Audiobook: Arctic Creature Adventure for Kids

Enter the world of auks and owls in Barry Wolverton’s Neversink. This animal fantasy introduces readers to the rich, complex society of birds who sip tea and start revolutions.

When a possible plague threatens the food supply on the island of Tytonia, power-hunger pygmy owl Rozbell decides now is the time to seize control of the Owl Parliament and of the nearby colony of auks on the island of Neversink. As Rozbell imposes an increasingly heavy “fish tax” on the creatures of Neversink, three unlikely heroes emerge to stop him: misfit puffin Lockley, spirited hummingbird Ruby and scholarly walrus Egbert. (You will never meet a more charming walrus than Egbert, I assure you.)

Fans of Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Richard Adams’ Watership Down or Brian Jacques’ Redwall series will likely enjoy the complex animal society while American history lovers will enjoy seeing the parallels between the birds’ plight and the American Revolution.

Bill Harley Back by Popular Demand on November 10!

There is always a buzz when Bill Harley is coming to town. It’s like we all start chuckling to ourselves just thinking about his songs and stories! The first in his new series of books is going to be a hit with the 2nd-4th grade crowd. Charlie Bumpers is in big trouble! How will he survive a year with his new teacher when he already accidentally bopped her in the head with a flying shoe? Surely Bill will sign your book or CD at his AADL show on Sunday, November 10 at 2:00 pm at The Ark! Can’t wait to crack up!

New Download: Local Artist Papillon's "The Amber Dawn"


Paris-born Actor, Artist, Musician and Ann Arborite Papillon's first solo album, The Amber Dawn is now available for instant download by AADL cardholders. A bit of hiphop infused with Jazz and Soul makes for an outstanding full-length set of tracks that will find a home in many local music collections. Papillon is also running an Indiegogo Campaign to help fund his newest album, Calligraphy, and it wraps up soon, so have a listen to The Amber Dawn and check Papillon out if you're looking for more!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #429 - "Good books don't give up all their secrets at once" ~ Stephen King

The Bookman's Tale : a novel of obsession by Charlie Lovett is set in Hay-on-Wy where the antiquarian bookseller/restorer Peter Byerly relocates after the death of his wife, Amanda. While casually browsing in a bookshop, a portrait of Amanda stumbles out of an 18th-century study of Shakespeare forgeries. Of course, it isn't really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture's origins. In the process, he learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

"(A) sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature's most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession: a romance."

"Drawing on debates about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays as well his own experience in the cutthroat world of antiquarian books, debut author Lovett (bio.) has crafted a gripping literary mystery that is compulsively readable until the thrilling end.

"A cheerily old-fashioned entertainment." Shakespeare aficionados might further their excursion with Jennifer Lee Carrell and her Shakespearean scholar-turned-theater-director Kate Stanley thriller series.

I am totally captivated with Mark Pryor's The Bookseller : the first Hugo Marston novel (in BOCD). Hugo Marston, head of security for the U.S. embassy in Paris is at loose ends. Contemplating a visit stateside to his estranged wife, he purchases a gift for her from his friend Max, an elderly bouquinistes. When Max is abducted in broad daylight, Martston looks on powerlessly to intervene. The police is uninterested, calling it a hoax but it piqued the interest of Claudia Roux, an attractive crime reporter.

With the help of semiretired CIA agent Tom Green, Marston launches an investigation. Pressure mounts as other booksellers are found floating in the Seine, they suspect that Max's disappearance is connected somehow to his activities as a Nazi hunter, and to the precious volume now in Marston's hands.

"Pryor's (true crime blogger, D.A.Confidential) steady and engrossing debut combines Sherlockian puzzle solving with Eric Ambler-like spy intrigue... the author winningly blends contemporary crime with historical topics. Pair with Cara Black's Aimée Leduc series for both locale and tone."

Reader might also enjoy the bookseller/amateur sleuth Victor Legris series set in belle-epoque Paris by Claude Izner, the pseudonym for sisters Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre, both second-hand booksellers on the banks of the Seine and experts on 19th c. France.

