Hispanic Heritage Month

Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month on this site for kids--enlightening for grown-ups as well! There are some exciting local events beginning this week-end to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Fun for the whole family is Gran Noche Mexicana in Ypsilanti. Also this week-end, performing in Detroit, the talented Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Feel like staying in and having a private salsa or merengue fiesta? Check out Baila! A Latin Dance Party!

More new Italian fiction

More new Italian fiction:
"Il volo della farfalla" by Adriana Faranda
The story of a former member of the Marxist-Leninist Red Brigade terrorist group who paradoxically finds in prison, the freedom which she was deprived of for many years.
"Quattro giorni per non morire" by Marino Magliani
A thriller set between South America and the region of Liguria. A man who is doubly condemned, by illness and by prison, tries to escape.
"Fai di te la notte" by Giorgio Scianna
One evening after work, Clara decides not to come back home to her two children and husband as usual, but to change her path.
"Il mistero BonBon" by Sergio Staino
Philippe BonBon is a bon viveur, a man courted by women who belongs to the high class of French society. One day his wife and friends start to suspect him, maybe he has a double life, maybe he is a murderer

New Italian fiction for adults at the library

New at all library branches in the foreign language collection, there will soon be a selection of modern Italian popular fiction.

Here are some of the new titles:
"La scoperta dell'alba" by Walter Veltroni
Written by the mayor of Rome, a rising political star often mentioned as a future prime minister, this book is the sotry of Giovanni Astengo, who is in his 40s and works for the State archives where he classifies the lives of people. His career-driven wife and beautiful children aren't enough to heal his wounded heart so he undertakes a search for the father who abandoned him as a child.
"La dama che amò due principi" by Gabriella Magrini
Set in medieval Japan, this is the true story of Izumi Shikibu, an extraordinary beautiful woman poet who lived at the Imperial Japanese Court.
"L'amica americana" by Margherita Oggero

New Portugese books for adults at all branches

New at all library branches in the foreign language collection, there will soon be a selection of modern Portuguese popular fiction. Put a hold on the books through the library catalog and have them delivered to the branch of your choice or browse the shelves for new books. If you have any questions, suggestions, comments on Portuguese titles or any foreign language books, please e-mail stantont@aadl.org.

Here is a selection of some of the new titles:

"Ilhas Contadal" by Helena Marques
"Requiem para o navegador solitario" by Luis Cardoso
"Combateremos a sombra" by Lídia Jorge
"O paraíso é bem bacana" by André Sant'Anna
"O pescador de girassois" by Antonio Santos

Cheer Up Sleepy Jean: The Monkees Story

The National Broadcasting Corporation formed a band in 1965 called The Monkees. Their moptop haircuts, singer/tambourinateer with a British accent, jangly rhythms, tight harmonies, and misspelled-animal-as-band-name were all bold and revolutionary... when The Beatles did it. Combine the fact that their first two albums—More of the Monkees and The Monkees—featured little to no original material and studio musicians playing the backing tracks, and the band that doesn’t it make it easy for music snobs to like them. But once this band, which consisted of two very extraordinary musicians and two… other people, had the reigns of their career, they went forth to produce some very fine and very overlooked material.

ALA Announces this year's We the People Bookshelf

We the People ImageWe the People Image

The American Library Association has just announced this year’s theme for their annual We the People Bookshelf. The Bookshelf is a collection of titles for children in grades K-12 that deal with a specific theme in American History. This year’s books explore the meaning of the phrase “Created Equal.” Among the list are books like the Ugly Duckling and Flowers for Algernon that relate the often fraught experiences of those who don’t quite fit in, and others like Virginia Hamilton’s classic Many Thousand Gone, which chronicles the hardships and triumphs experienced by black Americans from slavery to the ratification of the 13th amendment in the 1860s. The Library owns almost every title on the list.

My favorite part about the We the People Bookshelf is the artwork. Artist and illustrator Julie Paschkis has created a lively, colorful series of posters that celebrate American History without beating the viewer over the head with patriotism, more Johnny Appleseed than “these colors don’t run.” Last year’s image, which featured Uncle Sam gleefully whizzing by on a bicycle, was especially playful and fun. Happy thinking!

The business of charity

We've all heard of successful businesspeople who give lots of money to charity. Indeed, such benefactors have huge impact, such as the library world's beloved Andrew Carnegie.

But is such philanthropy really as good as it seems? A pair of articles from our friends at the New York Times and The Economist suggests otherwise. Those big donations, according to the Times article, net donors some big tax breaks, meaning that money given to little Timmy's private school is money the government can't use for potentially worthier purposes.

And what about all those companies that do good works? Well, as The Economist notes, Robert Reich thinks that focusing on corporate social responsibility misses the point. Businesses, even socially responsible ones, ultimately focus on their interests. We shouldn't get so preoccupied with them that we take the heat off the people who are supposed to be watching the economy: the federal government.

Here's what economist Tyler Cowen thinks. What about you?

If you like Irish music....

This Friday evening, September 14, Liz Carroll, fiddler extraordinaire will be performing with equally talented guitarist, John Doyle at The Ark. Carroll's and Doyle's joint performances, in concert and on cd have been described by the Irish Echo as "...a magnificent balance of virtuosity, drive, and finesse .... Carroll's bowing and Doyle's picking represent a kind of soloing in sync, each supporting and inspiring the other without a whiff of self-indulgence."

Check them out, if there are still tickets left. And look for a sizeable collection of Irish music at the Library.

Baby Names, Swearing, & Human Nature

What do baby names and swearing reveal about thought and human nature?

Find out in Steven Pinker’s new book, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.

If you haven’t read any of Pinker’s entertaining and thought-provoking books on language and psychology - or if you’re already a fan - listen to him discuss his new book on the second hour of NPR’s Science Friday on September 14th.

Fall Holy Days

Read about Rosh Hashanah! Check out Apples & Pomegranates by Rahel Musleah. Today also marks the first day of Ramadan. For a touching youth story on the subject read Magid fasts for Ramadan by Mary Matthews. More on Jewish holidays during autumn can be found in Celebrating the Jewish Year by Paul Steinberg. And to read about fasting & religion check out Fasting: Spiritual Freedom beyond our Appetite by Lynne Baab.

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