Stuart Dybek wins two big awards

Stuart Dybek wins two big awardsStuart Dybek wins two big awards

This week, Stuart Dbyek, author and poet, won both a MacArthur Foundation Grant and the Rea Award for the Short Story.

The MacArthurs, known as the Genius Awards, are “…unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”

The Rea Award is “…given annually to a living American or Canadian writer whose published work has made a “significant contribution in the discipline of the short story as an art form”.

Dybek, 65, is the author of The Coast of Chicago and I Sailed with Magellan.

Kid Bits - Tricky Chicks

We celebrate "Michigan Reads! One State, One Children's Book" this week with a LIVE author program and readings of Big Chickens. Since we're doing chickens in an extra big way, try stories about two of my favorite girls. They each have something to do with chickens and tricks! Pick up a copy of The Chicken Chasing Queen Of Lamar County and Flossie And The Fox.

The birth of American journalism

Today, September 25 is the day the first American newspaper was published in 1690. This was the first and only edition of "Publick Occurences Both Foreign and Domestick" published by Benjamin Harris at the London-Coffee-House in Boston. The paper was four pages with the last left blank for readers' opinions. It contained news as well as exposes, was considered offensive and was shut down.

To read more on the history of American newspapers, check out these new titles from our collection:

William Randolph Hearst: Final Edition, 1911-1951, by Ben H. Proctor. The second and final installment of the biography of this larger than life newspaper magnate.

Parent Bits - Arrival of Baby #2

So Baby #1 is around the home and Baby #2 is on the way.
Welcoming Your Second Baby by Vicki Lansky is a perfect little parent helper. It is a delightful "skinny book" with very useful and simple suggestions to pave a path for Child #1 to accept the new family member. The library owns the 1990 edition of Welcoming Your Second Baby and it is just as useful. Keep in mind the suggested books to share with children are not likely to be found now. Ask a Librarian for current books to share with "expecting" children. Lasky offers suggestions for various ages of older siblings, and her suggestions are mercifully practical and flexible. Congratulations on your new addition !

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (9/23/07)

Back in 1996 The New Yorker magazine hailed Dominican-born author Junot Diaz as one of the best young writers in the US. He wowed all the critics with his first novel Drown and then he disappeared. With his second book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the author must be experiencing a sense of deja vu. He is once again receiving rave reviews and popular attention.

The other new entries are Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson, Heartsick by Chelsea Cain, and Songs without Words by Ann Packer.

Click here for a look at the rest of the List.

Canadian money - Not just for Monopoly anymore

Ever made fun of that weird-colored Canadian money? If you have, Canadians may be getting the last laugh. Yesterday, the loonie was worth as much as a U.S. dollar.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you're Canadian, it means that U.S. stuff is a lot cheaper. If you're from the United States and want some Canadian swag, though, you might not be so happy. It might even mean that Big Macs in Canada won't seem as cheap anymore.

Still wondering why you should care about Canadian money? Why not check out some of these books on exchange rates and other numbers economists worry about? Of course, maybe you'd just rather plan your next Canadian vacation, even if the prices are a bit higher.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #87

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, Chinese author Xiaolu Guo’s first novel written in English, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers is at once sexy, sad and funny .

Zhuang ("Z"), a 23-year-old Chinese woman from rural China is in London enrolled in English classes. Loneliness and her attraction to a much older man at an artsy film soon make them live-in lovers. His bisexuality bothers her less than his vegetarian diet. It becomes clear to the readers that her ever-improving English does not help her understanding of western culture and gets her in some dangerous situations.

“Guo's U.S. debut ...(is)a compelling and moving tale of first love. An often-charming exploration of learning, love and loss.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Xiaolu Guo was born in 1973. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy, she published a number of books in China. Since 2002, she has been dividing her time between London and Beijing. She has written and directed award-winning documentaries including The Concrete Revolution; her first feature film, How Is Your Fish Today?, was screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 International Women’s Film Festival.

The Buffalo Soldier by Sherry Garland

Known for their bravery, dedication and the lowest desertion rate. The Buffalo Soliders were a force to be met with. Sherry Garland recounts the story of one of these American heroes in The Buffalo Soldier.

To Junie B. or Not to Junie B.?

Some say Junie B. Jones is "not a good character", and some say the “grammar is wrong”. Others say “She is a spunky six year old, and we learn from her troubles.”
Gaining perspective on a mighty popular series might help calm some nerves.
Try this article in The New York Times “Is Junie B. Jones Talking Trash? to support parent information. Kids can read two NEW titles in the series Dumb Bunny and Aloha-ha-ha! and enjoy the Official Junie B. Jones website with information about the author and more activities for kids.

Praise for local author's first book

Travis Holland's debut novel, The Archivist's Story traces the period of Pavel Dubrov's life when his job is to destroy books in Lubyanka prison where political prisoners are kept in the Stalinist Moscow of 1939. A former teacher of literature, Dubrov, in verifying an author for an unsigned work, discovers that the manuscript is two unpublished stories by Isaac Babel, one of his beloved authors. He steals the manuscript and hides it in a brick wall in his apartment basement. Although Russian society is breaking down during this tyrannical regime and Dubrov and his friends are filled with despair, his action provides some seed of hope for the future. A well-written and researched novel from this University of Michigan instructor.

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