Fabulous Fiction Firsts #490

Librarian (Louisiana) Ashley Weaver's stylish and charming debut Murder at the Brightwell features "a spunky heroine, a tense romance and red herrings galore" that would bring to mind Agatha Christie who created some of the most endearing and enduring amateur sleuths.

1932 England. Young Amory Ames, on impulse, accepts an invitation from her former fiance Gil Trent to vacation at the Brightwell, a luxurious seaside resort catering to the society set. The express purpose is for Amory to intervene in the forthcoming marriage of Gil's sister Emmeline to Rupert Howe, a disreputable ladies' man. No one sees the sharp prick of the irony more then Amory whose floundering marriage to the notoriously charming playboy Milo is a constant source of sorrow.

But when Rupert is found murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime, Amory must set aside their marital ennui, and reluctantly enlists Milo's help in finding the killer and clearing Trent's name. Soon, the pair's sleuthing puts them at the scene of a second murder, and in harm's way.

"A pleasant debut novel, nicely evoking the 1930s with strong atmosphere and the beginnings of some intriguing characters."

Readers eagerly anticipating a follow-up might want to get cozy with Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles of The Thin Man series (and the 1934 film adaptation that is now a classic); the Australian Miss Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood (adapted into an exquisitely-costumed period television series); and the Dandy Gilver series by Catriona McPherson, set in Scotland.

Get Out and Vote in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014

We're only two weeks away from the General Election for Federal, State and Local Offices and Ballot Proposals. You can view your sample ballot, check your polling location and much more at Michigan Votes.

The Michigan League of Women Voters Nonpartisan Voter Guide is available at all library branches and online. League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area candidate forums can be viewed online as well.

Here's a few tips for making voting easy:
-Don’t forget to bring your photo ID to vote. Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID will be required to sign an affidavit in order to vote.
-Peak voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Voters who want to avoid long lines are encouraged to vote during midday hours.
-Polling place hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are standing in line by 8 p.m. then you are eligible to vote.
-The City Clerk's Office is open Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 8am to 2pm to accept in-person requests for absentee ballots.
-Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed on Election Day. Polling places located within schools are open.

Washtenaw County election results are televised on Community Television Network’s CitiTV Channel 19 beginning at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014—after the polls close—and will continue throughout the night.

Chillers Author Johnathan Rand to visit AADL!

Join us Sunday, October 26 from 2-3pm downtown for a visit from local author Johnathan Rand! Rand is the author of the popular children’s chapter book series Michigan Chillers and American Chillers, with titles such as Poltergeists Of Petoskey, Dinosaurs Destroy Detroit and Great Lakes Ghost Ship.

He will talk about how he became a writer and how reading and writing are necessary in life. Books will be will for sale and he’ll be signing books after the event! Come give him a high five and ask him why he writes the books he does.

If you head up north, I recommend a visit to Chillermania! in Indian River. It’s the world headquarters for Rand’s books and a spookyish book store chock full of Rand’s books! It’s a feast for the eyes. I walked in this past spring and had a ton of fun.

New Teen Fiction at the AADL!

Wow! A fresh crop of exciting new teen books is on order at the AADL. Here’s a preview of just a few of the upcoming new arrivals:

Anatomy of a Misfit is Andrea Portes’ very first novel. It’s already gaining notoriety for being “hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant” and is based loosely on real events from the author’s life. Anika is the third most popular girl in school and works hard to maintain her social position even though on the inside her thoughts are dark and diabolical AND she has a crush on the nerdiest guy in school (although, in her defense, he has come back from summer vacation way better looking than he was last spring). Readers will love Anika’s witty commentary and the high school setting is portrayed poignantly. The book rockets towards its final, wrenching tragedy, but readers should stick it out to the ultimate, victorious ending.

The Jewel, by Amy Ewing, is the first book in the new Lone City series. Violet is purchased at auction by the Duchess of the Lake to serve as a surrogate mother for future royal children. As Violet fights to stay alive through the struggles of her daily existence it begins to seem as though her fate might be a hopeless one. Then, she meets the gentleman hired to be a companion to the Duchesses’ niece and everything changes. Suddenly, her life seems worth living again as the two begin an illicit romance. The consequences of this romance, however, are more than either of them had bargained for.

Split Second, by Kasie West, is the sequel to the popular Pivot Point, which was published in early 2013. In Pivot Point, readers were introduced to Addie, who has the remarkable ability of being able to see the future of both potential outcomes when she is faced with a choice. Split Second continues with the story of Addie, who has recently realized that she also has the ability to manipulate time… but not without a price. In order to mitigate the effects of her time manipulation, Addie must enlist the help of her best friend Laila as well as that of a handsome new boy at school who seems immune to her charms.

