The Circle

Dave Eggers delights again with his newest novel, The Circle. His prose engulfs readers in an eerily familiar world of social and political advancement, somewhat reminiscent of the classic 1984. Readers will wonder what it truly means to be anonymous, and deliberate whether it is a concept more archaic than essential. At the heart of the novel is The Circle's omniscience and its proclamation that "secrets are lies."

Mae Holland, a young college graduate, is stuck in a dead-end career with no hope of leaving her provincial town, when former roommate and business legend Annie offers her a job at The Circle, a company known for its technological advancement and innovation. Although Mae impresses many with her work ethic, her lack of social media presence causes concern in her superiors. The main goal of The Circle, after all, is to connect people of the world in order to achieve infinite knowledge, and ultimately, enlightenment for humankind.

Eggers is best known for his biography, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He has received multiple awards including Time Best Book of the Year. Eggers also has local acclaim as he is a founder of 826 National, related to Ann Arbor's 826 Michigan.

Nickolas Butler's new novel Shotgun Lovesongs is a Midwestern must-read

I was eagerly anticipating the publication of Shotgun Lovesongs, the brand new novel by Nickolas Butler. In fact, I was a little nervous that it couldn’t possibly be as good as I hoped it would be. Boy, was I wrong! “This is a novel about home, and home is how the book feels,” writes reviewer Josh Weil. At its core, Shotgun Lovesongs is a book about the American Dream, and all the many ways that people go about seeking it. The book is also a vivid description of and ode to a place, that place being a small town in northern Wisconsin. Any Midwesterner will connect immediately with Butler’s beautiful narrative of changing seasons and the changing moods that go with them, and anyone who has spent time in a small town will understand perfectly the atmosphere of the place that he describes so well in the pages of the novel.

The story focuses on four men who grew up in the town of Little Wing, Wisconsin. All of them left at some point but all four have returned, unable to truly leave the place that they call home. In the voice of one of the characters, Butler writes: “Here, life unfurls with the seasons. Here, time unspools itself slowly, moments divvied out like some truly decadent dessert that we savor—weddings, births, graduations, grand openings, funerals. Mostly, things stay the same…. This is my home. This is the place that first believed in me. That still believes in me.”

Fans of other Midwestern authors like Jim Harrison, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Jonathan Franzen will love Shotgun Lovesongs. You can read more about the book in the New York Times review of it here.

The 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge 2014 has officially begun!

Look! It's a bird... it's a plane... no wait, it's a SHORT STORY SUPERHERO participating in the second annual 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

Do you have the grit to become a Short Story Superhero? Astound all your friends and teachers... they'll never see it coming! Vanquish the winter blues with powerful prose and punchy plot!

Here's how to become a Short Story Superhero:
1) Write a story of up to 5 pages (double-spaced) or 1000 words
2) Type it in a Word document, with the story title on top
3) Attach the file to an email and include your personal information OR print it out with an information cover sheet (what information, you ask? check out the guidelines)
4) Send it to youngwrite@aadl.org or bring it to the Youth Desk at the Downtown branch by Monday, May 5!

Use your x-ray vision on our Jump! brochure to keep an eye out for the final celebration featuring guest author Lisa Wheeler, on June 3!

Please e-mail youngwrite@aadl.org or call the Youth Desk at 734-327-8301 with any questions, and happy (super) writing!

Audiobook for Broadway Lovers: Better Nate Than Ever

Read by the author (who happens to have been on Broadway himself), Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle offers an insider’s look into the world of Broadway auditions from a kid’s point of view. Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is tired of being bullied and misunderstood in his hometown so, with the help of his best friend Libby, this Broadway-musical lover concocts a plan to run away to New York City and audition for E.T the Musical (inspired by Steven Spielberg’s E.T., of course). The adventure that follows is both hilarious and heartbreaking, and the narration is spot on through every emotional twist and turn.

The audiobook was a 2014 Odyssey Award Honor, an award given to the best audiobooks for children and teens.

Its sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! is also available in print.

The Reader's Eternal Question...

...is "What do I read next?"

The Books, Reading & Literature Databases can help, whether through lists, reviews, book clubs, or ebook selections. Start with Books & Authors where you can browse by title, author, genre and winners of awards named for James Fenimore Cooper, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, Philip K. Dick and more. Join a Free Book Club in the genre of your choice.