NPR in Town and at the Library

Did you know that you can access some of your favorite NPR shows and their related materials through the library? The AADL has full episodes of This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion as well as excerpts from some of the more famous segments of the shows all on CD. These are great to listen to at home or in the car, and most are appropriate for all ages. The library also has a collection of CDs called I Heard It on NPR, which showcase some of the more popular singers and musicians that have appeared over the years on the radio station.

Garrison Keiller, the host of A Prairie Home Companion, has also written several novels about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, which he often references in the show. These include Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel, Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Lake Wobegon, Summer 1956, among others, all of which you can find at the AADL.

In addition, the NPR show Radiolab, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is on live tour this fall, and is stopping next week at the Michigan Theater here in Ann Arbor! You can listen to recordings of previous Radiolab shows on their website, and there are plenty of tickets still available through their site for the live show on October 7, 2013.

Audiobook: A Spooky Ghost Story for Teens

In the mood for a scary story this fall? Then give The Diviners by Libba Bray a listen.

Set in 1920s New York City, this paranormal tale pits a ghostly serial killer – who has returned from the grave to fulfill his gruesome mission – against seventeen-year-old diviner Evie O’Neill. As the story begins, Evie’s ability to divine memories from objects lands her in enough trouble to send her off to New York City to stay with her uncle, the curator of the “Museum of Creepy-Crawlies.” When her uncle is called in to help with a murder investigation, Evie soon finds herself caught up in the hunt for the Occult Killer.

The diverse cast, which also includes a lively Ziegfield girl, a charming pick-pocket and a Langston-Hughes-loving poet, are all expertly voiced by narrator January LaVoy.

The audiobook was also named one of YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2013.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #427 - "One man's magic is another man's engineering..." ~ Robert A. Heinlein

This fall's BIG book (563 pp.) is Emily Croy Barker's much anticipated The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic. Marketed as a readalike for Lev Grossman's The Magicians series and Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy, "...this ambitious, densely packed debut" by journalist Barker tells of a young woman's ordeal after walking through a portal into an alternate world where to survive, she must learn real magic. A dark fairy tale with plenty of curb appeal for fantasy, time-travel, and alternate-reality fans.

Nora Fischer expects Adam to propose, instead he is off to marry someone else. Once a promising academic, her dissertation is hopelessly stalled and her advisor has lost interest. During a miserable weekend at a friend's wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she is transformed into a stunning beauty and living a fairy tale life, complete with glamor and promise of love. Then the elegant veneer shatters. Her only real ally and a reluctant one at that is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. Under his tutelage, Nora studies magic. To their surprise, Nora's academic training and resolve makes her an apt student. When an opportunity to slip back through the portal to her former life presents itself, Nora faces a tough decision.

"Barker weaves together classic fantasy and romantic elements (including shout-outs to Pride and Prejudice and hints of Wuthering Heights) to produce a well-rounded, smooth, and subtle tale."

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Ghostly International

YOU can access over 1,000 digital music albums directly through our AADL.org catalog. Stream or download as much as you like, DRM free, on any device you choose. No waiting for a copy. No due dates. Hooray!

Fans of local music unite! Music from Ann Arbor's independent record label Ghostly International has arrived at the library and is ready for you to download!

ELECTRONIC / POP / ROCK
Midwest Product: Floating Happily Somewhere Between Music Genres
Ann Arbor trio Midwest Product welds live instrumentation to crafty electronics for output that could easily be described as both cold machine funk and ionized indie-pop. Inspired by the industrial sheen of early New Order and the hyperbolic romance of Prince’s early material, Specifics is a debut album that references the group’s love for early electro styles, warm glitch, and atmospheric post-rock in equal parts. Recommended!