Other teen books recently added to the collection include Deliverance, the third book in the Defiance series, Sway, the story of a boy who woos a girl for his best friend… but then develops feelings for her himself, and Magnolia, the story of two Southern teenagers who realize that their hatred for one another might actually be love after a devastating storm sweeps through their town.

If you’re browsing for these or any other teen titles, don’t forget that our teen collection at the Downtown library is now located on the third floor!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #489 -“Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”~ Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

In The Distance, a "dark, ultra-contemporary and relentlessly paced debut thriller by Helen Giltrow, a London socialite, desperate to put some distance from her criminal past must contend with the outrageous demand of a hit man.

Behind the closed door of her sleek, high-security London apartment, Charlotte Alton is Karla - who, with a few keystrokes and for the right price, could make anyone disappear. The only mistake she'd ever made in an otherwise perfect career is revealing her face to a man named Simon Johanssen, an ex-special forces sniper turned killer-for-hire. Now, after a long absence, Johanssen has resurfaced with a job, and he needs Karla's help. This time - to take out an inmate inside an experimental prison colony, against impossible odds.

"Written in stylish, sophisticated prose, The Distance is a tense and satisfying debut in which every character, both criminal and law-abiding, wears two faces, and everyone is playing a double game."

"The graphic violence and torture has this thriller bordering on horror, like the work of Chelsea Cain, so be forewarned that it is not for the squeamish."

Gangsterland * * * by Tod Goldberg. Like Karla, Sal Cupertine, legendary hit man for the Chicago Mafia, has only made one mistake in his line of work, but it is a big one - killing 3 undercover FBI agents in a botched sting operation. To stay alive, he agrees to "the family's" radical idea. After a few surgeries and some intensive studying, Rabbi David Cohen is born, spouting quotes from the Torah or the Old Testament, leading a growing congregation in Las Vegas, and overseeing the temple and the new cemetery - a convenience both as a money and body-laundering scheme for the Mob. Meanwhile, a rouge FBI agent is on his trail, seeking vengeance for the murder of his three fellow agents.

"(W)ickedly dark and funny, Gangsterland (is) a morality tale set in a desert landscape as ruthless and barren as those who inhabit it."

"Sal's transformation and intermittent edification into Rabbi Cohen is brilliantly rendered, and Goldberg's careening plot, cast of memorably dubious characters, and mordant portrait of Las Vegas make this one of the year's best hard-boiled crime novels."

* * * = 3 starred reviews

Filmmaking fans? Moose fans?

Have I got a new picture book for you! This is a Moose, written by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, is hilarious! The book features many animals including the director duck who is trying to film the documentary “This is Moose,” and the shooting gets interrupted by Moose’s granny, a giraffe and outer space. Moose doesn’t want to be a moose, he wants to be an astronaut! The impatient director is about to quack up – all he wants is for the animals to play their proper roles! Will this film ever get beyond the the first scene? It's a great story about being able to be who you want to be. The back of the book also features a mini glossary of filmmaking terms.

Another not-so-new funny moose picture book is Z is For Moose, an alphabet story that gets a little mixed up when Moose gets upset.

National Book Award Finalists Announced


It's book award season! Britain announced their Booker Prize winner yesterday, and this morning brings the list of National Book Award finalists. There are five finalists in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. The list includes major names, such as past National Book Award winner Marilynn Robinson, former US Poet Laureate Louise Gluck, and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

You can view the list of finalists in the AADL catalog, read more about these titles, and place holds. The winners will be announced November 19th.

New TV Shows @ AADL

A giant stack of new TV shows have hit the catalog! It's a broad range of shows featuring pirates, queens, senators, single moms, fire fighters, and detectives. The library is always acquiring additional TV shows, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. We also often get the new seasons of shows already available at AADL! Good news comes with these particular new DVDs! You can now get the ENTIRE season in one check-out! (Hello, binge watching!) So if you notice this in the catalog, it’s not an error. All the discs are in one case with an extended check-out period for select new items. Here are some new series on their way to AADL:

Brooklyn nine-nine, Season 1
Jake Peralta is a Brooklyn detective with a gift for closing cases and little respect for authority. When no-nonsense commanding officer Raymond Holt joins the 99th precinct with something to prove, the two go head-to-head.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Season 1
After the battle of New York, the world has changed. It now knows not only about the avengers, but also the powerful menaces that require those superheroes and more to face them. An elite covert team has been formed to find and deal with these threats wherever they are found.

The 100, Season 1
Ninety-seven years after nuclear Armageddon destroyed the planet, humanity's sole survivors live on the Ark, an aging space station experiencing overpopulation and inadequate resources. When faced with difficult choices, the Ark leaders decide to send 100 juvenile prisoners back to Earth to test its living conditions.

