New Books to Film

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Gotta "Love Me Tender" or at least, love that Michigan Elvisfest on Saturday, July 7th and 8th at Riverside Park located in Ypsilanti's Historic Depot Town. This is the largest Elvis tribute concert in North America! So, shake, rattle and roll with award-winning Elvis tribute artists and Las Vegas impersonators. Events for kids also. "Don't Be Cruel" and wear your "Blue Suede Shoes" to Ypsi this weekend. Friday, July 7, 5 PM - Midnight and Saturday, July 8, Noon to Midnight.

How about a trip to Canada, eh?

If you are looking for new places to explore this summer, why not try a trip to Canada? The border is only a short drive away and there are plenty of things to see and do for a weekend. Try visiting Toronto and go to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) or celebrate Summerlicious, prix fixe meals at the city's best restaurants during July. If you have more time, try driving as far as Montreal and visit the Just for Laughs Festival. For more ideas of places to visit and things to do in Canada, be sure to check out our Canada guide books or an adventurer's guide (for the outdoor types).

Did He or Didn’t He?

That’s usually a question for the detective in the book to answer, not the reader of the book. But Vince Lardo’s follow-ups to the very dead mystery writer Lawrence Sanders Archie McNally books have readers debating whether Vince ghostwrote them all.

Listen to all our McNally mysteries on book on cd and decide for yourself. Start with a few Sanders wrote (or didn’t) like McNally’s Secret, McNally’s Risk or McNally’s Caper. Then try a few of the Lardo titles beginning with McNally’s Dilemma and our latest addition to the series, McNally’s Bluff.

Ken Lay, ex-CEO of Enron, is dead

Ken Lay

Ken Lay, convicted ex-CEO of Enron, has died.

Lay, 64, was awaiting sentencing on multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy and bank fraud, when he died of a massive coronary in Aspen, Colorado.

In his book, Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story, two-time Pulitzer finalist author Kurt Eichenwald, chronicles the stunning rise and devastating fall of Enron under Ken Lay's leadership.

Last year's documentary, Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room, directed by Alex Gibney, exposes in shocking video and audio tapes, the depth of the greed and corruption that was part of the upper echelon culture. This much-touted documentary, which was nominated for and/or won several awards, spells out in heartbreaking detail, the thousands of lives wrecked by Enron's collapse.

A tortoise's observations of the human species and much more

Verlyn Klinkenborg, author of other books on the natural world and writer on the editorial board of the New York Times, has created a most disarming tortoise in his latest, Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile. In this wondrous tale or meditation, full of luxuriant language, humor and wry observation of the human species, Timothy in her elder years (yes, it's a female) is resident in the garden of pastor and amateur naturalist, Gilbert White, author, in real life, of The Natural History and Antiquities of Selbourne, the village where he lived.

Pirates or Superheroes?

Who said the library isn’t hip and cool? We change with the times and have the perfect books to go along with the popular movies in the box office. Are you interested in getting clued in on insider information on Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean? Check out the Pirates of the Caribbean Visual Guide. If you are more of a superhero fan and camped outside to see the new superman movie, Superman Returns, you should spend time browsing the Superman graphic novels. So the question is: Who would win, Jack Sparrow or Superman, in a fight to the death?

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting

One Green Apple tells the story of a Muslim girl who is a stranger in a strange land. On a school field trip she finds that there are many similarities in her old culture and her new one. Eve Bunting brilliantly captures the feeling of isolation experienced by a Muslim girl as she attends her second day of school.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #27

One of the hottest trends in reading is urban fiction. It’s a sure sign that it is no longer just a fad when The New York Times wrote about it. Alternately called street lit, hip-hop, gangsta lit, or urban fiction, it depicts life on the mean streets, and often prides itself in the authenticity and gritty details of drugs, crimes and violence. Lurid book jackets, profanities, explicit sex, and the lifestyle fueled by easy money add to its appeal.

I met T.J. Williams this week. A Princeton University student, he is not your typical street lit author writing in prison, but maybe that is why his debut novel 5 minutes and 42 seconds was so accessible for my first dip into this genre.

Oh, have no doubt, all the gritty elements are there (the drug-dealing, the illicit sex and the street culture) but it is also a thoughtful and often humorous exploration of the meaning of family and sexuality. Give it a try and check out this reading list for other suggestions.

A Pirate's Life For Me

If a sequel to the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl isn't enough (Pirates 2 opens next Friday), then avast ye, maties!: Pirates 3, currently filming, will include a cameo by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards as Johnny Depp's father. Depp has acknowledged he based his Oscar-nominated and sequel-spinning role as pirate Captain Jack Sparrow on the legendary rhythm guitarist. And as if to prove his worthiness of the homage, Richards recently fell out of a palm tree and underwent skull surgery. Word is he's doing fine and apparently looking forward to filming in September--just in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day!.

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