RAP / HIP HOP
Dabrye: Fractured Hip-Hop Production
Taking the next logical step in his evolutionary hip-hop album cycle, Dabrye rounded up a formidable crew of MCs to create Two/Three. A moody, propulsive take on the genre, the Blade Runner-esque beats help cage rhymes ranging from world events to the street, with little chance to catch your breath. The result is a dizzying narcotic rush stronger than a back alley glue hit. Five years after his meticulously sculpted debut One/Three, local artist Tadd Mullinix made yet another indelible mark with this hip-hop sound. Gritty singles “Air” and “Game Over” have thus far foretold the progression of the Dabrye sound, and in the full-length context these tracks fit together as pieces of an unstoppable manifesto.

ELECTRONIC / IDM / AMBIENT
Christopher Willits: Gentle Sound Clashes
Christopher Willits’ newest record on Ghostly International, 2010’s Tiger Flower Circle Sun, is his most technologically complex yet—it’s also his most organic, drifting skyward in a swell of ambient hums and subtle polyrhythms. On Tiger Flower Circle Sun, Christopher Willits takes his attention to craft further than ever before, using the language of ambient, dream-pop, experimental electronic, and afro-latin music to explore themes of love, connectivity, and universal vibrations. With Tiger Flower Circle Sun, Willits has created a diverse, effortlessly complex album of sublime beauty.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #425 - "A good neighbor is a very desireable thing" ~ T. Jefferson

Don't pass up Amy Grace Loyd's debut novel The Affairs of Others, a quiet but intense look at the tangled lives in a Brooklyn neighborhood apartment building.

Owner of the building, a young widow still grieving from her husband's death, Celia Cassill picks her tenants for their ability to respect each other's privacy and more importantly, her solitude. Everything changes with the arrival of a summer sublet - Hope, a dazzling woman on the run from a bad marriage. As Hope slips into depression, the carefully constructed walls of Celia's world are tested and the sanctity of her building is shattered. When one of the tenants disappears, all the residents are forced to abandon their separate spaces for a far more intimate one, leading to a surprising conclusion and the promise of genuine joy.

"The Affairs of Othe is a story about the irrepressibility of life and desire, no matter the sorrows or obstacles." "Dark and sensual, with just a touch of suspense, this first novel offers a heartwrenchingly honest story about grief while still allowing for a glimmer of hope."

An executive editor at Byliner Inc. and a former fiction and literary editor at Playboy magazine, Amy is a recipient of both MacDowell and Yaddo fellowships.

A fabulously fun readalike would be Elinor Lipman's The View from Penthouse B where two middle-aged sisters become unexpected roommates in a Manhattan apartment as they recover from widowhood, divorce, and Bernie Madoff. In their reduced circumstances, they resort to take in a boarder - a handsome, gay cupcake-baker who coaches them back into the dating world.

Audio listeners might also give the heartwarming The Wildwater Walking Club a try. Author Clair Cook presents the tale of three women neighbors who share struggles with unfaithful men, rebellious children, and parental expectations while taking long walks near their homes on Wildwater Way (Seattle), a friendship marked by a road trip, a lavender festival, and a clothesline controversy.

Thinking about good neighbors brings to mind the denizens at 28 Barbary Lane, as chronicled by Armistead Maupin in his Tales of the City (1978) where Mary Ann Singleton, newly relocated to San Francisco, soon finds her life entwined with those of her varied neighbors and myriad colorful characters. This title and others to follow in the series were adapted into movies.

A Musical Fairy-Tale Audiobook for Kids

If you enjoy music with your audiobooks, then try Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (author of the Newbery-Honor-winning Ella Enchanted).

In this loose adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, pale-skinned Aza feels like she will never fit in, not at home in her adopted parent’s inn nor at the royal court. Her unusual coloring and ungainly size make her stand out wherever she goes. Fortunately, Aza is also gifted with a beautiful singing voice, but when the new queen asks Aza to use her voice to help her deceive the kingdom, Aza learns important lessons about loyalty, love and beauty.

What makes this audiobook experience unique, however, is its music. Every song is set to an original tune, and lots of dialogue is sung as well, so the whole listening experience is rather like listening to a full-cast musical. Musical fans and fairy-tale fans alike will want to check out this audiobook.

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