Invasion of the mini-books!

Have you ever wondered what your favorite book would look like in miniature? Well, now's your chance! This Sunday, September 10th, marks the fourth annual Kerrytown BookFest and this year the special guest is the Miniature Book Society (MBS). The festival will be accompanied by lectures, demonstrations and plenty of exhibitors showing and selling books of all kinds. So come to the BookFest and pick up some new, potentially tiny, reading material!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #32

Playwright and actress Pamela Gien was commissioned by Random House to turn her 2001 Obie-Award for Best Play The Syringa Tree into a novel.

Set in her homeland of South Africa during the turbulent 1960s, Gien tells the story of 6 year-old Lizzie, a child of privilege, her Xhosa nanny, Salamina, and their fierce devotion to each other. As the meaning of apartheid unfolds, Lizzie takes her worries to sit in the welcoming arms of the large lilac-blooming syringa tree in her backyard, trying to make sense of the violence, the injustice and racism amidst the intoxicating beauty of the land.

Moving and illuminating, it will interest readers of social issues and modern history.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #31

Theodore "Teddy" Ruzak of Knoxville, TN is the bumbling but determined detective in Richard Yancey's entertaining mystery series debut The Highly Effective Detective.

Overweight and unschooled, Teddy quits his job as a night watchman to set up his own detective agency with a small inheritance. For his first case, Teddy is hired to track down a hit-and-run goose-killer. Before long, however, the case turns decidedly homicidal.

Endearing and colorful characters, suspenseful plots twists and witty dialogues make for a fun read. Highly recommended. Starred review in Publishers' Weekly. Definitely for fans of Monk and Columbo series.

'Crocodile Hunter' killed by stingray

Steve Irwin, the energetic 'Crocodile Hunter' and wildlife warrior, died over the weekend after being stung by a stingray while snorkeling off the Austrailian coast. Irwin was filming pieces for a show called "Ocean's Deadliest" with Phillippe Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau.

Kenya's Word by Linda Trice

Kenya doesn't listen very well in school. This leads to her making a mess of things during class. She is asked to tell the class of her favorite describing word. After a visit to the market, watching a family friend paint, and listening to her father play jazz, Kenya makes her decision. Linda Trice has written a wonderful picture book that subtly expresses the message that black is beautiful.

Time for a couple short stories before SCHOOL starts

Treat yourself to a couple short stories before the school assigned book list comes your way. Every Man for Himself: Ten Short Stories, with 'Jump Away' by Rene Saldana, Jr. is a good place to start. In this story, a bully rounds up half-a-dozen outsiders, weak targets, whatever you want to call them, to jump off Jenson's Bridge just because Mike, the bully, says so. The hero of the story does some thinking when he's poised ready to jump from the bridge. What he comes up with is brilliant! A few other authors in the collection

Poets, Start Your Engines

Looks like prize-winning poet James Tate is among dozens of poets participating in the Wave Books Poetry Bus Tour set to start rolling Sept. 4 from Seattle. The tour is planning stops in 50 cities in 50 days, carrying poets, musicians, filmmakers and journalists. The still-under-construction web site says the poetry bus "will go more places with more poets reading more poems than was ever previously believed possible." A stop is scheduled in Ann Arbor Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the U-M Residential College Auditorium.

Getting By Is Getting Harder

It’s not you -- it really is harder to make ends meet. The real median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2% since 2003. Income disparities are at record levels. Barbara Ehrenreich details the difficulties facing blue collar and white collar workers alike in Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America and Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. For a more long-range and literary take on income disparity in America, we recommend The Great Gatsby.

Munch Masterpieces Found by Police

Scream

Police believe they have recovered The Scream and Madonna, two modern masterpieces, by artist Edvard Munch stolen from the Munch Museum in August, 2004. Both paintings were in better-than-expected condition, police said at a news conference.

“The pictures came into our hands this afternoon after a successful police action,” said Iver Stensrud, head of the police investigation. “All that remains is an expert examination to confirm with 100 percent certainty, that these are the original paintings. We believe these are the originals,” Stensrud said. Read the rest of the AP story Police recover stolen Munch masterpieces.

Sign up for September Book Group (Gr. 9-12)

Call 327-8301 to register for the September 11 book group and receive a free copy of Next Door Lived a Girl by Stefan Kiesbye. Read the book and meet on the 11th from 6:30-8 p.m. in the 4th floor conference room of the Downtown Library. Refreshments will be served. Meet the author, Stefan Kiesbye, 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 12 at the 2nd Tuesday presentation in the 4th Floor Board Room of the Downtown Library.

NOTE: This is the first in a series of monthly author events and related book discussions. You can receive Community Resource credits from the Ann Arbor Public Schools for participating – contact Jeff Kass at jeff@neutral-zone.org for more details.

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