Today: Ukulele Party!

There’s nothing like the ukulele to make you smile. Come on down to the Ukulele Café for family fun on
Thursday July 25, 2013: 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room . We’ll be singing favorite old time tunes, sharing a short story or two and sipping lemonade. We are so excited that our own awesome storytime musician, Sara Keller, will lead the Ukulele Party gang and Mitchell Chang and David Swain will drop by to show us how it’s really done!

He is Legend

The world-renowned author and screenwriter, Richard Matheson died last week. He is remembered for having written numerous episodes for the legendary TV series, the Twilight Zone, but also for his science fiction novels , many of which were made into movies, such as I am Legend (made into 3 different movies: the Last Man on Earth; the Omega Man; and, most recently, I am Legend with Will Smith); the Shrinking Man (made into the 1957 classic movie, the Incredible Shrinking Man); Bid Time Return (made into the movie filmed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Somewhere in Time); and Steel (most recently made into the movie, Real Steel). He has a long list of screenwriting credits to his name including the classic Edgar Allan Poe movie adaptations directed by Roger Corman like the Pit and the Pendulum. For me the most memorable piece he ever wrote was an episode of the Twilight Zone called Nightmare at 20,000 Feet with William Shatner as the airplane passenger who sees a monster tearing apart the plane’s wings as they are in flight. This was also remade in Twilight Zone: the Movie. He was creative all his life, having been first published at eight years old and writing through his 80’s. He was 87 when he died.

Enjoy your stay at Pines

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke wakes up on a roadside with initially no recollection of how he got there, but knowing that he is badly injured. As he walks into the idyllic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, some memories start to surface. He eventually recalls that he and his partner (wherever he is) were on their way to this town to locate two missing federal agents, but their car was struck by a semi. But does he have any proof of who he really is? of course not...Anyway to contact family or work? not a chance (although he tries!)...More mystery and suspense, not to mention a bit of horror and just plain weirdness, meld together into a book that is difficult to put down. If you like the writing stylings of Cormac McCarthy and the eerie storytelling of a Stephen King, then you will love Blake Crouch's Pines ! If you are interested to know more about the author check out his website, http://www.blakecrouch.com

He comments in the afterword that this story was inspired by his favorite TV show, Twin Peaks. And yes the story does take place in a beautiful small-town with odd folks in it and as he says, "...a pitch-black underbelly.", but his story goes somewhere altogether different...

A Dog-Gone Good Audiobook for Kids

Meet O.J., a dog like no other, in When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica S. Perl.

When Zelly Fried’s parents refuse to let her get a dog, her grandfather comes up with a crazy plan. Zelly will care for a “practice dog” to show her parents she is responsible enough to care for a dog of her own. The problem? This “practice dog” just happens to be an old orange juice container, and Zelly is terrified about what her classmates will think if they see her feeding it and taking it for walks! Will Zelly be able to stick it out long enough to earn a real live dog?

While the hilarious “practice dog” plot is sure to hook listeners, there is also much more to this heartfelt story. It takes on timely kid issues like being the new kid, feeling like an outsider, dealing with the death of a grandparent and worrying about losing a best friend. This book is also a 2012 Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Older Readers, awarded for its authentic portrayal of the Jewish experience.

If you enjoy realistic stories with just the right blend of humor and heart, you should definitely check out When Life Gives Your O.J. You'll find it on our NEW shelf.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Dream Pop, Toot Your Flute, Where is Skultuna?

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!

POP / ROCK
Yongen: Transnational Dream Pop Luxury
Give a listen to the elegant dream pop of Yongen, the project name of songwriting team Chieko and Toshio Kamei. A modern crooner a la Bryan Ferry, Toshio's voice has a refined, architectural quality about it; he arcades serenely through the big, curvaceous melodies of Moonrise, giving the entire album a great neo-debonair sound. Rhythmically this album contains lots of savvy bossa nova and samba references; tailored synths keep the overall tone airy and modern. An exquisite blend of transnational influences and lush sound.