The musketeers, Season 1
On the streets of seventeenth century Paris, law and order is an idea more than a reality. In addition to being King Louis XIII's personal bodyguards, Athos, Aramis, Porthos, and their new friend D'Artagnan, stand resolutely for social justice, honor, valor, love, and for the thrill of it all. They must fight to maintain order and protect their King and Queen against the worst intentions of the ruthless Cardinal Richelieu and his secret weapon, Milady.

Alpha house, Season 1
Four Republican senators share the same D.C. house rental, and face re-election battles, looming indictments, and parties, all with a sense of humor.

Reign, Season 1
Ever since Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, was a little girl, the English have wanted her country and her crown. As a teenager, Mary is sent to France to wed its next king to save herself and her people. Waiting at the French Court is the gorgeous Prince Francis, his illegitimate half-brother Sebastian, a king on the brink of madness, a scheming queen, and the seer Nostradamus with a devastating prophecy.

Line of duty, Series 1 and Series 2
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Gates is an exemplary cop. He's got the best crime stats on the force and a loyal team working under him. But the head of the police anticorruption unit, Superintendent Ted Hastings, has his doubts about Gates. Is he really that good? And more importantly, is he really that clean? Hastings decides to find out and all on a new arrival to his department, Detective Sergeant Steven Arnott to help him do it. As the net tightens around Gates, reputations are on the line and lives are at risk.

Chicago fire, Season 1 and 2
An up-close and personal view into the lives of everyday heroes. Watch this gripping 24-episode first season back-to-back and uninterrupted as it follows the adventures of the men and women of Chicago Firehouse 51, the courageous firefighter, rescue squad, and paramedics whose actions make the difference between life and death.

Mom, Season 1
Christy is a single mom whose newly found sobriety has given her the ability to see her life clearly, and she does not like the view. Now she must untangle years of reckless decisions to make a better life for her and her kids. She has many challenges: stop drinking in wine country; a romance with her unavailable boss, raise her young son and troubled teenage daughter to make smart choices; and forgive her estranged mother, Bonnie, for her lack of parenting skills that got her in this mess.

Crossbones, Season 1
It's 1715 on the island of Santa Campana and the diabolical pirate Blackbeard reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. An extraordinary action adventure where one can't be sure whether the pirates or the British crown are the villains.

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

PreK Bits - "G" is for Grubb and goat

Ms. Rachel got "G's" in Storytime ... which is NOT "B" or "V" or "C" ....

THREE SILLY GIRLS GRUBB are off to school with donuts in their lunch boxes ...
Billy GOAT Limberjack (who wears a goatee) ... tap-danced, and personalized the song "Rig-a-Jig Jig" !
You can sing along with the song (and more) with the CD DANCE The WORLD AROUND, a fine multi-lingual recording of folk songs, ... by "Peter, Paul and George".
GREGORY The TERRIBLE EATER is a small active goat who's parents are very concerned about his terrible eating habits (at least for a little growing goat), until Dr. Ram solves the problem.

Here are more titles to include "goats" or the letter "G":
LITTLE APPLE GOAT by Caroline Church. This is an adorable tale of how little goat inadvertantly planted a new apple orchard.
GREGORY GRIGGS And OTHER NURSERY RHYME PEOPLE by Arnold Lobel
G is For GOAT by Patricia Polacco, a beautifully illustrated "goat" alphabet book.
The VILLAGE GARAGE where the Village Garge takes care of the town throughout all seasons.
GEORGIE the friendly LITTLE ghost, lives happily with the Whittakers and creaks the steps every night.
GRUMPY GLORIA is a challenge for the family .... to cheer her up.
Go on and have a Great "G" day soon!

2014 Man Booker Prize awarded to Richard Flanagan for The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Australian author Richard Flanagan, has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize. The Man Booker is of British origin and comes with an award of 50,000 pounds. This was the first year that the prize was open to all authors writing in English, regardless of their nationality. In previous years, only citizens of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Republic of Ireland, or Zimbabwe were eligible.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a story of love and war spanning over six decades. Beginning during World War II, the story follows the life of an Australian surgeon, Dorrigo Evans, who is being held in a prisoner-of-war camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway. As he struggles on the outside to save his men from disease, abuse, starvation and death, he is ravaged on the inside by memories of an affair he had several years earlier with the wife of his uncle. Readers learn not only of Dorrigo’s experiences in the POW camp, but of his childhood in Tasmania, his life before the war in Melbourne, and his experiences once the war is over.

Flanagan worked on this book for twelve years, and the Guardian (UK) calls it, “A masterpiece… a symphony of tenderness and love, a moving and powerful story that captures the weight and breadth of life.”

The other books short listed for the Man Booker Prize were To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, J: a novel, The Lives of Others, and How to be Both.

Syndicate content