Girls In Charge - Sizzling Summer Reads #2 (and Fabulous Fiction Firsts #465)

Cure for the Common Breakup * by Beth Kendrick.
Suddenly-single flight attendant Summer Benson sees a new beginning in Black Dog Bay, a tiny seaside town in Delaware, known as the best place in America to bounce back from heartbreak. The locals are friendly. Even the oldest, richest, and meanest resident, likes her enough to give her a job. Well, all except for Dutch Jansen, the rugged, stoic mayor,

"Kendrick's impeccable sense of comic timing and flair for creating unforgettable characters make this effervescent novel a smart bet for romance readers everywhere while the novel's deft integration of the topics of family, friendship, and community ensure it can easily attract a broader readership, as well."

The From-Aways by C.J. Hauser, (a Fabulous Fiction Firsts) is "an irreverent story of family, love, friendship, and lobsters, in the tradition of J. Courtney Sullivan's Maine ".

Two 24 year-old transplants ("from-aways") become unlikely allies on a small-town newspaper. NYC reporter Leah leaps at the chance to marry down-to-earth Henry Lynch and moves into his family home in Menamon, a small fishing community in Maine, only to find she does not know a thing about Henry. Quinn Winters, wisecracking and tough, comes to town in search of a father who abandons her as a infant. When the two stumble onto a earth-shattering scandal that would affect the future of the community, these drinking buddies find themselves collaborators and trusted friends.

"Hauser's style is expressive, clever and compelling, and she offers readers a thoughtful and engaging debut. "

The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee
Broke and divorced, Portia Cuthcart leaves Texas for New York City and takes up residence at the dilapidated brownstone she and her two sisters inherited. Devastated by the loss of The Glass Kitchen, her grandmother's restaurant, she resolves never to cook again, that is, until she meets 12 year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel Kane.

"(A) delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman... who discovers that a kitchen, like an island, can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family."

"Sweet and intense, with delightful magical accents, a delectable romance—and yummy recipes."

The Vacationers * * by Emma Straub is an irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family's two-week stay in Mallorca.

Franny and Jim Post are about to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia is leaving for college. Their son Bobby, a Miami real estate broker will be joining them, girlfriend in tow. As will Franny's best friend Charles, and his husband, Lawrence. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.

"With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole."

* = starred review
* * = 2 starred reviews

YOU DON'T STOP! Neither do THE BADGES! Your SECOND WAVE of badges for 2014!

Whoa. You guys are just UNSTOPPABLE. I mean, really, we thought that maybe Summer Game just had a SUPER STRONG START this year, and maybe things would get a little sleepy. But no, no, NO, all of you hardcore SG players aren't the least bit tired. In fact, we're having trouble figuring out just when you are even fitting in sleep with all the massive READING, LISTENING, WATCHING, GOING-TO-FUN-STUFF and BADGE EARNING you've been doing!

I mean really, HOW DO YOU DO IT? You're fired up, and so are we! We can see your enthusiasm in the fact that MULTIPLE badges have already been earned by 300+ PLAYERS. I mean really, you guys are burning up the badge board!

We're happy to be dropping SIXTEEN FRESH SHINY BADGES for your playing pleasure today. And that doesn't even COUNT all the KIDS READ COMICS badges that we'll be releasing tomorrow for the KRC festivities. Whoa!

2014 Badge Drop #2

Of course, if you haven't had the chance to earn last week's badges, you can hop on those too. And, all you pro players, it's been great to see you lending a helping hand to SG new folks in the comments, too. Keep up the AWESOME WORK, and, as always... THANKS FOR PLAYING!

The Fault in Our Stars Readalikes!

As we all know, the movie adaptation of John Green’s insanely popular The Fault in Our Stars was released earlier this month. If you’ve already read the book and seen the movie, you might be looking for new books to read that will satisfy your craving for stories similar to Fault. Here are some good suggestions to start with:

Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, both by Rainbow Rowell, deal with similar themes: falling in love for the first time, finding your place in the world when you feel as though you don’t always fit in, and coping with familial issues. These are great for adult readers too!

The Perks of Being a Wall Flower, by Stephen Chbosky is an “oldie but a goodie.” The book is told through the letters of 15-year-old Charlie to an anonymous friend and details the struggles of his freshman year of high school. If you missed reading this poignant, emotional novel the first time around, now is a great time to give it a shot! And, there’s a movie adaptation of this one too!

