Fabulous Fiction Firsts #33

Reyna Grande’s debut novel Across a Hundred Mountains is a stunning and poignant story of migration, loss and discovery.

Under desperate circumstances in a Tijuana jail, young Juana Garcia and teenage prostitute Adelina Vasquez met and their heartbreaking stories intertwined in the novel's alternating chapters, and re-crossed years later in the most unexpected ways. Starred review in Publishers Weekly.

A 2003 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, Grande was born in Guerrero, Mexico. With an insider’s perspective, she puts a human face on one of the most controversial issues of our time – Mexican immigration to the United States. A writer to watch, she is currently at work on her second novel.

In Memoriam: September 11

On the fifth anniversary of this unprecedented event in American history, the Library remembers with the exhibit New York, September 11; a staged reading of the "The Guys" by the Purple Rose Theatre Company; a panel discussion for survivors and families; a community forum with a panel of experts from the UM Department of Psychiatry; plus dozens of books and videos.

college 101

If you're just starting college, thinking about it or looking back, you might find these novels about college life entertaining if not totally realistic.

In Making Stuff Up, by Bill James, passions and rivalries erupt in a creative writing class. The president of the college tries to smooth things over while struggling to keep the college afloat.

Blue Angel by Francine Prose is a hilarious and cynical portrayal of college life, especially writers and English departments. She satirizes the pervasive feminist interpretation of literature by the women's studies teachers and empathizes with the disillusioned creative writing instructors who are resigned to reading some awful student work.

Elinor Lipman has also presented a farcical account of college life in her newest novel, My Latest Grievance, the story of Frederica Hatch, the precocious daughter of two activist professors who are also dorm parents at a small New England women's college.`

Tour-de-Anne

The release of Anne Tyler’s newest book on cd, Digging to America, gives us an opportunity to highlight one of the best American writers and encourage a tour-de-Anne. Accidental Tourist and Saint Maybe are two of her earliest and best. Ladder of Years is a quiet and intimate portrait of family relationships. Her very best work, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, is not to be missed even if it it’s only available in good old-fashioned print.

Jamie Lee Curtis to Kids: Make Good Choices

Jamie Lee Curtis has a rhythmic new children's book out, Is There Really a Human Race?, with illustrations by Laura Cornell. The frenzied race metaphor plays out through this picture book, and at one point a boy tells us that if we don't help each other, we'll all crash. Curtis joins a chorus of other Baby Boomers in hoping that children will one day make our world a better place. Admirable, that hope.

Dawn Farm's 33rd Annual Jamboree

Dawn Farm's 33rd Annual Jamboree will take place Sunday, September 10, from 1-6 p.m. at Dawn Farm, 6633 Stoney Creek Rd, Ypsilanti. This year's events include a midway, pony rides, live music, hayrides, and tours of the 74-acre farm.

Dylan's "Modern Times" is number one

No. 1 on the music charts, (and no, it's not Danity Kane) is Bob Dylan, with his first CD in five years, called Modern Times. My favorite music critic, who played locally with the Ragnar Kvaran Band in the 80's, says, "the cd has a spirited earthy feel, which is often lost in the technology of most modern recordings." It's reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf, with the sounds of rockabilly and country-blues on other tracks.
bobdylan.com
Rolling Stone Rock and Roll Daily

Local author's book featured on PBS today

Local author Nancy Shaw's, Sheep on a Ship will be featured on Between the Lions today at 1:30 p.m. on the Detroit station, WTVS, with a repeat next Tuesday, September 12, at the same time. Click here to find out the PBS schedule for channels 23 and 28.

Presidential Summer Reading

Apparently The Stranger, by Albert Camus was not the only intellectually challenging book on President Bush's reading list this summer. Adam Gopnik, writing in the Aug. 28 New Yorker, names two others on what he describes as "An amazingly strenuous list, actually." The bonus books were American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power, by Richard Carwardine. Whether Bush has actually read either of these books is unclear to me. But even if he has, that's only three for the summer - two short of the five books required to finish the AADL Summer Reading Game. Better luck next year, Mr. President.

We're Back!!! Baby and Preschool Series begin this week!

The Baby PlayGroup Series and the Preschool Storytime Series start this week throughout the Library System and you don't want to miss any. Remind Babies to bring a Big Person to Baby PlayGroups. Remind the Little Kids to bring their Big People to Preschool Storytimes. While you are in the building say "Hello" to the puzzles, pick a few Books, choose some CDs to sing along together, then wave Bye-Bye when you are done. You can come back next time, too!

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