New Joan Blos Book to be Celebrated

A book release party for the new young adult novel Letters from the Corrugated Castle: A Novel of Gold Rush California, 1850-1852, by Ann Arborite Joan Blos is coming up 7 p.m. Wednesday May 16 at Shaman Drum Bookshop. The book completes a geographical trilogy started with A Gathering of Days, which won a Newbery Medal, and continued with Brothers of the Heart.

Want a read with nonstop action?

On New Earth where violence has been banned for generations conflicts are settled in the fantasy computer game Epic. Getting ahead in the real world means winning in the gaming world--and everyone plays. The unjust treatment of his parents by the Central Allocations committee, which ruthlessly rules the planet, sets teenager Erik and his friends on a perilous mission to challenge the committee and put an end to Epic.

Author Kostick was a designer for the world's first live fantasy role-playing game in England, and his expertise is evident in this gripping first novel. Clip up for the read of your life!

Short Stories to Films

Away from Her, a film by twenty-something, first-time director Sarah Polley is based on the story The Bear Came Over the Mountain in Alice Munro’s Carried Away : A Selection of Stories. Starring Julie Christie as Fiona, a woman whose Alzheimer’s disease devastates a long-standing marriage, it is a film not to be missed.

Jindabyne, starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne as a married couple, is based on Raymond Carver’s short story So Much Water So Close to Home, found in his Short Cuts: Selected Stories. This Carver classic opens with the discovery of a dead body on the river by a group of sport fishermen and the effects of one questionable decision made on their families and the Jindabyne community. This Australian import was filmed around New South Wales.

Both films open nationally early May. Check your local listings.

Sword Fighting Fairies? Count Me In!

May Moonlight Delight is downtown tonight! Le Dog soup and chili dogs all evening, stores open late, and sword fighting fairies. Need I say more? Speaking of fairies, the Library is open until 9 tonight, so stop in and check off the first stop on your Ann Arbor Book Festival scavenger hunt while you’re at it!

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (4/29/07)

Dorothea Benton Frank continues her string of hits featuring the South Carolina Low Country. Her fans expect a certain dynamic involving family crises and romance laced with humor. In The Land of Mango Sunsets her heroine Mellie has a mid-life meltdown when her husband leaves her and everything else seems out-of-whack, too. A trip to Sullivans Island resolves all issues and results in a very happy ending. Just what Frank promises.

Fans will want to note that Frank is coming to the Ann Arbor Book Festival on Saturday May 19.

The other new books are: Fresh Disasters by Stuart Woods, Sleeping with Strangers by Eric Jerome Dickey and Obsession by Karen Robards. None of these authors are strangers to the List.

American Slave, American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Laurcence Pringle

Little is known about York, the slave of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In Amerian Slave American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Laurence Pringle navigates the life of York through the writings of William Clark and shows that he was an integral part of the famous team.

Free Comic Book Day!

Vault of Midnight Free ComicsVault of Midnight Free Comics

Having missed out on Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day this year, I was super excited to learn of Free Comic Book Day, an annual (and international!) event that will take place on this Saturday, May 5 at Vault of Midnight comics on Main Street. Should you have a stroke of bad luck and miss out on the swag, conveniently, Curtis of the very same store will be holding an event the following day at the library, during which he will fill everyone in on what’s new in the world of comics and graphic novels. Yay!

He was an advocate for babies and peace

Today, May 2 is the birthday of Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and crusader in the field of child care, later active in the peace movement during the Vietnam War. Spock was born in 1906, the eldest of six children and so from an early age had taken care of young children. After the publication of the first aedition of what was to become Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, Spock was surprised at its success, being the second largest selling book in the world after the Bible. His philosophy of child care revolutionized the way parents thought about their children, giving them permission to use their instincts, not always adhere to a strict feeding schedule, to comfort crying babies and to actually enjoy parenting. His love and concern for children was also manifested in his work in the peace movement as he watched young men risking their lives in what he considered an unnecessary war. Spock died in 1998 at the age of 94.

Wild Swan Performs Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

I’m personally wild about Ann Arbor’s Wild Swan Theater so I’m hoping to take my 10-year-old son to their performance of Twelfth Night this Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday (May 3-6) at WCC Towsley Auditorium. You’ll be glad to know AADL has plenty of good Shakespeare books for young people, such as The Riverside Shakespeare, which includes the play Twelfth Night.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #62

In Summer People, Nathan, a midwestern college dropout/aspiring graphic novelist, is hired as a "caretaker" for Ellen Broderick who summers at Brightonfield Cove, an exclusive coastal community in Maine.

Not everyone in town is civil, let alone welcoming to Nathan except for Edwin Lowell, an Episcopalian pastor and his feisty, dark-eyed beauty of a nanny, Leah, who quickly peeks Nathan’s interest.

Apart from the rounds of evening cocktails, tennis matches at the Golf and Tennis Club, and midnight picnics with Leah, Nathan finds his caretaker’s responsibilities increasingly demanding and Ellen’s behavior unnerving. Ellen's colorful past, and the secrets of this insular town might just be more than Nathan could do to keep them both safe.

A promising debut for Brian Groh and a solid good read.

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