Then, move on to Select Sites for Books & Reading where you can peruse articles at the New York Review of Books or Kirkus Reviews, find classics in Modern Library's Top 100, figure out the reading order of the series you like with Kent District Library's What's Next? Page, read Hamlet on one single screen page at The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and discover free ebooks at Project Gutenberg and Open Library. You can even read Alice in Wonderland in Lewis Carroll's own hand (as well as other scans of rare originals) courtesy of the British Library.

It won't be long before "What do I read next?" becomes "What do I read first?"

New Self-Help Book: 10% Happier

Self-help stories, in my opinion, can be very inspiring. So how can I resist this new book: 10 % Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-help That Actually Works -- a True Story, by Dan Harris. From the AADL catalog book description: "After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists . . . " Currently there are 46 holds on one copy. Make that 47 -- I just placed mine.

Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything

I became a fan of Barbara Ehrenreich after reading her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America. Her latest book, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything is currently at the top of my to-read list, based on a review I just read in the April issue of the monthly journal BookPage. Ehrenreich, a scientist who has described herself as a "fourth-generation atheist," is a leading thinker and fabulous writer. Her book, a blend of memoir and metaphysical reflection, is reviewed under the headline "An atheist reconsiders the human 'situation.'" In the book, Ehrenreich writes about her childhood quest to find answers to universal questions such as "Why are we here?" As a middle-aged woman, she revisits her childhood mission and tells BookPage that yes, she believes that she has risen to the challenge made by her 1958 self, "What have you learned since you wrote this?" You can pick up a free copy of BookPage at any library location. You can place a hold on Living with a Wild God here. There currently are 24 requests on 5 copies.

Reveal Your Detroit

Reveal Your Detroit: An Intimate Look at at Great American City is a community engagement project led by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Detroit Revealed exhibition at the DIA featured more than fifty works created from 2000 to 2010. The artwork captured a diverse Detroit, featuring urban architecture, urban gardens, community, art, and decay.

Reveal Your Detroit is a community based public art response to the exhibit. The project was a dialog between the museum, established artists and community organizations, asking these questions:

What does your Detroit look like?
How do you want others to see it?

After it was announced in March 2012 the project received over 10,000 images taken with disposable cameras in less than three months. The photographs included in this book are from that lot and are photographs taken with disposable cameras by local residents, and for the most part not hobbyist or professional photographers. Even if you did not visit Detroit Revealed at the DIA this book is a wonderful celebration of collaboration and community and is a positive look at the heart of Detroit: its people.

Coming Soon: 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

It's almost time for the second annual 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Starting April 14, young writers will be able to submit a typed short story of five pages or less to either to the Downtown Youth Desk or by e-mail to youngwrite@aadl.org. Make sure you check the guidelines before you submit your story! Stories will be accepted from Monday, April 14 until Monday, May 5.

Need help writing a story or finding ideas? Check out this list of books for kids on writing at AADL. You can also visit these recommended websites for writing.

Keep an eye out for the final celebration on Tuesday, June 3 honoring all writers, featuring Lisa Wheeler as the guest speaker!

Please e-mail youngwrite@aadl.org or call the Youth Desk at 734-327-8301 with any questions, and happy writing!

PreK BITS - TOOLS


Ms. Rachel brought TOOLS and WORKSHOP to Storytime.
Many tools were introduced to sing along with OLD MacDONALD HAD A WOODSHOP by Lisa Schulman... and we built a toy barn.
Then the THREE LITTLE PIGS used tools to build their houses ... and make the soup ... to feed the Big Bad Wolf. We performed the "The Musical".
"WHO's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf ?"
Not ME!
"Tra-La-La-la-LAH!"
A version of the Action Song ... "Johnny Hammers" with one hammer ... can be found in the recording CIRCLE TIME SONGS & GAMES CD

for MORE Farm and Tool immersion ... try the following titles:
RECORDED:
ROLLER COASTER CD by Dylan Glanzer with the song "Old MacDonald's Farm At Night"
FAVORITE NURSERY RHYMES DVD by Baby Genius with "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and many more classics.

PICTURE BOOKS:
DOES A WOODPECKER USE A HAMMER? Think About How Everyone Uses Tools
Richard Scarry's BEST NURSERY TALES collection of story classics including the THREE LITTLE PIGS.
The TRUE STORY OF The 3 LITTLE PIGS is from the WOLF's point of VIEW by Jon Scieszka.
The "TRUE" telling is especially fun for multiple age groups, because it teases older kids' imaginations.

... AND they sang E-I-E-I-O ... out the door ...

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