Fabulous Fiction Firsts #474 - "But mothers lie. It's in the job description.” ~ John Green

Two young women are witnesses to their mothers' murders. One of them might be a killer.

Elizabeth Little, author of 2 nonfiction books knocks it out of the park with Dear Daughter *, an "Agatha Christie meets Kim Kardashian... (a) sharp-edged, tart-tongued, escapist thriller", which Tana French praised as "The best debut mystery I've read in a long time"; and Kate Atkinson called "A really gutsy, clever, energetic read, often unexpected, always entertaining.... In the world of crime novels, Dear Daughter is a breath of fresh air."

After spending 10 years in prison for murdering her mother, former It Girl Janie Jenkins is out on a technicality. Her memory of the night in question is hazy, and there is no love lost between them, but she is determined to chase down the one lead she has on her mother's killer. As Janie makes her way (with a false identity) to an isolated South Dakota town, she discovers that even the sleepiest towns hide sinister secrets, and will stop at nothing to guard them.

On the run from a crime blogger convinced of her guilt, a suspicious police chief, maybe even a murderer, Janie must choose between the anonymity she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.

Set in the frozen tundra of rural Montana, Bone Dust White * is Karin Salvalaggio's literary mystery debut. The insistent pounding on her door brings Grace Adams to her bedroom window where she witnesses a man coming out of the woods, stabbing a woman and leaving her to die on Grace's doorstep. Before help arrives, Grace realizes the victim is her mother, Leanne who disappeared more than a decade before.

A heavily-pregnant Detective Macy Greeley is assigned to the case. She needs to track down the killer and find out what the murder has to do with Grace. But the town of Collier is just as hard-bitten now as it was 11 years ago when Macy worked a still-unsolved grisly sex-trafficking and multiple-homicide case. But no one is talking, least of all Grace, whom Macy believes knows a lot more than she's telling.

"The sharp twists, idiosyncratic characters, and vivid setting should appeal to fans of C. J. Box and Nevada Barr."

"This complicated, peel-away-layers debut procedural intoxicates from the opening page.... Recommend for fans of Archer Mayor, Gwen Florio, and Craig Johnson."

* = starred review

Terms and Conditions May Apply

Debut author Robert Glancy certainly impressed with his 2014 novel Terms & Conditions. The narrator begins the tale with the realization that he has no idea who he is. Frank is told he was in a car accident after what his brother called through a slip of the tongue, a "little episode." Frank goes on a personal quest for himself and the answers to what really happened that fateful day. Clues start to come back to Frank in flashes- a white door, plastic anatomical models, a book his wife wrote... but what does it all mean? "Terms & Conditions" has the qualities of a thriller in its pacing and gradual reveal of information while also feeling like a noir detective novel. Readers will discover alongside Frank which characters are reliable friends and who is truly trustworthy.

"Terms & Conditions" will have readers both on the edge of their seats and laughing! My favorite element used in this novel is the footnote, reflecting the style of legal documents. Nearly every page has at least one footnote further elaborating on Frank's thoughts and dark sense of humor. However, the novel remains approachable to all audiences and comes highly recommended for both mystery and humor lovers!

Parent’s Corner: What’s New

There are some new titles over on the Parent Shelf!

The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to potty training to safety to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

Here are a few new titles to look for:

* Reading in the wild: The book whisperer's keys to cultivating lifelong reading habits

* Redefining girly: How parents can fight the stereotyping and sexualizing of girlhood, from birth to tween

* Parentology: Everything you wanted to know about the science of raising children but were too exhausted to ask

* Mothering & daughtering: Keeping your bond strong through the teen years

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #473

The Miniaturist * by Jessie Burton is the sole debut among LibraryReads Picks for August 2014! And for good reasons.

After a hasty wedding on a brisk autumn day in 1686, 18 yr.-old Nella Oortman arrives at wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt's splendid home on the Herengracht Canal as his new wife. While the much older Brandt is kind but distractedly distant and consumed with the running of his business, his sharp-tongued sister Marin is less than welcoming. Nella is charmed, however, with the extraordinary wedding gift Brandt presents her - a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist, an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways.

"In a debut that evokes Old Master interiors and landscapes, British actress Burton (Oxford) depicts a flourishing society built on water and trade, where women struggle to be part of the world. Her empathetic heroine, Nella, endures loneliness and confusion until a sequence of domestic shocks forces her to grow up very quickly."

"Enchanting, beautifully written, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth."

For readers who enjoyed Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland; Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier; and The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann.

* = starred review

Badge Drop #8: Get Outside!