NEW AGE / WORLD / FLUTE
Suzanne Teng: World Flute With a Serene Energy
Enchanted Wind might be global flutist Suzanne Teng's best yet: seven long tracks that showcase her sinuous, slowly unfolding melodies on the alto flute, bass flute, and the rare contrabass flute. The mood here is profoundly quiet and serene; there are no beats at all and the accompaniment on harp, dulcimer, harmonium, and zither is delicate and minimal. The approach shows the full scope of Teng's talent too; stripped of adornment, you really hear how masterful her tone and breath control are, and the music itself is timeless.

ELECTRONICA
Wicked Boy: A Wicked Mix of Ambient/Jungle/Trash Trance
Straight from Skultuna, Sweden, comes the fantastically dark and deeply textured ambient-trash-trance of Wicked Boy, whose influences include Massive Attack, Yello, Prodigy, and Depeche Mode. This album, "The Treatment", is full of gritty beats and smart loops. Listen for the icily femme vocals on the title track that contrast with the gritty, brooding backdrop. Other standouts include "Pressure," "Strange Days" and "Wide Dynamics."

An Old-Fashioned Audiobook for Kids

Fans of audiobooks like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess or Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase may want to check out The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson, narrated by Patricia Conelly.

Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Annika grows up as a “kitchen child” in the home of three eccentric professors, and even though she loves her guardians – the professors’ cook Ellie and housemaid Sigrid – she cannot help dreaming of her long-lost mother. When an elegant mother finally does arrive and sweeps her away to a crumbling German castle, Annika’s dream-come-true is plagued by homesickness for her warm Viennese kitchen and troubling hints that all is not right with her newfound family.

Ibbotson herself grew up in early 20th-century Vienna, and her descriptions of life in the city – the aging emperor, performances of the Lipizzaner stallions, rides on the giant ferris wheel – make the world of the story truly come to life. If you love stories of the vivid past, love old-fashioned tales of kind heroines and dastardly villains, then give this audiobook a listen.

June is National Audiobook Month

Will you be traveling during summer vacation? Do you have a long commute to work? How about listening to something while you clean the house or cook dinner? These are all great times to get a little reading in - by ear, of course! June is National Audiobook Month, and the Ann Arbor District Library has plenty of books on CD to help you celebrate.

For the younger set, Jim Dale brings life to all of the Harry Potter audiobooks, and Tim Curry brings mystery and intrigue to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. You may know James Avery as Will Smith's uncle in the 90's TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but he's also an extremely talented voice actor, and you can hear his work in the audiobook version of Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud Not Buddy.

If you're looking for a few good laughs, check out Stephen Colbert's satire I Am America (And So Can You!) or Tina Fey's biography Bossypants, each read by the author. For a gut-busting funny fiction read, try Lunatics, written and recorded jointly by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel. Barry and Zweibel take turns reading chapters from their respective characters, and I dare you to get through a single chapter without cracking a smile.

For the ultimate audiobook experience, however, you must try something from the inestimable Bill Bryson. Bryson is mostly well known for his travelogues like A Walk in the Woods (in which he walks the Appalachian Trail), but he has also written Shakespeare in Shakespeare : The World as Stage, the history of science in the extremely informative A Short History of Nearly Everything, and the history of private life in At Home. (Note: All the commercially available copies of Bryson's audiobooks are read by Bryson himself. However, several titles in the AADL collection are library edition copies and thus have different readers.]

In the Mood for Magic? Try Magyk!

If you enjoy children's fantasies with ghosts, princesses, evil wizards and plenty of good wizards too, then give Magyk by Angie Sage a listen. It will take you to a magical world where young wizards’ eyes turn green when they learn magic and where magic spells may be written on a piece of breakfast toast!

Excellently narrated by Allan Corduner, this story begins on the day that the wizard Silas Heap discovers a baby girl in the snow and his own newborn son, Septimus Heap, is supposed to have died. But ten years later, the Heaps learn that everything is not as it appeared. Their daughter is really a princess who must now outwit the assassins who killed her mother, the queen, a decade before, and their son…well, you’ll just have to check out the audiobook to learn what happened to him.

