Rock out for Harry Potter's Birthday!

Harry and the PottersHarry and the Potters

Celebrate Harry Potter's Birthday in style by rocking out with the bands Harry and the Potters and Draco and the Malfoys. The Downtown library is turning our William St. parking lot into a rockin' stage on Tuesday, July 31 from 6-8 PM. An incorrect date has been printed in the local Ann Arbor newspaper, so make sure you don't show up with your party hat a day early!!

The Great Michigan Read

The Great Michigan Read is a new program for the Michigan Humanities Council.

It is a community reading program for the entire state, focusing on a single literary masterpiece. The 2007 pick is The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway.

The selection committee cited The Nick Adams Stories as "a literary masterpiece literally made in Michigan. The author, Ernest Hemingway, spent the majority of his first 22 summers in Northern Michigan. These experiences played an essential role in his development as one of the world’s most significant writer”.

In a series of linked coming-of-age stories, a young man grapples with the complexities of adulthood, including war, death, marriage, and family.

Find out how to participate among the 100 community partners in the state, and in Ann Arbor. There is even a self-directed tour of Hemingway's old haunts.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #77

I can't wait to read this mystery by French crime writer Pierre Magnan's Death in the Truffle Wood*, first published in 1978.

It all started with a pig.

Provence. November. Truffle time. Runaway truffle sow Roseline is attacked in the woods by an unknown assailant. When Superintendent Laviolette of the Marseille Police arrives to investigate 5 missing youths, her owner Alyre Morelon demands some assistance in identifying Roseline’s attacker.

Village politics, a dead body in a freezer and other grisly incidents are compensated by the generally humorous tone, sly wit and marvelous characterization. Beautifully translated (by Patricia Clancy), it brings to life the quirky French peasant culture so seldom depicted in the genre.

* = Starred Reviews

Pickin' Rocks

My family and I just got back from vacation. My son has an assignment for the up coming school year, collect 30 different rocks. What better way to accomplish this than picking rocks on the shores of Lake Michigan. Fortunately, authors Bruce Mueller and Kevin Gauthier with a great book on the subject, the Lake Michigan Rock Picker's Guide. With the book, my son was able to identify many of the rocks himself. Our next trip north, we'll visit Mr. Mueller's rock shop again, C & M Rock Shop in Honor, Michigan. Mr. Mueller will even autograph the book if you have your own copy.

Joseph Mitchell- the quintessential reporter

Today, July 27, is the birthday of New Yorker writer, Joseph Mitchell who was born in Fairmont, North Carolina in 1908. His Southern roots informed his writing although most of his stories were of eccentric characters living on the edge in New York City. He talked with fishmongers, gypsies and Mohawk Indians who worked as riveters on bridges and skyscrapers. He interviewed criminals, politicians and celebrities. He wrote about gin mill owners, con artists and a flea circus operator. Most of his writing is collected in the book, Up in the Old Hotel. Mitchell thought of himself as a good interviewer because "he had lost the ability to detect insanity."

New Spanish books for adults (translated fiction)

New popular fiction translated into Spanish. Any questions, comments or suggestions on Spanish language materials or any foreign language materials, please e-mail

Cell por Stephen King
A translation of King's popular novel in which a single pulse transmitted through every operating cell phone on the planet turns people everywhere into inhuman killing machines, and civilization grinds to a halt in a terrifying riot of violence. It falls to a small group of survivors to turn the tables and take back the streets--or die trying.
Laberinto de sueno y angustia por Atiq Rahimi
Translated directly from Persian, Rahimi is the Afghan author and producer of the novella and subsequent film "Earth and Ashes".
Tiempo de matar por Lisa Gardner
Translated from English "The Killing Hour", a novel by popular mystery and suspense writer Lisa Gardner.

New Spanish books for adults (Original Spanish works)

New original Spanish titles from multiple countries. Any questions, comments or suggestions on Spanish language materials or any foreign language materials, please e-mail

Un dulce olor a muerte por Guillermo Arriaga
A murder novel from Mexican author, screenwriter and producer Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams and Babel).
Tortugas acuaticas por Roxana Popelka
A collection of diverse short stories by Spanish poet, critic, screenwriter, and author Popelka.
El mundo se acaba todos los dias por Fernando Marias
A new book "The World Ends Every Day" from the Spanish journalist, author and screenwriter Fernando Marias.
Cielo de tango/Sky of tango por Elsa Osorio
A historical novel of Argentina told by means of the saga of two families on the oposites extremes of the social scale by popular Argentinean novelist Elsa Osorio.

New Spanish books for adults at the library (translated non-fiction)

There are many new Spanish books for adults at the library. There are various books throughout the branches with the selection being different at each branch. Browse the catalog by searching by call number "FLC SPA" or browse the shelves and look for the new stickers on Spanish books.

Popular non-fiction translated into Spanish:
Islam: Pasado y presente de las comunidades musulmanas by John Esposito
A translation of Esposito's "Islam: the straight path", an excellent book on Islam and the Muslim community from one of the foremost experts on Islam.
El malestar en la globalizacion by Joseh E. Stiglitz
A translation of "Globalization and its Discontents", one of the major books on the poor effects of globalization and international aid by the 2001 winner of the Nobel prize for economics.
Las pequenas memorias por Jose Saramago

Redemption in Vermont

In Jeffrey Lent's third book, A Peculiar Grace, Hewitt Pearce, a reclusive metal worker who lives in backwoods Vermont is drawn out of his hermit's existence by Jessica, a troubled waif, who shows up at his door. He then finds out that his lost love, Emily, has recently been widowed. Flashbacks uncover Hewitt's painful family history and time spent under the influence while living in a commune. Hewitt must come to terms with his past while risking a new or rekindled love in the present. Lent is the author of the widely hailed first novel, In the Fall which Library Journal calls "a monumental family narrative."

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (7/29/07)

Last week it was the prolific James Patterson making a splash on the List. This week it is the unstoppable Nora Roberts. Another woman in peril faces down her stalker in High Noon. Not to be confused with the movie starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly.

The only other contender for summer beach reading is Killer Weekend by Ridley Pearson.

The entire List can be viewed online.

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