Missing Downton Abbey? Try these readalikes!

For Downton Abbey fans, the recent conclusion of Season 4 on PBS brings a long wait before we get to enjoy more of Lady Mary, Tom Branson, Anna, and our other favorite characters. If you are missing Downton Abbey, why not try some of the Downton Abbey readalikes that the AADL has to offer? The library has some wonderful fiction and non-fiction books that will transport you back to the time period of Downton Abbey, making the wait for Season 5 a bit easier!

Try Lady Almina and the Read Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle, the fascinating story of the real family that inspired the creation of the television show, written by the Countess of Carnarvon, an inhabitant of the castle today. The true story and the show have many parallels, and this amazing book draws on diary entries, letters, photographs and remaining physical materials to paint a vivid picture of life at Highclere Castle during the early twentieth century. This book also has a companion: Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, which tells the story of the American woman who married the man who would eventually become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon. Similar to Cora and Lord Grantham, Lady Catherine and her husband must struggle to cope with changes in the traditions of the British aristocracy during the tumultuous period after World War I.

If fiction is more your style, try the sweeping novel Belle Cora, the story of a determined woman who was orphaned at a young age, sent into near slavery at her aunt and uncle’s farm, and eventually ends up in Gold Rush California, the adventures piling up along the way. The story paints a vivid picture of the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. We also have A Star For Mrs. Blake, the story of five American women who travel to France in the early 1930s to seek out the graves of their sons, who all died during World War I. The women are drastically different and meet for the first time right before they set out on their journey. Readers of A Star For Mrs. Blake will enjoy this moving story and recognize the book’s descriptions of the post-war era in Europe from the more recent seasons of Downton Abbey.

We also have Park Lane, the story of a young girl who takes a position as a housemaid in 1914 on Park Lane in London and gets caught up in the lives of the home’s wealthy inhabitants, and A Spider in the Cup, a mystery set in 1933 that begins with the discovery of the body of a young woman in the Thames River.

Finally, why not try your hand at a few Downton Abbey-motivated recipes while you wait for Season 5? AADL has The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook and Edwardian Cooking: 80 recipes inspired by Downton Abbey’s elegant meals.

Happy Downton-inspired reading (and cooking)!

HBO's True Detective Season Finale is Sunday - Still Time to Read The King in Yellow - NO SPOILERS!

True Detective is an American television anthology crime drama series on HBO. Season one stars Matthew McConaughey, and Woody Harrelson, and uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives' hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years.

If you've been watching HBO's hot, new series, you're probably obsessed with all of the various literary allusions and references. If you have delved into the fandom behind the show you definitely want to read The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers. The King in Yellow was originally published in 1895 and is now in the public domain. We uploaded a PDF copy to our catalog (from Project Gutenberg) so AADL cardholders can download and read it easily. Some unscrupulous types are taking advantage of the hype and printing the free PDF and charging people for a copy.

Even if you don't have an AADL card you can find free copies, in a variety of formats, of the book at Project Gutenberg.

For even more True Detective-related reads, check out this list.

Emerging Writers Workshop: Breaking Into the Publishing World

Thursday June 5, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

How do you enter the publishing world without an agent? Do you have to have one? Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will cover the basics of the submission process as well as the nuts and bolts of contracts, advances, and how writers get paid. This is the third in the monthly series Emerging Writers Workshops. These events feature perspectives from both traditional and indie publishing. Considerations for fiction and non-fiction writing will be covered.

Emerging Writers: Writing & Review Meetup

Thursday May 15, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

This monthly meeting welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects.

Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer encouragement, answer questions, and point writers to resources.

These open houses complement the Emerging Writers Workshop, held earlier in the month, and feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing.

Emerging Writers Workshop: Publishing Options

Thursday May 1, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

The world is changing and today’s writer has more options than ever to see their work in print. Which is the right one for you?

Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will explore the differences between traditional publishing and “indie” self-publishing, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each path. This is the third in a monthly series of writing and publishing events called the Emerging Writers Workshops.

These events feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing. Considerations for fiction and non-fiction writing will be covered as well.

There will also be an opportunity for workshop attendees to meet up at the Traverwood Branch on Thursday, May 15 from 7 – 8:45 pm to discuss their works-in-progress. Both Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer advice, tips and review. These open houses will be a wonderful time to meet your fellow writers and potentially create your own writing group.

A Modern Fairy Tale

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” had inspired many fantastic works in the last few years, including Disney’s Frozen and Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs. Fans of the latter will definitely want to check out the latest Snow Queen-inspired novel, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.