13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, opens with Clay Jensen coming home from school to find a package for him on his porch from his former classmate and crush, Hannah, who committed suicde two weeks prior. The contents of the package are 13 cassette tapes, each with Hannah’s recorded voice explaining a reason why she killed herself. If Clay listens to all of them, he will not only find out why she chose to do so, but he will also learn some fundamental truths about himself.

The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp, tells the story of the unexpected love between to very different teenagers: smart, quiet and somewhat clueless Aimee, and party-boy Sutter. When the two meet unexpectedly one day, they forge an immediate bond and help each other through the turmoils of their senior year of high school. Although the book is largely a love story, other tough subjects like alcoholism, familial abuse, and poverty wind their way through the story as well. In the movie version, The Fault in Ours Stars heroine Shailene Woodley stars as Aimee!

John Green also has quite a few other books in our collection, including Will Grayson, Will Grayson, An Abudance of Catherines, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska that are all wonderful reads.

Suggest a Title for Ann Arbor | Ypsilanti Reads

You know you've read a good book when after it is finished, you can't stop thinking about it. It could days later – when a feeling comes over you – and you know the author got to you some how. That is my idea of a good read.

Have you read any good books like that lately? Now is your chance to potentially share it with the community. Ann Arbor |Ypsilanti reads is a collaborative program where one book is selected to be read by the community, discussed, and then the capstone event is a visit by the author.

We want your input! Suggest a title on our website in the comment section, or stop into one of the libraries before Monday, July 7. Committees are meeting over the summer to discuss the hundreds of possible titles and narrow it down to two. In the Fall, a distinguished panel of judges will decide on the title.

This year’s theme is ‘A Very Good Read’ and the book selected can be a work of fiction or nonfiction. Also:
• The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
• The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
• The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
• The book should be by a living author.
• Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
• Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

Anatomy Model Kits Now Available For Checkout!

Visit the Downtown Library to check out our new anatomy model kits. Each kit contains one model and several awesome anatomy books. Open little windows to peek inside a 3x life-size heart, give your Einsteinian noodle a workout with a 9-piece brain puzzle and get an up close look at all the functional bits inside a giant eye. If you're feeling adventurous there's also a full size skeleton named Stan! The entire anatomy model collection is browsable at aadl.org/sciencetools

The LEGO Movie on DVD & Blu-ray

Everything is awesome! The LEGO Movie is released today! It was an absolute thrill to see this on the big screen and I can’t wait to watch it again and again. All of the adults I know who saw the film liked it way more than they thought they would. It’s not just a kids movie! It is full of adventure with kind-hearted, funny and amazing characters to build with.

Be sure to also check out the awesome LEGO Movie books we now have in the collection! Here's a list of all the awesome LEGO Movie stuff at your library.

And for the LEGO super fans, mark your calendars for AADL’s 9th annual LEGO Contest on August 7th! Folks of all ages can enter amazing creations for cool prizes. Even if you don’t plan to enter a project, is it an absolute treat to walk into a large room with hundreds of amazing LEGO creations.

Bawk Bawk!

Think CHICKENS!

Last week Ms. Amanda told CHICKEN stories during her storytimes.
We heard about a hen with a surprise in Bumpety Bump, a hen searching for the best place to lay an egg in Mama Hen’s Big Day, and a little book that featured the littlest Little Chick.

Here’s a wonderful, new CHICKEN book to roost with, Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure. The beautiful illustrations tell the story of a chicken named Peggy who was happy living in countryside and one day she gets swooped off and lands in the big city! It’s a darling story about getting out of the nest once in a while and enjoying new things, while yet still enjoying that special place you call home.

If you still have chickens on the brain like I do, and are playing the SUMMER GAME, don’t forget to visit Director Josie Parker’s office downtown and look for the CHICKENS– it’s a CODE worth 1,000 points!

IT HAS BEGUN! And here comes your first BADGE DROP of 2014!

HOLY COW, GUYS! Summer game started 10 hours ago and it's off to a ROARING start! Over 700,000 points already scored, 1800 game codes entered, and 530 badges earned! 10 HOURS! And it's not just the most hardcore players, there are 500 players playing already! I know that's 5 exclamation points in a row, but you have to understand how AMAZING this is!(!)

