returned Friday from a delightful visit with Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Nash of Mobile. Over the weekend, she was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Denniston aboard the ‘Sunshine,’ and Tuesday the guest of Mrs. Mendes in New Orleans to witness the Sugar Bowl game.”

“Dr. E.L. Kelly of Repton and his son, Guy Kelly of Evergreen, attended the Sugar Bowl football game between Tennessee and Boston College in New Orleans last week.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My movie picks this week are 'The Green Hornet' and 'The Social Network'

It’s Wednesday, so today I give you my weekly list of movies that will open in theatres this week as well as my list of movies that will be released this week on DVD.

I hope this will serve as a useful guide as to what’s going on this week if you happen to be near a movie theatre or if you’re looking for something to drop into your NetFlix queue.

Movies that are scheduled to hit theatres this Friday include:

- Barney’s Version (R, Comedy, Drama): Directed by Richard J. Lewis and starring Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver and Rachelle Lefevere.

- Burning Palms (R, Drama): Directed by Christopher Landon and starring Zoe Saldana, Jamie Chung, Rosamund Pike, Dylan McDermott and Shannen Doherty.

- The Dilemma (PG-13, Comedy): Directed by Ron Howard and starring Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah.

- Down for Life (R, Drama): Directed by Alan Jacobs and starring Jessica Romero, Danny Glover, Kate del Castillo, Emily Rios and Laz Alonso.

- Every Day (R, Drama): Directed by Richard Levine and starring Helen Hunt, Liey Schreiber, Carl Gugino, Eddie Izzard, Brian Dennehy, Ezra Miller, Benita Robledo and David Harbour.

- The Green Hornet (PG-13, Comedy): Directed by Michel Gondry and starring Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Edward Furlong, Tom Wilkinson, Edward James Olmos, Jay Chou and Chad Coleman.

- The Heart Specialist (Not Yet Rated, Comedy, Drama): Directed by Dennis Cooper and starring Zoe Saldana, Wood Harris, Brian J. White, Mya, Scott Paulin, David S. Lee, Kenneth Choi, Irene Tsu, Richard Voigts, Tony Perez, Brittany Ishibashi and Kristi Kirk.

- Looking for Palladin (R, Comedy, Drama): Directed by Andrzej Krakowski and starring Ben Gazzara, David Moscow, Talia Shire, Vincent Pastore and Pedro Armendariz Jr.

- Ong Bak 3 (R, Drama): Directed by Tony Jaa and Panna Rittikrai and starring Tony Jaa and Dan Chupong.

- A Somewhat Gentle Man (Not Rated, Drama): Directed by Hans Peter Moland and starring Stellan Skarsgard, Bjorn Floberg, Jorunn Kjellsby, Gard Eidsvold and Aksel Hennie.

New DVD releases for the week of Jan. 11 include:

- Alpha and Omega (PG, Action, Animation, Family): Directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck and featuring celebrity voices by Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper, Larry Miller, Vicki Lewis, Kevin Sussman, Eric Price, Chris Carmack and Brian Donovan.

- Animal Kingdom (R, Crime, Mystery, Thriller): Directed by David Michod and starring James Frecheville, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver.

- The Freebie (R, Drama): Directed by Katie Aselton and starring Dax Shepard, Katie Aselton, Joshua Leonard, Bellamy Young, Leonora Gershman, Ken Kennedy, Sean Nelson, Ross Partridge and Marguerite Phillips.

- Heartbreaker (Not Rated, Comedy, Romance): Directed by Pascal Chaumeil and starring Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier, Francois Damiens and Andrew Lincoln.

- Love Hurts (PG-13, Comedy, Romance): Directed by Barra Grant and starring Richard E. Grant, Julia Voth, Jenna Elfman, Carrie-Anne Moss, Janeane Garofalo, Johnny Pacar, Camryn Manheim, Jeffrey Nordling, Yvonne Zima, Caroline Aaron, Marcella Lentz-Pope and Olga Fonda.

- Piranha (R. Horror): Directed by Alexandre Aja and starring Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Eli Roth, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Dina Meyer, Jessica Szohr, Jerry O’Connell, Richard Dreyfuss, Kelly Brook, Cody Longo and Riley Steele.

- The Social Network (PG-13, Drama, Comedy): Directed by David Fincher and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Joseph Mazzello, Rooney Mara, Liam Ferguson, Brenda Song, Rashida Jones, Max Minghella, Armie Hammer and Douglas Urbanski.

- Truth in Numbers? Everything According to Wikipedia (Not Rated, Documentary, Special Interest): Directed by Scott Glosserman and Nic Hill.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “The Green Hornet,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “The Social Network.”

In the end, let me know if you get a chance to watch any of the new movies in theatres this week or if you’ve already seen any of the movies that have just been released on DVD. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Newbery, Caldecott Medal winners announced

Yesterday in San Diego, the American Library Association announced the winners of this year’s Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal, the top honors for books for children and young adults.

The most prestigious of the two awards, the John Newbery Medal, which is given each year to the book that makes the “most outstanding contribution to children’s literature,” was awarded to “Moon Over Manifest” by Clare Vanderpool.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal is given each year to the “most distinguished American picture book for children." This year’s Caldecott Medal went to “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” which was written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead.

Esteemed worldwide for the high quality of books that they recognize, the ALA awards are meant to serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. The award winners are selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s and young adult experts.

