Swedish novelist Marianne Fredriksson has died

Swedish novelist Marianne Fredriksson has diedSwedish novelist Marianne Fredriksson has died

Marianne Frediksson, a Swedish author who enjoyed considerable international success with several novels, died February 11, in Sweden.

A former journalist, Fredriksson published her first novel at the age of 53.

Hannah’s Daughters was her first novel to be translated into English (1998). A multi-generational saga of women trying to carve out a better life for their children, Hannah’s Daughters was compared to the work of Ingmar Bergman. Simon’s Family, another family saga, is set in World War II.

Ms. Fredriksson was 79.

Culture Bits - Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Reading transports you into the Chinese-American experience. If you are reading chapter books in grade school, try Year Of The Dog; Day The Dragon Danced; Shanghai Messenger; Three Names Of Me; or The Traitor: Golden Mountain Chronicles 1885.

Holiday Bits - Gung Hay Fat Choy

Celebrate the Chinese New Year and share the chinese-american experience! If the kids are preschool ages or early elementary school, read D Is For Dragon; The Runaway Rice Cake; A Dragon New Year; Fortune Cookie Fortunes; and make some crafts from Chinese New Year Crafts.

Little Folk Mania Continues

We have so many fairy fans coming into the Downtown Library to visit the tiny tricky ones who have moved into the fairytale section. When we see a book filled with fairy magic we just have to tell you about it. Barb Bentler Ullman’s story The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood, is about broken hearted Willa Jane who discovers a world of little people in the forest. Her brand new big and little friends bring adventure, fun and healing into her life.

Fred Mustard Stewart, author, has died

Fred Mustard Stewart, popular novelist who wrote across several fictional genres, died Wednesday, February 7, in New York City.

Stewart’s first novel, The Mephisto Waltz (1969, out of print) a creepy horror tale of an aging concert pianist who inhabits the body of a young writer, was made into a movie by Alan Alda two years later.

However, it was his large body of family sagas, framed by U.S. history, that built his popularity. Century, The Titan, and The Magnificent Savages (the first of four volumes to track a larger-than-life American family dynasty), are still in demand.

Stewart was 74.

Future Politics

What happens when you mix political intrigue with people who pilot massive robots? You get The Scorpion Jar by Jason M. Hardy. The story is set in the Battletech/MechWarrior universe. Set on Earth, the Exarch Damien Redburn calls a meeting of the Paladins to elect his replacement. The Paladins assemble from all corners of The Republic, each one attempting to persuad the others elect him/her as the new Exarch. Wonderful writing makes this book a great read for any science fiction fan.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #50

Kirkus reviewer called Mistress of the Art of Death* “CSI meets The Canterbury Tales”.

The brilliant female forensic pathologist, Dr. Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar of Salerno, a short and short-tempered medieval coroner is hired in secret by King Henry II to find out who's behind the horrific murders of 4 Christian children in Cambridge. Less concerned about the murderer than the tax revenue he is losing while prominent local Jews stand accused and languish in the fortress, Henry wants them freed.

Aided by a eunuch escort and a Jew with an affinity for detection, Adelia must piece together the mystery of these hideous crimes among a long list of suspects before the killer strikes again.

Mistress is a skillful blend of historical fact and gruesome fiction that will surely entertain, and Franklin presents a fascinating character in Adelia, who is odd for her era and profession yet familiar in her flaws and complexity. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait long for the next in this new series.

For fans of Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael series.

Ariana Franklin is the pen name of British historical fiction writer Diana Norman. Her first stand-alone City of Shadows is set in 1922 Berlin, a women in an asylum claims to be the only survivor of the Czar’s family and the heir to the Romanov fortune.

* = Starred Review(s)

2nd Tuesday – Meet Julie Orringer @ Neutral Zone Tues., Feb. 13, 7 pm

Hear Julie Orringer read from her short story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Northern California Book Award. Julie is the Helen Herzog Zell Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.

Copies of the book will be available for sale. The Neutral Zone is located at 310 E. Washington.

The University of Michigan: a Photographic Saga by Anne Duderstadt

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This magisterial illustrated rendering of the University’s history, presidents, faculty, staff, students, buildings, and life by Anne Duderstadt begins with chapters (or sections) on each University President’s tenure, followed by sections on Michigan’s War Service, Student Life, and on each School and College within the University.

The two-page panoramic views of the Central Campus, Medical Campus, and North Campus from various time periods provide useful orientation to the detail on buildings.

The growth and rebuilding of the University required the loss of some lovely buildings. You can find photographs of interesting buildings that no longer exist: the old Library, Waterman Gymnasium (where I spent my freshman year playing basketball and waiting in line to register for classes and, later, wearing my “Save Waterman/Barbour” button when the building was scheduled to be demolished), and the Pavilion Hospital.

A librarian’s quibble: an index would have been nice to easily locate the photograph of the sculpture of President Tappan and his Dog Leo; the entry on Jimmy Otley, the “Hat Man” (for eighteen years he was custodian of the cloakroom at the General Library (which had a room known as the Whispering Gallery)); the picture of the temporary Halo around the Michigan Stadium; the rendering of Albert Kahn’s first design for what is now known as Angell Hall; or the photograph of President Duderstadt in the kitchen of the President’s House in his maize shorts and blue shirt with football and helmet in hand with “Victory Apple Pies” in the foreground.

The lack of an index provides an additional incentive to thoroughly browse this volume’s content for the wealth of detail and illustration within.

The companion website has interactive maps from various time periods, historical 3d movies, and additional publications about the University. Do not skip the very long but lovely introduction with its postcard views of University landmarks and scenes, with the Glee Club singing Michigan songs.

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