The story takes place in a magical, labyrinth-like museum in a country where the snow never stops. While exploring the museum one day, Ophelia discovers the prison of the Marvelous Boy, a boy who never ages and who is destined to give the sword to the hero who will slay the Snow Queen. Though still grieving the death of her mother, Ophelia agrees to team up with the Marvelous Boy to help him defeat the Snow Queen and end the endless winter.

What I loved most about this novel was its careful balance of fantasy and reality. While much of the plot and the tone of the story feel like a dreamy or sometimes nightmarish fairy tale, Ophelia’s grief and its effect upon her family keep the heart of the story incredible real.

Cooking on a Budget

For those of us on a budget, making tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can be a challenge. Good ingredients can be expensive and the most delicious recipes are often complex and call for a number of pricey items. Here at AADL we have a number of budget-friendly cookbooks that can help you eat well while not breaking the bank. Budget Bytes: over 100 delicious recipes to slash your grocery bill in half is a brand new cookbook by the creater of the hugely popular Budget Bytes blog. Caroline Wright’s Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals: for four people is a great cookbook for those hoping to feed small families. Her book includes healthy, tasty recipes in all forms including vegetarian and vegan recipes, pizzas and desserts.

Student cookbooks can also be a great way to find easy, inexpensive recipes. We have The Ultimate Student Cookbook, the Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook and the Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook and Young and Hungry: making the most of fresh and affordable food, as well as several others.

There are also some wonderful cookbooks in our collection for those intending to eat locally and seasonally while also remaining on a budget. Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons: celebrate the holidays with elegance and simplicity on any income is a lovely book that uses seasonally-appropriate, inexpensive recipes. There is also The Locavore’s Handbook: the busy person’s guide to eating local on a budget, which offers practical advice for using local food in easy recipes. This book is especially useful for those of us in Michigan, since author Leda Meredith’s advice is geared towards those living in colder climates!

Kid SPOTlight - NEW Fiction March 2014

SPOTTED in NEW books today... of likely interest to 3rd - 4th Grade kids.

MESMER MENACE ... a dachsund, an evil menace, and automotons, oh my!
If you like gadgets and gears and adventure, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Robot Stories
The BOWLING LANE WITHOUT ANY STRIKES ... a new title in the "Field Trip Mysteries" series.
If you like Mystery series, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Mystery
CATS Of TANGLEWOOD FOREST ... cats and forest creatures meet Lillian Kindred in the Tanglewood Forest. Is there magic?
If you like this type of book, explore the titles on this public list Elementary Kids - Fantasy
The SITTIN' UP ... Bean gets a lesson in how family and friends in a poor rural community deal with death.
If you are looking for more youth titles that address this important issue, explore the titles in this public list Elementary Kids - Dealing With Grief
CHARLIE BUMPERS vs. The TEACHER Of The YEAR finds it's a chore to be neat and well-behaved all the time.... or ...
FISH FINELLI: Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles ... Fish Finelli and friends set out for buried treasure ... and the Librarian gets in the mix.
If you like books about other kids, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Friends and Family.

... so much Reading ... so many kids!

Oscar Winners on DVD & Blu-ray

Last night was the 86th Academy Awards and Hollywood put on a big show as usual. Ellen DeGeneres hosted and ordered pizza while Brad Pitt passed out plates, Benedict Cumberbatch photobomed U2, Jennifer Lawrence tripped again, and Lupita Nyong'o was simply adorable as she danced to Pharrell William’s song Happy.

Top honor went to Twelve Years a Slave for Best Picture, which was one of three awards for the film, including best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay. Gravity won seven awards, the most of any film, including a Best Director win for Alfonso Cuarón.

Frozen won for Animated Feature, Twenty Feet From Stardom won Documentary Feature, The Great Beauty won Foreign Language Film.

Here’s a list of Best Picture Winners from over the years, as well as a list of 2014 nominees for Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, and Foreign Language Film that AADL has in the catalog.

Get on the hold lists and prepare for happy watching!

Comic Artists Forum: Jerzy Drozd Presents Podcasting To Reach New Audiences

Sunday March 2, 2014: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

You’ve spent countless hours developing your storytelling chops and designing intricate worlds and compelling characters. You’re sharing your work on the social media sites and keeping an update schedule for your webcomic. Now you just wait for the readers to show up, right? Jerzy will cover the value of leveraging audio and video to help you reach new readers, connect with peers, and build audience support by sharing your most unique value—-yourself.

Jerzy Drozd is the author/illustrator of The Front and has worked on Antarctic Press’ "Ninja High School," as well as projects for Marvel Comics and Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. He also has produced several long-running podcasts.

The Forum is for comics enthusiasts AND cartoonists—beginning and professional. Bring your drawing tools and drop in for learning, drawing and sharing.

Syndicate content