The series continues with Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, Darke and Fyre.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Where is Kabylia?, Chillout Funk, Vivaldi on Cello

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!

WORLD
Moh Alileche: Music of the Mountains of Kabylia
With the soul and spirit of Algeria's mountainous region of Kabylia, Moh Alileche has been promoting Amazigh (Berber) culture since the early nineties. This release, "When the Dust Settles", finds him more politically engaged and musically forceful than ever. Track after track, Alileche's silken voice bears the raspy edge of hard experience and hard-earned moral authority as he addresses deep matters of invasion, repression, human love and the tumultuous changes sweeping North Africa. "It started in Tunisia" he sings in one trenchant track.

ROCK / FUNK
Made of Wood: Groove Laden Funk
"Birds of the State Fair" is an eclectic carnival of funky grooves, blending "organic" instrumentation, like piano and upright bass, with electronic samples and beats. The inspirations for the sounds are wide-ranging: from Thievery Corporation and Massive Attack, to the Meters, Parliament Funkadelic, Radiohead and Air. Made of Wood also draws from a classical background and classic film composers, such as Lalo Schifrin.

CLASSICAL
Vito Paternoster: Cellist Extraordinaire
Vito Paternoster performed has performed Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" perhaps 1000 times in 35 years all around the world. He has also recorded it 6 times with the best Italian violinists (three times with the label Philips Classic-Universal, once with Sony jp, twice with Arcadia kr). He now proposes his own version, according to the ancient stylistic of transposition in forma di sonata, which is this recording before you now. "Antonio Vivaldi, The Four Seasons in forma di sonata for cello", a recording not to be missed.

Dan Brown's latest novel, Inferno

Last week, Dan Brown's new novel, Inferno was released and is in hot demand. In this 476 page blockbuster, Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor whose specialty in symbology takes him to Italy to unravel the secrets of Dante's Inferno, races against time to save the world.

Dan Brown came to the public's attention in 2003 when his intriguing, provocative, controversial The Da Vinci Code broke all sorts of publishing records and is, to this day, one of the bestselling novels of all time. Ever since, he has had one #1 bestseller after another. Just two years after The Da Vinci Code was released, Brown was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most influential People in the World.

Are you on the wait list for Inferno? Never fear, we have a list of great titles that share Brown's powerful formula of mixing history, religion, and/or literature and cryptography to tell a compelling story. Try some of these to tide you over until your number comes up.

Umberto Eco's very first novel, published in English 30 years ago, is considered a classic. In The Name of the Rose, Brother William of Baskerville, a 14th century monk, is sent to Italy to investigate seven deeply disturbing murders. Three years later, Sean Connery starred in the award-winning film version.

In The Eight (1988), Katherine Neville, tells the story of Catherine Velis, a computer pro for one of the Big Eight accounting firms. Velis is fascinated by the relationship between chess and mathematics and sets out on a dangerous quest to gather the pieces of an antique chess set, scattered across the globe. If found, the complete set will reveal a world-changing secret, which began in 1790.

Jonathan Rabb, in his popular 2001 The Book of Q, moves back and forth between sixth century Asia Minor and 20th century Croatia. Father Ian Pearse is a researcher at the Vatican Library who cannot forget his passionate affair eight years earlier with Petra. When he comes across the translation of an ancient scroll that reveals a shocking code, he returns to Bosnia (and, oh yes, Petra) to save the world from the secrets buried in the scroll.

Scrolls and diaries that beg to be decoded to reveal earth-shattering religious secrets, are at the center of The 13th Apostle (2007), by Richard and Rachael Heller. This time, the sleuths are Sabbie Karaim, a biblical scholar and ex-Israeli commando and Gil Pearson, an American cybersleuth who discover there are those who are willing to kill for this possible link to one of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

If you are too impatient for your hold for the print version of Inferno, why not try Paul Michael's dramatic narrative performance in the audiobook version?

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