The thing is, we had a feeling this might happen, so we came prepared: this year's first badge drop is the biggest first badge drop ever with 20 BADGES in all: 7 starter badges, 12 scavenger hunt badges, and Josie's Chickens, a special badge that requires a trip to the Downtown Library and a visit to the library director's office:
2014 Badge Drop #1

SOOOO...what's your next move? Earning badges? Planning which events you will go to? Finding codes in the catalog and on Old News? Rating items writing reviews tagging items making lists?? Visiting libraries to get codes?

Oh, speaking of codes, did I mention that there are already 174 codes waiting to be found by YOU at libraries, in the catalog, and at library events? How on earth can you do it?! Dedication, that's how! Go to those events! Complete those badges! GET THOSE CODES!!! DISMISSED!!!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #464 - The Best Crime Fiction Debuts (2014 Sizzling Summer Reads #1)

You knew about The Abomination and The Curiosity already. The following join Booklist's Best Mystery/Thriller Debuts of the year. Great chillers for the summer heat. Don't forget Summer Game 2104 starts today.

Decoded * by Jia Mai
This riveting tale of cryptographic warfare and a bestseller in China, takes us deep into the world of code breaking, and the mysterious world of Unit 701, a top-secret Chinese intelligence agency. Rong Jinzhen, an autistic math genius discovers that the mastermind behind the maddeningly difficult Purple Code is his former teacher and best friend, who is now working for China's enemy. The author's experience working in the Chinese intelligence service may have contributed to the story's realism.

The Deliverance of Evil * by Roberto Costantini
Haunted by a 24-years unsolved murder case from his early career, brash Commissario Michele Balistreri is overcome with remorse and renewed determination when the victim's mother commits suicide, in a first installment in a best-selling trilogy from Italy.

North of Boston * * by Elizabeth Elo
Surviving a fishing boat collision that ends her friend's life, Boston girl Pirio Kasparov, convinced that the incident was not an accident, is tapped to participate in a research project at the side of a journalist who helps her unravel a plot involving the frigid whaling grounds off Baffin Island.

Precious Thing * by Colette McBeth
Astonished to discover that a police press conference assignment is about her best friend from high school, television journalist Rachel endeavors to learn the fate of her missing friend before making a discovery that brings everything they once shared into question.

Shovel Ready * * by Adam Sternbergh (One of Booklist's Top 10 Crime Fiction as well as Best Crime Fiction Debuts of the year)
In this futuristic hard-boiled noir, working as a hit man on the ravaged streets of New York City after a dirty bomb is unleashed on Times Square, Spademan takes an assignment to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist only to discover that his mark holds a shocking secret and that his client hides a more sinister agenda.

The Word Exchange * * by Alena Graedon
A dystopian novel for the digital age, when the "death of print" has become a near reality, Anana Johnson, an employee at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), searches for her missing father and stumbles upon the spiritual home of the written world and a pandemic "word flu."

BTW...a personal favorite and a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.

* = starred review
* * = 2 starred reviews

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #463 - "The books that help you most are those which make you think the most." ~ Pablo Neruda

As one reviewer puts it so aptly, Ruby * * "is difficult to read for its graphic and uncomfortable portrayal of racism, sexual violence, and religious intolerance", but debut author Cynthia Bond had me in the palm of her hand right from the start, opening with "Ruby Bell was a constant reminder of what could befall a woman whose shoe heels were too high".

Liberty Township, East Texas. Once so pretty that "it hurt to look at", Ruby is now "buck-crazy, ...(h)owling, half-naked mad". As a child, she suffered abuse beyond imagination, so as soon as she could, she fled to New York. When a telegram from her cousin forced her to return home, 30 year-old Ruby found herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. Once sharply dressed and coiffed, "she wore gray like rain clouds and wandered the red road in bared feet", and folks walked a curve path to avoid her door. Except for Ephram Jennings, who has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids. And on one end-of-summer day, 45 year-old Ephram asked his sister Celia to make up her white lay angel cake, thus began a long, sweet courtship that would anger the church folks in town. Eventually, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

"(E)xquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage."

"Definitely not for the faint of heart or for those who prefer lighter reads, this book exhibits a dark and redemptive beauty. Bond's prose is evocative of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, paying homage to the greats of Southern Gothic literature. "

A graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and American Academy of Dramatics Arts, PEN/Rosenthal Fellow Cynthia Bond founded the Blackbird Writing Collective. Currently, she teaches therapeutic writing at Paradigm Malibu Adolescent Treatment Center.

* * = 2 starred reviews

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