Many of you will be familiar with past Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners. Past winners of the Newbery Medal include the following books:

2010 - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
2009 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean
2008 - Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
2007 - The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron and illustrated by Matt Phelan
2006 - Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
2005 - Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
2004 - The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering.
2003 - Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
2002 - A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
2001 - A Year Down Yonder by by Richard Peck

2000 - Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
1999 - Holes by Louis Sachar
1998 - Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
1997 - The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
1996 - The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
1995 - Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
1994 - The Giver by Lois Lowry
1993 - Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
1992 - Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1991 - Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

1990 - Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
1989 - Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman
1988 - Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman
1987 - The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
1986 - Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
1985 - The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
1984 - Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
1983 - Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt
1982 - A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard
1981 - Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

1980 - A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos
1979 - The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
1978 - Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
1977 - Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
1976 - The Grey King by Susan Cooper
1975 - M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
1974 - The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Bradbury)
1973 - Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
1972 - Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
1971 - Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

1970 - Sounder by William H. Armstrong
1969 - The High King by Lloyd Alexander
1968 - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
1967 - Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
1966 - I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
1965 - Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska
1964 - It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville
1963 - A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
1962 - The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
1961 - Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

1960 - Onion John by Joseph Krumgold
1959 - The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
1958 - Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
1957 - Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
1956 - Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
1955 - The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
1954 - ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
1953 - Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark
1952 - Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
1951 - Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

1950 - The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
1949 - King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
1948 - The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois
1947 - Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
1946 - Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
1945 - Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
1944 - Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
1943 - Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
1942 - The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds
1941 - Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry

1940 - Daniel Boone by James Daugherty
1939 - Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
1938 - The White Stag by Kate Seredy
1937 - Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
1936 - Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
1935 - Dobry by Monica Shannon
1934 - Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs
1933 - Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis
1932 - Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer
1931 - The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth

1930 - Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field
1929 - The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
1928 - Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji
1927 - Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James
1926 - Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman
1925 - Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger
1924 - The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes
1923 - The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
1922 - The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon

Past Caldecott Medal winners include the following books:

2010 - The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
2009 - The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson
2008 - The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
2007 - Flotsam by David Wiesner
2006 - The Hello, Goodbye Window, illustrated by Chris Raschka and written by Norton Juster
2005 - Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
2004 - The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
2003 - My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
2002 - The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
2001 - So You Want to Be President? illustrated by David Small with text by Judith St. George

2000 - Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
1999 - Snowflake Bentley, illustrated by Mary Azarian with text by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
1998 - Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
1997 - Golem by David Wisniewski
1996 - Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
1995 - Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz with text by Eve Bunting
1994 - Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say with text edited by Walter Lorraine
1993 - Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
1992 - Tuesday by David Wiesner
1991 - Black and White by David Macaulay

1990 - Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young
1989 - Song and Dance Man, illustrated by Stephen Gammell with text by Karen Ackerman
1988 - Owl Moon, illustrated by John Schoenherr with text by Jane Yolen
1987 - Hey, Al, illustrated by Richard Egielski with text by Arthur Yorinks
1986 - The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
1985 - Saint George and the Dragon, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman with text retold by Margaret Hodges
1984 - The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot by Alice & Martin Provensen
1983 - Shadow, translated and illustrated by Marcia Brown with original text in French by Blaise Cendrars
1982 - Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
1981 - Fables by Arnold Lobel

1980 - Ox-Cart Man, illustrated by Barbara Cooney with text by Donald Hall
1979 - The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
1978 - Noah's Ark by Peter Spier
1977 - Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon with text by Margaret Musgrove
1976 - Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon with text retold by Verna Aardema
1975 - Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott
1974 - Duffy and the Devil, illustrated by Margot Zemach and retold by Harve Zemach
1973 - The Funny Little Woman, illustrated by Blair Lent with text retold by Arlene Mosel
1972 - One Fine Day, retold and illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian
1971 - A Story A Story, retold and illustrated by Gail E. Haley

1970 - Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
1969 - The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, illustrated by Uri Shulevitz with text by retold by Arthur Ransome
1968 - Drummer Hoff, illustrated by Ed Emberley with text adapted by Barbara Emberley
1967 - Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness
1966 - Always Room for One More, illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian with text by Sorche Nic Leodhas
1965 - May I Bring a Friend? illustrated by Beni Montresor with text by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
1964 - Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
1963 - The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
1962 - Once a Mouse, retold and illustrated by Marcia Brown
1961 - Baboushka and the Three Kings, illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov wiith text by Ruth Robbins

1960 - Nine Days to Christmas, illustrated by Marie Hall Ets with text by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida
1959 - Chanticleer and the Fox, illustrated by Barbara Cooney with text adapted from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales by Barbara Cooney
1958 - Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
1957 - A Tree Is Nice, illustrated by Marc Simont with text by Janice Udry
1956 - Frog Went A-Courtin', illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky with text retold by John Langstaff
1955 - Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper, illustrated by Marcia Brown with text translated from Charles Perrault by Marcia Brown
1954 - Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans
1953 - The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
1952 - Finders Keepers, illustrated by Nicholas Mordvinoff with text by William Lipkind
1951 - The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous

1950 - Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi
1949 - The Big Snow by Berta & Elmer Hader
1948 - White Snow, Bright Snow, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin with text by Alvin Tresselt
1947 - The Little Island, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard with text by Golden MacDonald
1946 - The Rooster Crows by Maud & Miska Petersham
1945 - Prayer for a Child, illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones with text by Rachel Field
1944 - Many Moons, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin with text by James Thurber
1943 - The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
1942 - Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
1941 - They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson

1940 - Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
1939 - Mei Li by Thomas Handforth
1938 - Animals of the Bible, A Picture Book, illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop with text selected by Helen Dean Fish

The ALA also handed out a number of other awards yesterday. For more information about those awards as well as the finalists for the Newbery and Caldecott medals, visit the ALA’s Web site at www.ala.org.