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.

Gerald Green, author of The Last Angry Man, has died

Gerald Green, creator of beloved Dr. Sam Abelman who railed against the “galoots” in The Last Angry Man (1956), has died.

Green’s writing accolades popped up everywhere during his more than 50-year career. In 1952, he was one of the creators of the Today show. He wrote a mini-series for NBC, Holocaust, which won an Emmy in 1978. He then penned the novelization which earned the Dag Hammarskjold International Prize in 1979.

Steve Hamilton, 2006 Michigan Author Award winner

Steve Hamilton

Detroit native, Steve Hamilton, has been named the 2006 Michigan Author. This award, co-sponsored by the Michigan Library Association and the Library of Michigan’s Michigan Center for the Book, is bestowed on a Michigan author for his or her “…contributions to literature based on an outstanding published body of work.”

Alex McKnight, Hamilton’s private eye character, made his first appearance in1998 in A Cold Day in Paradise, which won the Edgar in 1999 for Best First Novel. The seventh title in this series, A Stolen Season, will be released in September of this year.

John Sinclair

Free John Now

On the short list of people who can claim John Lennon wrote a song about them (that would include Yoko, his mom "Julia" and Mia Farrow's sister, "Prudence") is John Sinclair, ex-manager of the MC5, founder of the White Panther Party, and ex-political prisoner. The song is on this CD. Anyone in town remember "ten for two" and the Free John Now Rally at Crisler in '71? They contributed, at least in part, to Ann Arbor's famously lenient laws on marijuana possession. Sinclair will be appearing at the downtown branch on September 6 at 7:00 p.m. to read his blues-inspired poetry in honor of the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Read more about Sinclair's local and national influence on the counterculture of the nineteen sixties and seventies in the introduction to the John and Leni Sinclair papers at the Bentley Historical Library.

Plan a Michigan Wine Harvest Tour

Plenty of Ann Arborites are planning fall trips to visit Michigan wineries - to witness the harvest and buy wine. You can plan your own midwestern oenological adventure by checking out Wineries of the Great Lakes: A Guidebook, by Joe Borrello. For complete and updated information on Michigan wineries - locations, hours, and more - go to the Michigan wine website.

Naguib Mahfouz, author of the Cairo trilogy, has died

Naguib Mahfouz, author of the Cairo trilogy, has died

Naguib Mahfouz, one of the Arab world’s most beloved authors, has died in Cairo. He had been hospitalized since July, after a fall seriously injured his head.

Mahfouz, the first Arab writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1988), was known as the voice of reason and religious tolerance throughout the Middle East. His moderate views attracted heated opinions at both extremes – in 1994, at age 82, he was stabbed by a man inflamed by a militant cleric’s condemnation of his ideas.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (8/27/06)

George Pelecanos has garnered great reviews and accolades from fellow mystery writers for years but has never had the sales or visibility of Michael Connelly or Ian Rankin. This time out his publisher made a big push promoting his latest murder mystery and it has paid off with a spot on this week's List.

At #3 is Crisis by Robin Cook: on the other hand, Cook's books almost sell themselves; another medical thriller involving shocking malpractices from a master of the genre.

At #8 is Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston: her first book was a step away from the usual chick lit. In Good Grief the heroine was not looking for love; she was in mourning. Her new book chronicles how infertility and infidelity can explode a marriage.

At #12 is The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos: after 20 years a serial killer may once again be loose on the mean streets of Washington, DC; as in all his best work, including his scripts for HBO's The Wire, the action is authentic and real.

Mystery Bits - the Wright book

If you like facts along with your fiction, read Wright 3 by Blue Balliett. There is a mystery to solve for the three sixth gradersin this book. While following the clues you learn about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House in Chicago, and facts about both of them. If this book intrigues you, read more in Frank Lloyd Wright: Maverick Architect and Frank Lloyd Wright For Kids and compare facts with fiction.

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