Unsquared unleashed on Ann Arbor!

Soon to appear on AADL’s shelves - a new anthology, Unsquared: Ann Arbor Writers Unleash Their Edgiest Stories & Poems, jointly published by Neutral Zone and 826michigan. Sonja Brodie of AA News describes the anthology as “a mix of stories and poetry, with some essays thrown in for good measure. A final section focuses on previously unpublished work by young poets from this year's Youth Poetry Slam team. What these works have in common is that they are gritty and offbeat. . .”

Meet some of the contributors at Nicola’s Books this Friday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m. You’ll hear poet and novelist Laura Kasischke, quirky fictional writer Jeff Parker, Hopwood Award winning poet Scott Beal, rising poetic star Adam Falkner, and 2006 AA Youth Poetry Slam Team member Courtney Whittler.

Move over, Martha.

Amy Sedaris, everyone’s favorite comic shape-shifter and newly minted solo author, wants you to get drunk. On her witty repartee, that is (and maybe a few well-chosen cocktails). Her new book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence delivers plenty of the expected sardonic humor, and some recipes, too. If you consider yourself a fan of both plastic food and Martha Stewart, this book is for you.

Soyuz 3 Anniversary

Soyuz 3Soyuz 3

Thirty-eight years ago, on October 26, 1968, the Soviet Union launched Soyuz 3, piloted by cosmonaut Georgi Beregovoi. The mission was to dock with Soyuz 2, an unmanned spacecraft that had been launched October 25, 1968. This was to be the first manned space docking for the Soviet Union; the United States had already accomplished this during the Gemini VIII mission in March of 1966. Even though Beregovoi was able to maneuver Soyuz 3 to within 1 meter of Soyuz 2, docking attempts failed.
The library has many items on the space race. For even more information visit the databases on the research section of our website. The New York Times Historical database is a good place to find exciting articles that were printed when the events were taking place. General Reference Center Gold will find you periodical articles.

Leaving childhood behind is sometimes painful

Annemarie, or Shug as her family calls her, thinks there's nothing worse than being twelve. She's too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there's not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren't acting so dear anymore -- especially Mark, the boy she's known her whole life through.

Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there's just no figuring out today? (Summary from book jacket.)

Get Shug in book or CD format.

Chicken With Plums

Marjane Satrapi’s newest graphic novel, Chicken With Plums, was released this month. In her earlier Persepolis books, she tells her story of growing up in Iran during (and after) the 1979 revolution. This time it is 1958 and we witness the last eight days in the life of her great-uncle, Nassar Ali Khan, a revered tar player.
Satrapi’s personal and sometimes humorous look into her great-uncle’s life is wonderfully enhanced by her simple black and white drawings. She has a gift for illustrating complex human issues and making them universally understandable.
Be on the lookout for Persepolis in animated movie form, to be released sometime in 2007 by Sony Pictures Classics.

Little Mama Forgets by Robin Cruise

Lucy’s grandmother Luciani Maria Isabela Galvez-Molinero often forgets things like the toast in the toaster and which way to turn to go to the park. What Lucy’s Little Mama remembers is what makes this book so endearing. An excellent read about the warmth, love and family traditions that only a grandmother can share.

A Tempest in Trinidad

In addition to "The Tempest" brewing at Power Center, there's a storm of wills in Elizabeth Nunez's latest book, Prospero's Daughter. Dr. Peter Gardner has been exiled to Trinidad with his daughter, Virginia, after the discovery of a gruesome experiment he performed on a human subject. In this reworking of Shakespeare's play, Nunez poses questions about race and class. Carlos, a Caliban of sorts, is a mixed race orphan who has been living with the Gardner's. He and Virginia have fallen in love. When Gardner who is depicted as a racist lunatic finds out, he accuses Carlos of attempted rape. At the same time, he sexually abuses his native servant, Ariana. Into this mix comes John Mumsford of the British police who fears an uprising of natives against British rule in Trinidad's quest for independence and uses Carlos as an example of the continued stability of his country's authority.

For other fiction that takes place in Trinidad, try:
A Perfect Pledge by Rabindranath Maharaj and
A Thirst for Rain by Roslyn Carrington.

NaNoWriMo

Have you always wanted to write the Great American Novel but never seem to find the time? Maybe all you need is a push. That's where Chris Baty, the brain behind NaNoWriMo was coming from. NaNo what? National Novel Writing Month. 2006 marks the seventh year of this pencil-pushing frenzy.

The basics: you have the month of November to pen (or word process) a 50,000 word novel. This is an excercise in quantity, not necessarily quality. That's the joy of the process, or the horror, depending on whom you ask. No head starts; that would be cheating. If you push through to the end, when December rolls around, you can say (to people who would be impressed by this sort of thing) that you wrote a novel.

Will we see you in any of our branches writing your novel this November?

Mountains Beyond Mountains Chosen as Next Community Read

On Tuesday, October 24, a selection committee of community leaders, students and educators in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area chose Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World (2003) for the 2007 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads. The 2007 program will encourage readers of all ages to explore the theme We The People… - the many people that we are, the diverse communities we have created, and the challenges we face in fostering a continuing sense of belonging and civic engagement in a rapidly changing world. Check it out!

When Madeline Was Young

A priests' book group is reading Jane Hamilton's favorably reviewed new book, When Madeline Was Young because it casts a particularly kind eye on human nature. The novel weaves the tale of Madeline Maciver, a beautiful young wife who suffers brain damage in a bike accident early in her marriage to Aaron Maciver. Aaron and his second wife, Julia, care for Madeline, while also raising two children of their own. The book, narrated by their son, Mac, also highlights family rivalries, sibling relationships, and contemporary American history.

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