Alright, Summer Gamers, it's August! August means hot, sunny days just begging you to GET OUTSIDE! How can the AADL Summer Game help YOU to get outside? Surely this is a game all about sitting in front of a computer? NO!! It's Badge Drop #8, the get-out-of-your-houseinest badge drop in Summer Game history! What are you going to do when you are out and around town?
-Finally get all of those Operation: Park Explorer badges done, including the all-new County Farm Park badge!
-Visit all of the AADL locations to track down all of the codes and earn all of the BRANCH EXPLORER badges!
-Get around downtown Ann Arbor to find all of the TWIG TERRARIUMS at various businesses!
-Take your picture at any AADL location and show us on Instagram or Twitter to earn the AADL SHELFIES badge!
-Take a picture of AADL materials out in the world (maybe even you USING them) and show us on Instagram or Twitter to earn the AADL IN THE WILD badge!
-Beat down your friends' doors to make them sign-up for the Summer Game so you can get a 500 POINT REFERRAL BONUS and work towards your RECRUITMENT MASTER badges!

Oh, and did I mention that this is the BIGGEST BADGE DROP OF SUMMER GAME 2014? Let's get to it!

2014 Badge Drop #8



So what are you waiting for? The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The codes are waiting. GET OUTSIDE!! And...

THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Literati Reading: Roxane Gay

Author Roxane Gay will read from her essay collection Bad Feminist on Aug. 7 at 7 pm at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor. Amazon named her book a Best Book of the Month, August 2014. From Amazon: "A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation . . ."

Author Reading: Photographing the Giant Squid

At Literati bookstore, 124 E. Washington St. in downtown Ann Arbor, they're preparing to host a reading by author Matthew Gavin Frank on Aug. 4 at 7 pm. Frank will read from his book Preparing the Ghost: An essay concerning the giant squid and its first photographer. The author teaches creative writing and lives in Marquette, Michigan.

An Author and his Therapy Dog

Author Luis Montalvan is scheduled to sign books at Barnes and Noble, 3235 Washtenaw Ave in Ann Arbor, on Aug. 16 at 11:30 am. He will be joined by Tuesday, his therapy dog, and he will discuss his books including Until Tuesday : a wounded warrior and the golden retriever who saved him and Tuesday tucks me in : the loyal bond between a soldier and his service dog. Man and dog have been featured by the Late Show with David Letterman, NPR and National Geographic. Montalvan will answer questions and demonstrate Tuesday's Animal Assisted Therapy techniques.

Library resources to help with the college application process

If you are a high school senior (or anyone!) who will be working on applying to colleges this fall, the library has some wonderful resources that can help you excel at the application process. Fiske real college essays that work outlines how to write an excellent college application essay and provides real examples of successful essays. It also emphasizes common mistakes in college application essays, so that you can know what to avoid during the writing process.

In the Scholarship handbook (2015 edition), the College Board provides information on awards, scholarships, and loans that may be available to you. This book offers tips on how to go about applying for student aid, and is extremely helpful if you are wondering about the various options that may be available to you to help pay for college. Along this same vein is Peterson’s scholarships, grants and prizes, 2015, which is useful for those applying to graduate school as well.

If you’re not even sure yet where you might want to apply to college, we have resources to help with that too! Try The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges, 2015 and the Fiske guide to colleges, both of which offer profiles and information about a huge range of schools, public and private. And, if you are planning to visit some of the schools that you are interested in, Campus visits and college interviews: a complete guide for college-bound students and their families could also be helpful for you!

Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People

“The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose”. – Charles Dickens

There are people who like to go for a walk and then there are…walkers. Famously, John Muir, Henry Thoreau, Charles Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson, among many others, were known for their love of long-distance walking. Add to that list Robert and Martha Manning, who have written Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People.

This book highlights 30 hikes on every continent which can be taken by “ordinary people”. They range from the 11 mile Cinque Terre trail in Italy, to the Camino de Santiago at 480 miles (which does not sound ordinary to me). Most qualify as only low to moderately challenging and the average length is more like 100 miles. The many color pictures attest to the fact that they are all beautiful, taking the intrepid walker through some of the most lovely terrain imaginable.

The Mannings tell you everything you need to know about each walk, including over-night accommodation possibilities along the way, where to hang out when you are not walking, what to bring, what the food is like, where the pubs are, a little bit of the history of the trail and, briefly, some of their own experiences on each trail, for they have walked them all. Partly a how-to guide but, more importantly, a why-to guide, they place long walks in the “must do” and "can do" categories of lifetime adventures.

So, where to begin? I have no immediate plans to take a long, long walk in Europe, but one can dream. That is what this book is really good for: inspiring the latent long-distance walker to imagine the possibilities. In the meantime, there are lovely walks all over Ann Arbor and we have books to guide you in that adventure, much closer to home.

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